The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk was an American single-engined, single-seat, all-metal fighter and ground-attack aircraft that first flew in 1938. The P-40 design was a modification of the previous Curtiss P-36 Hawk which reduced development time and enabled a rapid entry into production and operational service.
The Warhawk was used by most Allied powers during World War II, and remained in frontline service until the end of the war. It was the third most-produced American fighter, after the P-51 and P-47; by November 1944, when production of the P-40 ceased, roughly 13,738 had been built, all at Curtiss-Wright Corporation's main production facilities at Buffalo, New York.
It was also known under the nicknames Warhawk (the name given by the the United States Army Air Corps adopted for all models) and the British Commonwealth and Soviet air forces used the name Tomahawk for models equivalent to the P-40B and P-40C, and the name Kittyhawk for models equivalent to the P-40D and all later variants. This aircraft together with others, like the Bell P-39 "Airacobra" and the Curtiss P-36C "Hawk", were the only fighter aircrafts the USAAF had at the outbreak of World War Two. During the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941, the only american aerial opposition came from a handful of P-36 Hawks, P-40 Warhawks fighters and some SBD Dauntless dive bombers stationed in the carrier USS Enterprise. It is popular from the movie Pearl Harbor. The prototype of the plane made his first test flight in 1938. It was used by 28 countries during the war.
At least 13,738 planes were produced until November 1944. They are very popular for the Shark picture on the fuselage.