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Lack of gun ports in wings of early Aleutian P-40Es?

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Hello,

I've been musing myself with building an Aleutian P-40E...

Looking at various photos of early 343FG/11FS aircraft, namely aircraft No.49, and asking this question on P-40 Warhawk and  Britmodeller forum, I was given information that early P-40Es had gun barrels flush with wing leading edge, which were then taped-over to reduce drag.

But how come the photos below show nothing (no tape, no holes, no nothing)? 
Were the photos maybe re-touched by a wartime censor?

https://www.asisbiz.com/il2/P-40/343FG/images/Curtiss-P-40E-Warhawk-343FG11FS-Y49-Aleutian-Islands-1942-02.jpg
https://www.asisbiz.com/il2/P-40/343FG/images/Curtiss-P-40E-Warhawk-343FG11FS-Aleutian-Islands-1942-02.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/8b/4e/3e/8b4e3eff19b82dc9948d665c437bbed2.jpg

 

Any help or advice on the appearance of these gun-ports is most welcome.

 

Regards,

Aleksandar

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Very intriguing....I've never seen a P-40D/E without the guns. Even on war weary trainers, if the guns were removed, the bump fairings are usually still present. I'm not aware of ANY version of the P-40 with "flush mounted guns". I have seen some pics of guns protruding on some P-40Ms without the bump fairings, but the barrels still stick out very noticeably.

I would concur that the wartime censors, for some inexplicable reason, wanted to try to make it look like that group was a training group instead of an Alaska based defense group. I found another pic of a P-40E the same squadron in front of a hangar and you can just barely see the vestiges of tape streaming back on the wing bottom from the leading edge...but no protrusions in the leading edge and no gun barrels showing.

This was 1942, and we were concerned about defending the west coast and Alaska and the censors would have wanted to keep the Japanese as much in the dark as possible as to our strength and where groups were stationed. I also doubt the pics fooled anyone...

 

If I was building a model I'd have it armed, unless you wanted to actually do a "censored" model as in the pics! And then ya better document it for the judges!

 

GIL :smiley16:

Edited by ghodges

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On 6/27/2019 at 11:00 PM, ghodges said:

If I was building a model I'd have it armed, unless you wanted to actually do a "censored" model as in the pics! And then ya better document it for the judges!

 

Thank You for the suggestion, Gil.

However, I think the taped-over guns flush with wing l.e. cannot be discarded altogether, as this was indeed how the early P-40D/Es were delivered to the front:

spacer.png

source: The Hawk's Nest

 

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source: Replica In Scale

 

This drawing also suggests that the guns (and shell ejector chutes) were covered with tape:

spacer.png

 

source: Wings Palette

 

Regards,

Aleksandar

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That's one of the fun parts of the hobby...learning new things! That first pic not only shows flush guns, but only 2 guns/wing. While the taping of the gun ports makes sense if only for the purpose of keeping debris out (and would pose no problems firing through), the taping off of the ejection chutes makes no sense, as it renders them useless unless it's removed before flight, and can't be clearly seen in pics taken on the ground.

I'm surprised this isn't better documented and more well known. It'll be interesting to find the answers! As far as modeling goes, it would seem you have the documentation for some leeway, though I still believe it'll raise a few eyebrows!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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I will quote a post by Dana Bell from Britmodeller forum about this early configuration:

 

"Those 1939/40 designs were the first to carry internally mounted 50-calibre wing guns, and no one was quite sure how to minimize the drag along the wings' leading edges.  They all had blast tubes extending from the barrels, but until the NACA reports came in there were many variations.  Clearly, flush-with-the-leading-edge was not the best, since the blast tubes were quickly extended in production."

 

10 hours ago, ghodges said:

While the taping of the gun ports makes sense if only for the purpose of keeping debris out (and would pose no problems firing through), the taping off of the ejection chutes makes no sense, as it renders them useless unless it's removed before flight, and can't be clearly seen in pics taken on the ground.

I believe this was also one of the many "anti-freeze" measures, but employed at the Aleutian bases exclusively.

 

Sooo, I guess that my model probably should have guns taped-over, and only dilemma is the exact color of this tape.

Sure wasn't white, as in my previous post, as that would stick out in the photos.

 

Regards,

Aleksandar

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Doesn't seem to be black electrical or "friction" tape either, which was common at the time. Of course, they could have simply painted masking tape....easy enough to do and it would account for the "blending in".....

 

GIL :smiley16:

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