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Curtiss Design 75 Hawk

Curtiss Design 75 Hawk Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review September 2021 Title Curtiss Design 75 Hawk
Author Dan Hagedorn and Amaru Tincopa Publisher European Airlines
Published 2021 ISBN 978-82-93450-13-9
Format 368 pages, hardbound MSRP (NOK) 375 + pp, (not including local VAT and taxes)

Review

Let’s cut to the chase: if you buy one book on Curtiss’ legendary Hawk 75 fighters, get this superb study.

Period.

By the terrific team of Dan Hagedorn and Amaru Tincopa, Curtiss Design 75 Hawk: P-36 and International Derivatives tells the total tale with meticulous accuracy and authority.

The sumptuous stew from Norwegian publisher European Airlines spans 17 chunky chapters and 368 pages. And the lavishly illustrated effort comes packed in a truly lip-smacking marinade of minutiae.

Coverage kick-starts with Hawk 75 design and development, continues chronologically by country, and concludes with captivating commentary on surviving examples.

Thanks to decades-long research fueling it, text brims with fascinating facts and illuminating epiphanies. And those revelations aren’t anecdotal, either.

Hagedorn and Tincopa, and their distinguished international collaborators, liberally tap primary sources – including the recently opened Curtiss-Wright Corporate Archive at the National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC.

The result: text and tables traverse every Hawk 75 and P-36 proposed, planned, and produced.

Surprises abound. Why did the U.S. government initially restrict Hawk 75 export sales? And to whom did Curtiss pay royalties for the retractable undercarriage design?

The answers might amaze you.

“Combat” coverage offers eye-opening surprises, too.

Did you know that USAAF P-36s critically “played a little-known role in the preparations of the North American B-25Bs of Colonel James Doolittle’s immortal ‘Tokyo Raiders’”?

And did you know that, in trials against the renowned Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire, a French Hawk 75 on loan to the British “‘theoretically’” destroyed both RAF fighters?

I didn’t, either!

Hundreds of rare photos season the smorgasbord. And dozens of color profiles by the ever-outstanding Juanita Franzi proffer potent project possibilities.

Still, gremlins sometimes stalk this stunning survey.

“Persian” H75A-9s surely sported Farsi – not Arabic – “subtitles on the instruments”. Those “15 mission marks” on the starboard side of Mohawk Mk.4 BS734 “Joe Soap” actually comprise a line of 15 small vents. And is that really a Hawk 75A-4 atop page 258?

Nitpicks all. Just excuse, too, the odd typographical, grammatical, and diction error – and savor the truly dazzling details and disclosures.

I loved this brilliant book. If it wore a skirt – and I weren’t already married – I proposed to it!

Rabidly recommended!

With thanks to European Airlines for the review copy.