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P-40 seat confusion

Spitfires Forever

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I am building a P-40K and have seen pictures featuring both square backed and round backed seats installed, same for other models such as the M and N. Was Curtiss using two different seats/manufacturers? Were different blocks of P-40'S equipped with different styles of seats?  The majority of 1/48 P-40 kits seem to contain a questionable square backed version, and most aftermarket resin seats are the round backed with the supports included. How often was the square backed seats installed? Should I just put the seats in the parts box and go resin? lots of questions obviously, any answers?


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Curtiss on the P40 just like North American on the P51 uses different seat makers...

Now the point of the square or flat back seat was to allow for the use of a backpack type or seatpack type parachute vs the roundback seat that was really for seatpack type parachute only  


Also note there are different squareback seats used 


The squareback seats used in RAF "longnose" Tomahawks and Mustang mk1 are not the same as use in RAF "shortnose"  Kittyhawks/P40  and Mustang mkIII/ Merlin P-51 


Below are samples of "shortnose" P-40 seats direct from Curtiss maintenance manuals ...

Note the middle P40 squarback seat is near same as wood seat seen in the P51B/C (see Ultracast  Mid Production Plywood P-51B/C seat photo and P51B seat photo at bottom)


Many of these seats were made (or designed and farmed out for production during the war) by American Seating.. a company still around  http://www.americanseating.com/


"Shortnose"  P40/Kittyhawk seats





P51 Seats




Edited by HBBates
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Thanks very much, it would seem that the majority of P-40 cockpit photos showe aircraft that were equipped with the round backed seats. I have seen only one photo with a square backed seat and that was a  P-40N, yet almost all the kits have very poorly detailed square seats. Oh well, resin seats it is. thanks again for the detailed information.


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