AIR: Veil of Percentages

With the blessing of the U.S. Army, Curtiss-Wright Corp. last week let out a military secret: the performance of its new fighters. Barred from releasing figures on speed, altitude capabilities or fire power of its newest pursuit ships (P-40F) Curtiss-Wright unbagged the cat by publishing certain percentages.

Curtiss-Wright took its old reliable P36 (the British Mohawk), arbitrarily gave its performance a figure of 100%, went on from there. Since the British have announced P-36's performance (323 m.p.h. at 15,100 feet, a service ceiling* of 32,800 feet), any schoolboy could figure what the...

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