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HOME > TIGERS > BERT CHRISTMAN > GROUND LOOP

Ground loop at Toungoo

With astonishing grace, Bert Christman captured the results of a ground loop at Toungoo Airdrome in November 1941. This was Tomahawk number 80, wrecked before it could be painted with the leering Flying Tiger sharkface. The loop is a classic: thanks to its narrow landing gear and its taildragger configuration, which put its center of gravity behind the main wheels, the Curtiss P-40 required great finesse on the rudder pedals. Get it wrong and the plane headed for the bushes. No. 80 has gone off the runway, and centrifugal force has collapsed the port landing gear, with dire consequences for the wingtip and propeller, and very likely the engine. (I've watermarked this to protect the copyright.) For more about Christman, click here. For samples of the nose art he created for the 2nd Squadron Tomahawks, click here.