New Release: Big Radials P40-B Tomahawk

Big Radials has just released their brand new plane for Microsoft Flight Simulator, the P40-B Tomahawk. I am very happy that Big Radials has gotten to this point. It was not easy, but now they are finally here.

The P40-B is a truly iconic plane from nearly forgotten era! Big Radials has aimed for a fun to fly aircraft backed up with real life numbers and systems. So, get yours now (and a little extra, if you buy via the Big Radials website) and #FlyTheDamnPlane!

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Bought it just now! Just need to get through work to try it.

Immediate purchase from the Big Radials website for me. Can’t try it out until this evening, but pretty pumped.

This plane has a special place in the history of my hometown, Buffalo, NY. In 1929 the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Co. from Buffalo merged with Wright Aeronautical from Dayton, OH to form Curtiss-Wright. It was headquartered in Buffalo and for quite a while from then though WWII was the largest aerospace company in the US. All 13,000 P-40s of all variants were produced at the main Curtiss-Wright facility in Buffalo.

For military history enthusiasts, Curtiss-Wright struggled after WWII because they had issues designing and building a competitive jetfighter and started losing contracts. Not long after WWII they stopped normal production of planes and sold off a number of their divisions, most notable their R&D labs across Genesee St. from the Buffalo Airport. The labs were gifted to Cornell University (about 2 hours away from Buffalo in Ithaca, NY) who owned and ran it under the name Cornell Aeronatical Laboratories until the 1970s when it was spun off as its own independent entity that we now know as Calspan which is still headquartered here in the Buffalo suburb of Cheektowaga (where I actually live!). Calspan is known for inventing the first crash test d-u-m-m-y (the forums censors this…really?) and the car seat belt. Today the company is locally owned and works in the R&D industry for civilian and military aviation (they have a facility at Edwards AFB) and automotive systems and testing. They’re a major location for automotive crash testing and have a massive wind chamber for aerodynamic testing.

Curtiss-Wright itself still exists but hasn’t produced a plane of any type since the 1960s. Instead they make various parts and controls systems for a number of industries but most notably nuclear power and military applications. Some of their systems are used in the nuclear powerplant of US nuclear submarines and they also contributed to the F-35 project. They no longer have any presence whatsoever in Buffalo and are now NC based.

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I always thought the P-40 was a V12 Allison, 6 exhaust pipes on a side. Don’t really care that Big ‘Radials’ is producing it, LOL!

What can I say here? This is a great achievement for Big Radials’ first commercial release! If only we had more developers like them putting out product for MSFS… Here’s my impression.

GENERAL:
What you are getting here is an aircraft where the WWII era aura is definitely present. It’s very immersive and will make you feel like you are there. From the very start, you can tell that this package is very well put together. The manual is comprehensive but light enough that won’t feel like you have an encyclopedia to read. It’s also written in a style that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is actually a good read to familiarize yourself with the aircraft. BE AWARE OF A MANDATORY STEP TO SET UP THE CENTER OF GRAVITY ON THE MAP EVERY TIME BEFORE YOU FLY (due to a new Asobo bug that resets it)… Hopefully the bug gets fixed soon. There is, however, some minimal information necessary for you to get in and get flying. It doesn’t take a lot of time to get through, but will save you some frustration - this isn’t a Cessna and requires very specific handling on takeoff and landing. This package feels like a true labour of love and you can tell that these guys don’t cut corners.

TEXTURES:
Very solid all-around. It comes with several liveries for you to choose from. The outside and inside are very nicely done and everything is readable and beautifully lit at night.

SOUND:
This is one of my favorite aspects of this aircraft. From the moment you energize the starter and fire up that engine, its sound will immerse you in the aircraft. Everything is done according the the latest MSFS specs in terms of dampening when closing the canopy etc.

GROUND HANDLING:
These old warbirds weren’t particularly easy to maneuver around due to poor visibility and their taildragger nature. Just take it slow and be patient. Taxi in S-shapes and the bird handles itself with absolutely no issues for me.

FLYING:
This is a rudder dance aircraft on takeoff and landing. It will likely get you a few attempts before you feel more comfortable. For me, setting 2 degrees rudder trim to the right actually helped with takeoff quite a bit in addition to the 3 degree trim up. Advance the throttle gradually, don’t floor it. Once the nose drops, apply a bit of pull on the stick to keep the nose from going down. It lifts itself off the ground when it’s ready to fly at around 105-115. Nothing else is needed. Then it’s all about trimming it for cruise once you get to your target altitude. It then flies beautifully hands-off. Response for ailerons and rudder feel adequate, elevator requires just a tad bit more input than I am used to, but nothing that prevents me from enjoying it. It feels a bit on the heavy side, but I actually appreciate that, because a lot of modern aircraft can feel twitchy and fidgety - a slightest amount of input will make it feel unstable. Here you will be making slightly bigger movements with the stick, but the aircraft feels steady and stable because of it. Manage speed well on approach with flaps, landing is actually a piece of cake for me if you are gentle in rudder input. I actually love the way it flies.

VERDICT:
I can’t recommend this enough to anyone interested in warbirds of WWII. This is on par with Milviz’ Corsair and Flying Iron’s Spitfire. For someone like me, who isn’t particularly a warbird aficionado, I kept flying it over and over again to improve my technique and be better with it. I can see myself flying this often. This is REALLY well done and I am really looking forward to anything else these guys put out. We have yet another example of how not to cut corners and put out quality aircraft for this platform. No more excuses for subpar BS that makes it to the market. These guys put out their first product and it’s THIS good. That’s all I got.

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@OzWookiee @Pontiac513713
Just bought the P40-B from Big Radials.

Some remarks and questions

Remarks:

  • VR cockpit scale is a little off. The cockpit seems to be very spacious, but the handbrake lever seems to be very small. Wings seem to be shorter than expected.
  • She flys nicely, still need to learn the correct take-off and landing actions. I’m reading the manual.

Question:

  • For the RTDM mode, what control input do I need to link to the top button on my stick? “Toggle Hydraulic Switch” doesn’t seem to work. Any ideas?
  • Same for presetting the flaps lever. What is the button assignment for this? I tried every flap related input in the controls menu, linked to my quadrant but it doesn’t budge.
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Great pics, and a great review. Now I’m interested. Decisions, decisions, P-40 or P-51 with the Big RR Merlin V-12??

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Thanks, man… I always try to get a pretty good idea of what I experienced out to people… With pics I try to include a little of everything that I think people would care about.

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Did you fly in RTDM mode?

Not yet. That’s next on the list right now.

I’m curious on how you will assign the inputs because I can not get it to work.

That’s crazy talk! I’d have to dig into next month’s beer budget :wink:

Quickest place to get that answer is probably their discord channel which is being actively monitored by the creators.

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Just in time for the weekend! Been looking forward to this release.

I think i’ve encountered the first bugs if im not mistaken by any chance.
That light on the side which also dissapears when moving the camera,is it supposed to exist?
And the flaps switch is not animated in cockipit,making you anwarry of what flaps you have,unless you move to an external camera.

It is a formation light, or a wing light if you will. It is supposed to be there. As for the flaps, are you absolutely POSITIVE you’ve read the manual? :slight_smile:

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Hey, Big Radials second half here :slight_smile: Thanks a million for this glowing review, much appreciated! Really glad you like what we’ve put out! And indeed it was, and still is a labour of love!

Thanks again

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Yes i have and i think i just don’t understand so it’s my fault cause i never had any flaps like that before.So…it is not supposed to move as a lever ?
As for the light,checked and aknowledged.But it’s indeed missing from sight when moving the camera.

I gotta say it controls perfectly in ground and in air.Cheers

The cockpit of the P40 is actually quite spacious, a lot more room than the Spitfire in there.

Keybinds in RTDM mode will come at a later point.

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