The Curtiss Aeroplane Company of Buffalo, New York, used the basic airframe of the Model 75 Hawk to create the re-engined XP-37. The XP-37's Allison V-1710-11, equipped with a General Electric turbo-supercharger, was rated at 1,000 bhp. Engineers at Curtiss promised the US Army Air Corps that this in-line powered offspring of the more familiar P-36 Mohawk (or Hawk 75) would be able to attain a level flight speed of no less than 340 mph.
To attain increased speed, designers moved the cockpit of the XP-37 (known to the company as the Hawk 751) far back on the spine of the fuselage. At a normal angle of attack, the pilot could not see over the nose and wing in order to have a view of the runway.
After the first aircraft was tested in 1938, an effort was made to improve pilot visibility in 13 service-test YP-37 airframes (serial numbers 38-472/484) by lengthen-ing the fuselage 22 inches (to 32 ft 10 in). The YP-37s were powered by the slightly modified 992kW V-1710-21 engine.
The YP-37s went through extensive testing at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio, including gunnery trials. The US Army's Pursuit Projects Office at Wright Field, under 1st Lieutenant Benjamin Kelsey, was sorely undermanned and starved of money so the YP-37 had to vie for attention with such promising types as the XP-38 Lightning and XP-39 Airacobra. Visibility remained a problem and the YP-37 was not as stable as Army pilots wanted.
Both the XP-37 and YP-37 were a bit outlandish for their day, but Berlin, Kelsey and Air Corps procurement chief Colonel Oliver Echol lost interest when they saw flight results from the XP-40 Warhawk.
Wing span: 11.38 m / 37 ft 4 in.
Height: 2.90 m / 9 ft 6 in.
Wing area: 21.92 sq.m / 236 sq ft.
Length: 10 m / 32 ft 10 in
Empty weight: 2596 kg / 5,723 lb.
Maximum take-off weight: 7,718 lb.
Max speed: 331 mph at 20,000 ft.
Cruise: 305 mph.
Landing speed: 85 mph.
Service ceiling: 10360 m / 34,000 ft.
Range: 540 miles.
Armament: 1 x 7.62mm + 1 x 12.7mm machine-guns