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Developed from the Curtis Hawk 81A, (known as Tomahawk in RAF service) the Curtis Hawk 87-A1 was a very different aircraft, being powered by the Allison V-1710 inline liquid cooled engine. Visible differences included revised nose contours and a raised propellor thrust line. The nose guns were deleted and all armament was located in the wings. first flown in May 1941 it proved to be a mediocre combat aircraft. The major users were the RAF and commonwealth airforces and most RAF Kittyhawks, (as it was known in RAF service) were used in the western desert, where probably the best known exponent of the Kittyhawk was Squadron Leader Neville Duke.