Kittyhawk I AL171
RCAF Serial 1084

This P-40 was built as a Kittyhawk I for the RAF. Having been purchased by the British Purchasing
Commission she did not fall under any Lend-Lease agreement and therefore did not receive a US Army
serial number. She was given the RAF serial AL171 but was handed over to Canada and received the
RCAF serial 1084. I currently have no information about her wartime service.

Unlike many of today's surviving RCAF Kittyhawks, this one was surplussed at Vulcan AB in Alberta during 1946.
She passed through a few hands, including Ed Maloney and John Paul (Sr.) before coming into the possession of
Kermit Weeks. She was damaged by Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and is currently undergoing restoration at Art
Teeter's CalPacific AirMotive in Salinas, California. Hopefully she'll spread her wings again before too long.

AL171 at the Planes of Fame Gathering of Eagles Airshow in Chino, California, 1979.
She still wears the OD over gray paintjob applied for the film '1941'.

Gary Maisack photo - Larger Image

Oshkosh 1980...

Dave Welch photo - Larger Image

When Kermit Weeks acquired AL171 in 1982, he had her painted in an AVGish paint scheme.

Caz Caswell photo - Larger Image

Poor-quality photo of a Power Graphics Corp poster in the webmaster's collection.
This was taken when I was a kid, and I guess I'll have to re-shoot this or maybe
scan it for a better image... but I do kinda like the rough look to this crapola photo.

Original Photographer Unknown

Submitted by 'Blackwolf3945' - Larger Image

In March of 1990 Kermit Weeks had to belly AL171 in at Tamiami after a hydraulic system failure.

Kermit Weeks Facebook Page - Larger Image

Here's Kermit Week's account of the incident:

"Here's a rather spectacular flash from my Past . . . me having to belly-in our P-40E on a
Member's Day in Miami at the Weeks Air Museum with a thousand people watching!

The Collings Foundation B-24 bomber was coming in for a visit and my girlfriend at the time
was flying wing on me in my P-51D "Cripes A'Mighty." We had taken off early took off to escort
the B-24 in from Ft. Lauderdale. After making several passes with the bomber, we did a
break-to-land to let the bomber take center stage.

When I went to lower the landing gear, the hydraulic system blew up in my face, soaking me and
the whole cockpit. There's more to the story, but bottom line was, no amount of trying was going
to get the landing gear down. Everyone else landed as I tried to sort out the problem. At some
point, my radio quit working, as it was soaked in hydraulic fluid, so I made one last
pass wagging my wings to let everyone know to watch!

Thinking how I could minimize the damage and be safe, I opened the canopy, pumped the flaps
up all the way, and closed the cowl flaps. On final, once I knew I had the runway made, I shut
the mixture off, shut the mags off, and and all the electrical systems. The engine quit but
the prop kept windmilling. Unbeknownst to me, the tailwheel had free-fallen down
and locked, which turned out to be a Godsend.

I made a beautiful one-point landing on the tailwheel for a bit until the speed dropped,
whereupon I found myself in the position of the picture sliding down the runway looking
at bent prop blades. The chin cowl took the brunt of the damage.

As it slid along the asphalt, the runway ground down the cowling and the oil cooler up front.
There was a sparking stainless steel bomb shackle on the belly, which caught the oil on fire
for a bit, which you can see in the picture but went out by the time we stopped. I chose the
smooth runway over landing in the grass, as soft Earth tends to clump up and do more damage.

At this point in the picture, none of the gear doors had a scratch on them. It wasn't until
I ran out of aileron control that the airplane rolled slightly to the left and
scratched the left one. Not bad, if I say so myself!

At one point, my Bad Angel said, "Hey, wouldn't it be cool to undo your seat belt, stand
up I the cockpit while you're sliding down the runway, and wave to the crowd! It was as this
point, my Good Angel stepped in and smacked him upside the head. We all continued to slide
down the runway until we stopped, about 2000 feet down the runway. It was at this
point, I then stood up and waved to the crowd!

Within a hour, we had our forklift from the Museum out with some straps, picked the
airplane up by the propeller, dropped the gear, and had it towed back to the Hangar.
The airplane was further damaged during Hurricane Andrew and is still out
in Salinas, CA at Cal Pacific Airmotive awaiting funding to repair it.

Oh well, so much for giving the Collings B-24 center stage for a Grand Arrival!"

AL171 was one of many of Kermit Weeks' aircraft to be damaged when Hurricane Andrew hit
the Weeks Air Museum in August of 1992. AL171 cam be seen here on the lower right.

Kermit Weeks Facebook Page

A look at AL171 among the tangled wreckage of the WAM hangar.

Mount Pleasant Magazine (Bill Macchio photo) - Larger Image

A magazine blurb about AL171's rebuild from 2010...

Air Classics - M.O'Leary photos Larger Image

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