The first Zephyrian fighter to see service in the war, outclassed by almost everything else in the air.
About this creation
The Zephyrian Aircraft Factory P-4 was a fighter developed by Zephyrian several years before the war, with a conventional Zephyrian design for the time: fixed landing gear with spats open on the outboard sides, an open cockpit, and a pair of rifle-caliber synchronized guns.
Improving on and replacing the parasol-winged P-3, the P-4 Hawk served for a full seven years, as Zephyros was unaware that Esthen had gotten a significant technological lead and instead believed that the "Bolo", a fighter of similar configuration to the P-4 which was in fact solely in service as a stopgap, was the best that Esthen could offer at the time. As such, the P-4 was considered the pinnacle of fighter aircraft by Zephyros, whereas in Esthen it was believed that Zephyros had secretly developed an aircraft more on-par with what their own air power was now capable of.
The P-4 was still operational at the outset of the war, being the fighter that first encountered the Esthen Armed Forces. Even the venerable Bolo outmatched it; the Bolo had a larger wing, heavier armament, and a more durable engine with comparable performance; however, the lighter-weight P-4 had ailerons that were larger both overall and proportionally, giving it better roll characteristics than the Bolo.
From the outset of the war up until its replacement by the P-6 Garuda, the P-4 Hawk was also used to intercept the infamous Misawa, an aircraft originally designed as a fighter to replace the Bolo but which had been produced instead as a divebomber. The P-4 was more effective in this role at the outset of the war, as Misawa FB. 1 pilots generally did not attempt to engage enemy pilots in a dogfight.
...however, the Misawa FB. 2 allowed the gunner's seat to rotate, lock into a forward position, and have the gunner strapped in sitting forward, allowing the pilots of the Misawa FB. 2 and FB. 3 to enter into dogfights with less risk of the gunner getting motion sickness; as such, once a Misawa had dropped its bombs, it resumed its original task of being a fighter until it was back at its base, a role in which it was still deadly effective; having a retractable landing gear, the Misawa was significantly faster than the Hawk, it could turn with the Hawk, and with its closed cockpit, provided better crew protection; not to mention it also having more modern armament compared to early P-4s--however, starting with the P-4D, the P-4 Hawk regained the edge in that regard.
Armament was two synchronized .30 caliber (7.62 mm) machine guns in the upper nose, with the P-4D adding two harmonized .50 caliber (12.7 mm) machine guns to the wings to counter the more heavily armed Esthen aircraft.
The P-4 was roughly 23 feet (7 meters) in length, and 26 feet (7.92 meters) in wingspan. It was powered by the Zephyrian Aircraft Factory V12-2 in-line engine, giving it a maximum speed of 267 miles per hour (429 kph).
The combat radius of the P-4 Hawk was 456 miles (734 km), and the P-4 was routinely pushed to its limits to compensate for its underperformance compared to newer Esthen designs.
While outdated before it even entered service, the P-4 will be remembered as the fighter Zephyros first brought to war, and as a reliable fighter despite its flaws.