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Picture of Bell P-39 Airacobra WW2 Fighter

The Bell P-39 Airacobra was a unique all metal mid-engined pre-war fighter with tricycle undercarriage, the propeller drive shaft literally ran under the pilot's feet. Due to the Bell P-39 Airacobra's lack of a turbocharger or supercharger it had poor performance above 14,000, the Bell P-39 Airacobra was however available in large numbers at the time America entered WWII, and was also very reliable with the ability to take a lot of punishment and still remain airworthy.

Bell P-39 Airacobra Fighter Plane

 

A total of 9,500 Bell P-39 Airacobra fighters were produced, the majority of the Bell P-39 Airacobra fighter aircraft were delivered to the Russian Red Air Force as part of the the WWII Lend-Lease program. The Red Air Force made good use of the Bell P-39 Airacobra in ground support and attack roles where the aircraft's poor high level performance was of no consequence.

Bell P-39 Airacobra Armament:

  • Single 37 mm M4 cannon firing through the propeller hub with 30 rounds of ammunition.
  • Four .50 cal (12.7 mm) machine guns.
  • Maximum of 500 lb (230 kg) of bombs externally carried
 
Bell P-39Q Airacobra Specifications:
  • Crew: Pilot only
  • Length: 30 ft 2 in (9.2 m)
  • Wingspan: 34 ft 0 in (10.4 m)
  • Height: 12 ft 5 in (3.8 m)
  • Empty weight: 5,347 lb (2,425 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 7,379 lb (3,347 kg)
  • Engine: Single 1,200 hp (895 kW) Allison V-1710-85 liquid-cooled V-12
  • Maximum speed: 376 mph; (605 km/h)
  • Range: 1,098 miles (1,770 km)
  • Service ceiling: 35,000 ft (10,700 m)
 
 
 

Russian Fighter Pilots

Four particularly successful Russian Bell P-39 Airacobra pilots were Major Gregoriy Rechkalov, Colonel Aleksandr Pokryshkin, Major Dmitriy Glinka and Major Nikolay Gulaev.

 
P-39 Airacobra Fighter
 
 
Bell P-39Q Airacobra Fighter
 

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