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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bell P 39 D Airacobra

Here are some more images of Special Hobby's 1/32 scale Bell P 39 D Airacobra. From Wikipedia "The Bell P-39 Airacobra was one of the principal American fighter aircraft in service at the start of World War II. It was the first fighter in history with a tricycle undercarriage and the first to have the engine installed in the center fuselage, behind the pilot. Although its mid-engine placement was innovative, the P-39 design was handicapped by the lack of an efficient turbo-supercharger, limiting it to low-altitude work. The P-39 was used with great success by the Soviet Air Force, who scored the highest number of individual kills attributed to any U.S. fighter type. Other important users were the Free French and co-belligerent Italian air forces. Together with the derivative P-63 Kingcobra, these aircraft became the most successful mass-produced fixed-wing aircraft manufactured by Bell.

P-39D-BE
Bell Model 13, production variant based on the P-39C with 245 lb (111 kg) of additional armor, self-sealing fuel tanks. Armament increased to 1 × 37 mm/1.46 mm cannon (30 rounds), 2 × .50 in/12.7 mm (200 rpg) and 4 × wing mounted .30 in/7.62 mm (1,000 rpg) machine guns; 60 Produced.
P-39D-1
Bell Model 14A, production variant fitted with a M1 20 mm (.79 in) M1 cannon. Specifically ordered for delivery under Lend-Lease; 336 produced
P-39D-2
Bell Model 14A-1, production variant with a V-1710-63 (E6) engine (1,325 hp/988 kW) restored the 37 mm (1.46 in) cannon, provisions for a single 145 gal (549 l) drop tank or maximum 500 lb (227 kg) bomb under the fuselage; 158 produced.
P-39D-3
26 conversions from P-39D-1 to Photo Reconnaissance Configuration; K-24 and K-25 camera in rear fuselage, extra armor for oil coolers
P-39D-4
11 conversions from P-39D-2 to Photo Reconnaissance Configuration. Same modifications as D-3 aircraft.

In 1945, Italy purchased the 46 surviving P-39s at 1% of their cost but in summer 1946 many accidents occurred, including fatal ones. By 1947, 4 Stormo re-equipped with P-38s, with P-39s sent to training units until the type's retirement in 1951. Only a T9 cannon survives today at Vigna di Valle Museum.

2 comments:

paul said...

atialo 443Always loved the look of this airplane. Guess it wasn't a great fighter.Is it just because of the turbo chargers that I'm reminded of the P-38?

Warren Zoell said...

The Airacobra has an almost modern look to it but that's as far as it went unfortunately.