Friday, October 4, 2013
Bell P-39 D Airacobra UMP
From Internet Modeler's Chris Banyai-Riapl-
"In the pre-war period, the USAAC routinely held wargames, in which opposing forces carried clear markings to denote which side they were on. To referee these wargames, some aircraft were painted up as umpire aircraft. This is one of those aircraft, as noted by the large UMP markings on the fuselage and wings. In addition to this marking, the tail of the aircraft was painted yellow, to increase visibility".
The Bell P-39 Airacobra was one of the principal American fighter aircraft in service when the United States entered World War II. The P-39 was used with great success by the Soviet Air Force, which scored the highest number of individual kills attributed to any U.S. fighter type. Other major users of the type include the Free French, the Royal Air Force, the United States Army Air Forces, and the Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force.
Designed by Bell Aircraft, it had an innovative layout, with the engine installed in the center fuselage, behind the pilot, and driving a tractor propeller via a long shaft. It was also the first fighter fitted with a tricycle undercarriage. Although its mid-engine placement was innovative, the P-39 design was handicapped by the absence of an efficient turbo-supercharger, limiting it to low-altitude work. Together with the derivative P-63 Kingcobra, the P-39 was one of the most successful fixed-wing aircraft manufactured by Bell.