The P-39 "Airacobra", built by Bell, was one of America's first-line pursuit planes in
late1941. It made its initial flight in April 1939. The P-39's main
armament was a propeller hub mounted 37 mm cannon. To allow the weapon to be housed in
the nose required the engine to be placed behind the pilot's seat.
This unique engine location behind
the cockpit caused some pilot concern, but this proved to be
no more of a hazard in a crash landing than with an engine
located forward of the cockpit. However, the P-39's spin
characteristics could be quite a problem if recovery techniques were ignored.
The Airacobra saw combat throughout the world, particularly in the Southwest Pacific, Mediterranean
and Russian theaters. Because its engine was not equipped with a supercharger, the P-39 performed
best below 17,000 feet altitude, and it often was used at lower altitudes for such missions as ground
strafing (when supported by other fighters). When P-39 production ended in August 1944, Bell had built 9,584 Airacobras, of which 4,773
had been sent to the Soviet Union. Operating at lower altitudes over the Eastern Front,
Russian pilots particularly liked the cannon-armed P-39 for its
ground attack capability. Other P-39's served with French and British forces.
Source and Link: U.S.A.F. Museum.
Fully assembled, Handcrafted Model Airplane with Removable
(Scale: 1/32, Length: 10.75", Wing Span: 12.75")
Click on product image for more detail.