Bell P-39 Airacobra. A photo. Characteristics.
Bell P-39 Airacobra. A photo. Characteristics.

Bell P-39 Airacobra. A photo. Characteristics.


A type: single-engine fighter

Crew: one pilot

The revolutionary development of the company "Bell» (Bell), the plane F-39 introduced the concept of single-engine fighter aircraft with engine installation in the center of the fuselage and tricycle landing gear. The unusual layout of the aircraft was caused by the installation of 37-T9 mm cannon firing through the propeller hub. In order to place these weapons in the nose, the engine installed behind the cockpit over the wing center section. It is strongly shifted the center of gravity back, forcing designers to establish tricycle landing gear.

Unfortunately, the radical design of the P-39 aircraft did not match the staggering figures of flight performance, especially in time to reach the height of 4267,2 m (14 LLC feet). His V-1710 engine from Allison, with turbochargers, did its work. Following the evaluation tests, the US Air Force and NACA announced to the Bell company that the V1710 turbocharged engine available for the Aircobra plane is not needed! But when this fighter entered the 1941 year in operation, the wisdom of this decision quickly aroused questions. The combat capability of the aircraft in its intended role was so compromised that in theaters of operations where other fighters could be used, he was soon relegated to the role of an air support aircraft.

Flying at a much lower altitude over the eastern front, Soviet Air Force, however, have achieved great success with the fighters of "Bell", using a 1942, about 500etih aircraft. Today in the US, you can find two aircraft flying F-39, and the third is reduced for operations in the UK.