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Bell P-39 Airacobra
Technical Information

P-39 was referred to as the "Iron Dog" by its pilots because it was a tricky plane to fly with many quirks. Although it was problematic to fly and fight with, it was the only airplane available to most squadrons in the early months of the war, and was used in the tactical reconnassance role until late in the war.

The P-39 was armed with a 37mm cannon with 30 rounds of ammunition. But is muzzle velocity was low, and was prone to jamming after one or several shots making it ineffective and inaccurate. Rumors about uncontrolled tumbling of the aircraft also made pilots wary.

Lacked a supercharger on its engine, and was therefore most often used for ground attack and operations below 15,000'. Armed with a cannon through the propeller hub, and machine guns in the nose and wings.

(FY41-28***-38***) had 20mm Cannons, as these Airacobras were canceled RAF Orders. Most P-39D-1 Airacobra 41-28*** were sent to North Africa or stated in the United States or Hawaii. Some FY41-38***s came to Australia during August 1942 and flew with P-400 Airacobras and P-39F Airacobras due to the same specifications.

This version had the wing .30 caliber machine guns removed. Instead, a single 50 caliber on each wing fared in an external pod mount below each wing.

P-400 (Export Version)
The export version of the Aircobra, the P-400 was virtually identical to the American P-39D, but the slower-firing 37mm cannon was replaced with the faster-firing and more reliable Hispano 20mm cannon with a 60 round magazine. Two .50 Caliber machine guns were mounted in the nose, and four 0.30-inch machine guns were mounted in the wings. The engine of the Model 14 was the 1150 hp Allison V-1710-E4 (-35).

Thanks to Gordon Birkett / for additional information

Technical Details (P-39Q)
Crew  One (pilot)
Engine  1× Allison V-1710-85 liquid-cooled V-12 driving three bladed propeller
Span  34' 0"
Length  30' 2"
Height  11' 10"
Maximum Speed  368 mph
Range  800 miles
Armament  (nose cowling) 2 x .30 cal (wings) 2 x.50cal (spinner) 1 x 37mm cannon


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