Bell P-39 Airacobra
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 / ADF-serials.com 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