PDA

View Full Version : Ace maker, P-39 Airacobra in the USSR.



Panzerknacker
01-08-2007, 09:03 AM
All the information available about this strange fighter and his success with the soviet pilots.

http://i16.tinypic.com/2qk5e08.jpg

Chevan
01-08-2007, 01:24 PM
All the information available about this strange fighter and his success with the soviet pilots.



And what do you see the strange is here mate?

Panzerknacker
01-08-2007, 05:30 PM
In my opinion the fighter was strange because I have not knowledge of any other fighthing aircraft who had two reputations so different according to his users. For example the USAAF pilots hate it, the RAF pilots hated it even more, but was so loved in the CCCP...that is strange.

Bell P-400

http://vvs.hobbyvista.com/Markings/P39/photo-alum-vmf.jpg

VonWeyer
01-08-2007, 05:35 PM
I suppose it is just like the old saying,"one mans music is another man's noise".

Panzerknacker
01-08-2007, 07:22 PM
Is a mystery actually, I am not kidding , for example according to "occidental" sources the plane had a bad tendency to make a flat spin in high G maneuvres, the russian aces seems to be insensitive at that fact ( or at list I cant found a reference )


Airacobras to the USSR

Largely rejected for service in Europe by the British and Americans, the P-39 was to serve in Russia with some distinction, and in significant numbers. In all, 4952 Airacobras were delivered to the VVS via the Lend-Lease programme, whether directly from the Bell factories or from the inventories of the RAF and USAAF. These were joined by some 300 machines voluntarily seconded to the Soviets from RAF units, or removed from the inventory and replaced into VVS care.


These various methods of introduction of the P-39 to the VVS inventory had much to do with the extremely varied coloration of the type in Soviet service. Aircraft that were handed over to the USSR from RAF or USAAF units obviously arrived in camouflage and markings appropriate for use within those organizations, and these schemes were then modified either at the reception park, or in the field by the receiving units. Typically, the British or American national insignia were painted out using VVS colors of similar shade, and then Soviet markings applied over that in the current fashion. Serial numbers and other codes were either painted out, or not, depending on the preference or thoroughness of the job at hand.
Later on, P-39s began to be delivered to the USSR straight from the Bell factories, especially in Buffalo, where these aircraft were being manufactured expressly to fill the Lend-Lease contract. In 1942 the Soviet Joint Purchasing Commission was asked to specify the manner in which their Lend-Lease aircraft were to be finished.

The Commission's specifications were rather straightforward, and for the P-39 agreed upon retaining the standard USAAF camouflage finish of Army Olive Drab over Neutral Grey. The national insignia were to be finished as "a red star with a white border", and in six locations (lower wing surface, fuselage, fin/rudder) as per the usual VVS practice.

However, for some reason US manufacturers had considerable difficulties following these directions. Perhaps old habits died hard, for many L-L machines were finished with VVS markings applied in the wrong places, usually a la' the USAAF style (with upper wing port surface, lower wing starboard surface, and fuselage) or with markings on the wing upper surfaces and not on the fin. At the Buffalo plant, these instructions were bungled still further when the request for a white border somehow transmuted into a white surround (also as on USAAF aircraft). Thus, a very large number of P-39s were delivered to the USSR with national markings consisting of a red star on a white disc.


P-39D/P-400 "Red 60", "Red 79", 2 GSAP
winter 1942/43.

VonWeyer
01-09-2007, 03:54 AM
Interesting Panzerknacker.

Chevan
01-09-2007, 05:59 AM
In my opinion the fighter was strange because I have not knowledge of any other fighthing aircraft who had two reputations so different according to his users. For example the USAAF pilots hate it, the RAF pilots hated it even more, but was so loved in the CCCP...that is strange.


Nothing is strange endeed Panzerknacker. We have already discussed the reasons for lovie P-39 by the soviet pilots. This low-altitude fighter find its useful in the Soviet front.
The relatively rare aircraft ( in USSR were supplied only 2400 total ) made its work good enough.

Panzerknacker
01-09-2007, 09:09 AM
Yea, but I think it must be more of this, for example the Spitfire V and IX and the P-40L, N and K were both in thousands supplied to the CCCP but none achieved so success as the Cobra, and I dont have to tell you the good characteristics of the P-40 and the Spitfire.

P-39D-2 "White 39"
16 GIAP
Pilot u/k
ca. Oct. 1942, this variant had an Hispano cannon instead the 37 mm gun.

http://i12.tinypic.com/4g7iely.jpg

Chevan
01-09-2007, 12:23 PM
Yea, but I think it must be more of this, for example the Spitfire V and IX and the P-40L, N and K were both in thousands supplied to the CCCP but none achieved so success as the Cobra, and I dont have to tell you the good characteristics of the P-40 and the Spitfire.


Well you right according to the soviet classification of lend-lise fighters i found the article.
http://aerodrom.altnet.ru/avia/articles/ll.php
I place - P-63 KingCobra
2 place- P-39Q AiraCobra
3 place - Spitfire Mk IX / V ( about 1500 fighters)
4 place - P-40 Kiityhowk/Tomagawk (2079)
5 place -Harrikane Mk2/4.( about 2800)
But the most mass was the P-39/63 (about 5000 all of modifications) therefore it was the most famouse lend-lise fighter.
P-63 and Spitfire Mk IX certainly had the best characteristic.
P-40 had a great firepower but a lost in the maneuverability for the all soviet and germans fighters, becides it was very unrealible.
Harrikane Mk2/4 was practically full shit ( many soviet pilots crushed while piloted it) had a worst maneuverability.

Cheers.

Panzerknacker
01-09-2007, 07:21 PM
I
place - P-63 KingCobra
2 place- P-39Q AiraCobra
3 place - Spitfire Mk IX / V ( about 1500 fighters)
4 place - P-40 Kiityhowk/Tomagawk (2079)
5 place -Harrikane Mk2/4.( about 2800)

And that is something. That will be unbeliable in the RAF. And this is why I tell you the russians found some characteristics in the Cobra (besides the discussed low-level handling) that pass unaware to the occidental pilots.

Another ace.

http://i13.tinypic.com/32ztdfl.jpg

Panzerknacker
01-14-2007, 04:29 PM
http://i14.tinypic.com/35aw2dt.jpg

Panzerknacker
02-08-2007, 05:16 PM
Video of the P-39 and other fighters in action with the VV-s.

http://www.zippyvideos.com/3468597596630536/realrussian_footage_103/

Panzerknacker
05-16-2007, 06:46 PM
More Kobras.

http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/4633/dibujonn6.jpg


From: "P-39 units in ww2" Jerry Scuts/Osprey.

Panzerknacker
08-11-2007, 01:46 PM
The leading P-39 ace; Alexander Pokryshkin;

http://www.elknet.pl/acestory/foto/pokri1.jpg

Shown here is the personal aircraft of Col. Alexander 'Sasha' Pokryshkin (1913 - 13 November 1985). The photo is probably from August of 1944. The young pilots (most of them started their fighter careers in the spring of 1943, during the Battle of Kuban) are from the 16th Guards Fighter Regiment (GvIAP): from left: L.I. Goregljad, A.F. Klubov (http://www.elknet.pl/acestory/klubov/klubov.htm), W.A. Bierezkin, A.I. Pokryshkin (wearing leather helmet), N.L. Trofimov, and S.A.Pyzikov.

Below is a picture of Pokryshkin during the Battle of Kuban. The photo is dated 28 May 1943. Behind him is a P-39D-2 (no. 41-38520). There is unknown fact that Pokryshkin was nick-named "Mustafa" by friends, due to his freezed cheekes during the winter 1941/1942 flights in open I-16 cocpit.


22 June 1941 - first hours of German-Soviet war. Some German bombers flew in over the city of Bielce and dropped their bombs. 55 IAP's pilot Surov attacked this formation, shot down one bomber but was in turn shot down himself by one of the escorting Bf 109s. Confusion characterized most of the air combats on this day. From Mayaki airfield, another part of the 55 IAP scrambled against incoming enemy planes. This was the first combat mission for one of the upcoming Soviet topguns, Senior Lieutenant Alexander 'Sasha' Pokryshkin. In the same area, the commander of 211 BAP of the Odessa Military District had sent out nine of the new Soviet Sukhoi Su-2 ground-attack planes to attack German forces at River Prut. The Su-2 was top secret. Only 75 of this type were in service by the time of the German attack. Security surrounding the Su-2 in fact so harsh that not even most Soviet airmen knew about their existence. Spotting a formation of single-engined bombers, Pokryshkin immediately attacked:

http://www.elknet.pl/acestory/foto/pokri3.jpg

'I aimed at the first bomber and gave him a short burst. I couldn't miss, I was so close that the air current from his propeller shook my plane. I broke off to the right and started climbing over the bombers. From above I saw - red stars on the wing surfaces!

Flying over the formation, I didn't know what to do. The bomber I had attacked was lagging behind the rest. The rest of our fighters approached in a tight formation. The leading fighter started preparing an attack on the bombers from the opposite side. I was desperate - they're going to shoot them all down! Without hesitating, I cut his way, waggling the wing tips of my aircraft. He almost collided with me, but then flung himself to the side. I had to repeat the same manoeuvre and fire warning bursts in front of each and every of the remaining fighters. In spite of this, some tokk a shot at the bombers, but scored no hits. The bomber I had hit belly-landed on a field, while the remaining continued westwards.'


To 'Sasha' Pokryshkin's luck, the general confusion during the first days of the war saved him from being court-martialed. In fact, the 55 IAP fought well during the remainder of the day, claiming ten aerial victories, including a Henschel 126 piloted by a highly decorated officer, which was shot down by Captain Astrashkevich.


Having shot down a Russian Su-2 bomber on the first day of the war, Senior Lieutenant Pokryshkin of 55 IAP claimed his first 'real' aerial victory on this 23 June. This day, Pokryshkin was in the air over Iasi in a MiG-3 together with his wingman Lieutenant Semionov. Their mission was reconnaissance of the Prut crossings. Suddenly the two Russians sighted five Messerschmitt 109s, three at the same altitude (a. 1,000 feet) as the MiGs, and two above. Pokryshkin and Semionov made a frontal attack on the three lower flying Messerschmitts. The enemy fighter pilots banked to the left, which was foreseen by Pokryshkin - he had observed that most pilots reacted on a frontal attack by a left turn. Pokryshkin turned right and gained the advantage. Within a couple of seconds he had caught the last of the three Bf 109s in his gunsight. Just as he was about to open fire, he saw bullet tracers close to his own fuselage.

The two upper Messerschmitts were coming down after him! Pokryshkin pulled the stick hard and the powerful engine in his Mikoyan-Gurevich fighter pushed the plane upwards with such force that Pokryshkin blackened-out.

Coming to his senses after a few seconds, Pokryshkin noticed that Lieutenant Semionov had a Messerschmitt on his tail. Without any hesitation and with no regards to the other four enemy fighters, Pokryshkin gave full throttle and rushed to his compatriot´s assistance. In doing so, he got rid of his own two followers. After the second burst from Pokryshkin´s weapons, the Bf 109 caught fire and dropped into a dive, leaving a pile of black smoke.


Then Alexander Pokryshkin committed the same mistake as so many fighter pilots do immediately after their first victory: he was so amazed by the view of the first enemy plane he had downed, that he forgot to watch out. Suddenly, the leader of the higher flying Messerschmitt-pair lay behind him. Bullets slammed into the MiG-3, which was flung into a half roll. A 20 mm cannon shell tore a large hole in the right wing. More or less involuntarily, Pokryshkin dove his damaged plane at full speed, almost crashing into the ground, and made an escape at tree-top level. The Messerschmitts chose to disengage.


Alexander Pokryshkin was one of the greatest tacticians in the Soviet Fighter Air Arm. He approached air combat in a scientific manner, learning much from the memoirs of French WW 1 ace René Fonck, Mes Combats. Pokryshkin would eventually develop to the second most successful fighter pilot on the Allied side during WW 2. During the war Pokryshkin was 3 times awarded by Soviet Hero Title (Gold Star). He flew total of 550 sorties, participated in 139 air combats he scored officially 59 enemy planes. But in opinion of some historicans his killboard list should be enlarged by next 13 victories, scored in battles over Kuban. During free hunt over German territory he downed a row of enemy planes, but in that period Soviet Command confirmed only planes destroyed over own area.

(Great part of above text is an excerpt from Christer Bergström's book 'RED STAR - BLACK CROSS; Russian and German Fighter Pilots in Combat 1941-1945', which will be published in 1998.)


Below is the painting scheme of the P-39 Q Airacobra 29004, call-code "100". Flying this aircraft, Pokryshkin scored several aerial victories in later period of war. Note: P-39 was a favourite weapon of Pokryshkin, he still flew on that type, when his all 9th Fighter Division was already all reequiped by La-7 fighters.

In 1943 Pokryshkin made useful P-39 modification, bound all armament fire into one stick button, so wave of 37 mm cannon and 12,7 mm heavy gun shells can devastate any enemy plane in one moment.

http://www.elknet.pl/acestory/foto/pokri2.jpg



http://www.elknet.pl/acestory/pokri/pokri.htm

Carl Schwamberger
08-14-2007, 06:32 AM
I'm not the expert...Have noticed the US Air Force was focused on high altitude requirements. Perhaps the P39 ability at low altitude was ignored.

Panzerknacker
08-14-2007, 08:28 PM
Have noticed the US Air Force was focused on high altitude requirements..


Actually the U.S army air corps was guilty in part to ruin the performances at high altitude when it asked to remoive the turbosuperchager, the allison engine was left with a single stage supercharger, not very useful for operate over 12000ft.

Dragkon
09-24-2007, 10:10 AM
Rather interesting information about lend-lease aircraft:
http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/geust/aircraft_deliveries.htm
"A price tag was naturally attached to all deliveries, with following typical fighter prices:
P-40 Kittyhawk - 44.900 dollars, P-39 Airacobra - 50.700 dollars and P-47 Thunderbolt - 83.000 dollars
"
Does anyone has information, what was the price of making this planes on US factory?

and some more:
http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/index.htm

among it read - the memories of a pilot, who used both p-39 and p-40
http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/golodnikov/index.htm

Chevan
09-24-2007, 11:20 AM
Rather interesting information about lend-lease aircraft:
http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/geust/aircraft_deliveries.htm
"A price tag was naturally attached to all deliveries, with following typical fighter prices:
P-40 Kittyhawk - 44.900 dollars, P-39 Airacobra - 50.700 dollars and P-47 Thunderbolt - 83.000 dollars
"
Does anyone has information, what was the price of making this planes on US factory?

and some more:
http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/index.htm

among it read - the memories of a pilot, who used both p-39 and p-40
http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/golodnikov/index.htm

Oh thatks a lot Dragkon.
And welcome to the forum.
Good info.
About prices.
I just know that the most experinsive american fighter was two-fuselage full metal the P-38 ( over $138 000) . the P-39 "Airacobra" cost 46000 ,P-51 "mustang"; - 54000, and the twin-engined bomber"Mithcell" - 96000. The B-17 ( $225 000)

Uyraell
02-16-2009, 10:39 AM
Actually the U.S army air corps was guilty in part to ruin the performances at high altitude when it asked to remoive the turbosuperchager, the allison engine was left with a single stage supercharger, not very useful for operate over 12000ft.

Hello My friend, had not realised you had a P39 thread.

As to the supercharger on the Allison V1710 engine the P39 used:
the US State Department insisted in early 1942 that the supercharger not be exported, asserting that it would place a strategic advantage in enemy hands if a supercharger was recovered by Axis forces from a downed/crashed American aircraft.
As a direct result, several aircraft types customarily powered by a supercharged Allison V1710 were produced with the engine in an un-supercharged form, and exported thus. Without exception, the performance of each was mediocre at best, if not outright criminally bad, regardless of altitude.

The Allison V1710 family was initially comparatively weak at high altitude in any case, even when supercharged, largely due to inherent design weaknesses in the intake ports to the combustion chambers, and the lack of knowledge of air/gas flow dynamics prior to combustion in the engine cylinders. This was certainly true of the C12 through C15 series engines, which were consequently directly dependent on the supercharger to overcome the inbuilt weaknesses.
Later, with some re-design effort directed to the intake ports and pre-combustion flow dynamics, coupled to redesign of the combustion hemispheres and cylinder heads, and redesign of the piston heads, the E and F series engines emerge. These, while still not quite the equal of contemporary British, German, or even Russian engines, were nonetheless a vast improvement over the C series engines in altitude performance terms.

It is worthy of note that the vast majority of P39s and P63s flown by the Soviets were powered by E and F series engines.

In 1942, the P38 Lightning was about the only American fighter aircraft capable of medium to high altitude performance, with supercharged engines. Without the superchargers, it was, rightly, condemned by the British as useless.

In similar case, broadly speaking, was the P39, which in un-supercharged form was known as the P400. The design had been intended for medium to low altitude work, with planned development for high altitude later in its' production life.

Those developments merged with others regarding the laminar flow wing, which thus the P63 emerges, but again relying on a supercharged Allison V1710 engine, usually an E or more commonly F series.

In my view, the mismanagement of the engine issue is one reason little is written of the P39 or P63, and why books on Allison powered aircraft tend to skim rather lightly over details of engines and concentrate rather more on handling and armaments.

Regards, Uyraell.