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Thread: Bell P-39 Airacobra & P-63 Kingcobra.

  1. #31
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    P-39Q and P-39F.





    I am not sure about this last one, it would be interesting to know the real performance of the airacobra against the german and Vichy French fighters.

  2. #32
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    P-63D, this poweful plane incorporated several fine characteristics including a bubble canopy, a refined laminar wing and improved high velocity M9 37mm cannon.




    Just one prototipe was made.
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  3. #33

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    The US 37mm M9 was an interesting gun. It was based on the army's M1 AA gun, firing the same 37x223SR ammo (far bigger and more powerful than the 37x145R of the M4 and M10), only with a slimmer and lighter barrel, and belt fed; the P-63D installation contained 48 rounds of ammo.

    It was intended as an aircraft gun but, apart from a few trial installations like the P-63D, was never used as such. A few were fitted to PT boats, just as the M4 was. The pic below (from the Ammunition Photo Gallery on my website) shows ammo from automatic guns used in PT-type boats of various nations in WW2 (the big 57mm being for the British 6 pdr Molins gun).

    Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website

  4. #34
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    It would made the P-63 an ideal tankbusting plataform .

  5. #35
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    P-39s kills in the Mediterranean Teather of Operations:
















    Form. "P-39 Airacobra unit of WW2" jerry Scuts/Osprey military publishing.

  6. #36
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    Nice video about the general characteristics of P-39.

    http://video.google.com/videohosted?...97638554184738

  7. #37
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    I like the Airacobra a lot, it was unconventional...










  8. #38
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    Default Re: Bell P-39 Airacobra & P-63 Kingcobra.

    P-63Q, the manned target aircraft.

    Undoubtly one of the most weirdest task ever impoosed to an aircraft:


    Although the P-63 never served with the USAAF in any combat role, it was, however, to serve with the USAAF in an another completely different capacity. This was, in fact, one of the most strange and bizarre roles ever fulfilled by any military aircraft, namely that of manned flying target!
    The first flying target Kingcobras were created by taking five P-63A-9s off the production line, redesignating them RP-63A-11, and subjecting them to extensive modifications. First, they were stripped of all armament. Next, all internal armor was removed. The wings, tail, fuselage, and rear canopy were then reskinned with over a ton of heavy sheet metal. A special frangible bullet for firing by gunnery students was designed. The bullet was manufactured of lead and graphite compound, so chosen that the bullet would easily shatter upon impact. Pressure-sensitive plates were fitted to the skin so that hits by the frangible ammunition on the airplane could be recorded. A light in the propeller hub (situated where the cannon used to be) would flash whenever a hit was registered, causing crews to give the aircraft the nickname "Pinball". The name stuck.
    It was thought that the dorsal air scoop of the "Pinball" would be its most vulnerable spot, so various styles of air scoop were tested. The first RP-63A-11, 42-69647, had a much smaller "clamshell" scoop in place of the regular intake. The second RP-63A-11, 42-69654, had a flush intake with no scoop at all. The third and fifth (42-69769 and 42-69801) also had "clamshell" intakes,whereas the fourth (42-69771) had a normal intake. Eventually, the "clamshell" type of intake was adopted as standard.
    After these five modifications were completed, 95 production versions of the "Pinball" were produced under the designation RP-63A-12. It was similar to the P-63A-10.
    In 1948, surviving RP-63A aircraft were redesignated QF-63A, although they were never used as pilotless drones.
    Two hundred examples of the P-63C-1 were modified on the production line as armored target aircraft ("Pinballs"). Serials were 43-10933/11132. These were redesignated RP-63C-2 (Model 33C-2), and were more or less similar to their RP-63A predecessors, except that it had the V-1710-117 (E-21) engine and had several minor refinements. Like the RP-63A, the RP-63C-2 had all combat equipment removed and was fitted with a 1488-pound armor skin against which frangible bullets fired by gunnery students shattered. However, the RP-63C-2 differed from the RP-63A in reverting to the normal dorsal air intake of the standard P-63C.
    Many RP-63Cs were used as target tugs rather than as targets. In 1948, surviving RP-63Cs were redesignated QF-63C, although they were never used as pilotless drones.
    Serials of the P-63As converted as flying targets were as follows: 42-69647 Bell RP-63A-11 Kingcobra 42-69654 Bell RP-63A-11 Kingcobra 42-69769 Bell RP-63A-11 Kingcobra 42-69771 Bell RP-63A-11 Kingcobra 42-69801 Bell RP-63A-11 Kingcobra 42-69880/69974 Bell RP-63A-12 Kingcobra
    http://home.att.net/~jbaugher1/p63_9.html


  9. #39
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    Default Re: Bell P-39 Airacobra & P-63 Kingcobra.

    Final set:

    Bell P-39D - 36th Fighter Squadron 1943



    Bell P-39L - 100 GIAP USSR 1943



    Bell P-39Q - 9 GvIAP USSR 1944



    Bell P-39Q - 19 GvIAP USSR 1945



    Bell P-39Q - 71st Tactical Reconnaiasance Squadron 1944



    Bell P-39Q - 72nd Fighter Squadron 1944



    Bell P-39Q - 108 GvIAP USSR 1945



    Bell P-39Q - 129 GvIAP USSR 1944



    Bell P-39Q - 339th Fighter Squadron 1943



    Bell P-39Q - 362nd Fighter Squadron 1943



    Bell P-39Q - GC I/5 French Air Force 1943



    Bell P-39Q - GC II/6 French Air Force 1943



    Bell P-39Q - GC II/9 French Air Force 1944



    Bell P-39Q - GC III/6 French Air Force 1944



    Bell P-39Q - 2nd Combined Special Air Regiment Polish Air Force 1944



    Bell P-400 - 601 Squadron RAF 1943



    Bell P-400 - OK Squadron Portuguese Air Force 1943


  10. #40
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    Default Re: Bell P-39 Airacobra & P-63 Kingcobra.

    Very nice work Clave !!, first time I saw the polish skin.

  11. #41
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    Default Re: Bell P-39 Airacobra & P-63 Kingcobra.

    Very nice, Clave! You are good at what you do. Keep us posted.

  12. #42
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    Default Re: Bell P-39 Airacobra & P-63 Kingcobra.

    Thanks

    I have some links to get organised, then I will post some more.

  13. #43
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    Default Re: Bell P-39 Airacobra & P-63 Kingcobra.

    A nice document, P-39 tested by the british, extracted from www.ww2aircraft.net
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    Last edited by Panzerknacker; 09-01-2008 at 07:55 PM.

  14. #44
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    Default Re: Bell P-39 Airacobra & P-63 Kingcobra.

    Hello,

    Clave your profiles are fantastic. I make skins for a WWII game I play called Aces High and would like to skin the French P-39Q of GC III/6 tail no. 438961. I was wondering if you have a higher resolution picture of the shield on the door and if it's alright with you I would like to use your profile as a reference when I submit the skin for ingame use.

    To show you what I'm talking about this is one of the P39s I have recently skined. I do not make the 3D model I just make the exterior paint scheme.




  15. #45
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    Default My uncle few a P-400 in the MTO, 81st FG.

    My uncle (now 86 and in great shape) flew a P-400 in the 81st Fighter Group in N. Africa, Tunisia and Italy. P-39's operated extensivly in the MTO, but little is writen about them. Check out this link:
    http://www.geocities.com/raf_112_sqd...onor_roll.html

    He has personal stories, including the '39s' that had "engine trouble" and had to land in Portugal. I've got image files of him in in Tunisia in '43', back in the states in '44' and one of the 81st FG taken in Bizerti in '43'. E-mail me at mountainpilot@excite.com and I'll send them to anyone with genuine interest.

    Wish one of you could make a propfile of his P-400 "Vonnie"

    Later, Al

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