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

  1. #76
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    Default Re: Bell P-39 Airacobra & P-63 Kingcobra.

    Maybe this will helps guys.

    http://www.militaryfactory.com/aircr...ircraft_id=140

    http://www.aviation-history.com/bell/p39.html

    http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/

    http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.o...7320-chart.jpg

    (notice the climb rates of the XP-51/P-40/P-39D)

    http://www.acepilots.com/planes/specs.html

    This is Specs of Fighter Planes by model and type (WW2). Quite a few here!

    If I was to really want to research this I'd use:

    Report of Joint Fighter Conf.

    NAS Patuxent River, MD 16-23 Oct. 1944.

    And I'd read carefully:

    http://yarchive.net/mil/p39.html


    Deaf
    “We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality” Ayn Rand

  2. #77
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    Default Re: Bell P-39 Airacobra & P-63 Kingcobra.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deaf Smith View Post
    Maybe this will helps guys.

    http://www.militaryfactory.com/aircr...ircraft_id=140

    http://www.aviation-history.com/bell/p39.html

    http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/

    http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.o...7320-chart.jpg

    (notice the climb rates of the XP-51/P-40/P-39D)

    http://www.acepilots.com/planes/specs.html

    This is Specs of Fighter Planes by model and type (WW2). Quite a few here!

    If I was to really want to research this I'd use:

    Report of Joint Fighter Conf.

    NAS Patuxent River, MD 16-23 Oct. 1944.

    And I'd read carefully:

    http://yarchive.net/mil/p39.html


    Deaf
    I've found that if you read five articles you'll get five sets of numbers. I prefer to use figures from the official WWII pilot manuals for each plane. P-39N manual says it will climb to 25,000' in 8.7 minutes, faster than comtemporary P-38, P-47 and P-51. Compare that with 109, 190 and Zero. P-39 was much better plane than American history says.

  3. #78
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    Default Re: Bell P-39 Airacobra & P-63 Kingcobra.

    Quote Originally Posted by muscogeemike View Post
    Reading this thread about how pilots from different countries have different opinions about the P-39 brings to mind something I read about Finland’s views re the B-239 (export version of the infamous Buffalo).
    They loved this airplane so much they produced it themselves, yet American, Dutch and British pilots were easy meat for the Jap’s. I once read a claim by a Fin pilot that the “Sky Pearl” (as they named it) had the highest kill to loss ratio of any fighter they used.
    Sounds crazy, doesn't it? Fins must have had better pilots or tactics, or maybe the Buffalo was the best plane the Fins had at the time.

  4. #79
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    Default Re: Bell P-39 Airacobra & P-63 Kingcobra.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    I haven't a copy of Frank's seminal Guadalcanal so I cannot readily dispute your first part of this post. But I believe there were more problems relitive to high level permorance than oxygen systems on the P-400's.

    But you're wrong on the P-51. The Merlin powered XP-51B first flew in November of 1942, not 1943 if Wiki is to be trusted, and production was started in early 1943...
    P-51B first appeared in combat in December 1943. First flight and production must occur prior to combat.

  5. #80
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    Default Re: Bell P-39 Airacobra & P-63 Kingcobra.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    It should be noted that many of the Soviet P-39's victories came over tactical bombers. So, yes, the Germans could have attempted to jump the Red Aircobras from above. But their tactical support aircraft would have been left unattended and been mincemeat...
    Yes, many P-39 victories came over Stukas and other tactical bombers. And yes, the German escorts could not abandon their bombers, but they could (and did) station a portion of their fighters at higher altitudes. If German escorts had a performance advantage at altitude they would have exploited that advantage. Soviet pilots maintain their P-39s were competitive with German fighters at any altitude. I'm not making this up, proof is available.

  6. #81
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    Default Re: Bell P-39 Airacobra & P-63 Kingcobra.

    Quote Originally Posted by hgilley View Post
    I've found that if you read five articles you'll get five sets of numbers. I prefer to use figures from the official WWII pilot manuals for each plane. P-39N manual says it will climb to 25,000' in 8.7 minutes, faster than comtemporary P-38, P-47 and P-51. Compare that with 109, 190 and Zero. P-39 was much better plane than American history says.
    Well that is kind of strange as they did NOT use, or actually they tried to use, the P-39 to intercept Japanese bombers at 20,000 and they could not but F4Fs could, and did.

    And considering it was there at the first of the war then why would the USAAF not use them (it was all they had?)

    Now the basic specifications for the P-39D were as follows (taken from The Fighter Aircraft Pocketbook by Roy Cross): Max speed 360 mph at 15,000 ft; Best climb 2,040 ft/min. at 10,300 ft.; Climb to 20,000 ft. 11.7 min.; Range 600 miles at economical cruise; Armament 1-37mm nose cannon, 2-.50 nose m.g., 4-.30 wing m.g.; Span 34 ft. 2 in.; Length 30 ft. 2 in.; Height 11 ft. 10 in.; Wing area 213 sq. ft.; Empty weight 6,300 lbs.; Max weight 9,200 lbs.

    Now was the N that much better than the D version? Did the N have the 1,325 hp. Allison V-1710-63 engine? The D version (D-2) did.

    Deaf
    “We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality” Ayn Rand

  7. #82
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    Default Re: Bell P-39 Airacobra & P-63 Kingcobra.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deaf Smith View Post
    Well that is kind of strange as they did NOT use, or actually they tried to use, the P-39 to intercept Japanese bombers at 20,000 and they could not but F4Fs could, and did.

    And considering it was there at the first of the war then why would the USAAF not use them (it was all they had?)

    Now the basic specifications for the P-39D were as follows (taken from The Fighter Aircraft Pocketbook by Roy Cross): Max speed 360 mph at 15,000 ft; Best climb 2,040 ft/min. at 10,300 ft.; Climb to 20,000 ft. 11.7 min.; Range 600 miles at economical cruise; Armament 1-37mm nose cannon, 2-.50 nose m.g., 4-.30 wing m.g.; Span 34 ft. 2 in.; Length 30 ft. 2 in.; Height 11 ft. 10 in.; Wing area 213 sq. ft.; Empty weight 6,300 lbs.; Max weight 9,200 lbs.

    Now was the N that much better than the D version? Did the N have the 1,325 hp. Allison V-1710-63 engine? The D version (D-2) did.

    Deaf
    A couple of things about the P-39/P-400 at Guadalcanal: The initial P-400s sent to Guadalcanal had British oxygen systems not compatible to the American equipment there. They had no oxygen, therefore could not operate above 15,000' or the pilots would become disoriented or pass out. The P-400 was an early export version of the P-39 for Britain/France that were taken over by the AAF and sent to the Pacific. Second point, Guadalcanal was initially a Navy/Marine operation in the Navy's geographical area of command. This was early in the war and the Navy wanted desperately to atone for the Pearl Harbor disaster. They viewed the few P-400s sent by the Army (AAF) as an attempt to grab some of the publicity (which it probably was) and did everything they could to discredit their participation. Typical Army/Navy political crap. P-400 had no oxygen and was overweight at 7,850# so it was relegated to ground support which it performed admirably against Japanese ground troops in the Battle of Bloody Ridge. The Navy later admitted privately that the P-400s may have actually turned the tide in that crucial battle.

    P-39s WERE used to intercept high flying Jap Betty bombers at Port Moresby in New Guinea from April 1942. They had a tough time because: 1. No radar for early warning (until August), 2. Japanese superiority in pilot quality (Jap Navy carrier pilots stationed in N. New Guinea vs green 200 hour American pilots fresh out of flight school) and 3. Japanese numerical superiority (bases all along north NG coast vs 2 squadrons of P-39s at Port Moresby and one at Milne Bay). Despite those odds those boys held the Japanese out of Moresby along with the Navy victory at Coral Sea.

    The Navy had much more success intercepting the Bettys at Guadalcanal for a variety of reasons. First, they had radar and an extensive net of coast watchers for early warning and were able to climb to altitude above the bombers for ideal interception conditions. The P-39 pilots had no radar (until August) and few coast watchers so they were continuously being attacked with no warning. With only two squadrons they could only fly two-man patrols and even then not all the time. Interception of high flying bombers is virtually impossible without early warning. Second, the Japanese had a much longer trip from Rabaul to Guadalcanal (over 500mi one way) vs Lae to Port Moresby (180mi one way). Their Zero escort had to use drop tanks and pilot/crew fatigue and mechanical/combat damage had a greater effect. Third, those Navy F4F carrier pilots were better than their AAF counterparts, the Navy boys had an average of more than 1,000 hours and more extensive training. Carrier pilots on both sides were much better trained than their Army counterparts for obvious reasons. 4. Japanese pilot quality had already declined because of losses at Coral Sea, Midway and New Guinea which all happened prior to Guadalcanal which began in August 1942.

    Regarding P-39 vs F4F, every P-39 was faster and would climb to any altitude faster than any F4F. F4Fs had much better early warning and better pilots early in the war. Pilot manuals for both planes show time to 20,000' as 9.1 min for P-39D and 10.0 min for F4F. P-39N climbed to 20,000' in 6 minutes, fastest of any US plane.

    N model was a big improvement over D model P-39s. There were two basic models of P-39. D through M had the V1710-35 or -63 engines with 8.8:1 supercharger gears. N and Q (same plane except for wing guns) had -85 engine with 9.6:1 gears which gave about 100 extra horsepower at medium altitudes. Doesn't sound like much, but at 20,000' speed increased from 348mph to 375mph, at 25,000' increased from 324 to 370mph. N and Q represented over 75% of all P-39 production and began in November 1942. N and Q engines had 1200hp for takeoff and 1150@15,000'. D through M had 1150 or 1325hp for takeoff and 1150@12,000', hence the better medium/high altitude performance of N/Q.

  8. #83
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    Default Re: Bell P-39 Airacobra & P-63 Kingcobra.

    If you like some technical number crunching heres a little report to keep you busy

    FLIGHT INVESTIGATION OF THE VARIATION OF DRAG COEFFICIENT
    WITH MACH NUMBER FOR THE BELL P-39N-1 AIRPLANE


    A few manuals listed for download
    ww2aircraft.net p-39-airacobra-pilots-flight-operating-instructions

    Vids
    P39/400 RAF
    RAF P39/400
    Intro to the P39
    [IntroductionToTheP-39
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

  9. #84
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    Default Re: Bell P-39 Airacobra & P-63 Kingcobra.

    Quote Originally Posted by leccy View Post
    If you like some technical number crunching heres a little report to keep you busy

    FLIGHT INVESTIGATION OF THE VARIATION OF DRAG COEFFICIENT
    WITH MACH NUMBER FOR THE BELL P-39N-1 AIRPLANE


    A few manuals listed for download
    ww2aircraft.net p-39-airacobra-pilots-flight-operating-instructions

    Vids
    P39/400 RAF
    RAF P39/400
    Intro to the P39
    [IntroductionToTheP-39
    The report on the variation of drag coefficient with mach number was very interesting. I didn't understand a word of it . I think it had something to do with drag increasing as mach number increases. Duh.

    The P-39K and L flight manual was interesting, I had not seen that one before. Can you locate the P-39D or N flight manuals?

  10. #85
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    Default Re: Bell P-39 Airacobra & P-63 Kingcobra.

    The drag co-efficient one I posted as if you read through it (and get rather lost in the heiroglyphics) it seems to say that a P39N-1 could reach 600+ mph in a vertical dive.

    The more interesting point though was that I have seen people claiming the top speed of a P39 was around 460mph in level flight. In the tests though the top speed in a 'dive' from 28000 ft was 471mph with part throttle at 10300 ft @ 2800 rpm.
    Odd to me was that a full throttle dive at 3050 rpm from 30000 ft the max speed was 464 mph @ 12500 ft.

    Engine fitted

    Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A l l i s o n 'J-1710-85
    R a t i n g s ( b h p / r p m / a l t i t u d e )
    Take-off . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1200 / 3000 / sea level
    Military . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1125/3000/15,500
    Normal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1000/2600/14,00
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

  11. #86
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    Default Re: Bell P-39 Airacobra & P-63 Kingcobra.

    Quote Originally Posted by leccy View Post
    The drag co-efficient one I posted as if you read through it (and get rather lost in the heiroglyphics) it seems to say that a P39N-1 could reach 600+ mph in a vertical dive.

    The more interesting point though was that I have seen people claiming the top speed of a P39 was around 460mph in level flight. In the tests though the top speed in a 'dive' from 28000 ft was 471mph with part throttle at 10300 ft @ 2800 rpm.
    Odd to me was that a full throttle dive at 3050 rpm from 30000 ft the max speed was 464 mph @ 12500 ft.

    Engine fitted

    Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A l l i s o n 'J-1710-85
    R a t i n g s ( b h p / r p m / a l t i t u d e )
    Take-off . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1200 / 3000 / sea level
    Military . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1125/3000/15,500
    Normal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1000/2600/14,00
    No way the P-39 ever hit 460mph in level flight. If it had, it would have been the best fighter of WWII. The N model performance was a little over 375mph at 20,000', about like the Hellcat only it climbed a lot better. Pretty good for early 1943. Your V-1710-85 numbers look exactly right from what I've read.

  12. #87
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    Default Re: Bell P-39 Airacobra & P-63 Kingcobra.

    Quote Originally Posted by leccy View Post
    If you like some technical number crunching heres a little report to keep you busy

    FLIGHT INVESTIGATION OF THE VARIATION OF DRAG COEFFICIENT
    WITH MACH NUMBER FOR THE BELL P-39N-1 AIRPLANE


    A few manuals listed for download
    ww2aircraft.net p-39-airacobra-pilots-flight-operating-instructions

    Vids
    P39/400 RAF
    RAF P39/400
    Intro to the P39
    [IntroductionToTheP-39
    Had not seen the P-39K and L manuals. Any idea on how to get P-39D or N manuals? Thanks in advance.

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

    Portuguese P-400s':
    My uncle, now 90, flew a P-400 in the 81st Fighter Group. He once told me about the flight of ~five A/C that, they believed "claimed engine trouble" so the pilots would be to be interned and sit out the War. The Portuguese A/F turned them over to the American Embassy in Lisbon, and they were in turn sent to Morocco, then Telepte airbase. To quote my uncle "Those guys had to fly Tail-end Charlie the whole tour". "Not a great spot when doing strafing...they really know you're coming". My uncle's getting old, and forgetful, but even years ago you couldn't get five stories out of him. We have long forgot that many of the guys who REALLY won that war don't want to talk about it. Comment: As a former USAF-aux SAR pilot myself, who's logged >450 hours PIC, low level in the Rockies, in all kinds to weather, with instrument and engine problems...and instances where I had to find "a flat place to stick it". I know what he means. He and I have shared stories we don't tell anyone else. People would think we were bullshitting them, or trying to be a hero. It's a place that only those of us that have had repeated trauma, blood replaced by adrenaline...can go to.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by mountainpilot View Post
    Portuguese P-400s':
    My uncle, now 90, flew a P-400 in the 81st Fighter Group. He once told me about the flight of ~five A/C that, they believed "claimed engine trouble" so the pilots would be to be interned and sit out the War. The Portuguese A/F turned them over to the American Embassy in Lisbon, and they were in turn sent to Morocco, then Telepte airbase. To quote my uncle "Those guys had to fly Tail-end Charlie the whole tour". "Not a great spot when doing strafing...they really know you're coming". My uncle's getting old, and forgetful, but even years ago you couldn't get five stories out of him. We have long forgot that many of the guys who REALLY won that war don't want to talk about it. Comment: As a former USAF-aux SAR pilot myself, who's logged >450 hours PIC, low level in the Rockies, in all kinds to weather, with instrument and engine problems...and instances where I had to find "a flat place to stick it". I know what he means. He and I have shared stories we don't tell anyone else. People would think we were bullshitting them, or trying to be a hero. It's a place that only those of us that have had repeated trauma, blood replaced by adrenaline...can go to.
    Your uncle is a true American hero. Sounds like he was flying the P-400 early in the war before most of the really good German and Japanese pilots had been shot down or captured. Those guys had real courage, always outnumbered facing the absolute best the enemy had to offer in North Africa, New Guinea and Guadalcanal. That was a far cry from 1944 when American industry was producing wave after wave of new planes and the Germans and Japanese had been worn out by those old P-400s, P-39s and P-40s. The guys that came after your uncle had it much easier, newer planes, more planes, better training, and a depleted enemy. I salute your uncle, he fought the hard fight.
    Last edited by hgilley; 05-18-2011 at 10:39 AM.

  15. #90
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    Default Re: Bell P-39 Airacobra & P-63 Kingcobra.

    C'mon boys, doesn't anyone want to dispute my claim that the P-39 was the best fighter of WWII (in 1943)?

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