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

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

    I think the best US fighter in conditions of Eastern front was the P-39 AiraCobra.
    This was the mass supplied fighter to the USSR via the lend lise.

    Having the 37-mm gun(!!!) and two 12,7 mashingan this aircraft was good in the role of shturmovic agains german armoured veshicles.Soviet flyers recal this fighter as very reliabile.
    Cheers.

    "I decide who is a Jew and who is an Aryan "- Hermann Goering

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    Is it true the P-39 was called Little Shaver by Soviet crews? Shaving being the slang term for ground strafing? I'm not sure if my source is correct with this information.

    Regards Digger.

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    I think the best US fighter in conditions of Eastern front was the P-39 AiraCobra
    The Cobra was an special case...hated by the british and americands , but so loved for the russians.


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    Yes the P-39 was not very popular with the RAAF as well.

    Regards Digger

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    Why wasn't it popular?



    What you do in life, echoes in eternity!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Panzerknacker View Post
    The Cobra was an special case...hated by the british and americands , but so loved for the russians.
    Yes Panzerknacker it's true. First AiraCobra in 1941 were sended as lend lise to the Britain but british dislike it and re-sended to the USSR in late of 1941.
    First AiraCobra were had a lot of lacks. But spesial soviet-american comission ( including the agent of Bell plant) during the all the war inproved the construction of P-39.
    The resault was good. Some soviet pilots prefered P-39 for the other fighters.
    Like famouse soviet ace A. Pokrishkin ( 59-voctories at all , 48 on the P-39).

    "I decide who is a Jew and who is an Aryan "- Hermann Goering

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    Quote Originally Posted by VonWeyer View Post
    Why wasn't it popular?
    They did not like some tricky fliying characteritics and the lack of more powerful supercharged witch limitated the ceiling.

    Chevan this is the aircraft of that famous ace.


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    -

    P-39 Airacobra and P-63 Kingcobra

    4,773 P-39's (primarily D, N & Q models) and over
    2,400 P-63's were supplied to the USSR during WWII.

    The P-63 had superior performance to the earlier P-39.

    P-39M: maximum speed: 386 mph (621 km/h) at 9,500 ft (2,895 m)
    service ceiling: 36,000 ft (10,970 m)
    maximum range: 650 miles (1,046 km)

    P-63A: maximum speed: 410 mph (660 km/h) at 25,000 ft (7,620 m)
    service ceiling: 43,000 ft (13,110 m)
    maximum range: 2,200 miles (3,541 km) with external fuel tanks.

    From: American Aircraft of World War II, David Mondey, Chancellor Press, 1999, pp 12-14, 17-19








    (CONTINUED BELOW)

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    Last edited by George Eller; 12-29-2006 at 11:36 PM.

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    (CONTINUED FROM ABOVE)
    02
    From: American Aircraft of World War II, David Mondey, Chancellor Press, 1999, pp 12-14, 17-19




    From: Fire in the Sky: The Air War in the South Pacific, Eric M. Bergerud, Westview Press, 2000, pp 247 - 250




    (CONTINUED BELOW)

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    (CONTINUED FROM ABOVE)
    03
    From: Fire in the Sky: The Air War in the South Pacific, Eric M. Bergerud, Westview Press, 2000, pp 247 - 250





    http://www.military.cz/usa/air/war/f...p39/p39_en.htm


    http://lenta.ru/articles/2005/07/28/birds/

    SEE ALSO:
    P-39
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-39_Airacobra
    http://www.warbirdalley.com/p39.htm

    P-63
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-63_Kingcobra
    http://www.warbirdalley.com/p63.htm

    Airacobra or Iron Dog?
    The Obscure Career of Bell's P-39 in the Soviet Union
    http://www.chuckhawks.com/airacobra_iron_dog.htm
    "Five out of the ten highest scoring Soviets aces logged the majority of their kills in P-39s.
    In fact, P-39 jockeys filled the number two, three, and four spots: Aleksandr Pokryshkin (59),
    Aleksandr Gulaev (57), and Grigoriy Rechkalov (56)."

    Airacobras in the Soviet Union
    http://home.att.net/~jbaugher1/p39_19.html

    History in Blue: P-63 Kingcobra served under Russia’s red star
    http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f...08-1683581.php

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    Last edited by George Eller; 12-29-2006 at 03:31 PM.

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    Very good, notable the performance of the P-39 in the pacific despite the bad attitude of some pilots against it. Another good book about it is "P-39 aces of WW2" from Ospreys.

    The 37 mm odsmobile M4 cannon in the P-39Q.




    This was and long recoil operated gun it shoot at 150 rpm and was feeded by a 33 round endless belt. Now I am tempted to open another aircraft armamento topic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Panzerknacker View Post
    Very good, notable the performance of the P-39 in the pacific despite the bad attitude of some pilots against it. Another good book about it is "P-39 aces of WW2" from Ospreys.

    The 37 mm odsmobile M4 cannon in the P-39Q.




    This was and long recoil operated gun it shoot at 150 rpm and was feeded by a 33 round endless belt. Now I am tempted to open another aircraft armamento topic.
    -

    I like that pic Panzerknacker. It gives a clearer picture of how much off center the drive shaft was from the centerline of the propeller hub. And also the gun arrangement is interesting. Thanks.

    I wonder how accurate the following quotes are?

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/airacobra_iron_dog.htm
    The last major misconception about the P-39 is that it was an effective tank buster. In early August of 1944, while flying over a tank battle in Poland, Alexsandr Pokryshkin told the T-34 unit commander, "Our cannons will not penetrate tank armor." The Colt M4 had a muzzle velocity of only 600 meters per second and a low rating of 1.41 kilograms 'steel on target' per second. Theoretically, it could penetrate the armor of early panzer tanks, but only the top of the hull and turret. By comparison, the NS-37 37mm cannon had a muzzle velocity of 900 m/s and a steel on target rating of 3.06kg, enough to get through all but the Tiger's side or front armor. Also, instead of the M80 AP rounds that were required, the U.S. shipped the Soviets M54 high explosive shells, which were ineffective against tanks. Therefore, the P-39 was not used as a tank destroyer on the Eastern Front.
    http://home.att.net/~jbaugher1/p39_19.html
    It is in Soviet service that the Airacobra was used to its best effect. Soviet Air Force military doctrine was that its primary mission was to support the ground operations of the Soviet Army, and the P-39 was a natural for this role since it had an excellent low altitude performance and was heavily armed. Contrary to many published reports, the Soviet Airacobra was not primarily used as a ground-attack aircraft and tank buster, although it is certainly true that it often strafed targets of opportunity. It was actually primarily used as a low-altitude escort fighter for ground attack aircraft such as the Il-2 and later the Il-10.

    ...The Soviets preferred the 20-mm Hispano cannon of the P-400 over the 37mm of other Airacobra variants because of its greater reliability. In addition, the trajectory of the shells from the 20-mm cannon more closely matched that of the 0.50-inch guns, making for a greater concentration of fire. In the P-39Q, the Soviets usually removed the underwing guns or had them removed at the factory, preferring a better performance over the enhanced firepower.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-39_Airacobra
    It is mistakenly believed that the Airacobra was used as a ground-attack aircraft by the Soviet Union, the lack of a turbo-supercharger restricting it to low-altitude combat. In fact, the Soviets used it to provide top cover. The tactical environment of the Eastern Front did not demand the extreme high-altitude operations that the RAF and USAAF employed with their big bombers. In the relatively low-altitude operations in the East, the lack of a turbocharger was not as great a handicap. The low-speed, low-altitude turning nature of most air combat on the Russian Front suited the P-39's strengths rather than its inherent weaknesses. The second-highest scoring Allied ace, Pokryshkin, flew the P-39 from late 1942 until the end of the war; his unofficial score in the Airacobra stands at nearly 60 Luftwaffe aircraft.
    -
    Last edited by George Eller; 12-29-2006 at 11:08 PM.

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    The first quote is probably truu, the soviets have more efficient tank killers like the IL-2, the others need some analisis but unfortunately I have no time right now.

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    Thanks guys for the good detailed staff and pictures about AiraCobra.
    I just have to add something touching the modernisation of P-39 according USSR demands.
    P -39Q became the following modification Of "AiraCobra", which followed after P -39N. after the delivery of production aircraft P -39 in THE USSR, firm "Bell" from the Soviet AIR FORCE entered proposals on an improvement in the construction of aircraft. As it proved to be, in destroyers P -39 during the sharp maneuvering appeared the deformations of skin on the aft fuselage section and the tail assembly, which in the majority the cases could not be restored. Were observed also the breakdowns in spar of horizontal stabilizers, collapsing and catastrophes. To the modification Of "AiraCobra" were connected the designers of firm "Bell" and the largest center of Soviet aviation science at that time - the central aerohydrodynamic state institute of the name N.E. of Zhukovskiy (TSAGI - CENTRAL INSTITUTE OF AEROHYDRODYNAMICS IM. N YE ZHUKOVSKIY) and NII - SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH INSTITUTE of Red Air force. As a result of the carried out tests it was established that the American stress standards proved to be noncorresponding of the requirement AF OF THE USSR. On the basis of the conducted in TSAGI - CENTRAL INSTITUTE OF AEROHYDRODYNAMICS IM. N YE ZHUKOVSKIY investigations the specialists of central scientific experimental base VVS developed measures for strengthening and changing the construction of the supplied aircraft P -39. as a result was developed the following modification Of "AiraCobra" - P -39Q (series P -39Q-1 and P -39Q-5). This modification was differed from previous in terms of the intensive fuselage and the armament, which now consisted of one 37- mm gun T9, two 12,7- mm of machine guns and two 12,7- mm of machine guns Browning, established in the wing. General fuel stock was 416 l. in all was released the order of 1100 aircraft of this modification.

    Advantages:
    One of the best series tactical fighters World War II, which possesses high technical flight characteristics. Improved aerodynamics. High maneuverability and strong armament. Increased vitality of machine. Simplicity, accessibility and convenience in control.

    Deficiencies:
    Although the decreased, still preservable tendency toward the dumping into the corkscrew with the high angles of attack.
    Now about George Eller's quotes:
    It is mistakenly believed that the Airacobra was used as a ground-attack aircraft by the Soviet Union, the lack of a turbo-supercharger restricting it to low-altitude combat. In fact, the Soviets used it to provide top cover. The tactical environment of the Eastern Front did not demand the extreme high-altitude operations that the RAF and USAAF employed with their big bombers. In the relatively low-altitude operations in the East, the lack of a turbocharger was not as great a handicap. The low-speed, low-altitude turning nature of most air combat on the Russian Front suited the P-39's strengths rather than its inherent weaknesses. The second-highest scoring Allied ace, Pokryshkin, flew the P-39 from late 1942 until the end of the war; his unofficial score in the Airacobra stands at nearly 60 Luftwaffe aircraft
    That's true. The specific environment of Eastern front were very suited for P-39.
    The last major misconception about the P-39 is that it was an effective tank buster. In early August of 1944, while flying over a tank battle in Poland, Alexsandr Pokryshkin told the T-34 unit commander, "Our cannons will not penetrate tank armor." .......... Therefore, the P-39 was not used as a tank destroyer on the Eastern Front.
    Well nobody tryed to hit germans tanks like Panther or Tiger from the P-39 37-mm gun. But in most cases the firepower of T9 gun was more then enough to hit the ground aims.
    This is was the very importain characteristic of P-39.
    As you wrote Its primary role was as a low-altitude escort fighter for ground attack aircraft such as the Il-2. Thus the main task of AiraCobra was not the attacking of germans tanks. This was the matter of IL-2 which had two 23- or 37-mm guns(NSK-37 gun) , 8 Air-to-Ground 83-mm rockets or bombs.

    Cheers.

    "I decide who is a Jew and who is an Aryan "- Hermann Goering

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    ...First AiraCobra were had a lot of lacks. But spesial soviet-american comission ( including the agent of Bell plant) during the all the war inproved the construction of P-39.
    The resault was good. Some soviet pilots prefered P-39 for the other fighters.
    Like famouse soviet ace A. Pokrishkin ( 59-voctories at all , 48 on the P-39).
    The P-39 was made, along with the P-40 Tomahawk, at a plant not far from where I was born in Buffalo, NY. They were relegated to secondary theaters such as the Alaskan peninsula and to the Pacific theater at the very beginning. Some US pilots also appreciated the planes ruggedness and ability to function well in cold weather. The 37mm cannon was also good for shooting up ground and sea targets...


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