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Tigers: Tracking a Legend
Bell P-39Q Airacobra
Did You Know?
- The P-39 Airacobra was originally designed as a bomber interceptor, but turned into an excellent ground attack weapon in the Pacific and on the Soviet front.
- The Airacobra saw combat throughout the world, particularly in the Southwest Pacific, Mediterranean and Russian theaters.
- Its unique engine location behind the cockpit caused some pilot concern, but this proved to be no more of a hazard in a crash landing than with an engine located forward of the cockpit. The P-39's spin characteristics, however, could be quite a problem if recovery techniques were ignored.
- Because of its poor higher altitude performance, many U.S. airmen did not care for it, and more than 60% of them were sold to the Soviet Union.
|Length||30 ft. 2 in.|
|Height||12 ft. 5 in.|
|Operational Weight||7,600 lbs.|
|Armament||One 37-mm cannon, two .50-cal. machine guns, and four .30-cal. machine guns|
|Maximum Speed||376 mph|
|Range||975 miles with drop tanks|
|Service Ceiling||35,000 ft.|
|Engine||One Allison V-1710, producing 1,200 hp|