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A few not so well know facts about the P-39


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FreeFOXMIKE #1 Posted 13 January 2017 - 11:03 AM

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The Airacobra saw combat throughout the world, particularly in the Southwest Pacific, Mediterranean and Soviet theaters. Because its engine was equipped with only a single-stage, single-speed supercharger, the P-39 performed poorly above 17,000 feet (5,200 m) altitude. In both western Europe and the Pacific, the Airacobra found itself outclassed as an interceptor and the type was gradually relegated to other duties.[6] It often was used at lower altitudes for such missions as ground strafing

 

http://img.hamptonu....blk_airmen5.jpg

http://img.hamptonu....blk_airmen8.jpg

the P-39 was the first aircraft flown into combat by the 99th "Tuskegee Airmen"

They sailed across the Atlantic and Mediterranean, to Taranto and Naples, Italy. From aerodromes in Naples and Montecorvino, the Group flew Bell P-39 Airacobra fighters with the 12th U. S. Army Air Force, performing combat patrol over the Tyrennean Sea and strafing attacks in and around Cassino and Anzio, against the German army, until late Spring.

 

The gearbox was provided with its own lubrication system, separate from the engine; in later versions of the Airacobra the gearbox was provided with some armor protection.

Because the pilot was above the extension shaft, he was placed higher in the fuselage than in most contemporary fighters, which, in turn gave the pilot a good field of view ( but it exposed him a little more)

 P-39D (Model 15), which also introduced self-sealing tanks and shackles (and piping) for a 500 lb (227 kg) bomb or drop tank

 

Soon after entering service, pilots began to report that “during flights of the P-39 in certain maneuvers, it tumbled end over end.” Most of these events happened after the aircraft was stalled in a nose high attitude with considerable power applied. Concerned, Bell initiated a test program. Bell pilots made 86 separate efforts to reproduce the reported tumbling characteristics. In no case were they able to tumble the aircraft. In his autobiography veteran test and airshow pilot R.A. “Bob” Hoover provides an account of tumbling a P-39. He goes on to say that in hindsight, he was actually performing a Lomcovak, a now-common airshow maneuver, which he was also able to do in a Curtiss P-40.[36] [N 6] An informal study of the P-39’s spinning characteristics was conducted in the NASA Langley Research Center 20-foot Free-Spinning Tunnel during the 1970s. A study of old reports showed that during earlier spin testing in the facility, the aircraft had never tumbled. However, it was noted that all testing had been done with a simulated full ammunition load

The weight distribution of the P-39 was supposedly the reason for its tendency to enter a dangerous flat spin, a characteristic Soviet test pilots were able to demonstrate to the skeptical manufacturer who had been unable to reproduce the effect. After extensive tests, it was determined the spin could only be induced if the aircraft was improperly loaded, with no ammunition in the front compartment. The flight manual noted a need to ballast the front ammunition compartment with the appropriate weight of shell casings to achieve a reasonable center of gravity. High-speed controls were light, consequently high-speed turns and pull-outs were possible. The P-39 had to be held in a dive since it tended to level out, reminiscent of the Spitfire. The recommended never-exceed dive speed limit (Vne) was 475 mph

 

Pacific

Bell-9-39 from the United States requisitioned 200 aircraft of the order destined for the UK, adopting them as P-400s (named for advertised top speed of 400 mph (644 km/h)). After Pearl Harbor, the P-400 was deployed to training units, but some saw combat in the Southwest Pacific including with the Cactus Air Force in the Battle of Guadalcanal.[50] Though outclassed by Japanese fighter aircraft, it performed well in strafing and bombing runs, often proving deadly in ground attacks on Japanese forces trying to retake Henderson Field. Guns salvaged from P-39s were sometimes fitted to Navy PT boats to increase firepower

 

From September to November 1942 pilots of the 57th Fighter Squadron flew P-39s and P-38s from an airfield built on land bulldozed into Kuluk Bay on the barren island of Adak in Alaska's Aleutian Islands. They attacked the Japanese forces that had invaded Attu and Kiska islands in the Aleutians in June 1942

 

The most successful and numerous use of the P-39 was by the Red Air Force (Военно-воздушные силыVoenno-Vozdushnye SilyVVS). They received the considerably improved N and Q models via the Alaska-Siberia ferry route

 

Also little know factoid the P-39 was used as a gunnery trainer not towing the flag but as the actual target hence the name on some of PING BONG.

 

the above skin found currently in the flight shop in the mods section,with others added later today chrome snow and a Nave skin, Also an update the the Hells Bells  shown above tot the units pacific cammo

 

ref material from multipliable web sites found on line.


Edited by FreeFOXMIKE, 13 January 2017 - 11:26 AM.

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Topsight #2 Posted 13 January 2017 - 02:10 PM

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A great write-up and art, very well done! :honoring:

 


LBAEZ #3 Posted 13 January 2017 - 02:19 PM

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Excellent  info thankyou very much good to see others with good historical knowledge of planes

Great_Balls_O_Fire #4 Posted 13 January 2017 - 06:31 PM

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Excellent!  Well researched and very informative. Keep up the good work.

MARS_REVENANT #5 Posted 13 January 2017 - 08:12 PM

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Great copy pasting from wiki... https://en.wikipedia..._P-39_Airacobra

 

Just a note, when you use someone else's work, you should at least give credit by sourcing the original.


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GeorgePatton #6 Posted 14 January 2017 - 12:43 AM

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The 99th actually flew P-40s into combat for their first deployment. http://tuskegeeairme...-CHRONOLOGY.pdf

 

 

Cheers!
Glenn



FreeFOXMIKE #7 Posted 14 January 2017 - 04:10 AM

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View PostMARS_REVENANT, on 13 January 2017 - 02:12 PM, said:

Great copy pasting from wiki... https://en.wikipedia..._P-39_Airacobra

 

Just a note, when you use someone else's work, you should at least give credit by sourcing the original.

ref material from multipliable web sites found on line. first off most know the is the primary source here second you dont say this to others so no selective enforcement. but for you the reason they were not  all logged as some are from face to face talks  but just for you ---as your soooooo special

https://en.wikipedia...Tuskegee_Airmen

http://logicalthinke...eeaircraft.html

http://www.nyctai.or...uskegee-airmen/

https://en.wikipedia..._P-39_Airacobra

http://www.defenseme...sed-challenges/

and talking to AIRMAN when they toured in Iraq At Camp / LSA Anaconda. during one of my tours in Iraq we rotated from Convoy Security  patrols to Force Protection and were attached the the 332 AEW ( and this pic is from the USAF source I mooched it as I cant find mine) 


Edited by FreeFOXMIKE, 14 January 2017 - 05:35 AM.

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FreeFOXMIKE #8 Posted 14 January 2017 - 04:12 AM

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View PostGeorgePatton, on 13 January 2017 - 06:43 PM, said:

The 99th actually flew P-40s into combat for their first deployment. http://tuskegeeairme...-CHRONOLOGY.pdf

 

 

Cheers!
Glenn

 

actually it was as follows

 The 99th Fighter Squadron was initially equipped with Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighter-bomber aircraft. The 332nd Fighter Group and its 100th, 301st and 302nd Fighter Squadrons were equipped for initial combat missions with Bell P-39 Airacobras (March 1944), 

 

 but as most don't know that the 332 was the combo of all the fighter groups but as 99 was the first formed I believe is is used more then the others for early recognition.  but yes to be factual you are correct ( good call) :):great:

in fact going a lil off topic but I can do that its my post :P  lol the Tuskegee Airman also had B-24 bomber group readied for the War 


Edited by FreeFOXMIKE, 14 January 2017 - 08:41 PM.

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FreeFOXMIKE #9 Posted 15 January 2017 - 05:18 AM

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View PostGeorgePatton, on 13 January 2017 - 06:43 PM, said:

The 99th actually flew P-40s into combat for their first deployment. http://tuskegeeairme...-CHRONOLOGY.pdf

 

 

Cheers!
Glenn

In North Africa, the 99th Fighter Squadron (also known as the Tuskegee Airmen) transitioned quickly from the P-40 and were assigned P-39s in February 1944, but only flew the type for a few weeks. The 99th carried out their duties including supporting Operation Shingle over Anzio as well as missions over the Gulf of Naples in the Airacobra but achieved few aerial victories

odd found this in wiki 

https://en.wikipedia..._P-39_Airacobra

 

like I said they tend to clump the 99th as the first  unit and the 332nd ans the final end all unit. 

another site posted this

The 99th Fighter Squadron was initially equipped with Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighter-bomber aircraft. The 332nd Fighter Group and its 100th, 301st and 302nd Fighter Squadrons were equipped for initial combat missions with Bell P-39 Airacobras (March 1944), 

 

 most never mention the 100th ,301st,and the 302nd FS fighter Squadrons. 


Edited by FreeFOXMIKE, 15 January 2017 - 07:40 AM.

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FreeFOXMIKE #10 Posted 15 January 2017 - 01:04 PM

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 targeting paint job used on the P-39

paint jobs used on the King Cobra 

 

 

 Target AC were most times painted  international orange as it has now become known as  but above was one of the pain jobs used on the P-39 and orange was mostly used on the King Cobra

"Pinball" operations

Its main use in American service was the unusual one of a manned flying target for gunnery practice.  The aircraft was generally painted bright orange to increase its visibility. All armament and the regular armor was removed from  the aircraft, and over a ton of armored sheet metal was applied to the aircraft. This was fitted with sensors that would detect hits, and these hits were signaled by illuminating a light in the propeller hub where the cannon would have been. This earned the aircraft the unofficial nickname of Pinball. Special frangible rounds made of a lead/Bakelite combination were developed that would disintegrate upon impact. These were known as the "Cartridge, Caliber .30, Frangible, Ball, M22". Ivan L. Hickman, a veteran Pinball pilot, eventually authored Operation Pinball in 1990.

 

 

 

 

 

 Its unusual engine location and the long drive-shaft caused some pilot concern at first, but experience showed this was no more of a hazard in a crash landing than with an engine located forward of the cockpit. There were no problems with prop-shaft failure.

In North Africa, the Tuskegee Airmen were assigned P-39's in February 1944. They successfully transitioned and carried out their duties including supporting Operation Shingle over Anzio as well as missions over the Gulf of Naples in the Airacobra but achieved few aerial victories. By June they were scoring with P-47 Thunderbolts and then in P-51 Mustangs in July 1944.

Only one U.S. pilot, Lt. Bill Fiedler, became an ace in a P-39; however, many U.S. aces scored one or two of their kills using the P-39.


XP-39 — first prototype, unarmed
YP-39 — service test version, V-1710-37 (E5) 1,090 hp engine, 12 built
YP-39A — intended to have a high-altitude V-1710-31 engine (1,150 hp) but delivered as a regular YP-39, one built.
XP-39B — streamlined XP-39 based on NACA wind tunnel testing resulting in revised canopy and wheel door shape, oil and radiator intakes moved from right fuselage to wing roots, increased length (by 1 ft 1 in to 29 ft 9 in) and decreased wingspan (by 1 ft 10 in to 34 ft). Turbosupercharger replaced with single-stage geared supercharger, Allison V-1710-37 (E5) engine rated to 13,300 ft (4,050 m).
P-39C — first production version, identical to YP-39 except for V-1710-35 1,150 hp engine. Armed with 1 × 37 mm cannon, 2 × .50 cal and 2 × .30 cal machine guns. First aircraft lacked armor and self-sealing fuel tanks.
P-39D — 245 lb of additional armor, self-sealing fuel tanks. Armament increased to 1 × 37 mm cannon (30 rounds), 2 × .50 cal (200 rounds/gun) and 4 × .30 cal (1,000 rounds/gun) machine guns. Provisions for a single 250-lb, 325-lb, or 500-lb bomb under the fuselage.
P-39D-1 — Lend-Lease version, Hispano 20 mm cannon instead of the 37 mm cannon.
P-39D-2 — Lend-Lease version, upgraded V-1710-63 (E6) engine with 1,325 hp; restored the 37 mm cannon; provisions for a single 145 US gallon drop tank under the fuselage.
Bell Model 14 — export version, ordered by France but not delivered.
P-400 Airacobra I — P-39D for Royal Air Force, briefly called :Caribou:; Hispano 20 mm cannon (60 rounds) instead of the 37 mm cannon. A total of 200 were requisitioned by USAAF after Pearl Harbor; most were used for training, but some saw service in the Southwest Pacific.
XP-39E — intended for Continental I-1430-1 engine with 2,100 hp
P-39F-1 — Aeroproducts constant speed propeller
P-39F-2 — field conversion of P-39F-1 with additional belly armor and cameras in rear fuselage
TP-39F — Two-seat training version, built in small numbers.
P-39G — intended to be a P-39D-2 with an Aeroproducts propeller. Due to modifications during production no P-39G were actually delivered. Instead, these aircraft were designated P-39K, L, M and N.
P-39J — P-39F with V-1710-59 1,100 hp engine with automatic boost control
P-39K — P-39D-2 with Aeroproducts propeller and V-1710-63 (E6) 1,325 hp engine; one aircraft designated P-39K-5 and fitted with a V-1710-85 (E19) engine to serve as a P-39N prototype
P-39L — P-39K with Curtiss Electric propeller, revised nose gear for reduced drag, provision for underwing rockets.
P-39M — 11 ft 1 in Aeroproducts propeller, V-1710-67 (E8) 1,200 hp engine with improved high-altitude performance at the expense of low-altitude performance, 10 mph faster than P-39L at 15,000 ft (4,600 m).
P-39N — V-1710-85 (E19) 1,200 hp engine; Aeroproducts propeller enlarged from 10 ft 4 in to 11 ft 7 in starting with 167th aircraft. The P-39N-5 had reduced armor.
P-39Q — wing-mounted 0.30 cal machine guns replaced with a single 0.50 cal with 300 rounds of ammunition in a pod under each wing. These wing guns were often removed on Soviet aircraft. P-39Q-21 had a four-bladed Aeroproducts propeller. The P-39Q-30 reverted to a three-bladed propeller because the four-bladed unit worsened directional stability.
RP-39Q — Two-seat training version, built in small numbers.
P-45 — The P-45 was the initial designation of the P-39C or Model 13.
XFL-1 Airabonita — One prototype for the U.S. Navy.
F2L — Seven P-39's were supplied to the U.S. Navy to be used as target drones.
A-7 — Proposed radio-controlled target drone, never built.
TDL — Radio-controlled target drone for the U.S. Navy.
http://www.skytamer....Bell_P-39N.html


Edited by FreeFOXMIKE, 15 January 2017 - 05:07 PM.

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FreeFOXMIKE #11 Posted 15 January 2017 - 01:19 PM

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 not 100% but many things still relevant

 

 


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FreeFOXMIKE #12 Posted 15 January 2017 - 05:10 PM

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 lol after making the King Cobra skin i could not resist 

 

 

lol :) any UT Longhorn fans out there let me know I will give you a DL  :teethhappy:


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LBAEZ #13 Posted 29 March 2017 - 04:46 PM

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i believe miguire flew the p 39 too he became a 38 kill ace flying p 38




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