Bell P-39N Airacobra

Pima Air and Space Museum Aircraft

Manufacturer
Bell
Markings
110th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 1944
Designation
P-39N
Serial Number
42-18814

Bell P-39N Airacobra

The P-39 was an unusual design when it appeared in 1937. Among its many unorthodox design features are the mounting of the engine behind the pilot, the use of an automobile type door on the side of the cockpit, and tricycle landing gear. The Airacobra had good low altitude performance, but suffered badly at high altitudes. Fortunately, the aircraft’s large nose mounted 37mm cannon made it a perfect ground attack aircraft. Large numbers of P-39s were exported to the Soviet Union where they were very popular in this role. The Airacobra was never popular in American or British service, but they still served in combat during the early stages of the war while more capable types were being designed and built.

Specifications
Wingspan 34 ft in
Length 30 ft 2 in
Height 12 ft 5 in
Weight 8,300 lbs (loaded)
Max. Speed 385 mph
Service Ceiling 35,000 ft
Range 650 miles
Engines 1 Allison V-1710-85 V12-cylinder, 1,200 hp
Crew 1