Bell P-63E Kingcobra

Pima Air and Space Museum Aircraft

Manufacturer
Bell
Markings
Factory standard markings U.S. Army Air Forces, 1945
Designation
P-63E
Registration
N9003R
Serial Number
43-11727

Bell P-63E Kingcobra

The Bell P-63 Kingcobra was designed based on the company’s experience with the P-39 and while the two planes appear nearly identical they are in fact quite different and share no parts in common. The Kingcobra is significantly larger and uses an advanced laminar flow wing design similar to that of the P-51 Mustang. Originally proposed in June 1941 the first P-63 flew on December 7, 1942. The Kingcobra proved to be generally superior to the P-39 and the first aircraft were delivered to the Army Air Force in October 1943. Despite the improvement over the P-39 the P-63 was still inferior to other fighters that were in production for the Army Air Force and very few Kingcobras entered service with the U. S. military and none saw combat. The vast majority of the 3,303 were delivered to Russia through the Lend-Lease program. After the war P-63s were used by France in Vietnam and by the Honduran Air Force.

Specifications
Wingspan 39 ft 2 in
Length 32 ft 8 in
Height 12 ft 9 in
Weight 9,413 lbs (loaded)
Max. Speed 410 mph
Service Ceiling 39,000 ft
Range 320 miles
Engines 1 Allison V-1710-109 V12 cylinder 1,425 hp
Crew 1