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For historical information, Wikipedia has an article on Bell P-39 Airacobra.
Bell P-39 Airacobra
P39 1
Role Fighter
Operators United States
No. of positions 1
Position 1 Pilot
7.62mm machine guns
12.7mm machine guns
37mm gun
Bell P-39 Airacobra (Lend-Lease)
P39 2
Role Fighter
Operators Soviet Union
Free France
No. of positions 1
Position 1 Pilot
12.7mm machine guns
20mm gun

Bell P-39 Airacobra is an American fighter.


The Airacobra stands out from other fighters of its time, as it was the first fighter with tricycle undercarriage configuration. Its mid-engine placement (behind the cockpit) was also unusual and innovative. But the lack of an effective supercharger limits the aircraft mainly to low- and mid-altitude missions, as it engine performance proved to be not sufficient compared with enemy supercharged fighters. Because of this issue, the P-39 was rejected by the British RAF, but a large number of the production was send to the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease Act. Air combat conditions at the Eastern Front where ideal for the P-39, so it became one of the most successful Soviet fighters during World War 2. The aircraft saw also service in the Pacific theatre, Europe and North Africa with the USAAF and with the Free French forces.

The P-39D in USAAF service were armed with four 7.62mmm machine guns in the wings, two 12.7mm machine guns, and a slow firing but powerful 37mm cannon. The Lend-Lease version was armed with two 12.7mm machine guns and a 20mm Hispano cannon instead of the 37mm cannon.


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