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"America’s Worst World War II Fighter Was the Star of..." Topic

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966 hits since 4 Sep 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2017 10:02 p.m. PST

… the Russian Air Force

"The P-39 Airacobra may be the least loved American fighter plane of World War II, deemed inadequate by military planners at the outset of hostilities and written off as nearly useless by many historians. Certainly, the P-39 could not match the high-altitude performance of classic American warbirds such as the dapper and agile P-51 Mustang, nor the hard-charging, hard-hitting P-47 Thunderbolt.

And yet it was pilots of the Airacobra, not the Thunderbolt or Mustang, that achieved the highest scores of any aviators flying an American war plane during World War II. That this fact is not better known maybe because those Airacobra pilots flew with red Soviet stars on their wings.

Founded in 1935, the Bell Aircraft Corporation was known for unconventional designs such as the Airacuda bomber-destroyer which would have been at home on the cover of a science fiction magazine. In 1939, Bell approached the designs of its prototype XP-39 single-engine interceptor from a revolutionary perspective: instead of designing guns to fit the airplane, Bell designed a plane to fit around its gun—an enormous Oldsmobile T9 37-millimeter automatic cannon shooting throw the propeller hub. This had a caliber commonly found on early World War II tank guns. It would only take a single direct hit to down an enemy airplane, and the P-39 also carried two additional .50 caliber machine guns in the nose and four .30 caliber weapons in the wings for a good measure…"
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skipper John Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2017 4:55 a.m. PST

A good read. Thank you Armand!

21eRegt05 Sep 2017 6:59 a.m. PST

Very nice. So often it boils down to the pilot and the job they (pilot and plane) are asked to do.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2017 10:47 a.m. PST

Glad you enjoyed it my friends!. (smile)


Major Mike05 Sep 2017 11:25 a.m. PST

The P-63's got to be used as target aircraft for bombers gunners back in the states. link

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