Bell P-59A AIRACOMET: JET POWER IS THE LATEST DEVELOPMENT IN ARMY FIGHTERS

From the August 1944 Edition of Recognition Journal

On these pages the Journal presents first pictures of the Allies most publicized secret weapon, the jet-propelled airplane. With this fighter, the Bell P-59A Airacomet, the most striking development in airplane propulsion since the invention of the airscrew finds a practical application.



As used in the P-59A, jet power has not radically altered the appearance of airplanes. The P-59A looks like a very sleep, twin-engined, midwing monoplane. The nacelles which house the units are moved in to nestle against the fuselage so that head-on the plane has a very broad, shallow body. But the main elements of construction—wing, fuselage and tail—retain the relationship found in more conventional aircraft.

These factors are important in recognizing the P-59A as an individual airplane but are not positive marks of jet power. To make this new form of power available as quickly as possible, standard design and manufacturing techniques had to be adhered to. But in the future, not only will propellers disappear, but the power units may be absorbed into wings and fuselage. The all-wing construction, to which jet power is beautifully adapted, may well become the dominant style. No man can fully conjecture the possibilities.

bell p59a airacomet jet fighter

This sleek new fighter, the jet powered P-59A Airacomet, is the latest development in the consistently expanding scheme of aerial warfare.

bell p59a airacomet jet fighter

Bulky jet units are located beneath the P-59A’s midwing, snug up against the fuselage. They give plane its distinctive broad, shallow fuselage which, when seen head-on is its best recognition feature.



bell p59a airacomet jet fighter

P-59A’s fuselage shows typical Bell design in its long pointed nose, smoothly tapered tail. The cockpit is just forward of the wing’s leading edge. Fin and rudder is almost identical with that of the Bell P-63.

Action views from training film shows the P-59A in various flying attitudes. Notable recognition features are its long broad wing, slender profile, unswept tail, and two close-set power units. No actual performance data can, of course be released on the P-59A at the present time but because of its speed, its high rate of climb and the unusual nature of tis power source, it has already been called the Airacomet.

bell p59a airacomet jet fighter

bell p59a airacomet jet fighter



bell p59a airacomet jet fighter

bell p59a airacomet jet fighter

bell p59a airacomet jet fighter

bell p59a airacomet jet fighter



For More on Aviation History Check Out:

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