POWERFUL P-63 KINGCOBRA REPLACING P-39 AIRACOBRA

Posted on October 31st, 2016 by:

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POWERFUL P-63 KINGCOBRA REPLACING P-39 AIRACOBRA

Stars and Stripes U.S. Bureau

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3, 1944—The P-39 Airacobra, one of the Army’s most heavily armed fighter planes, now is being replaced in action by a heavier, faster and more powerful successor, the P-63 Kingcobra. The War Department announced.



P-63 kingcobra

Although deemed unfit for combat by the USAAF, the P-63 Kingcobra was used successfully in combat by the Soviet Air Force in WWII.

Revealing hitherto secret details of the Kingcobra, the Department said the plane had a service ceiling of about 35,000 feet, about 5,000 feet greater than the Airacobra; a speed of close to 400 miles an hour, compared with the P-39’s 375; and a combat radius 50 percent greater than its predecessor. Chief changes in the new plane were in its engine rating of 300 more horsepower than the P-39 and four feet greater wingspread, combined with streamlined low drag laminar flow wings.

The P-63’s armament is little changed from that of P-39—a 37-mm. cannon firing through the propeller hub and four .50 caliber machine guns.

p-39 p-63

A Bell P-39Q-1-BE Airacobra, at Hamilton Army Airfield, California, in July 1943. The aircraft was flown by Lt.Col. Edward S. Chickering, commander of the 357th Fighter Group. The P-39 saw combat in the Pacific in New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Alaska and the CBI. It also saw action in North Africa and Italy. 4.719 or nearly half of the P-39s built were sent to the Soviet Union where they had considerable success.



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