Bell P-39 Airacobra

YouTube – Bell P-39 Airacobra

Primary Function:
Weight Empty:
Max. Weight:
Machine Guns:
Cruise Speed:
Max. Speed:
Initial Climb:
Max. Altitude:
First Flight:
Year Deployed:
Allison V1710-83
1,200 h.p.
30 ft. 2 in.
34 ft. 0 in.
5,600 lbs.
8,400 lbs.
1 x 30 mm
2 x .50 cal., 4 x 30 cal.
500 lbs.
270 mph
386 mph
3,750 fpm
30,000 feet
650 miles

Bell P-39 Airacobra
Bell P-39 Airacobra

Bell P-39 Airacobra aircraft played a vital role in Allied air power, especially during the first part of World War II. Although not suitable for operating at higher altitudes, due to having only a single stage supercharger, they proved a formidable adversary when operating below 12,000 feet.

The Airacobra was equipped with a 37 mm cannon, firing through the propeller hub.  There were a pair of 12.7 mm machine guns in the nose and four 7.62 mm machine guns in its wings. This made it one of the most heavily armed single engine Allied fighter planes of World War II.

It is said that at speeds below 235 mph, the Bell P-39 Airacobra could out turn, out dive and out roll most aircraft of its time, even formidable Japanese front line fighters. The reason for the excellent low speed and low altitude performance was the location of its engine, behind the pilot. Its placement permitted a very streamlined fuselage, having much less frontal area than aircraft that had their engines located in their noses. The mid engine location of the engine provided room in the nose of the aircraft for its cannon and machine guns.

Airacobras were widely used by the Soviet air force for both air to air combat, ground attack, and troop support. Successful Soviet aces claimed over 50 air to air victories while piloting the aircraft.

One would think that the 37 mm cannon would make the Aircobra an excellent aircraft for use by the Soviets against German tanks. However, the United States chose to supply the Soviet Union only with high explosive 37 mm shells, not the armor piercing type.  This made the 37 mm cannon equipped aircraft more useful against “soft” targets. The aircraft were also active in the Pacific Theatre where they were successfully used against Japanese ground forces.

A total of 9,584 Bell P-39 Airacobra aircraft of all types were produced of which approximately 5,000 were supplied to the Soviet Union.

RC Bell P-39 Airacobra

RC Bell P-39 Airacobra

The RC Bell P-39 Airacobra from Guss Morfis plans wingspan is 34 in. It can be powered by a Speed 480 type motor with an all up weight of around 19 oz.
The Sure Flite RC Bell P-39 Airacobra has a wingspan of 50 in. Recommended power is a Himax 2825-2700 motor geared 4.75:1. All up weight is about 55 oz.

The RC Bell P-39 Airacobra from Jim Pepino Plans. Kit Cutters comes in two sizes. The smaller has a wingspan of 68 in. and a length of 60 1/2 in.. Suggested power can come from two stroke engines from .60 to .90 size. The larger plan has a wingspan of 80 1/2 in. and a length of 72 in. A 1.8 c.i.d. engine is the recommended power.

The RC Bell P-39 Airacobra from a kit from CAP. wingspan is 59.5 in. Construction materials used are balsawood and plywood. You will need a .60 two cycle engine for power.

The RC Bell P-39 Airacobra from a kit by American Eagle is giant scale with a 96 in. wingspan and a 86 in length. It uses Sachs 4.2 or larger engine power and weighs around 32 lbs.

The ESM Models RC Bell P-39 Airacobra ARF has a 80 in. wingspan and is 70 in. long. It needs a 30 cc gas engine for power. Weight is about 16 lbs.

The RC Bell P-39 Airacobra from World Models wingspan is 63 1/2 in., length is 51 1/2 in. and weight is 7 1/2 lbs.

At RC Universe wingspar posted three view drawings of a RC Bell P-39 Airacobra.