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Bell P-39 Airacobra

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Published on Jan 18, 2012

Copyright © 2012 Malcolm Auld

This video and audio material may not be used in any form without written permission.

The Bell P-39 Airacobra was one of the principal American fighter aircraft in service when the United States entered World War II. It was the first fighter in history with a tricycle undercarriage and the first to have the engine installed in the center fuselage, behind the pilot. Although its mid-engine placement was innovative, the P-39 design was handicapped by the absence of an efficient turbo-supercharger, limiting it to low-altitude work. The P-39 was used with great success by the Soviet Air Force, who scored the highest number of individual kills attributed to any U.S. fighter type.[N 1] Other important users were the Free French and co-belligerent Italian air forces. Together with the derivative P-63 Kingcobra, these aircraft became the most successful mass-produced fixed-wing aircraft manufactured by Bell.

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