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Other Forgotten (ignored) Warbird's


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#1 F7Ftigercatlover

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 12:16 AM

I made a post about a month ago about the not so popular Curtis P-36 Hawk or H-75 Hawk, that despite seeing limited and unique action in WWII made a name for itself and served well with a multitude of nations on both sides of the conflict. This time around I would like to acknowledge the American made Bell P-39 Air cobra and it's brother the P-63 King cobra. Both of these birds were extremely unique aircraft compared to the other American made warbirds not just aesthetically but in their service and legacy as well. The P-63 and P-39 have taken a back seat to other warbirds such as the P-51, P-47, and P-38 simply because of there lack of success in the US. When I was much younger I really only new some of the main warbirds the U.S. employed in WWII, but when I really began to study and read about air power in WWII I learned of the P-39 and P-63. I was fascinated about how both aircraft's engines were behind the pilot, not in front, and how they carried a massive hispano 37mm cannon! The Cobra's real achievements came mostly from outside of The U.S. in places like Russia and France where they were used to their full potential. I have had the privilege to see both a P-39 Air cobra and a P-63 King cobra fly, they always impress me and fill me with the same fascination I had many years ago as a kid.



#2 GregP

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 02:40 AM

We sometimes get the Palm Springs P-63 to fly in our airshow at Chino (Planes of Fame), and it always impresses. I do NOT think they are running an auxilliary supercharger in it, but as an airshow mount, it also doesn't need one.

 

If I am not mistaken, the Allison in that P-63 was originally built up by John Sandberg (well, JRS anyway).

 

Our own P-39 will likely not get restored to flight status because the wing spar has corrosion in some of the wrong places. It would be better to start with an airframe that has a good spar, and use ours as a parts plane. But, one never knows. Maybe sometime down the pike ... it's all up to Steve Hinton. We have four ongoing restorations in process now and there isn't room for another in the hangar at this time anyway.

 

When one (or more) gets done, I'm sure Steve will bring in something else for us to either restore to static or possibly help with a flight-worthy project again. We'll see when something gets finished! Not too many dull weekends with all that restoration to do! 

 

If you get a chance, check out the progress on the B-17. Starting to look pretty good!

 

Cheers!


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#3 F7Ftigercatlover

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 02:42 AM

I remember the P-63 coming to Planes of Fame 3 times? I might be wrong, but it sure is a beautiful airplane, it sounds and runs great! Those restoration projects are amazing as well, I can't wait to see the P-59 air comet and the B-17 when they're finished


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#4 Wuzak

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 06:30 AM

I was fascinated about how both aircraft's engines were behind the pilot, not in front, and how they carried a massive hispano 37mm cannon!.

 

Browning 37mm auto-cannon, actually.

 

https://en.wikipedia.../wiki/M4_cannon

 

It was not the most liked as an aerial weapon, as the muzzle velocity was relatively slow.

 

This Hispano HS 404 variants had muzzle velocities 40-50% better. Some P-39s were fitted with the Hispano, maybe the ones destined for the UK.

 

I sometimes wonder what would the P-39 had the tried to make it a pusher.



#5 GregP

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 07:39 AM

I believe the P-39 had an Oldsmobile 37 mm cannon (http://www.militaryf...aircraft_id=140 , among others), not a Browning. Some might have been fitted somehwere, but I always though the Oldsmobile was fitted at the factory, complete with the oh-so-inadequate 30 rounds.

 

Of course, since it was prone to jamming, you couldn't usually actually fire the entire 30 rounds, so maybe that criticism is a bit unfair?

 

Perhaps I'm wrong here, but most of the time when I actually SEE the cannon maker, it says Oldsmobile.

 

Cheers, either way. :-)



#6 Wuzak

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 08:03 AM

I got the name from Wiki - that says the M4 was designed by Browning and built by colt. But it may have been built by Olds as well as, or instead of, Colt.



#7 Wuzak

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 08:06 AM

From Anthony Williams: "The Browning-designed 37 mm M4 cannon was also introduced, although used almost exclusively by the Bell P-39 and P-63. However, the standard fighter armament became a battery of six .50 inch Browning M2 HMGs."

 

http://www.quarryhs....k/CannonMGs.htm



#8 GregP

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 08:16 AM

The only P-39 I have ever seen with a non-functional cannon in it was an Oldsmobile unit.

 

I know Browning designed the B4, but I tend to use the manufacturer's name. For instance, the planes of Fame P-47 is a Curtiss P-47G. Curtiss only made some 277 P-47s, but ours is one of them.

 

No sweat, either way.

 

All the best for 2017. Cheers!



#9 Wuzak

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 11:38 AM

The only P-39 I have ever seen with a non-functional cannon in it was an Oldsmobile unit.

 

I know Browning designed the B4, but I tend to use the manufacturer's name. For instance, the planes of Fame P-47 is a Curtiss P-47G. Curtiss only made some 277 P-47s, but ours is one of them.

 

No sweat, either way.

 

All the best for 2017. Cheers!

 

Interesting that you shoudl sy that about the Curtiss P-47. My understanding was that army aircraft were always called by their design originator.

 

ie, B-17s were always Boeing B-17s, not Vega B-17 or Douglas B-17, and the B-29 was always a Boeing B-29, not a Martin B-29.

 

But nay types were redesignated depending on the manufacturer. Such as the Vought F4U becoming the Goodyear FG.



#10 Armand

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 04:11 PM

I would like to acknowledge the American made Bell P-39 Air cobra and it's brother the P-63 King cobra. Both of these birds were extremely unique aircraft compared to the other American made warbirds not just aesthetically but in their service and legacy as well. The P-63 and P-39 have taken a back seat to other warbirds such as the P-51, P-47, and P-38 simply because of there lack of success in the US.

The Americans was much confident around the Airacobra, elsewhat they would probably not develop it into the King Cobra. Hence it was a smack in the face that RAF very soon demeaned the aircraft, mainly because the airbattle above the English Channel had increased in flightlevels beyond what the un-charged Allison engine could achieve.
When landing in North Africa later in the war did the 15th(?) airforce bring the P-39, but had soon to admit that RAF was right in their judgement and replaced them with as many as 600 Spitfires (this is a deployment wich is almost silenced into forgetting by the Americans).
The Airacobra is too late for the French to achieve and I can't see how/where it saw use above France?
However, the Soviet airforce recieved the unwanted British Airacobras and loved them more than the likely recieved Spitfires :-o

Edited by Armand, 07 January 2017 - 04:13 PM.





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