BELL P-39 AIRACOBRA

P-39 SERVICE

Manufacturer: Bell Aircraft Corp., Buffalo, New York, USA
Models: Model 4, 5, 12, 14, 15, 23, 26, 39
Designations: P-39; A-7, FL, F2L, P-45, P-76, P-400, TDL
Names: Airacobra; Airabonita (XFL-1)
First official flight: (XP-39) 06/04/1938
Factory production period: 1938 - 1944
Primary service period: 1941 - 1945
Last official flight: ?

P-39 VARIANTS

1938 Model 4 XP-39 1  
1940 Model 5 XFL-1 1  
1940 Model 12 YP-39 13 Total: 0015
         
1941 Model 12 P-39C 20  
1941 Model 14A/15 P-39D 923  
1941 Model 14 Airacobra Mk. I 675 Total: 1618
         
1942 Model 23 XP-39E 3 Total: 0003
         
1941 Model 15B P-39F 229  
1942 Model 15B P-39J 25 Total: 0254
         
1942 Model 26A P-39K 210  
1942 Model 26B P-39L 250  
1942 Model 26D P-39M 240  
1943 Model 26C/F P-39N 2095  
1943 Model 26Q P-39Q 4905 Total: 7700

Grand Total: 9590

P-39 PRODUCTION

XP-39
Prototype single seat fighter, rear mounted engine, unarmed.
Produced 1938

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

38-326 ? 1 Total: 0001

XFL-1 Airabonita
USN prototype for carrier ops., shorter fuselage, tail-wheel.
Produced 1940

Bell Buffalo, New York (L)

BuNo.1588 ? 1 Total: 0001

YP-39
Service test models, minor design modifications, armed.
40-039 originally designated YP-39A.
Produced

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

40-027 / 40-039 ? 13 Total: 0013

P-39C
As YP-39, minor combat changes.
Original designation was P-45.
Produced

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

40-2971 / 40-2990 ? 20 Total: 0020

P-39D
As P-39C, armament / combat upgrades.
Model 14A built as a Lend-Lease variant. 
Produced

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

(Model 15) P-39D

40-2991 / 40-3050 ?    
41-6722 / 41-7052 ?    
41-7057, 41-7058 ?    
41-7080 / 41-7115 ? 429  

(Model 14A) P-39D-1

41-28257 / 41-28406 ?    
41-38220 / 41-38404 ?    
41-38563 ? 336  

(Model 14A-1) P-39D-2

41-38405 / 41-38562 ? 158 Total: 0923
12 to RAAF as A53-8 / A53-18,
A53-20.

Airacobra Mk. I
Export version of the P-39D for the RAF.
Produced

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

(RAF) AH570 / AH739 ?    
(RAF) AP264 / AP384 ?    
(RAF) BW100 / BW183 ?    
(RAF) BX135 / BX434 ? 675 Total: 0675
~84 used in RAF service.
212 sent to Russia, further 49 (ex RAF) lost in transit.
379 to USAAF with the non-standard designation P-400.

XP-39E
Prototype, laminar flow wing, new tail, engine upgrade.
Original designation was P-76, later developed into the P-63.
Produced 1942

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

41-19501, 41-19502 ?    
42-71464 ? 3 Total: 0003

P-39E - Production XP-39E, 4000 ordered but later cancelled.

P-39F
As P-39D, prop and exhaust changes.
Produced

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

41-7116 / 41-7344 ? 229 Total: 0229
10 to RAAF as A53-1 / A53-7,
A53-19, A53-21, A53-22.

(Model 26) P-39G - Improved version of P-39F, 1800 ordered but completed as P-39K to N.
P-39H - Not used.
P-39I
- Not used.

P-39J
As P-39F, engine upgrade.
Produced

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

41-7053 / 41-7056 ?    
41-7059 / 41-7079 ? 25 Total: 0025

P-39K
As P-39D, prop, equipment changes.
Produced

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

42-4244 / 42-4453 ? 210 Total: 0210

P-39L
As P-39K, modified prop, nosewheel, wing rockets.
Produced

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

42-4454 / 42-4703 ? 250 Total: 0250

P-39M
As P-39L, engine upgrade.
Produced

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

42-4704 / 42-4943 ? 240 Total: 0240

P-39N
As P-39M, engine upgrade.
Produced

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

42-4944 / 42-5043 ?    
42-8727 / 42-9726 ?    
42-18246 / 42-19240 ? 2095 Total: 2095
205 additional airframes cancelled.

P-39O - Not used.
P-39P
- Not used.

P-39Q
As P-39N, minor armament / detail changes.
Many sent to France and Russia under Lend-Lease.
Produced

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

42-19446 / 42-21250 ?    
44-2001 / 44-4000 ?    
44-32167 / 44-32666 ?    
44-70905 / 44-71504 ? 4905 Total: 4905
995 additional airframes cancelled.

 

Grand Total: 9590

P-39 CONVERSIONS

USAAF

A-7 - Reserved P-39's converted to remote Powered Targets, cancelled.
XP-39B 1 XP-39(38-326), conversion to YP-39 standard, engine upgrade.
RP-39C 20 P-39C, 1942, redesignation as "restricted from combat".
TP-39F 1 P-39F, trainer conversion with extra cockpit.
RP-39Q 1+ Model 39, P-39Q, "restricted" tandem trainer conversions, unarmed.
(TP-39Q) 1+ 1944, redesignation of RP-39Q.
ZP-39Q 1+ P-39Q, 1948, redesignated as "obsolete".

US Navy

F2L-1K 2 RP-39Q, transfers to the USN as target tugs.
Assigned BuNo. 91102, 91103.
5 more aircraft never delivered.
XTDL-1 1 P-39Q, 1946, USN test-bed as a pilotless drone, no BuNo. assigned.

British RAF

Airacobra Mk. IA

3

P-39C, 1941, Lend-Lease "war test" aircraft in RAF service.
Assigned RAF s/n: DS173 / DS175.

FOREIGN MILITARY / CIVILIAN SERVICE
 - P-39's delivered to the Air Forces of Australia, the Free French,
   Italy, Portugal and in large numbers to Russia.
 - Several sold on the civil market post WW2 as circuit racing aircraft.

BELL P-63 KINGCOBRA

P-63 SERVICE

Manufacturer: Bell Aircraft Corp., Buffalo, New York, USA
Models: Model 24, 33, 34, 37, 38, 39, 41, 43, 45
Designations: P-63; F-63, F2L, L-39, P-38
Names: Kingcobra; "Fred" (Russia, US codename)
First official flight: (XP-63) 07/12/1942
Factory production period: 1942 - 1946
Primary service period: 1943 - late 40's
Last official flight: ?

P-63 VARIANTS

1942 Model 24 XP-63 2  
1943 Model 24 XP-63A 1 Total: 0003
         
1943 Model 33/33A P-63A 1725  
1944 Model 33A RP-63A 100 Total: 1825
         
1944 Model 33C P-63C 1227  
1944 Model 33C RP-63C 200 Total: 1427
         
1945 Model 37 P-63D 1  
1945 Model 41/41A P-63E 13  
1945 Model 43 P-63F 2 Total: 0016
         
1945 Model 41G RP-63G 32 Total: 0032

Grand Total: 3303

P-63 PRODUCTION

XP-63
Prototype fighter developed from the XP-39E,
4-bladed prop.
Produced 1942

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

41-19511, 41-19512 ?

Total: 0002

XP-63A
As XP-63, engine upgrade, wing bomb racks.
Produced 1943

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

42-78015 ?

Total: 0001

P-63A
As XP-63A, engine / combat upgrade.
Most sent to Russia under Lend-Lease.
Produced

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

42-68861 / 42-69879
- 1014 as P-63A-BE.
- 5 as RP-63A-BE.
?  
42-69975 / 42-70685 ?

Total: 1725

RP-63A
As P-63A, "restricted" manned target version.
Redesignated as QF-63A in 1948.
Produced

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

5 mixed with P-63A-BE s/n.
42-69880 / 42-69974 ?

Total: 0100

P-63C
As P-63A, ventral fin, engine upgrade, more armour.
Most sent to France (114) and Russia.
Produced

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

42-70686 / 42-70860 ?  
43-10893 / 43-10932 ?  
43-11133 / 43-11717 ?  
44-4001 / 44-4427 ?

Total: 1227

RP-63C
As P-63C, "restricted" manned target version.
Redesignated as QF-63C in 1948.
Produced

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

43-10933 / 43-11132 ?

Total: 0200

P-63D
As P-63A, modified wings, bubble canopy,
engine upgrade.
Produced

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

43-11718 ?

Total: 0001

P-63E
As P-63D but with "A" canopy.
Produced

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

43-11720, 43-11721 ?  
43-11725 / 43-11735 ?

Total: 0013

1030 additional airframes cancelled.

P-63F
As P-63E, redesigned tail, engine upgrade.
Produced

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

43-11719, 43-11722 ?

Total: 0002

RP-63G
As RP-63C, engine upgrade.
Redesignated as QF-63G in 1948.
Produced 1945 - 1946

Bell Buffalo, New York (BE)

43-11723, 43-11724    
45-57283 / 45-57312  

Total: 0032

420 additional airframes cancelled.

 

Grand Total: 3303

P-63 CONVERSIONS

USAAF

TP-63A 1+ Model 38, P-63A, double cockpit fitted for conversion training.
XP-63B - Model 34, XP-63A, proposed upgrade, cancelled.
TP-63C 1 RP-63C, double cockpit fitted for conversion training.
XP-63H - Model 45, P-63E, engine upgrade, cancelled.
XP-63N 1 RP-63G, 1948, conversion for V-tail testing.
1 P-63A converted in 1945 as a test-bed.

US Navy

XF2L-1 2 P-63A, reserved for USN but not taken up.
L-39 2 1 P-63A / 1 P-63N, 1946, conversions for swept-wing
research, (L) - Bell factory code, (39) - Model 39.

British RAF

Kingcobra Mk. I

2

P-63A, 1944-1948, delivered to the RAF for evaluation.
Assigned RAF s/n: FR408, FZ440.

FOREIGN MILITARY / CIVILIAN SERVICE
 - P-63's served with the Free French and Russia.
 - Many P-63's sold on the civil market post WW2 as circuit racing aircraft.

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