airacobra defined in 1939 yearairacobra - Airacobra;
airacobra - A single-seat fighter aircraft manufactured by the Bell Aircraft Corporation of Buffalo, New York. Designated the P-39, this machine was of novel design. One of its most striking features was the position of the engine. This was mounted behind the pilot and drove the tractor airscrew by means of a shaft. A 37-mm. or 20-mm. shell-firing cannon was installed so that it could be fired through the airscrew hub, and machine-guns were mounted in the wings. It had a retractable tricycle undercarriage and stout armour plate was fitted around the cockpit. A low-wing monoplane, it had a wing span of 34 ft. and a length of 29 ft. 9 ins. Fully loaded it weighed 7,379 lb. The engine was a 1,150-h.p. liquid-cooled twelve-cylinder Allison. The prototype was built in 1939 and ultimately a few machines were supplied to the Royal Air Force. The Airacobra was also used by the Red Air Force.
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