The P-400, based on the P-39D, was an export version, with 650 of these aircraft sold to the RAF. The 37mm cannon was replaced by a Hispano-Suiza 20mm cannon, British radios were added and armor was deleted to increase performance. Named the Airacobra I, they saw very limited service and were withdrawn thereafter, with 200 of them going to the USAAF, these being re-designated P-400.
Design & Development Edit
In 1937 Bell Aircraft Corporation proposed an innovative design in response to a United States Army Air Corps request for a new fighter. The new aircraft would have its engine behind the cockpit, as close as possible to the aircraft’s center of gravity in an attempt to minimize the torque forces and therefore increase maneuverability. The design won an award and the prototype first flew in 1939, just in time for the P-39 Airacobra to be one of the USAAC frontline fighters at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The unusual location of the engine allowed the airframe to be streamlined and proved to be extremely aerodynamic. Hadley M. Dixon, WWII veteran and P-39 pilot remembers thinking after he was introduced to the P-39: “Its gender was feminine. Something that pretty just had to be a she.” One of the main – and most cursed – characteristics of this airplane was the difficulty to recover from a flat spin. Due to the unusual central location of its engine, if the plane were to stall, then its nose wouldn’t go down preventing the usual recovery of airspeed over the wings and surface controls. During training Dixon had an unintended flat spin and managed to recover just a few feet over the sea, barely avoiding a fatal crash. He remembers, “As a result of the spin escapade, my attitude towards the P-39 changed. It was still a sweet piece of machinery but no the longer a toy with which to cavort about the skies. I had learned that I’d better handle her with kid gloves and keep my wits about me if I wanted our relationship to continue.”
Operational History Edit
In game use & Tactic Edit
- The P-400 is very agile so when someone is on your tail it is quite easy to dodge bullets and get on their tail
- The cannon on the P-400 has ammo chains with explosive shells that makes the enemy get on fire in less than 5 seconds with skill
- The P-400 is very hard to shoot down even with a critical hit and a half a wing missing it can fly like normal but it is rare.