Bell P-63 Kingcobra (Russia) Edit
The P-63A-5 Kingcobra is an American lend-lease fighter that was exported to the USSR during World War II. About 2397 Kingcobra's were exported to Russia.
Soviet Union EditThe first version to be supplied in quantity to the USSR was the P-63A-7 with a higher vertical tail, and reinforced wings and fuselage. The fuselage proved to require strengthening, consequently in October 1944, a reinforcement kit for operational P-63s was developed.
Air Transport Command ferry pilots, including U.S. women pilots of the WASP program, picked up the planes at the Bell factory at Niagara Falls, New York, and flew them to Great Falls, Montana and then onward via the Northwest Staging Route th
rough Canada to Alaska, where Russian ferry pilots, many of them women, would take delivery of the aircraft at Nome and fly them
to the Soviet Union over the Bering Strait via the Alaska-Siberia route (ALSIB). A total of 2,397 (2,672, according to other sources ) such aircraft were delivered to USSR, out of the overall 3,303 production aircraft (72.6%).
By a 1943 agreement, P-63s were disallowed for Soviet use against Germany and were supposed to be concentrated in the Soviet Far East for an eventual attack onJapan. However, there are many unconfirmed reports from both the Soviet and German side that P-63s did indeed see service against the Luftwaffe. Most notably, one of Pokryshkin's pilots reports in his memoirs published in the 1990s that the entire 4th GvIAP was secretly converted to P-63s in 1944, while officially still flying P-39s. One account states they were in action at Königsberg, in Pola
nd and in the final assault on Berlin. There are German reports of P-63s shot down by both fighters and flak. Nevertheless, all Soviet records show nothing but P-39s used against Germany.
In general, official Soviet histories played down the role of Lend-Lease supplied aircraft in favor of local designs, but it is known that the P-63 was a successful fighter aircraft in Soviet service. A common Western misconception is that the Bell fighters were used as ground attack aircraft.
The Soviets developed successful group aerial fighting tactics for the Bell fighters and scored a surprising number of aerial victories over a variety of German aircraft. Low ceilings, short missions, good radios, a sealed and warm cockpit and ruggedness contributed to their effectiveness. To pilots who had once flown the tricky Polikarpov I-16, the aerodynamic quirks of the mid-engined aircraft were unimportant. In the Far East, P-63 and P-39 aircraft were used in the Soviet invasion of Manchukuo and northern Korea.
In the Pacific theatre, the Kingcobras flew escort, close air support and ground attack missions. The Soviet P-63s achieved their first air victory on 15 August 1945, when Lejtenant I. F. Miroshnichenko from 17th IAP/190 IAD, shot down a Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa Army fighter off the coast of North Korea.
Sufficient aircraft continued in use after the war for them to be given the NATO reporting name of Fred. By 9 May 1945, operational units had still 1,148 Kingcobras on strength.
On 8 October 1950, two USAF F-80Cs from 49 FG breached the USSR's border and attacked Sukhaya Rechka airfield (31 km / 25 miles SW of Vladivostok and 100 km / 66 miles from the Soviet-Korean
border), making two strafing runs before returning to their home base. Although Soviet sources claim the attack was intentional, the pilots claimed it was a result of a navigational error.
The airfield belonged to the VVS TOF, but it was occupied by the 821 IAP / 190 IAD. Mostly aircraft of the 1st Squadron of 821 IAP were hit with 12 P-63s damaged, one P-63 burned to the ground while the other damaged aircraft were able to be repaired. No human losses were suffered
War Thunder Game Edit
In game, the aircraft is heavily armed, with 1 37mm cannon and 4 machine guns. It preforms averagely in other areas, not having much armor or agility, yet still preforms well when required.
Manufacturer: Bell Aircraft Corporation
First flight: 7 December 1942
Introduction: October 1943
Primary users: United States Army Air,Forces Soviet Air Force,French Air Forcee.
Number built: 3,303
Unit cost: $65,914 USD in 1945 ($797,000 in today's dollars)
Developed from: Bell P-39 Airacobra
Features (P-63A) Edit
- Crew: 1
- Length: 32 ft 8 in (10.0 m)
- Wingspan: 38 ft 4 in (11.7 m)
- Height: 12 ft 7 in (3.8 m)
- Wing area: 248 sq ft (23 m²)
- Empty weight: 6,800 lb (3,100 kg)
- Loaded weight: 8,800 lb (4,000 kg)
- Max. takeoff weight: 10,700 lb (4,900 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Allison V-1710-117 liquid-cooled V-12, 1,800 hp (1,340 kW)
Performance* Maximum speed: 410 mph (660 km/h) at 25,000 ft (7,620 m)
- Range: 450 mi (725 km)
- Ferry range: 2,200 mi (3,540 km)
- Service ceiling: 43,000 ft (13,100 m)
- Rate of climb: 2,500 ft/min (12.7 m/s)
- Wing loading: 35.48 lb/sq ft (173.91 kg/m²)
- Power/mass: 0.20 hp/lb (0.34 kW/kg)
- Guns: ** 1× 37 mm M4 cannon firing through the propeller hub. From the A-9 version of the aircraft onward, the M4 gun was replaced with the slightly improved M10 37 mm cannon, which used a disintegrating link ammunition belt, increasing the ammo capacity to 58 rounds; the M10 also had a slightly higher rate of fire.
- 4× 0.50 in (12.7mm) M2 Browning machine guns (two synchronized in the nose, two in the wings)
- Bombs: 1,500 lb (680 kg) bomb load on wing and fuselage