Piece of Junk? Why the P-39 Was So Hated

Although successfully used in the Soviet Union and in the Mediterranean, the P-39's Airacobra reputation in the Southeast Pacific was poor. To explain this, we need to look at the context of its use in the area.

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Army Regulation Medium Panzer Company 1941 - www.hdv470-7.com/

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- Justin Pyke -
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- Photography -
Courtesy of Errol Cavit: www.flickr.com/photos/errolgc...

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- Sources -
(Amazon Links are Affiliate)
Eric M. Bergerud, Fire in the Sky, Basic Books: 2001, amzn.to/3uAtHuo

Francis Dean, America's Hundred-Thousand: U.S. Production Fighters of World War Two, Schiffer Publishing: 1997, amzn.to/3wNlYuX

Rene J. Francillon, Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War , Putnam 2nd Ed.: 1979, amzn.to/3wxZptQ

T.O. No. 01-110FE-1, Pilot‘s Flight Operating Instructions for Army Model P-39D-1 and -2, Rev. June 1943,

T.O. No. 01-125CF-1, Pilot‘s Flight Operating Instructions for P-40D and P-40E Airplanes, Rev. October 1943,

Michael J. Claringbould, P-39/P-400 vs A6M2/3, Osprey: 2018, amzn.to/3dEESuU

Michael J. Claringbould \u0026 Peter Ingman, South Pacific Air War Vol.3, Avonmore Books: 2019, amzn.to/2PPKxX8

Some pictures from: acepilots.com

- Timecodes -
00:00 - Trying to get your attention
00:13 - Intro
01:08 - Restored P-39
01:42 - P-39 Design
05:26 - P-39: Range and Climb
09:04 - Comparison
10:21 - Context of theatre \u0026 pilots
15:19 - Combat losses \u0026 Reputation
17:37 - Ground support
18:20 - Reading recommendation
19:35 - P-39 in Soviet Union (briefly)
21:02 - Outro

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  • Follow Justin on Twitter and say hey from me: twitter.com/cbi_pto_history

    Military Aviation HistoryMilitary Aviation History2 сарын өмнө
    • @Doubledekercouch - games & whatever - That made me smile. Ceratinly the worng nation fro the Yamahonda 'mass centralisation for manouverability' concept.

      FarweaselFarweasel17 өдрийн өмнө
    • This 'double act' presentation collaboration was superb. Maybe collaboration with subject experts would be a good way to go with occaisional offerings in the future?

      FarweaselFarweasel17 өдрийн өмнө
    • The P40 had a cool sharks mouth on it though. Paint job like that gave it at least 500 more horsepower lol. In all seriousness though. Neither plane was all that great. Tactics however made both planes very good in the right hands

      mknewlan67mknewlan6720 өдрийн өмнө
    • Awesome 😎 videos

      Noah’s awesome vidsNoah’s awesome vidsСарын өмнө
    • "Don't give me a P-39/With an engine that's mounted behind/She'll tumble and roll/And dig a big hole/Don't give me a P-39"

      hoilsthoilst2 сарын өмнө
  • "Expert"' LOL

    DON MENZADON MENZAӨдрийн өмнө
  • Matt Easton voice: "CONTEXT!"

    What If BrigadeWhat If Brigade2 өдрийн өмнө
  • The reason I hate it is that it is UGLY!

    Gary HigginsGary Higgins3 өдрийн өмнө
  • Classic Zeno Warbirds

    Kevin McCaffreyKevin McCaffrey4 өдрийн өмнө
  • Any combat fighter airplane that can only be exited in an emergency through tiny little doors is not for me. Putting disposable items (cannon and mg ammunition ahead of the centre of gravity is a bad idea. Too many differently sized guns (.30 cal, .50 cal, and 20mm) with different trajectories makes good aim impossible. Somehow that heavy, madly spinning driveshaft below my balls would put me off. Maybe it's just me. The P-39 Airacobra was greatly improved with the P-63 Kingcobra. Both of these are, along with the Spitfire, the most beautiful WWII fighters. Bell was just a little quick to be "creative" and not sufficiently practical in a genre where practicality can mean life or death. The "plain jane" P-47s and Hellcats got you home and, oh yeah, they killed a lot of the enemy, too.

    Glicksman1Glicksman14 өдрийн өмнө
  • It sucked due to the D.C. bureaucracy over superchargers. A few P-39,s were equipped with superchargers and they left the competition in the dust....but for whatever reason the Bell Corp. never got a steady supply of superchargers

    Smelly FellaSmelly Fella6 өдрийн өмнө
  • The V-1710, the ultimate pre war “Money Pit.” Imagine what could have been done with the money wasted on that engine. Maybe the Lockheed L-133 gets built! Just sayin…

    John McIntoshJohn McIntosh7 өдрийн өмнө
  • Every Fighter that had an Allison engine was mediocre. Even the much vaunted P51 was a slug until it got the Merlin.

    Lance LawsonLance Lawson7 өдрийн өмнө
  • With that engine behind the seat why the need for armor, and why scrimp on turbos thats lame.

    Lost PonyLost Pony8 өдрийн өмнө
  • Well its certainly a nice looking airplane. I'd love having one.

    Lost PonyLost Pony8 өдрийн өмнө
  • The ground crews didn't enjoy the aircraft much more, as the center mounted engine made for something of a maintenance nightmare. The rear canopy would often need to be removed along with the pilot's seat and back armor in order to run basic upkeep.

    Robert SchumacherRobert Schumacher10 өдрийн өмнө
  • According to the germans was one uf the best soviet airplanes.

    easter worshipper.easter worshipper.10 өдрийн өмнө
  • Then there's the fact that the geniuses at Bell decided to give it car doors rather than a canopy. Ever try to open a car door to bail out at 150+mph?! Good luck with that.

    Gunslinger454Gunslinger45411 өдрийн өмнө
  • Can i hear a tiny bit of german? No pal, not the slightest accent. 🙉

    Shield's LuckShield's Luck11 өдрийн өмнө
  • When I was in 8th grade back in 1982 my teacher had her father, a WWII fighter pilot come in and talk to the class. He flew P-39s and P-51s in the Pacific. I asked him what his favorite plane to fly was and he suprisingly answered the P-39. He said nothing beat having that big cannon in the nose.

    Bryan GibfordBryan Gibford12 өдрийн өмнө
  • Great video! Thanks. I thought the Soviets used them mostly in the ground attack role, with great success. I image the 37 mm cannon would be useful in that role.

    Lord HumungousLord Humungous12 өдрийн өмнө
  • The P-39 was unique in that it had the propeller behind the pilot and a machine gun firing through the propeller hub.

    Blair ColquhounBlair Colquhoun13 өдрийн өмнө
  • My father was a mechanic working for the Army Air Corps during WWII. He had several complaints about the P-39. First he said that the engine temperature would hit redline from starting and taxiing to the end of the runway at McChord Field. The pilots were starting the takeoff run with the engine overheated. If he had to idle the engine on the ground, he had to run a hose to put water on the radiator or it would burn the engine up. His second complaint was that one of the parts he would change, he had to reach up one side of the part, across the far end, down the other side to get to a bolt on the back of the part that pointed forward. He greatly detested the engineers that designed the plane.

    Martin WalkerMartin Walker13 өдрийн өмнө
  • I didn't know that this amazing maneuverable aggressive plane was hated. I didn't know it probably because I'm focused on Russian aces taking down german fighters.

    Yort EstremosYort Estremos13 өдрийн өмнө
  • Back in the 80's I had the pleasure to have coffee with Gen. Charles Yeager, who had flown pretty much every aircraft fielded by these United States. When I asked him his favorite, he surprised me by naming the P-39. He said it was a sweetheart to fly with no bad characteristics at all. And he still remembered the start-up procedure and Vspeeds for it. I was amazed.

    R DR D14 өдрийн өмнө
  • Gotta love that huge Ford Door...

    Jorl BortJorl Bort14 өдрийн өмнө
  • The P-39 is begging for a jet engine.

    Julio AvalosJulio Avalos15 өдрийн өмнө
  • Pitting the P-29 vs a Zero is like putting an A-10 vs an F-18

    Captain John HCaptain John H15 өдрийн өмнө
  • Mite of better used as a tank buster

    orange12vorange12v15 өдрийн өмнө
  • I have nothing against Justin, but I do think you having him systematically for these videos doesn't bring much to the content and makes the video kind of bloated for no good reason. It's just IMO of course and I wish you the best

    Adrien PeriéAdrien Perié16 өдрийн өмнө
  • I came back to your channel after not watching it for over a year, and I must say I very much prefer the old style of videos like the zero vs wildcat comparison video, by the way it's not just me, that video has almost two million views. I wish you the best and hope you do those again

    Adrien PeriéAdrien Perié16 өдрийн өмнө
  • These 2 guys are morons not experts. They constantly referred to this aircraft as a P-49 and P-36. Mostly P-49 during the video. And their comment on the P400 was amusing.

    ARMY VETERANARMY VETERAN16 өдрийн өмнө
  • Watched this for war thunder :/

    SmileSmile16 өдрийн өмнө
  • Chuck Yeager said he loved his P-39

    sam silbersteinsam silberstein16 өдрийн өмнө
  • could you display metric aswell? A lot of us doesn't know how to use imperial.

    DaVikingDaViking16 өдрийн өмнө
  • top speed : zero =350 mph p39 =390 mph corsair = 454 mph p40 = 360 mph p51= 440 mph p38= 443 mph Messerschmitt Me 262= 540 mph ......zero = turn better , 2 X range searched internet speed quotes vary

    laser footlaser foot17 өдрийн өмнө
  • This guy's drivin' me nuts - sounds like he continually says P *forty*-nine, WTF 1

    emansnasemansnas18 өдрийн өмнө
  • One thing to consider: all aircraft are designed based on a particular requirement. According to aviation author Martin Caidin, the P-39 and P-40 were intended to be ground attack (low altitude operation) fighters, with the two designs being "backup" designs to each other - i.e., if one wouldn't work out, the Army Air Corps would have a design to use. Where other aircraft are concerned: The P-38 was intended to be a bomber interceptor and the P-47 as a high-altitude fighter. Of note, the P-51 was intended for the same mission as the P-39 and a P-40, and the early marks thus had poor high-altitude performance. It was only after the P-51 switched to the high-altitude Merlin engine that it became the bomber escort fighter that it is known to be.

    Alex LimAlex Lim18 өдрийн өмнө
  • I had a relative who flew P39s on Guadalcanal in ground support roles. Unfortunately I didnt know this till about 10 years after he passed away.

    Popup TargetPopup Target18 өдрийн өмнө
  • Love how u included the Soviet aspect at the end. In my opinion, well done.

    William ChrobakWilliam Chrobak18 өдрийн өмнө
  • Claire Chennault taught tactics to the flying tigers on how to counter the zero. Never dog fight it fast five on it shoot and zoom away. The p40 had armor plate armor glass self sealing tanks and could out five the zero. That’s why the flying tigers did well. Never twist snd turn either the zero or you would die.

    AS1313AS131319 өдрийн өмнө
    • They gave them to the Russians the Russians liked the cannon snd used the aircraft very well

      AS1313AS131319 өдрийн өмнө
  • Just put a supercharged Merlin the Mustang engine in it.

    paxwallacejazzpaxwallacejazz19 өдрийн өмнө
  • Best allied fighter aces: Rechkalov (61 individual kills) or old Pokryshkin's record (62 total kills) - both done their kills mostly in P-39 Ivan Kozhedub (62 individual kills) - flies La-5 and La-7 Gulayev (55 individual kills) - flies P-39 too Yevstigneyev (53 individual kills) - flies La-5 and La-7 Glinka (50 individual kills) - mostly on P-39 Amet-Khan Sultan (30 individual kills or 49 total kills) - mostly done on Yak-7 People who missed P-39's success with the Soviets may not get the full story. This plane went off against contemporary Luftwaffe's best fighters like Fw 190As and Bf-109Gs, which gave RAF quite a headache in western front. Is P-39 really that bad? Seeing from the comments about Soviet employment of P-39, people don't have any idea how much successful they are, even compared to the western allies, considering the scale of the battle in the eastern front. Top western allies ace: Marmaduke "Pat" Pattle (South Africa/RAF - 41 total kills) - Hawker Hurricane Richard "Dick" Bong (USA/USAAF - 40 total kills) - P-38 Lightning - top US ace, flies mostly on Pacific front James Edgar Johnson (UK/RAF - 38 total kills) - Spitfire - the top ace pilot with mainstreamly popular fighter Thomas McGuire (USA/USAAF - 38 total kills) - P-38 Lightning David McCampbell (USA/USN - 34 total kills) - F6F Hellcat - top USN ace Pierre Clostermann (France/RAF - 33 total kills) - Spitfire Adolph "Sailor" Malan (South Africa/RAF - 32 total kills) - mostly on Hurricane and Gladiator Robert Stanford Tuck and William Vale (both UK/RAF - 30 total kills each) - both mostly flies Hurricane ...let's skip a lot of names here... Francis Stanley "Gabby" Gabreski (USA/USAAF - 28 total kills) - mostly on P-47 Thunderbolt - top US ace in European theatre Gregory "Pappy" Boyington (USA/AVG for Republic of China Air Force and USMC - 28 total kills) - P-40 while in AVG, F4U Corsair while in USMC ...skip another couple of names... George Earl Preddy (USA/USAAF - "26.83 total kills") - top P-51D Mustang ace, Hollywood's and maintstreamly popular American fighter Not all fighters that looked pretty for camera will produce ace. Sometimes the real workhorse is the downtrodden underappreciated planes like the P-39, P-38, and the Hurricanes.

    Yohannes SulistyoYohannes Sulistyo20 өдрийн өмнө
  • That's what happens when you have artillery generals taking a direct hand in designing aircraft. No it doesn't need a supercharger to support the artillery.

    V GerV Ger20 өдрийн өмнө
  • Best armored would have to be the flying battleship known as the P47.

    mknewlan67mknewlan6720 өдрийн өмнө
  • Supposedly the aft engine gave the pilots more pleasure. It would make a great bush plane as well with nice pontoons put on. If used for moose hunting, one could easily take 4 large moose back to camp. Jesus, some MNthe comments are silly.

    seapeddlerseapeddler20 өдрийн өмнө
  • Buying a P-39 diecast model actually brought me here. Much appreciated MAH & Justin 👍🏻

    Ronald BanduraRonald Bandura21 өдрийн өмнө
    • @darko714 mine is in RAF 601 San colors

      Ronald BanduraRonald Bandura20 өдрийн өмнө
    • Beautiful airplane. I built a plastic model of it when I was 11 or 12. I put the Russian decals on it because the blurb on the box mentioned that they made the best use of it.

      darko714darko71420 өдрийн өмнө
  • The Russians loved it.

    prep0werprep0wer21 өдрийн өмнө
  • Don't give me a P-39, the engine is mounted behind, It'll tumble and spin, and it'll auger you in, don't give me a P-39. NO! Give me operations... etc. etc.

    cherminatorDRcherminatorDR22 өдрийн өмнө
  • Dad ferried P-39s from the factory in Buffalo to bases in the US and Alaska in '43 and '44. He said the takeoff speed was critical. His major complaint the poor quality control and lots of manufacturing errors.I am certain any deficiencies would be corrected by deployment overseas, but he had stories of fatal accidents on trips.

    David WilmaDavid Wilma22 өдрийн өмнө
  • P-40 with a zero on your taIl....

    Neal BoswellNeal Boswell22 өдрийн өмнө
  • Well i can say, soviet pilots liked P-39, and had on these planes good results

    DeN4ik122DeN4ik12222 өдрийн өмнө
  • It was successful in the Pacific for low level strafing and ground support. It was not very good in high altitude situations.

    Carl HydeCarl Hyde22 өдрийн өмнө
  • The "reputation" was likely overblown. As the D model was the first production run, it didn't even make up the majority of P-39's produced. Most were later models with extended range, better weapons, better fuel tank systems, better cockpit layout, fixes to stability, bigger and more reliable engines. The fact that the P-39 had a "poor reputation" was likely due to its pilots being frustrated with dealing with experienced Japanese pilots having been fighting China and being able to climb away from the fight, yet managed to trade fairly well with them in terms of kill ratio. This would suggests it wasn't as bad as it was made out to be. Also, two-stage superchargers were extremely hard to source, it wasn't exactly an intentional design flaw.

    1SLUGGO11SLUGGO122 өдрийн өмнө
  • I think I remember building a model of one of those things about 50 years ago. I always wondered why it had car doors?

    195511SM195511SM22 өдрийн өмнө
  • The Russians loved the P-39. It performed well enough at low altitudes, where most of the aerial combat on the Eastern Front took place, and for a Russian plane, it was heavily armed and armored.

    OccasionalGamerOccasionalGamer23 өдрийн өмнө
  • I also recommend a fine out-of-print book about the P-39 in the South Pacific theatre: “Nanette” by Edwards Park. It is a beautifully written pilot’s story.

    Charles CleaverCharles Cleaver23 өдрийн өмнө
  • In Chuck Yeager's autobiography, he tells of taking his advanced flight training out west. Him and his buddies used the P-39 to hunt antelope, which they brought back for dinner.

    Donald BadowskiDonald Badowski23 өдрийн өмнө
  • Informative and to the point. Great video on one of my favourite airplanes.

    Le TrepidantLe Trepidant23 өдрийн өмнө
  • better armored than the P-47 with eight 0.50 cal M2 machine guns...

    mallomar_gataffymallomar_gataffy24 өдрийн өмнө
  • The Russian pilots on the Eastern front held it in very high regard and some of their aces ran up very high scores with it.The difference being that most of the air battles there happening at a far lower altitude than in the west under which conditions it was a very capable fighter.

    The RockeratorThe Rockerator24 өдрийн өмнө
  • The Soviets liked it because they wired all of the guns to fire together. One squeeze, scratch one German.

    Tom TamirTom Tamir24 өдрийн өмнө
  • the P41 had similar power performance problems when it first came out with the Allison engine and a complete turn around when the Allison was replaced with the `supercharged Merlin. The engine made all the difference.

    Robert MRobert M24 өдрийн өмнө
  • Nice... have wanted to know more about this P39 fighter plane... shame about the lack of 2 stage intercooling system and tiny fuel tanks.... I'm sure they could have worked out something better, no point being an Interceptor with low climb rate and a 300 mile range, the range was really less than 150 as you have to get home and factor in air conditions... shame, and it does have twin mounted machine guns as I thought but someone argued it only had the 38mm cannon, need to show him this... lol.. good work bud... I like your vids, very interesting to me as my grandad was a Scottish Squadron Leader fighter pilot during WWII...

    chris storrierchris storrier24 өдрийн өмнө
  • soviet loves them though

    Rahman SetiawanRahman Setiawan24 өдрийн өмнө
  • I think Russia's pilots loved having that hot engine at their back keeping them warm. That cannon with HE would be satisfying going after ground targets.

    NightWavesNightWaves24 өдрийн өмнө
  • I like the Airacobra. It wasn’t suited to the long range, high altitude battles on the Western front, but it was excellent at the close range low level actions on the Eastern front, which is why the Russians did so well with it. It was fast and snappy, but unforgiving in stall and spin situations because the CoE was further aft than in front-engined fighters. Due to the war situation pilots did not have much time to familiarise themselves with the aircraft’s unique characteristics, before being thrown into action. Many pilots of the time didn’t like the tricycle undercarriage either.

    Tumshie PussTumshie Puss24 өдрийн өмнө
    • @1SLUGGO1 I was referring to the air battles over occupied Europe and Germany, which were mainly at high altitude, with Allied bombers and fighters far from their home bases. The Airacobra was not a high altitude fighter.

      Tumshie PussTumshie Puss22 өдрийн өмнө
    • Western front? That was Britain and France. Almost no planes had long range in Europe outside of bombers. The BF-109 was lucky to pull off 30 minutes in the air. If you mean the Pacific, it was doing fine, there were just better planes coming in such as the F6F which was one of, if not the best fighter of WW2.

      1SLUGGO11SLUGGO122 өдрийн өмнө
  • Beautiful pictures of a P-36!? Way to send an AA round up your own exhaust pipe, nimrod!

    Spiny Norman 88Spiny Norman 8825 өдрийн өмнө
  • The Russians liked it

    Ben QuinneyBen Quinney25 өдрийн өмнө
  • Just in terms of aesthetics the needle nose gives it a weak appearance...

    Aldo SigmannAldo Sigmann25 өдрийн өмнө
  • I read somewhere that the P-39 was the fastest U.S. fighter at 6000 feet and below....

    Gods own DrunkGods own Drunk25 өдрийн өмнө
  • One of my relatives who was in the in the RCAF said the long drive shaft was prone to breakage and, anyhow, who'd want to attempt an emergency landing with the motor sitting behind them. Only a Russian, I suspect.

    Nabi RaschNabi Rasch26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Take that same concept, use a P&W PT-6 twin-pack for the powerplant driving a contra-rotating fan prop, with a titanium bathtub for engine and pilot armor and you would have one hell of a nice CAS plane. Throw in a good centerline 30mm firing through the prop spinner such as a Shipunov 2A42, some 7.62 or 12.7 guns in the wing roots just outside the prop swing and a bunch of hard points.

    Burning Spork of DoomBurning Spork of Doom26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Fuel Consumptions of the P-39/40 and that of the Zero says a lot of the way Americans made their cars back in the day - Fuel Guzzlers and totally unreliable. The Japanese always made frugal but effective machines, maximizing the limited resources they had. It wasn't really till the P-51 came along that matched the Zero, at least in maximum operating range if not in firepower, a full 5 years later, thanks to the superb Merlin engine that also powered the Spitfire..Rolls Royce, take a bow.

    Deep ConsciousDeep Conscious26 өдрийн өмнө
    • @1SLUGGO1 Don't forget my fav the F4U corsair.....

      Ford PrefectFord Prefect22 өдрийн өмнө
    • The P-51 was used in the European theater, which didn't have Japanese aircraft operating. It was the F6F that destroyed the Japanese air forces with the best kill ratio of any fighter in WW2. The P-39 as a pre-war fighter, had respectable range, firepower, and very easy to land and take off compared to its counterparts in most other nations. After it was no longer a front-line ship, it was used in training through the war. Japanese aircraft were an outlier, but they suffered from being very fragile in order to obtain their operating speed and range, which is why America managed to destroy so many with F4F's, which other than having armor and sealing fuel tanks, were far inferior.

      1SLUGGO11SLUGGO122 өдрийн өмнө
  • Americans in the Pacific: this plane is too short range it is useless in our operations. Soviets in the Eastern front: today comrads, we lose yet another valuable companion. The plane we got from the Americans are out of range again, High command has ordered us to sacrifice yet another potato field to serve as our run way.

    CMDR MikalentCMDR Mikalent26 өдрийн өмнө
  • 😲😲 its Bismarck

    Coyotehunter243Coyotehunter24326 өдрийн өмнө
  • wait this isn't about war thunder

    Jack RolandJack Roland26 өдрийн өмнө
  • It should probably have been named, "A-39".

    Allen HamiltonAllen Hamilton26 өдрийн өмнө
  • The P-39 required a turbosupercharger to reach maximum performance at higher altitudes. The US Army decided to produce the P-39 without a turbosupercharger since they didn't think high altitude bombers were a threat to the continental US. So when war broke out the plane was regulated to the ground attack role and used sparingly for fighter and bomber intercepts. The Japanese soldiers hated it with a passion in the south Pacific. It was just a stop-gap during the early months of the war. They did well in Russia in ground attack role because the Luftwaffe was spread so thin there and the P-39 was actually still fairly fast at lower altitudes.

    Cold BeerCold Beer26 өдрийн өмнө
  • I thought the worst American fighter of World War 2 was the F2-A Brewster Buffalo

    Repp DetricRepp Detric27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Something it seems NO-oNE here noticed: the P-39 was designed in response to an Army request for a FIGHTER-BOMBER. It was never intended to be flown as a high-altitude interceptor, over 10,000 feet! It was the Army's first attempt at a Close-Air Support "tank-buster," with that 37mm cannon. Unfortunately, with the Pearl Harbor attack, anything flying with a gun got thrown in as a pursuit...

    James KratzerJames Kratzer27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Because you don't want to sit in a damn P-39 when you could be sitting in a kickass Corsair instead.

    Gone to Bitchute :PGone to Bitchute :P27 өдрийн өмнө
    • The Corsair did not come along until well after the P-39 was pulled from frontline service. The F4U was never available to the Army Air Force. It was a Navy/Marine aviation plane.

      Brandon CortsBrandon Corts5 өдрийн өмнө
  • Ah yes, the P-firtynine

    Chris BozenskiChris Bozenski28 өдрийн өмнө
  • don’t give me a P-39 the engine is mounted behind she’ll tumble & spin & she’ll auger you in don’t give me a P-39 But as mentioned they were great planes as used by the Russians

    Rod SdmbaRod Sdmba28 өдрийн өмнө
  • All the American fighter planes prior to 1940 were rubbish. Even the initial Allison engined P-51s were sub-par.

    I dance for penniesI dance for pennies29 өдрийн өмнө
  • I thought the Russians really liked it. And how come it feels dip bad ass on war thunder. It's got big gun on front too.

    Tony GreeneTony Greene29 өдрийн өмнө
  • I personally like the design of P-39.... but for some reason the Americans didn't like it. The Russians, though, loved it very much, and IIRC they even dubbed it "the only proper fighter they have" in its era.

    Boris GlevrkBoris Glevrk29 өдрийн өмнө
  • It was not hated.

    Paulo PereiraPaulo Pereira29 өдрийн өмнө
  • One reputation that I have read is that in a too acute climb it would tumble. Also, the USAAF pilots were hotdogs that hated ground support. The 39 was a great infantry support weapon.

    Bruce WeltyBruce Welty29 өдрийн өмнө
    • The claim the claim regarding climbing angles and tumbling is pure myth perpetuated by other aircraft manufacturers in an attempt to cast shade on the P-39's unique design. It required far more altitude to recover from a stall than other aircraft due to the engine being further aft. The missions were handed to the pilots and they flew them as they were ordered. Your comment regarding pilots shows your ignorance of actual history.

      Brandon CortsBrandon Corts5 өдрийн өмнө
  • In testing the P-39 performed really well because of it's turbocharger that for some reason never made it to the production model. Which is sad, the p-39 could have seen so much more success. The other big issue i think it had was its rudder. Could cause the plane to fall out of the sky.

    Zack SavageZack SavageСарын өмнө
  • The propeller shaft goes between your legs for the behind the pilot engine. That thing gets knocked loose it can ruin your whole day.

    Raymon HerreraRaymon HerreraСарын өмнө
  • Saburō Sakai talks about the P-39 in his book, and the fact it wasn't that much of a challenge. And though the pilots were very brave, they were not very skilled. And they were going against some of the best pilots of that era.

    Eric TaylorEric TaylorСарын өмнө
  • I met an RAAF pilot in 1996 and he told me that the P39's nose wheel could detonate on landing flipping the plane over. It was something to do with the oil vaporising and exploding with the impact on landing

    NickRatnieksNickRatnieksСарын өмнө
  • Well, how could something that bad looking have good reputation? Aircraft are funny, it's like they must look amazing to be amazing...

    TentaclesTentaclesСарын өмнө
  • So the P-39 was a good short range ground support and low altitude fighter. But it was missused as long range, high altitude Bomber interceptor. Kinda like throwing the Stuka into Interceptor role.

    Christopher GChristopher GСарын өмнө
  • - We shouldn't forget the Airacobra's role in the Eastern front manned by the Soviets. They utterly adored and loved these planes, it proved tremendous efficiency. Just as in dogfight and against ground targets, that I find very interesting because the American pilots weren't too enthusiastic for the P39's weird construction and it's flying characteristics. Alexander Pokrishkin, probably the most famous Russian pilot had more than 50 kills with the Airacobra.

    Sandor DulaSandor DulaСарын өмнө
  • It's interesting to compare Luftwaffe air victory claims when it comes to Airacobra to other (Soviet) fighters. More Airacobras were claimed in eastern front at lower altitude than let's say La-5s and Yak-9s. It revealed that VVS used at least little bit more Airacobras also at ground attack missions.

    FransenFransenСарын өмнө
  • Pokryshkin said "WHAAaaa?"

    Act1veSp1nAct1veSp1nСарын өмнө
  • If they had put merlin engine with a turbocharger like the P51, Chuck Yeager said that it would have been the superior aircraft. Politics suck...

    Stewart BeckmanStewart BeckmanСарын өмнө
  • Oh don't give me a P-39 With an engine that's mounted behind, For it will tumble and roll, and dig a big hole... Oh don't give me a P-39

    RamphastosRamphastosСарын өмнө
  • Why not put a large fuel tank at the COG over the wing, between pilot and engine? What was the actual savings in leaving off the second-stage supercharger? Why wasn't that simply added after bad results came in from the first few hundred? Why didn't they armor the liquid-cooled engine a bit for the ground attack role?

    lqr824lqr824Сарын өмнө
    • Leaving the turbo supercharger our was not so much a case of saving money as it was the scarcity of them at the time. There were newer designs being produced for combat in Europe and they got received priority on the superchargers. The Allied strategy dictated that the war in Europe would take precedence over the Pacific Theater. As a result, the units deployed to the Pacific in the early days got whatever happened to be available that was deemed "unsuitable" for use against the Axis in Europe. Hence, the number of Brewster Buffalos, P-40's, P-39's, and even open cockpit Boeing Peashooters sent to the Pacific to fight a mostly defensive action early war. Once production caught up with demand, better aircraft were able to be diverted to replace outdated designs.

      Brandon CortsBrandon Corts5 өдрийн өмнө
  • anyone got guncam footage of a p-39 in action?

    Robby BeeRobby BeeСарын өмнө
  • In his biography, Chuck Yeager said good things about the P-39. Of course, he could fly anything well. In my first job out of engineering university in 1976, I worked with an older fellow who had trouble walking, 30 plus years before I met him his P-39 stalled suddenly on landing and it broke his back.

    MaithriSanitgun JenniferMaithriSanitgun JenniferСарын өмнө
  • The P-51 was a "failure" until equipped with the RR Merlin. Was this ever explored? Or was the airframe insufficient?

    Gerald ArnoldGerald ArnoldСарын өмнө