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Fighter / Attack:
   Bell P-39 Airacobra
   Bell P-63 Kingcobra
   Brewster Buffalo
   Chance-Vought F-4U Corsair
   Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
   Curtiss SB2C Helldiver
   Douglas A-1 Skyraider
   Douglas A-26 Invader
   Douglas SBD Dauntless
   Fairey Firefly
   Focke-Wulf Fw 190
   Grumman F4F Wildcat
   Grumman F6F Hellcat
   Grumman F7F Tigercat
   Grumman F8F Bearcat
   Grumman TBF Avenger
   Hawker Hurricane
   Hawker Sea Fury
   Lockheed P-38 Lightning
   Messerschmitt Bf-109
   Mitsubishi A6M Zero-Sen
   North American P-51 Mustang

   Polikarpov I-16
   Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
   Supermarine Spitfire
   Yakovlev Yak-3
   Yakovlev Yak-9

Beechcraft AT-11 Kansan (C-45)
   Beechcraft T-34 Mentor
   Boeing / Stearman PT-17

   Commonwealth CA-25 Winjeel
   Commonwealth CA-1 Wirraway
   DeHavilland DHC-1 Chipmunk
   DeHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth
   Fairchild PT-19 Cornell
   Hunting / Percival Provost
   Meyers OTW
   Nanchang CJ-6
   Naval Aircraft Factory N3N
   N. Am. BT-9 / BT-14 / Yale
   N. Am. T-6 Texan / SNJ / Harvard
   N. American T-28 Trojan

   Piaggio P149
   Ryan PT-22 Recruit

   Scottish Aviation T1 Bulldog
   Vultee BT-13 Valiant
   Yakovlev Yak-11
   Yakovlev Yak-18
   Yakovlev Yak-52

   Avro Lancaster
   Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
   Boeing B-29 Superfortress
   Bristol Blenheim / Bolingbroke
   Consolidated B-24 Liberator
   Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer

   Douglas A-3 Skywarrior
   DeHavilland Mosquito
   Fairey Swordfish
   Heinkel He-111 / Casa 2.111

   Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon / Ventura
   Martin B-26 Marauder
   North American B-25 Mitchell

   Beechcraft C-45 (AT-11)

   Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter (KC-97)
   Curtiss C-46 Commando
   Douglas C-47 Skytrain / Dakota
   Douglas C-54 Skymaster

   Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar
   Fairchild C-123 Provider
   Grumman C-1 Trader (S-2)
   Lockheed C-60 Lodestar
   Lockheed C-69 Constellation

Utility / Observation / Special Duty:
   Aeronca L-3 Grasshopper
   Aeronca L-16 Grasshopper
   Antonov AN-2 Colt
   Auster AOP 6/9
   Avro 652 Anson
   Avro Shackleton
   British Taylorcraft I-V
   Cessna L-19 / O-1 Bird Dog
   Cessna O-2 Super Skymaster
   Cessna T-50 / UC-78 Bobcat
   Consolidated PBY Catalina

   DeHavilland U-6A / L-20 Beaver
   Fairey Gannet
   Fairey Swordfish
   Fieseler Fi156 Storch
   Grumman S-2 Tracker (C-1)
   Grumman HU-16 Albatross
   Grumman OV-1 Mohawk
   Junkers Ju 52/3m

   Lockheed P2V Neptune
   Max Holste M.H.1521 Broussard
   Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun

   Noorduyn UC-64 Norseman
   North American L-17 Navion
   N. Am./ Rockwell OV-10 Bronco
   Piper L-4 Grasshopper
   Stinson L-5 Sentinel
   Taylorcraft L-2 Grasshopper
   Westland Lysander

   Aero L-29 Delfin
   Aero L-39 Albatros
   Aermacchi MB-326
   Avro Vulcan
   BAC Strikemaster
   Blackburn (BAC) Buccaneer
   Canadair Tutor
   Cessna A-37 Dragonfly
   DeHavilland Vampire
   DeHavilland Venom
   English Electric Canberra
   English Electric Lightning
   Folland Gnat
   Fouga CM-170 Magister
   Gloster Meteor
   Grumman F9F Panther
   Hawker Hunter
   Hispano HA-200 Saeta
   Hunting Jet Provost
   Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
   Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star
   McDonnell-Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
   McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom
   Messerschmitt Me-262
   Mikoyan MiG-15
   Mikoyan MiG-17
   Mikoyan MiG-21
   N. Am. F-86 Sabre / FJ-4 Fury
   N. Am. F-100 Super Sabre
   N. Am. / Rockwell T-2 Buckeye
   Northrop T-38 Talon / F-5
   PZL / WSK TS-11 Iskra
   Saab J35 Draken
   Soko G-2A Galeb
   Temco Pinto & Super Pinto

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Bell P-63 Kingcobra

(Variants/Other Names: RP-63)

Bell P-63 King cobra
(Photo source unknown. Please contact us if you deserve credit.)

History: The close sibling of the P-39 Airacobra, the Kingcobra was bigger and faster than its baby sister. The sturdy and capable Kingcobra was flown mainly by the Russians on the Eastern Front of World War Two.

Early in the development of the P-39, experiments were aimed at improving the plane's aerodynamics. The P-39D was used as a starting point for three prototypes, each with a new laminar-flow wing and tail unit. The three experimental aircraft were dubbed the XP-39E. These were powered by Allison engines because the inverted-vee piston-engine from Continental was unreliable. Two of the prototypes were lost while being evaluated by the U.S. Army Air Corps, and a slightly modified design, the XP-63A, was built. The Allison engine in the XP-63A had provision for emergency water injection that could boost the available power to 1,500-hp for a short period of time. Production of the P-63 Kingcobra for the USAAC began in October of 1943, and nearly 3,300 aircraft were produced before the end of the war. Under lend-lease, the Russians bought 2,400 Kingcobras, and a further 300 were flown by the Free French. The rest were restricted to training squadrons in the United States by the USAAF.

About 300 P-63s were turned into RP-63 flying targets for dogfight practice with frangible bullets. All armor and armament were removed from these planes, and a skin of duralumin protected the wings, fuselage and tail. Bulletproof glass was installed, steel grilles were put over the air intake, and a steel sleeve protected the exhaust stacks. A propeller with thick, hollow blades was also installed. When a hit was scored, a red light came on in the cockpit to indicate where the P-63 had been shot.

Production of the P-63 ended on VJ-Day. Only a half-dozen P-63s remain flying today.

Nicknames: Pinball (RP-63 variant)

        Engine: One 1,325-hp Allison V-1710-93 inline piston engine
        Weight: Empty 6,375 lbs., Max Takeoff 10,500 lbs.
        Wing Span: 38ft. 4in.
        Length: 32ft. 8in.
        Height: 12ft. 7in.
            Maximum Speed at 25,000 ft: 410 mph
            Cruising Speed: 378 mph
            Ceiling: 43,000 ft.
            Range: 450 miles (2,200 miles in ferry configuration)
            One 37-mm M4 cannon
            Two nose-mounted 12.7-mm (0.5-inch) machine guns
            Up to three 522-pound bombs

Number Built: ~3,300

Number Still Airworthy:  3

AeroWeb P-63 Reference Page
CAF Dixie Wing -- P-63 Restoration
CAF West Houston Squadron -- P-63F Page
"Cobras over the Tundra" book
USAF Museum -- P-63 Research Page

Recommended P-63 King Cobra book from Amazon.com:



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