Friday, August 15, 2014

King Of The Rare Birds - The P-63C Kingcobra

The only Bell P-63C Kingcobra currently flying made an appearance at Thunder over Michigan.

The engine in the Kingcobra, just like its predecessor the P-39 Airacobra, is behind the pilot, and the propeller shaft ran beneath the floor of the planes' cockpit.

Note the 37mm Cannon in the center of the propeller hub, and the twin fifties mounted above and synchronized to shoot through the four-bladed propeller.

In addition to the nose cannon, the air scoop is a very distinctive feature of this plane:

The P-63 also stands out as it is one of the few American World War Two Fighters with a tricycle landing gear configuration rather than being a tail-dragger.

While the US Army Air Force considered it inferior to the P-51 Mustang, the Russians liked them and received 2,397 via Lend-lease. They were used primarily as an air-to-air combat aircraft. The Russians didn't tend to use them for anti-tank missions, preferring their native Sturmovik for that role. it was a great to watch its pilot run this rare warbird through an aerobatic display.


OldAFSarge said...

Wow! I didn't know there were any of these still flying.

A classic (and under appreciated) war bird.

Thanks Aaron!

Old NFO said...

Beautiful bird! :-)