P-39 Airacobra during a test flight with all weapons firing, 1941

Caption     P-39 Airacobra during a test flight with all weapons firing, 1941 ww2dbase
Photographer    Unknown
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States Air Force
More on...   
P-39 Airacobra   Main article  Photos  
Added By C. Peter Chen

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
21 Jul 2010 11:40:10 AM

"Eat Lead" The P-39 had firepower some models
were armed with .50 and .30 caliber weapons
plus the 37mm cannon.

In some theaters of operation, where weight
was a problem the .30 caliber machine guns
were deleted.

Early models of the 37mm cannon, were built by Oldsmobile, and were not synchronized to
fire through propeller arc the P-39D's had
a magazine holding 15 to 20 rounds later some
P-39's carried a 20mm cannon.

The RAF received its P-39's that were called P-400's, but compared to the Spitfire and
the Hurricane it proved less capable for the
British. Later the RAF passed its P-39's to
the Russians.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
21 Nov 2014 02:56:35 PM


File Photo has been doctored as if to appear the P-39 was airborne, the landing gear was air brushed out and superimposed on a much darker background.
My photos show the P-39 tied down during firing test of its .30 caliber, .50 caliber and 37mm cannon, with its engine running the muzzle flash could really blind the pilot at night and for a fighter pilot night vision is important.
It could very well be two different P-39 photos however, these are the only photos that I've seen of this Airacobra and that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
21 Nov 2014 04:35:49 PM


Above photo was released by Bell Aircraft during WWII, that shows one of its P-39s with all its guns blazing. The fighter wasn't flying at all it was a publicity photo, the military liked it and gave the go ahead to publish it, and it later appeared on newspapers and magazines across the country.

The USAAF even claimed the photo as an Official
Photo U.S. Army Air Forces, even when it wasn't an original photo.


Later other aircraft manufactures copied the night shot idea, Lockheed's photo showed its P-38 Lightning with its one 20mm cannon and four .50 caliber machine guns firing.
Republic Aviation had a night shot photo of its
P-47 Thunderbolt with it eight .50 caliber machine guns blazing away....you gotta admit the
tracers get your attention...
4. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
22 Nov 2014 07:31:33 PM


The Bell P-39D Airacobra was armed with 2 x.50 caliber machine guns in the cowling with 200rpg,
1 x 37mm M-4 cannon firing through the propeller hub with 30 rounds and 4 x .30 caliber machine guns, two in each wing, with 1,000rpg. As the pilot fired the weapons, he could smell the gunpower, looks like the P-39 is having its guns harmonized so all the rounds hit the target at the same time from a certain distance in feet
ahead of the fighter.

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