Hobby Master HA1701 Russian Bell P-39N Airacobra Fighter - Col. Aleksandr Ivanovich Pokryshkin, co 9 Gv. IAD, Eastern Front, 1944 (1:72 Scale)
"The mission of the Red Air Force was to support the Red Army, and in order to perform this mission air units at division level and above were subordinated to ground formation commanders. The Red Air Force employed the P-39 Airacobra in several roles: the most common role was to cover or protect ground forces. This entailed patrolling in a zone above a specific Red Army formation and preventing the penetration into that zone of German bombers and their accompanying fighters."
- Dmitry Loza's "Attack of the Airacobras"
The P-39 was one of America's first-line pursuit planes in December 1941. It made its initial flight in April 1939 at Wright Field and by the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, nearly 600 had been built. Its unique engine location behind the cockpit caused some pilot concern, but this proved to be no more of a hazard in a crash landing than with an engine located forward of the cockpit. However, the P-39's spin characteristics could be quite a problem if recovery techniques were ignored.
The Airacobra saw combat throughout the world, particularly in the Southwest Pacific, Mediterranean and Russian theaters. Because its engine was not equipped with a supercharger, the P-39 performed best below 17,000 feet altitude, and it often was used at lower altitudes for such missions as ground strafing. When P-39 production ended in August 1944, Bell had built 9,584 Airacobras, of which 4,773 had been allotted to the Soviet Union. Russian pilots, in particular, liked the cannon-armed P-39 for its ground attack capability. Other P-39s served with French and British forces.
This particular 1:72 scale replica of a P-39N Airacobra was flown by Col. Aleksandr Ivanovich Pokryshkin, commanding officer of the Russian 9 Gv. IAD, during 1944.
Wingspan: 5-3/4 inches
Length: 5 inches
Release Date: December 2007
Historical Account: "Kobruska" - Aleksandr Ivanovich Pokryshkin was a marshal of the Soviet Air Force. He was made a Hero of the Soviet Union on three separate occasions (1943, 1943, 1944).
Pokryshkin was the great tactician of the Soviet Air Force during the Second World War, a Russian Werner Molders. He almost singlehandedly fought to change the obsolete Soviet tactics that were in place in 1941 when the war started. Going against the establishment and openly defying the party-approved combat doctrine almost cost him his career and possibly his life. After openly criticizing the official tactics that led to huge losses and teaching his fellow pilots new tactics he invented himself, he was grounded and scheduled to be court martialed. However the word of his inventions reached some superiors in Moscow, and instead of a court martial Pokryshkin was awarded and promoted. By the end of the war, his writings had been published and distributed to all Soviet pilots, and he toured fighter regiments extensively lecturing young pilots on his techniques.