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. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 5-3/4 inches
Length: 5 inches
Release Date: July 2007
Historical Account: "Island Hopping" - The New Guinea campaign (1942-45) was one of the major military campaigns of World War II. Fighting in the Australian mandated Territory of New Guinea (the north-eastern part of the island of New Guinea and surrounding islands) and Dutch New Guinea, between Allied and Japanese forces, commenced with the Japanese assault on Rabaul on January 23rd, 1942. Rabaul became the forward base for the Japanese campaigns in mainland New Guinea, including the pivotal Kokoda Track campaign of July 1942–January 1943. Fighting in some parts of New Guinea continued until the war ended, in August 1945.