Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA1713 P-39K Airacobra Lt. William F. McDonough, 40th FS/35th FG, New Guinea 1943

The Bell P-39 Airacobra originally flew with excellent performance but by the time the aircraft reached the front lines the Army Air Corp had changed so many features that the plane was far from what Bell had originally designed. They added weight, removed the supercharger from the Allison engine that didn’t have the power it claimed. What could have been and should have been one of the best aircraft of WWII turned out to be much less. Even with all its flaws they still produced 9,584 P-39s.

The 40th FS “Fight’n Red Devils” arrived in Brisbane Australia on February 25, 1942 and were assigned to the 35th FG of the USAAF 5th Air Force. Lt. William McDonough was assigned P-39K-1 s/n 42-4358 and had an “Angelic Donald Duck” painted on the starboard side of the nose. It is referred to as “Angelic” because Donald is wearing an angel costume with his sleeves rolled up ready for a fight. When the war had ended Lt. McDonough had 5 victories.

Specifications / P-39K-1 Airacobra
Manufacturer – Bell Aircraft
Number built – 210
Number built all variants – 9,584
Role – Fighter
Crew – (1) pilot
First flight – April 6, 1938
Introduced into active duty – 1941
Production time span – 1940/May 1944
Dimensions
Length – 30 ft 2 in (9.2 m) Wingspan – 34 ft (10.4 m) Height – 12 ft 5 in (3.8 m) Wing Area – 213 ft² (19.8 m²)
Weights
Empty – 5,347 lb (2,425 kg) Loaded – 7,379 lb (3,347 kg) Max takeoff – 8,400 lb (3,800 kg)
Performance
Engine – (1) Allison V-1710-63 (E6) 1,325 hp engine Maximum speed – 376 mph (605 km/h) Maximum dive speed – 525 mph (845 km/h) Range – 1,098 miles (1,770 km) Service ceiling – 35,000 ft (10,700 m) Rate of climb – 3,750 ft/min (19 m/s) Time to 15,000 ft – 4.5 minutes at 160 mph (260 km/h)