Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA1715 P-39N Airacobra White 01 Capt Ivan II'ich Babak, 100 GIAP, Germany, January 1945

Every country except the Soviet Union disliked the P-39. All wanted it to perform well above 20,000 feet but it didn’t because of a supercharger instead of a turbo-charger and weight. The Soviets liked the low altitude speed and maneuverability, excellent structural integrity, and heavy armament, everything they needed to fight the type of war on the Eastern Front. They were so pleased by these attributes that they nicknamed it “The Iron Dog”. There were 9,585 P-39s of all variants built with about 4,500 going to the Soviets.

In April 1942 Ivan II’ich Babak was assigned to 45th IAP (45th Fighter Wing) of the 100th GIAP (Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment) flying a Yak-1. In April 1943 Babak downed 14 fighters over Kuban making him a top Kobra Ace and winning the HSU award – Hero of the Soviet Union. Later that year Babak contracted malaria and spent several months in hospital. On April 22, 1945 Babak was shot down and had 33 victories and 4 shared. The inscription below Babak’s P-39N reads “From the schoolchildren of Mariupol”.

Specifications for the Bell P-39N Airacobra
Aircraft role:
Fighter – Ground attack fighter
Production:
2,095 with first delivery November 1942 Crew:
1
Dimensions:
Length: 30 ft. 2 in.
Wingspan: 34 ft.
Wing area: 213 sq. ft.
Height: 12 ft. 5 in.
Performance:
Powerplant: 1 X Allison V-1710-85 1,200 hp
Speed: cruising 330 mph at 5,000 ft. – maximum 376 mph at 15,000 ft.
Climb rate: 2,600 ft/min to 5,000 ft. - to 15,000 ft. in 6 min 6 seconds
Service Ceiling: 38,270 ft. with best performance below 20,000 ft.
Range: 300 miles because of smaller fuel tanks in this version
Extended range: 1,000 miles with extra fuel tanks
Fuel capacity
Internal
72.4 imp. Gallons (87 US gallons)
External
62.45 imp. Gallons (75 US gallons) in one drop tank Weight:
Empty: 5,645 lbs.
Operational weight: with weapons: 8,300 lbs.
Maximum: 8,300 lbs.
Armament:
Machine guns: 2 X 0,50 in. fixed forward-firing in the upper side of the nose 200 rounds each,
4 X 0.3 in. fixed forward-firing in the wings with 1,000 rounds each,
Cannons: 1 X 37 mm M4 fixed forward firing in a Moteur-cannon installation (able to fire through the propeller) 30 rounds
Bomb load:
up to 500lb on one hard-point with 1 X 500lb. bomb
Or
1 X 325 lb. bomb
Or
1 X 250 lb. bomb