|Bell P-63 Kingcobra|
The Bell P-63 Kingcobra was a considerable improvement over the P-39 Airacobra and although both airplanes looked similar, the P-63 was a larger and heavier aircraft. It was not accepted for combat use by the United States Army Air Force (USAAF), but it was used successfully on the Eastern Front by the Soviet Air Force.
Nearly 3,300 aircraft were produced before the end of World War II. Under lend-lease, the Russians acquired 2,400 Kingcobras, and a further 300 were flown by the Free French. The remainder were restricted to training squadrons in the United States. More than 300 RP-63As were built as specially modified target-aircraft that were fired at with frangible plastic bullets to train gunners on large and medium bombers such as the Boeing B-17 and North American B-25 in a program called "Operation Pinball." More ...
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Created November 8, 2009. Updated January 14, 2013.