Whatever you may have heard among local gossips, one thing should be remembered about the Bell Airacobra: it is one of the worlsd's best fighters in the category for which it was designed, As it has to the P-40, criticism has come to the Bell almost all of it unjustified. The most radical fighter in the US when it first appeared, the Airacobra (P-39) was the first tricycle-geared fighter, still has the only engine-propeller drive shaft. It was the first modern fighter to use the 37-mm cannon; a model for the RAF (many subsequently taken over by the US) mounted the 20-mm cannon. The Airacobra went into production in 1939 and now is being produced in large numbers by several Bell factories and subsidiaries.
This article was originally published in the November, 1942, issue of Flying including Industrial Aviation magazine, vol 31, no 5, p 61.
The original article includes 4 photos.
Photos are not credited.