No less than 4924 of this little fighter were delivered to the USSR, its most successful user. The P-39 was well fit for the low-altitude fighting and ground attack the USSR used it for.
Oh, boy! There were a lot of reasons for USAF to get rid of this plane... First, its engine suffered from overheating during taxi, so "The Little Bell" was not good for hot climate (I mean Pacific and Mediterranean). But for USSR it was not a mess. This plane also suffered from bad handling (easy go spin) in maneuverable dogfight...
Despite all those shortcomings, Cobra's firepower and armoring were praised by Soviet pilots, and some of them became aces while flying P-39, like Alexander Pokryshkin who scored 59 confirmed personal victories (see photo below).
|Modified April 3, 1996||Back to|