Bell RP-63G Kingcobra

Last revised September 18, 1999

The final production version of the Kingcobra was the RP-63G, which was a dedicated flying target version of the Kingcobra. The manufacture of the RP-63G actually continued on into 1946.

Two P-63Cs (43-11723 and 11724) were taken off the production line and modified to RP-63G configuration. Lights were inset into the fuselage sides and into the top surfaces of the outer wings to indicate when the plane was hit, and a flush dorsal air intake was fitted. 450 RP-63Gs were ordered into production as dedicated flying targets (the earlier "Pinballs" being conversions on the production line of P-63 fighters). The RP-63G was powered by the Allison V-1710-135 engine.

However, only 30 production RP-63Gs were built (serials were 45-57283/57312) before production of the Kingcobra finally came to an end. The order for 420 more RP-63Gs were cancelled before they could be built.

A single RP-63G (serial number 45-57300) was fitted with an experimental V-tailed assembly a la Beechcraft Bonanza.

In 1948, the RP-63G was redesignated QF-63G, Q being a pilotless drone classification. However, it was never actually flown as a pilotless drone.

An RP-63G (45-57295) has been on outdoor display at Lackland AFB in Texas.


  1. The American Fighter, Enzo Angelucci and Peter Bowers, Orion, 1987.

  2. War Planes of the Second World War, William Green, Doubleday, 1964.

  3. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

  4. P-39 Airacobra In Action, Ernie McDowell, Squadron/Signal Publications, 1980.

  5. Bell Cobra Variants: P-39 Airacobra and P-63 Kingcobra, Robert F. Dorr, Wings of Fame, Vol 10, 1998.