Bell P-39G/H Airacobra

Last revised June 19, 1999

1800 examples of the P-39G (Bell Model 26) were ordered on August 21, 1941. Serials were 42-4244/5043 and 42-8727/9726. These aircraft were originally intended to be identical to the P-39D-2 except for the new Aeroproducts propeller. However, the P-39G underwent several modifications during the contract stage, leading to different suffix letters being applied as production progressed, and none were actually being delivered with the "G" suffix letter. At this time, the production-block suffix had not yet been introduced into the USAAF designation system, and these aircraft were, instead, delivered as P-39K, P-39L, P-39M, and P-39N.

For some reason, the suffix letter "H" was never assigned. The suffix letter "I" was never used in any case, since it could be confused with the number one.


  1. War Planes of the Second World War, Fighters, Volume Four, William Green, Doubleday, 1964.

  2. The American Fighter, Enzo Anguluci and Peter Bowers, Orion Books, 1987.

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

  4. P-39 Airacobra in Action, Ernie MCDowell, Squadron/Signal Publications, 1980

  5. The Calamitous 'Cobra, Air Enthusiast, August 1971.

  6. Airacobra Advantage: The Flying Cannon, Rick Mitchell, Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, Missoula, Montana

  7. Bell Cobra Variants, Robert F. Dorr, Wings of Fame, Vol 10, AirTime Publishing , Inc., 1998.