Bell P-39K Airacobra

Last revised June 26, 1999

The first of the redesignated P-39Gs were the P-39K-1-BE production lot (Model 26A). They differed from the P-39D-2 in being powered by a 1325 hp V-1710-63 (E6) engine driving an Aeroproducts propeller. 210 examples were ordered on August 25, 1941. The armament was the same as that of the P-39D, but the aircraft weighed 800 pounds more and had a slightly reduced range.

Some P-39Ks were flown in New Guinea in 1943.

Six P-39Ks were converted to ground attack/photo reconnaissance configuration under the designation P-39K-2-BE. Serials were 42-4244, 47273, 4352, 4387, 4433, 4437.

One P-39K was converted to P-39K-5-BE with a V-1710-85 (E19) engine and acted as the prototype for the P-39N.

Serials of P-39K Airacobra:

42-4244/4453		Bell P-39K Airacobra


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

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

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