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Magnificent collection of Warbirds. Impressive restoration projects. Nice atmosphere. Came to see the PoF museum which is next door but never knew that the Yanks...

A. Voet

Came from England to visit your museum in March 2010 and it was worth the journey :-) Thanks to the staff who took time to chat...

Keith

World War II

Bell 33 Kingcobra (P-63A)

It soon became clear a larger and more powerful aircraft was needed for a close support fighter bomber. Experimental XP- 63’s used the P-39 fuselage and added aerodynamic improvements.  

The P-63 King Cobra was produced and supplied in great numbers to the USSR and France. Outperformed at high altitude by the P-51 Mustang and P-47 Thunderbolt, the P-63 King Cobra was relegated to training duty by the AAF.  

Over 300 P-63s were used by the AAF as manned targets. All armament was removed and duralumin alloy was added to the fuselage and tail for protection. Bulletproof glass, steel plate  and a special hollow blade prop allowed the plane to withstand  impact from the training programs infrangible bullets.  

Service History

Delivered: May 8, 1944

May 1944 - Base Unit 4th AAF Portland, OR

June 1944 - 433 Base Unit 4th AAF Chico, CA

August 1944 - 31st Fighter Sqd 4th AAF Palmdale, CA

November 1944 - 421st Base Unit 4th AAF Muroc, CA

July 1945 - 405th Base Unit 4th AAF Paine, WA

Oct 1945 - Ontario, CA disposed as surplus

 

MFG: Bell

First Produced: 1943

Powerplant: Allison V1710-117

Horsepower: 1325

Prop: Aero Products

Service Ceiling: 38,600 ft.

Cruise: 356 mph

Top Speed: 410 mph

Range: 2,000 miles

Empty Weight: 6,800 lbs

Gross Weight: 10,700 lbs

Wing Span: 38’4”

Wing Area: 248 sq. ft.

Length: 32’8”

Height: 12’7”

Armament: (1) 37 mm hub

canon, (2) .50 cal machine

guns through prop, (1) .50

cal machine gun starboard

wing, (1) 500 lb. bomb

Number Built: 3,300 total

1,003 A models

 
The P-63 seen here “Fatal Fang” was acquired from the Bob Bean Collection in 1978 and restored.