P-400 Airacobra In North Africa

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Airman 1st Class
Dec 11, 2020
Except that the XI-1430-9 engine was slated to be used in the XP-49 and the XP-67 using a turbocharger and they were planning on getting 1600hp at 25,000ft.

see; https://www.enginehistory.org/References/ModDesig/jpg/I19.jpg

There was a two speed single stage version that was supposed to get to 1600hp at 15,000ft in the XP-53.

The Army and Continental trying to be way cleverer than they should have been. Two speed propeller drives, reversing prop rotation by changing gear box assembly (no new parts) and a few other advanced features. They should have been concentrating on getting the engine to run.
It had a turbocharger, but the core engine had originally featured a 2-stage supercharger plus whatever else was hung on it, and the Army cut that to 1-stage plus whatever. The engine ran fine though, despite persistent rumors at the time that have sifted down the years. On 19 January 1944, when XP-67 had barely begun its flight testing, the Army program coordinator for XP-67 sent an Inter-Office Memorandum to the Chief of Aircraft Projects at Wright Field noting that as a result of extensive engine testing in the full-scale nacelle fixture "it is the opinion of this office that the engine has performed satisfactorily. This opinion is borne out by tunnel tests of the full-scale nacelle at Wright Field, during which engine difficulties were practically non-existant [sic] and the engine delivered its rated 1600 hp for protracted periods of time." A few months later, it demonstrated 50 hours running at 2,000hp with water injection at war emergency rating. And with the extremely high-octane 150 grade fuel that was starting to come into service, it was shown that the engine could provide an even higher war emergency rating of 2,100hp without the use of water injection. You can read my XP-67 book if you want to know more... :)


1st Sergeant
May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
Yes, note that the R-3350 was single stage also, but was intended for use in the B-29, where it was fed by not just one but TWO GE turbosuperchargers..

Continental IV-1430 shown- and run - at Sun and Fun in 2006. It was LOUD!!!!!

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Peter Gunn

Tech Sergeant
Jan 13, 2016
Clearwater, Florida
Speaking of the P-39/400, I've said it before, she looks great, like a real fighter...

But I'm reminded of an old joke from my college days.

Two buddies die in a car wreck, one heads north to heaven the other, well, not so much.

As the one guy is being given the tour of heaven he looks down and sees his buddy in hell with a gorgeous, voluptuous blonde on one knee and a huge bottle of whiskey on the other. After noting to St. Peter that heaven looks rather boring compared to what his friend is "suffering" down in hell he asks St. Peter, "Lord, why does my old friend look like he's having a much better time?"

The Lord answered "Well my son, all is not as it seems, the whiskey bottle has a hole in the bottom and the blonde doesn't".

The P-39 Ladies and Gentlemen... a real looker but...


Airman 1st Class
Dec 11, 2020
Just about all of Bell's aircraft were good looking - well, except for the XP-77.

But like at a car show, there are those who "run what they brung" and those trailer queens that are "all show and no go".
XP-59 and XP-83 were kind of tubby though. P-39 was the apex of "pretty" at Bell, I think. And the Russians got excellent use out of them, too.


Senior Airman
Jun 11, 2021
The first plane conceived after the nationalizations by the Popular Front government from a Lioré et Olivier Leo 50 project, to counter the Me 110, or a sort of French Beaufighter, with a three men crew night fighter variant scheduled. Wings were wood and plywood.

Believe it or not, its aesthetics notwithstanding, the Sud-Est SE-100 was a promising design, with a strong punch : five 20 mm guns (including an odd one in the tail) for the first prototype, and six 20 mm for the never finished second prototype (dismantled by the Germans). Another promising '' what if '' if time had allowed its development and production.

And if you plan to buid a model :
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Major General
Jun 29, 2009
Central Florida Highlands
Wow, indeed quite good performance from the prototype, certainly more promising than the poor Potez 631
It what happens when you use 1080hp engines instead of 700hp engines.

I wonder if they could have made it work.
Depends on if.

1. The thing actually was as fast as claimed. Compare to the Gloster F.9/37 and the Gloster figures are in doubt.
2. The pilots could have actually landed it repeatedly on rough fields and/or poor conditions without large operational losses.

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