Monday, December 21, 2015

Ideal P-39 Airacobra

Sometimes it's best just to let Wikipedia do the talking:

"The Bell P-39 Airacobra was one of the principal American fighter aircraft in service when the United States entered World War II. The P-39 was used with great success by the Soviet Air Force, which scored the highest number of individual kills attributed to any U.S. fighter type. Other major users of the type included the Free French, the Royal Air Force, the United States Army Air Forces, and the Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force.
Designed by Bell Aircraft, it had an innovative layout, with the engine installed in the center fuselage, behind the pilot, and driving a tractor propeller via a long shaft. It was also the first fighter fitted with a tricycle undercarriage.[6] Although its mid-engine placement was innovative, the P-39 design was handicapped by the absence of an efficient turbo-supercharger, limiting it to low-altitude work. As such it was rejected by the RAF for use over western Europe and passed over to the USSR where performance at high altitude was less important.
Together with the derivative P-63 Kingcobra, the P-39 was one of the most successful fixed-wing aircraft manufactured by Bell."
Okay, there you have the short-& sweet history of this famous Warbird. It remained in production until 1944 and saw service with five other nations besides the U.S. which brings us to our toy. The first documented mention of an injection molded airplane was in 1938 and was a DC-3 made by the Kilgore Mfg. Co., USA.. In 1941 Dillon Beck followed up with a P-39 Airacobra for their Wannatoy line. Popular at the time, the P-39 turned out to be a hit but by 1942 Dillon Beck turned its production to wartime efforts. Ideal then bought the molds of the P-39 from Dillon Beck and started producing the plane in 1944 ending production in 1947. The plane measures  4 1/4" (10.79cm) L x 5" (12.7cm) wingspan x 1 1/2" (3.81cm) H and is apparent when comparing to photos of the real plane that it is a somewhat loose interpretation. But I'm okay with that as it's a nice wartime era toy that goes perfect with the Built-Rite Army Hangar we featured a few days ago and is an example of one of the earliest plastic toys offered..

Courtesy Wikipedia

Courtesy Wikipedia

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