BZ's 2009 Chino - P-63 Kingcobra

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Flying at Chino was another plane I had not seen in the air before. The P-63 Kingcobra. The Kingcobra was derived from the P-39 Airacobra, which explains why they look similar externally. Yeah, I initially tagged the page as P-39, so please forgive the naming discrepency!
- Bernard Zee


The Bell P-63 Kingcobra was derived from the P-39 during WWII. Although not adopted by the U.S., it was eagerly embraced by the Soviet Air force.


The Soviets were already using a large number of P-39s, and had no reservations using the much improved P-63.


The P-63 was heavily armed, with a 37mm cannon firign through the propeller hub, and four 0.50 cal machine guns (2 in the nose, 2 in the wings).


With its powerful canon and guns, along with armor protection for the pilot, the Soviets successfully used the P-63 for ground attacks.


This P-63 at Chino was named 'Pretty Polly'.


The Kingcobra made a distinctive sound, very different than the radial engine of the Grummans.



Being a mid-engined plane, it has some handling quirks which made the plane tricky to fly at times. Standard instructions were to bail if the plane ever got into a flat spin.


Here's Pretty Polly after parking for the day.


BZ Chino 2009 Gallery Index