The VVS/Allied Bell Airacobras

One of my favourite planes

Weapons and Warfare

Conceived by Lawrence Dale Bell and made practicable by his
gifted chief engineer, Robert J. Woods, the P-39 emerged from two ideas for
fighters that sought to improve maneuverability by locating the engine near the
center of gravity, using a ten-foot shaft to connect it to the propeller. The
Bell Model 3, with the cockpit placed far aft behind the engine, afforded poor
visibility for the pilot, so the Model 4, with the pilot sitting just ahead of
the engine, was selected for development, using an Allison V-1710-E4 engine with
a B5 turbosupercharger. Never a man to stop at one novel approach when a second
or third would be even better, Bell also proposed installing a 25mm cannon,
which would fire through the propeller shaft, and a tricycle landing gear
arrangement. His proposal was approved on October 7, 1939, and the first XP-39
was completed in March 1939, with the…

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Buna 1942

One of my favourite planes

Weapons and Warfare

Airacobras of the 80th FS at Fourteen Mile Drome,
fourteen miles from Port Moresby in the fall of 1942. The pilot with the
cigarette in his mouth is William Brown, who shot down two Zeros during the
raid of August 26th, 1942. The other pilot in this shot is 2nd Lt. Charles R.
Able, who also had some success during this raid, when he damaged another Zero,
although this was not during the actual raid proper, but rather on the return
trip to their home field. In any case, Able was one of four pilots that were ultimately
forced to leave the formation due to damage to their own airplanes. In this
case, it was due to the loss of a cockpit entry door. In the background, behind
the plane coded `A’, is Airacobra coded `Y’, the subject of the ProfiPACK
release of the P-400 kit. Noteworthy is the nonstandard…

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Final progress report – F4F-4 Wildcat, F4U-2 Corsair and A6M2 Zero

I have finally decided to finish up the F4F-4 Wildcat as Marion Dufilho’s Wildcat even if I don’t have much information about which Wildcat he flew on August 24, 1942.


I know he flew a F4F-4 and I know he was a naval aviator aboard USS Saratoga with Richard Harmer. F-8 could even be the plane he flew or it could be the Wildcat Richard Harmer flew on that same day when he crashed his Wildcat aboard the carrier after being wounded.

I guess I will never know unless his son Tom looks at his father’s log book for that information.

My Forgotten Hobby II is a way to remember a hobby I started back as a kid in 1958, and is a way to motivate me with building what I have in my stash. It is also a way to share the experience and the fun of building model airplane kits some of which are in their boxes since the 1980s.

This being said here are my two other builds…

Richard Harmer’s No. 15 F4U-2 Corsair…


Saburo Sakai Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero…


Next time on My Forgotten Hobby II?

The choice is yours…