The Iron Dog

Donald Nijboer reflects on the history of Bell’s innovative but often overlooked P-39 Airacobra

Bell P-39 Airacobra


This gaggle of P-39s of the 31st Pursuit Group was photographed at Selfridge Field in 1941.

Much has been written about the Spitfire, Mustang, Hellcat, Corsair, Thunderbolt, and Lightning, the truly remarkable fighters of World War Two. One might even conclude these types won the war by themselves. In terms of performance these aircraft were certainly thoroughbreds, but other, less famous, machines also played a hugely significant part.

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