Hobby Master 1:72 Air Power Series HA1705
Bell P-39Q Airacobra Diecast Model
"Cobra 1", Jack Wollams, 1946 Thompson Trophy Race
|1:72 Scale|| ||Length|| ||Width|
|Bell P-39Q Airacobra|| ||5"|| ||5.75"|
Jack Woolams was born in 1917 and after completing university he joined Bell Aircraft in 1941. It wasn't long before he was transferred from the test flight division to the experimental research division. In the following year Jack became the first person to fly a fighter aircraft coast to coast over the USA without stopping. In 1943 he set a new altitude record of 47,600 feet and in 1944 became chief test pilot for Bell. Another first for Woolams was piloting the X-1.
With WWII over the USAAF scrapped most of the Airacobras but a few managed to elude the scrap yard and were sold as surplus. Some of the survivors found their way to the unlimited racing circuit. Being Bell test pilots, three of them including Jack Woolams, purchased the two aircraft for $1.00 each plus spares, hangar space and technical support. The two aircraft were P-39Q-10s 42-20733 (NX92847) and 42-20869 (NX92848) or better known on the racing circuit as "Cobra I" and "Cobra II" respectively. The three prepared these planes for the big Thompson Trophy Race to be held in Cleveland, Ohio on 1946 Labor Day weekend. On Thursday August 29 Woolams "Cobra I" qualified for the race at 392.7 mph but he wasn't pleased with sound of the engine. He flew the plane to Niagara Falls, NY and changed the engine but tragedy struck on Friday August 30 when Woolams and "Cobra I" were lost over Lake Ontario during a practice flight. Guesses are there was a windshield collapsed or a rear structural failure. Knowing Woolams would have wanted "Cobra II" to complete the race, pilot Tex Johnston flew and won the Thompson Trophy beating out the favored P-51s and other P-39s. Johnston flew at an average speed of 373 mph over the 300-mile course. On August 10, 1968, while practicing for an attempt at the world piston-engine speed record, the heavily modified "Cobra II" was lost in a fiery crash killing the pilot.These ex-military P-39s were stripped of everything that wasn't absolutely necessary to fly. Over 1,000 pounds of parts and equipment were removed and 800 pounds were replaced with racing modifications. The changes included huge belly mounted oil coolers, increased fuel, oil storage and anti-detonate injection fluid that would make it possible to maintain military emergency power throughout the race at speeds as high as 420 mph. To provide all this power the stock 1,200 hp engines were replaced with Allison V-1710-135 (G4) engines removed from P-63s that put out 2,000 hp and had to spin an 11' 7" four-bladed paddle propeller with an extra long Pitot tube sticking out the end. The huge prop made it necessary for the nose gear oleo to be pumped up to provide tip clearance. All flaps were sealed and all control surfaces were skinned in aluminum. All this required the inlet for the engine-driven supercharger to be enlarged and extended forward slightly over the rear of the canopy to reduce turbulence in the inlet airflow.
Designed as a single-engine high-altitude interceptor aircraft, the P-39 was first flown on April 6th, 1938. The main purpose of the engine configuration—placed behind the cockpit—was to free up space for the heavy main armament, a 37 mm cannon firing through the center of the propeller hub for optimum accuracy and stability. Unfortunately the Airacobra was vulnerable to any enemy fighter with decent high altitude performance, but its rear-mounted engine made it ideal for ground attack since return fire was less likely to hit the engine. The Airacobra saw combat throughout the world, particularly in the Pacific, Mediterranean and Russian theaters.
© Copyright 2003-2015 The Flying Mule, Inc.
The Hobby Master "1:72 Air Power Series" range presents detailed, ready-made diecast models of military aircraft.
Hobby Master "1:72 Air Power Series" diecast airplanes feature:
- Diecast metal construction with some plastic components.
- Realistic panel lines, antennas, access panels and surface details.
- Pad printed markings and placards that won't fade or peel like decals.
- Opening canopies, revealing detailed cockpit interiors.
- Interchangeable extended/retracted landing gear.
- Presentation stand to display the aircraft "in flight".
- Authentic detachable ordnance loads complete with placards.
- Accurately detailed underside with concealed screwheads.
© Copyright 2003-2015 The Flying Mule, Inc.