P-39N-0 Airacobra

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General info

P-39N-0 Airacobra in the Garage.

The main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

The primary purpose of a P-39 is that of a low-level interceptor against low energy aircraft. It lacks the high-altitude performance needed to engage strategic-bombers. The 37mm M4's dropping trajectory and slow rate of fire make it useless in head-on passes. Therefore, prioritise low altitude objectives, like escorting attackers & low alt bombers, or prey on the ones of the enemy.

Basic dogfighting skills apply. Use energy tactics and only fire the cannon only under optimum conditions. A separate key for the main gun is advised. Otherwise utilise the given machine guns at every opportunity. Especially those 7,92 light machine guns in the wings, with 750 rounds per gun you wont run dry that fast. The center/cowling mounted .50cals provide great long range accuracy & harassment.

"Jack of all trades, master of none" is the credo of the Airacobra. Thus the basic tactic is to analyze your opponents weakness and then exploit it. The P-39 will always find an area, it is exceeding the foe. Or at least, is on par to let the skill decide. Given the P-39's sleek and rather aerodynamic form, BnZ is the preferred form of combat. However TnB is an option as well. Again, the P-39 provides all the options a pilot wants "Jack of all traits, master of none".

Pros and cons of the plane


  • Heavy Armament
  • Great Dive Speed Acceleration/Pickup
  • Reasonable Turn Time
  • Great amount of 7,62 (.306) ammo (750 rpg)


  • "Jack of all trades, but master of none"
  • Three different weapon trajectories make aiming difficult
  • Long countdown for the 37mm in both overheating and reload
  • Easy to stall with full controls.


Main armament

  • 4x 7.92mm Browning machine guns in the wing, 750 rpg = 3000 total
  • 2x 12.7mm M2 Browning machine guns in the nose, 200 rpg = 400 total
  • 1x 37mm M4 cannon in the nose, 30rds total (29 magazine + 1 loaded)



30-06 Browning


  • Very large ammo loads
  • High rate of fire
  • Take a very long time to overheat


  • Very weak in terms of power.
  • Default belts contain ball ammunition with a tendency to glance off harmlessly.



M2/early Browning USA


  • More powerful than the .30cals.
  • High rate of fire, though lower than the .30cals.
  • Accurate.


  • Weaker than cannons
  • Like the .30cals, default belts usually contain ball ammunition.





  • Very, very powerful HE rounds, which will often single shot most planes.
  • Usually has a decent ammo count for a round of the caliber.
  • AP rounds are actually decent against aircraft, provided you hit an important internal module, like turret gunners, the engine, or a wing spar.
  • "Default" ammunition is made entirely of HE rounds, making the cannon quite powerful from the start.


  • Very low shell velocity.
  • Tends to kick the nose of the plane up a lot, slowing it down (occasionally useful in landing).
  • Will jam quickly when fired for a short period of time.
  • Tends to scatter wildly when "warm".

Modules and improvements


Creation and combat usage

Ingame description

Bell's P-39 Airacobra was a WWII-era American fighter that was notable for its uncommon design: the engine was placed behind the cockpit, and the landing gear moved from the tail to the nose. The aircraft was adopted by five countries: USA, Britain, Soviet Union, Portugal and Australia.

The P-39N was the first variant to be mass produced, with the P-39N-0 getting a new V-1710-85(E19) engine and a 3-blade Aeroproducts propeller with a 3.15 meter diameter. Starting from aircraft #167, some fuel tanks were removed from the wings to reduce weight, and a connection for additional fuel tanks was installed under the hull. To further increase flight performance, Soviet engineers often removed the wing-mounted machine guns, leaving two nose machine guns and a cannon.

As this variant, Bell produced 2,095 aircraft. Most of these were sent to the Soviet Union on the US's Lend-Lease program. In November 1942, the USSR received the first Airacobras, and the fighters showed good results in battle maneuvers at low and moderate altitudes. Many famous Soviet aces — such as Pokrishkin Alexander Ivanovich, Rechkalov Gregory Andreevich, Gulaev Dmitry Nikolaevich and Kutakhov Pavel Stepanovich — piloted the Airacobras during WWII.

Skins and fan art

Skins and camouflages for the P-39N-0 from live.warthunder.com.

Additional information (links)

Template:US air sort

Arcade ☑ Realistic ☐
Simulator ☐

Arcade ☐ Realistic ☑
Simulator ☐

Arcade ☐ Realistic ☐
Simulator ☑


Nation USA
Type Fighter
Fighting style Boom & Zoom
superior Firepower

   Metric✓       Imperial   

   Metric       Imperial✓   

Empty Weight ~2787 kg
Empty Weight + fuel ~3113 kg
Takeoff Weight ~4672 kg
Wing Area ~20 m²
# Flap Positions 3
Number of Engines 1
Air Breaks no
Arrestor Gear no
Power per Engine 1020 hp
WEP Duration infinite
top speed ~543.34 kph at 4450 m
Climb Rate ~17.13 m/s
Optimal climb velocity ~272.07 kph
Turn Time ~21.59 s
Wing loading (Empty) ~140.00 kg/m²
Empty Weight ~6144 lb
Empty Weight + fuel ~6864 lb
Takeoff Weight ~10300 lb
Wing Area ~214 ft²
# Flap Positions 3
Number of Engines 1
Air Breaks no
Arrestor Gear no
Power per Engine 1020 hp
WEP Duration infinite
Top speed ~337.61 mph at 14600 m
Climb Rate 56.21 ft/s
Optimal climb velocity ~169.06 mph
Turn Time 21.59 s
Wing loading (Empty) ~28.67 lb/ft²
Main Weapons
1 x M4 30 RPG
2 x .30-06 Browning USAAF 500 RPG
2 x .30-06 Browning USAAF 1000 RPG
2 x M2/early Browning 200 RPG
Payload Option 1
Nothing Loaded Clean Plane
Payload Option 2
6 x 🚀 114mm, 17.2kg M8 rocket
Max Speed limit 886 kph
Gear lmit 322 kph
Combat Flaps 450 kph
Max static +G's ~18
Max static -G's ~13
Optimal Velocities
Ailerons <360 kph
Rudder <380 kph
Elevators <450 kph
Radiator >250 kph
Max Speed limit 551 mph
Gear lmit 200 mph
Combat Flaps 280 mph
Max static +G's ~18
Max static -G's ~13
Optimal Velocities
Ailerons <224 mph
Rudder <236 mph
Elevators <280 mph
Radiator >155 mph
Manual Control
Mixer is controllable
Pitch is controllable
no automatic pitch
Radiator (water) is controllable
Radiator (oil) is controllable
Oil and water uses different radiator control
Supercharger is not controllable
Turbocharger is not controllable
Compressor settings 1
Optimal Altitude
3724 m
12218 ft
100% Enginepower 1125 hp
WEP Enginepower 1556 hp
* Warning this is still in the test phase and can be incorrect. Take information with a grain of salt (data from 1.57 initial release)