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VTOL | Rank 5 USSR
Yak-38 Pack
P-39N-0 Airacobra
General characteristics
1 personCrew
4.67 tTake-off weight
3.22 kg/sBurst mass
Flight characteristics
9700 mCeiling
Allison V-1710-85Engine
waterCooling system
Speed of destruction
886 km/hStructural
322 km/hGear
Offensive armament
37 mm M4 cannonWeapon 1
30 roundsAmmunition
145 shots/minFire rate
2 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gunWeapon 2
400 roundsAmmunition
750 shots/minFire rate
4 x 7.62 mm Browning machine gunWeapon 3
1200 roundsAmmunition
1000 shots/minFire rate
Suspended armament
6 x M8 rocketSetup 1
9200 Rp icon.pngResearch
22000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png2100 / 2738/2910 / 3794/920 / 1199Repair
6300 Sl icon.pngCrew training
22000 Sl icon.pngExperts
180 Ge icon.pngAces
118 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
190 % Sl icon.png190 % Sl icon.png60 % Sl icon.png
This page is about the American fighter P-39N-0. For other uses, see P-39 (Family).


GarageImage P-39N-0.jpg

The P-39N-0 Airacobra is a rank II American fighter with a battle rating of 3.3 (AB) and 3.0 (RB/SB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27.

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 37 mm M4's dropping trajectory and slow rate of fire make it useless in head-on passes. Therefore, prioritise low altitude objectives, like escorting attackers or low-alt bombers, or prey on the ones of the enemy.

General info

Flight performance

Max Speed
(km/h at 3,048 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
613 593 9700 18.9 19.9 10.5 10.5 280
Max Speed
(km/h at 3,048 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
680 641 9700 17.8 18.0 21.2 14.9 280


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wing-break speed
Gear limit
Combat flaps
Max Static G
+ -
886 322  450 ~12 ~9
Optimal velocities
< 360 < 380 < 450 > 312
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
2,800 m 1,125 hp 1,446 hp

Survivability and armour

  • 15.87 mm Steel - Propeller hub
  • 15.87 mm Steel - Plate in front of the cockpit
  • 7 mm Steel - Plate over instrument cluster
  • 6 mm Steel - Upper pilot's seat and headrest encasement
  • 6 mm Steel - Rear tail
  • 38 mm Bulletproof glass - Windscreen
  • 64 mm Bulletproof glass - Headrest of pilot's seat


Offensive armament

The P-39N-0 is armed with:

  • 1 x 37 mm M4 cannon, nose-mounted (30 rpg)
  • 2 x 12.7 mm Browning M2 machine guns, nose-mounted (200 rpg = 400 total)
  • 4 x 7.62 mm Browning machine guns, wing-mounted (500 rpg outer + 1,000 rpg inner = 3,000 total)

Suspended armament

Main article: M8

The P-39N-0 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • Without load
  • 6 x M8 rockets

Usage in battles

The P-39 Airacobra is an exceptional aircraft, American planes are known to be heavy, sluggish, slow turning aircraft with mediocre climb rates. Not this one though. With a turn time of 18.0 seconds and a climb rate of 14 m/s, this is a formidable opponent to even the most agile of aircraft. With a deadly arsenal consisting of 4 x 7.62 machine guns, 2 x 12.7 Brownings, and a 37 mm M1 cannon, firepower is not a reason to worry. With 3000 rounds for your six machine guns, and 30 rounds for the 37mm, ammo shouldn’t bother you.

Stock Grind

The P- 39 has a relatively easy stock grind as it’s easy to fly and doesn’t require “ace” skills to master it. Your first priority should be fuselage repair. The other modules in order is Compressor, 12.7 Ammo belts, new 12.7 Browning, Radiator, 37 mm ammo belts, new 37 mm cannon. Then you should prioritise performance modules, then the survivability modules, and at last firepower modules. The rockets should be your lowest priority, as they are useless against ground targets with at least a little bit of armour. As for crew skills, G-tolerance, stamina and vitality is primary. Repair rank of 2 is also recommended.

Tactics: Air Arcade

Air arcade is the best mode for researching modules when the vehicle is stock. I would personally recommend you this mode, until you reach at least tier III modifications. Apart from that, the Airacobra isn’t exceptionally strong in arcade as the other aircrafts get boosts in performance too. Dogfighting and Boom n’ Zoom is recommended.

Tactics: Air Realistic

Air realistic is where the Airacobra shines. It turns into bloody warrior dishing out oblivious enemies left and right. Of course, this is quite hard with a stock vehicle, but not impossible. When the vehicle is upgraded, you’re the one doing the hunting. When taking off hold WEP and climb until your water temperature is about 114 C. Then stop WEP and climb as high as possible, occasionally using WEP. Your optimal combat altitude is about 3000m, but any altitude above is fine. It is recommended to bind keys for small calibre guns and large calibre guns separately. Convergence is best at 500m. Boom n’ Zoom is a smart tactic, but dogfights are not discouraged. However, keep in mind, STAY OFF BOMBERS. They are not your targets. They are for heavier, more armoured vehicle with better survivability. Your fragile frame, and a tendency to catch fire easily makes you stay clear of bombers.

Tactics: Ground Realistic

Since you are unable to carry any serious ordnance, your role is air superiority. Get rid of light armoured vehicles with the rockets and strafe targets so the friendlies can see them. Deal with other fighters challenging your dominance and try to deal with bombers. Always try to keep the element of surprise on your side. However, overall, the A-36 is preferable over the P-39 in ground battles.

Enemies worth noting


Your most common enemy. The BF 109 will out-climb you and out-gun you. But you will out-turn him and out-roll him. Be on the lookout for the BF 109 F variants, and avoid engagements if possible. As for the Fw 190, do whatever you like but DON’T go head on. Try to turn fight.


Your most dangerous enemy. NEVER, EVER attempt to turn fight an A6M2 or an A6M3. They will wreck you in the bat of an eyelash. To be on the safe side never engage a Japanese. Boom n’ Zoom is the only tactic. If one gets on you six, dive and pick up speed and get the hell out.


The spitfires are a nasty bit of work, requiring experience and skill alike. They almost impossible to get off your tail and damn hard to down one. Since your roll rate is much higher you should try to barrel roll with 0% thrust and combat flaps and when slow enough put out landing flaps. When they overshoot either mow the down or retreat, and fast.


Never head on with a soviet plane. Be especially wary of any plane with Yak. Turn fighting is a viable option. Boom n’ Zoom is not a bad idea. 

Basic dogfighting skills apply. Use energy tactics and only fire the cannon under optimum conditions. A separate key for the main gun is advised. Otherwise, utilise the given machine guns at every opportunity. Especially those 7.62 mm light machine guns in the wings, with 3,000 rounds you wont run dry that fast. The center/cowling mounted .50 cals 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 analyse your opponent's weakness and then exploit it. The P-39 will always find an area in which to exceed the foe, or at least is enough of a match to allow pilot skill to dictate the outcome of the engagement. 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 could want: "Jack of all traits, master of none".

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Separate Not controllable
1 gear
Not controllable


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Radiator Offensive 7 mm
II Compressor Airframe New 7 mm MGs Offensive 12 mm
III Wings repair Engine Offensive 37 mm New 12 mm MGs
IV Engine injection Cover New 37 mm cannons Rocket Launcher M10

Pros and cons


  • Heavy armament
  • Great dive speed and acceleration
  • 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, although this is less of a problem if you are a proficient P-400 pilot
  • Long countdown for the 37 mm in both overheating and reload
  • Easy to stall with full controls
  • Cannot fire the 2 MGs separately
  • Ammunition count for the M2s is low, limiting their usage time


The P-39 Airacobra was a single-engine fighter used in the Pacific and Eastern fonts. The aircraft was produced 1940 – May 1944, and its first flight was 6 April 1938. The manufacturer of this aircraft was Bell Aircraft. As mentioned before in the intro this aircraft is great in low attitude combat making it useful in naval battles for escorting torpedo bombers. The original idea for the Airacobra was a defensive interceptor which would protect American shores for the axis powers. Destroying low flying torpedo and normal bombers was a wet dream for this aircraft has it could easily ripe the wings and tail. The plane originally was sent to Britain but has aircraft became more powerful and dogfights where happening higher and higher in the atmosphere and it was sent back to the states. The US then gave the P-39 Airacobra to the Aussies and was used to patrol the northern shores of Australia. The aircraft later was fitted with bombs and more cannons forcing it into a ground pounding role has it could now pen some tanks of the 1939-1942 era. Today P-39 Airacobra can be found in the Air force museum and others around the world.

In-game 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.


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
  • other literature.

Bell Aircraft Corporation
Fighters  P-39N-0 · P-39Q-5
  P-63A-10 · P-63A-5 · P-63C-5 · ␠Kingcobra
Jet Fighters  P-59A
Export  ▂P-39K-1 · ▂Pokryshkin's P-39N-0 · ▂P-39Q-15
  ▂P-63A-5 · ▂P-63A-10 · ▂P-63C-5 · ▄P-63C-5
Attack  AH-1F · AH-1G · AH-1Z
Utility  UH-1B · UH-1C · UH-1C XM-30
Export / Licensed  ▅UH-1B · ▀UH-1D
  ▅AH-1S early · ▅AH-1S · ▅AH-1S Kisarazu
See Also  Fuji Heavy Industries

USA fighters
P-26 Peashooter  P-26A-33 · P-26A-34 · P-26A-34 M2 · P-26B-35
P-36 Hawk  P-36A · Rasmussen's P-36A · P-36C · P-36G
P-39 Airacobra  P-400 · P-39N-0 · P-39Q-5
P-40  P-40C · P-40E-1 · P-40F-10
P-43 Lancer  P-43A-1
P-47 Thunderbolt  P-47D-22 RE · P-47D-25 · P-47D-28 · P-47M-1-RE · ⋠P-47M-1-RE · P-47N-15
P-51 Mustang  P-51 · P-51A (Thunder League) · P-51C-10 · P-51D-5 · P-51D-10 · P-51D-20-NA · P-51D-30 · P-51H-5-NA
P-63 Kingcobra  P-63A-5 · P-63A-10 · P-63C-5 · ␠Kingcobra
Prototypes  XP-55
F2A Buffalo  F2A-1 · Thach's F2A-1 · F2A-3
F3F  F3F-2 · Galer's F3F-2
F4F Wildcat  F4F-3 · F4F-4
F4U Corsair  F4U-1A · F4U-1A (USMC) · F4U-1D · F4U-1C · F4U-4 · F4U-4B · F4U-4B VMF-214
F6F Hellcat  F6F-5 · F6F-5N
F8F Bearcat  F8F-1 · F8F-1B
Other countries  ▃Ki-43-II · ▃Ki-61-Ib · ▃A6M2 · ▃Bf 109 F-4 · ▃Fw 190 A-8 · ▃Spitfire LF Mk IXc