P-400 Airacobra

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VTOL | Rank 5 USA
AV-8A Harrier Pack
P-400 Airacobra
General characteristics
1 personCrew
3.55 tTake-off weight
3.26 kg/sBurst mass
Flight characteristics
9500 mCeiling
Allison V-1710-35Engine
waterCooling system
Speed of destruction
886 km/hStructural
322 km/hGear
Offensive armament
20 mm Hispano 404 cannonWeapon 1
60 roundsAmmunition
700 shots/minFire rate
2 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gunWeapon 2
540 roundsAmmunition
750 shots/minFire rate
4 x 7.62 mm Browning machine gunWeapon 3
4000 roundsAmmunition
1000 shots/minFire rate
7900 Rp icon.pngResearch
10000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png1400 / 1799/2000 / 2570/770 / 989Repair
3000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
10000 Sl icon.pngExperts
130 Ge icon.pngAces
112 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
290 % Sl icon.png160 % Sl icon.png50 % Sl icon.png
This page is about the American fighter P-400. For other versions, see P-39 (Family).


GarageImage P-400.jpg

The P-400 is a rank II American fighter with a battle rating of 2.7 (AB) and 2.3 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.37.

The P-400 is the "little brother" of the P-39's and P-63's. Reaching maximum speed at an altitude of 2,400 m (7,900 ft) means you will have to look for enemies below you, or sacrifice speed to meet the opposition higher up. At medium & low altitudes it can be considered quite a fast plane for its BR range. It handles turning at higher speed rather well but can become quite unstable at lower speeds. Watch out when engaging in stall fighting, hammerheads & yo-yos. The P-400 can survive at high speeds while diving, yet will suffer from compression. The plane is suitable for high speeds attacks where you work with more with horizontal than vertical movements. Keep your speed up!

The P-400 has good weapons consisting of one 20 mm cannon with 60 rounds and two .50 cals and four .30 cals. If you have a good aim, you can destroy enemies in seconds, but if you don't the limited cannon ammo will run out in about 10-15 seconds. The .50 calibre will still destroy foes reasonably quickly, though the .30cals require the right amount of consistency and concentrated fire.

General info

Flight performance

Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Speed, manoeuvrability, acceleration and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.

Max Speed
(km/h at 2,400 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
553 536 9500 23.2 24.1 6.9 6.9 320
Max Speed
(km/h at 2,400 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
603 576 9500 21.2 22.0 13.3 9.7 320


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wing-break speed
Gear limit
Combat flaps
Max Static G
+ -
886 322  420 ~12 ~9
Optimal velocities
< 360 < 380 < 450 > 312
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
3,677 m 1,000 hp 1,150 hp

Survivability and armour

Armour plates:

  • 15.87 mm Steel - Ring Behind propeller
  • 15.87 mm Steel - 2 on the left and right sides of the nose
  • 7 mm Steel - Fore-cockpit plate
  • 7 mm Steel - Cockpit front
  • 38 mm Bulletproof Glass - Cockpit front
  • 64 mm Bulletproof Glass - Behind Pilot
  • 7 mm steel - Cockpit Rear
  • 6 mm steel - Behind cooling systems and engine
  • Self-sealing fuel tanks (1 in each wing)

Critical components:

  • Cooling and Engine are in the middle of the plane
  • Propeller shaft spans nearly the entire length of the aircraft


Offensive armament

The P-400 is armed with:

  • 1 x 20 mm Hispano 404 cannon, nose-mounted (60 rpg)
  • 2 x 12.7 mm Browning M2 machine guns, nose-mounted (270 rpg = 540 total)
  • 4 x 7.62 mm Browning machine guns, wing-mounted (1,000 rpg = 4,000 total)

Usage in battles

Try using energy tactics at low altitude and Boom & Zoom to dispatch targets if you are at high altitude. In Domination matches, this plane comes into its environment with dogfight furballs occurring in which the P-400 can intervene. Use the excellent energy retention to your advantage and avoid any type of turn fighting, as even a F6F Hellcat would be able to out-turn your aircraft.

Never try to contest bomber altitude when you have it stock - it just lacks the engine power to compete above 4,000 meters, and even as a spaded aircraft, it still doesn't perform as well as the Spitfires and Bf 109s at similar battle ratings. If you're ever forced to dogfight, use the rudder and elevator to pull yourself into a sort of climbing spiral, which the P-400 is exceptionally good at thanks to its powerful engine.

The Hispano cannon once on target will easily take out fighters and most bombers with even a short burst, or at the very least, cripple it. However, if there is any good fighter pilot on the enemy team, they will climb and try to secure high altitude. When you see them in more agile aircraft, your only option is to dive away and begin to strafe the furball down low. Beware that many planes in this battle rating range, including the Cannon Ishak, outperform this plane in at least one, if not more categories, but this plane usually has more than one advantage over every plane it will face (i.e. it is faster than the Spitfire Mk 1a and out rolls it).

Use the advantages of this plane - its high speed, great rudder, powerful engine, superior armament, and terrific initial turn at high speeds. However, don't use it in a way that exposes its weaknesses - bad low-speed handling, weak turning, and poor climb rate - in combat, like when you are getting Rope-a-Doped, just flip over with an Immelmann and Turn & Burn.

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 Offensive 12 mm
II Compressor Airframe New 7 mm MGs New 12 mm MGs
III Wings repair Engine Offensive 20 mm
IV Engine injection Cover New 20 mm cannons

Pros and cons


  • Fast plane up to ~3,000 m (12,000 ft)
  • Decent turn time (especially at higher speeds)
  • Good pool of machine gun ammunition
  • Good stopping power with all weapons active
  • Nose mounted 20 mm cannon (centre line mounted weaponry equals good accuracy)
  • Well armoured
  • Cockpit has good visibility
  • Carries a total of 7 guns with three slightly different trajectories, resulting in a high hit probability with at least one of them
  • Hispano cannon is more accurate and reliable than the 37 mm cannon
  • Excellent rudder control even at high speeds
  • Powerful engine


  • Very low ammunition for 20 mm cannon
  • Machine guns, the .30 cal and the .50 cal has no separate trigger
  • Ammo counter represents the total amount of machine gun ammo, not the particular calibre
  • Gets pilot-sniped easily due to the bubble canopy design
  • Suffers a lot from compression
  • Becomes quite unstable at low speeds
  • Fuel cells are stretched across the wings, resulting in fairly common fires
  • The engine is centrally mounted, taking engine damage while being chased is common
  • Terrible turning at high speeds


Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the aircraft in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/ History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />. This section may also include the vehicles's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under === In-game description ===, also if applicable).

In-game description

A single-engine all-metal monoplane fighter with a closed cockpit and retractable tricycle landing gear with a nose leg. The aircraft had an unusual layout, with the engine placed behind the cockpit.

The aircraft was designed by the Bell Aircraft design office under the direction of R. Woods and H. Poyer. The experimental model XP-39 took its maiden flight on 6 April 1938.

The first overseas order came from France in October 1939. The French were in urgent need of rearming their fighter forces, and bought as many fighters as they could from overseas. However, the order was not fulfilled before France's capitulation in the summer of 1940. After the capitulation, all outstanding French orders for military vehicles were redirected to Britain.

The high flight characteristics of the experimental XP-39 also drew attention from the British buying committee in the USA. Seduced by its tricycle undercarriage, powerful armament, high climbing rate and promises of high speeds of up to 640 km/h, the British ordered 675 airplanes, including the 200 from the French order.

The fighters produced for Britain had the designation model 14A and were powered by the 12-cylinder air-cooled Allison V-1710-E4 engine with a maximum output of 1,150 hp.

The model 14A's armament consisted of a 20 mm British-Hispano M1 cannon with 60 shells, two large-caliber synchronized Colt Browning M2.5 machine guns on the fuselage with 200 rounds each and four British 7.7 mm Colt-Browning Mk.II .303 machine guns on the wing surfaces with 350 rounds each.

In the RAF, the model 14A fighters received the designation Airacobra Mk.I. However, when the British received the first Airacobra Mk.Is in the summer of 1941, tests revealed that rather than the high-altitude interceptor they had expected, they had actually received an unexceptional medium-altitude fighter, albeit with a powerful engine. At the same time, the fighter's maneuverability and responsiveness received good ratings.

In December 1941, the British Air Ministry decided to remove the Airacobra Mk.I from service. By this time, 164 of the fighters had been sent to Britain.

After Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, the US requisitioned the fighters which had not yet been shipped to the British or were still in various stages of assembly.

In December 1941, 179 of the aircraft went into service in the USAAF with the designation P-400. They kept their British camouflage and organizational numbering. The majority of these planes served within US territory as training vehicles, but a number of P-400s took part in combat operations in New Guinea and North Africa.


A joke which may (or may not) have been used by the British in WW2:[note 1]

Why is the P-400 called the P-400?
Because it's a P-40 with a Zero on its tail!


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.


  1. Copied from War Thunder Forum "Schlechte Witze mit War Thunder Bezug" - 'Bad jokes with War Thunder related content', no source was given by the forum user. Topic is named/about "Bad jokes".

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