|This page is about the American fighter P-63A-10. For other uses, see P-63 (Family).|
The P-63A-10 Kingcobra is a rank III American fighter with a battle rating of 4.0 (AB/RB) and 4.7 (SB). This fighter has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27.
This later mark of the A-model Kingcobra is quite similar to the earlier P-63A-5. Aside from the striking golden camouflage, the airframe itself only has minor detail differences. Internally, it has modified armament and extra engine power. The best performing Kingcobra at low altitudes, the A-10 is a versatile fighter. It requires some finesse to fly but can give feared opponents like the Bf 109 F-4 a serious run for their money.
The P-63A-10 has fairly good all-round characteristics. As with most US aircraft, it handles well at high speeds. The elevator and roll do not compress much even past 600 km/h IAS, though the rudder does lose effectiveness past that point. Low speed maneuverability is poor and the turning performance becomes sluggish under around 300 km/h IAS. Unique for a US fighter is the good climb rate, comparable to the German Bf 109 series. It matches the Bf 109 F-4 in climb up to 2000 meters and starts to fall behind slightly at 3000 meters. Past that, the P-63's performance decreases and the difference in climb rate becomes more pronounced, though it is still quite decent at 4000-5000 meters and can outclimb Fw 190s and most Soviet fighters at these altitudes. Try not to go any higher than that.
Kingcobras are known for their excellent roll rates, good vertical/horizontal energy retention, and poor maneuvering energy retention. The A-10's low-altitude speed is excellent, beating out other Kingcobra models. Its top speed at sea level is about 595 km/h, matching the P-51D-5 Mustang. It takes some time to reach this speed in level flight. Having some altitude and entering a shallow dive speeds up the process.
The A-10 shares the same Allison V-1710-93 engine with the A-5 but has a higher boost pressure. It has about 150 less horsepower on normal settings and about 300 more when using WEP. The engine tends to run hot when using WEP as a result and it's important to manage the temperature. The propeller pitch can also be adjusted using MEC, unlike the A-5. Aggressive throttle control can over-rev the engine.
| Max Speed
(km/h at 5,650 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Max Speed
(km/h at 5,650 m)
|Max altitude (meters)||Turn time (seconds)|| Rate of climb
|Take-off run (meters)|
|Combat flap||Take-off flap||Landing flap||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
| Wing-break speed
| Gear limit
| Combat flap
|Max Static G|
|< 430||< 430||< 419||> 250|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|7,000 m||1,100 hp||1,705 hp|
Survivability and armour
- 15.87 mm Steel - Plates x 2, lower fore cockpit
- 19.05 mm Steel - Plate, upper fore cockpit
- 12.7 mm Steel - Plate behind pilot's seat
- 12.7 mm Steel - Plate protecting oil cooling system
- 38 mm Bulletproof glass - Windscreen
The Kingcobra provides quite a lot of protection for its pilot in both the front and back. Pilot snipes are a relatively rare occurrence as a result. However the rear placement of the engine poses some issues; it can block some fire from the rear, but this means that pursuing fighters can potentially damage or even knock out the engine. Another issue with the design is that the fuselage has essentially no room for fuel tanks, and they are placed in the outboard section of the wings as a result. The fuel tanks, though self-sealing, can be ignited by stray fire and will often spell doom for the Kingcobra. The durability is otherwise pretty good. Given some distance and mild evasive maneuvers, incoming fire will often bounce off with little damage.
The US P-63A-10 and P-63C-5 are known for their garish paint schemes. This can be a liability in Ground RB or Simulator battles since it's easier for enemies to spot than the typical brown or blue camouflages of US aircraft. If looking like a ripe banana is a problem, the P-63A-10 has an unlockable silver camouflage similar to the French P-63C-5.
The P-63A-10 is armed with:
- 1 x 37 mm M10 cannon, nose-mounted (58 rpg)
- 2 x 12.7 mm Browning M2 machine guns, nose-mounted (250 rpg = 500 total)
- 2 x 12.7 mm Browning M2 machine guns, wing-mounted (200 rpg = 400 total)
The P-63A-10 replaces the A-5's M4 cannon, originally inherited from the P-39 Airacobra, with a new M10 cannon. The M10 uses a disintegrating link feed system and has better performance: faster rate of fire, lower chance of jamming, and almost twice the ammunition. Unfortunately it still has atrocious accuracy when stock, so don't use it outside of point-blank range until the New 37 mm Cannon upgrade is researched. It takes a lot of practice to aim and is best used within 500 meters since it has a tendency to spark upon glancing hits. The good news is that a successful hit will usually obliterate any single-engined aircraft. Larger aircraft will be heavily damaged at the very least; a hit to the wing or the tail will often dismember these parts. The best belt to use against air targets is the Default since it consists entirely of HE rounds. If you must use the cannon against tanks, use the Ground Targets belt. The AP rounds penetrate about 40 mm of armor and are usually enough to knock out engines or the occasional crew member if attacking from high angles. But this aircraft is not as good as the Yak-9T for tank busting: the Ground Targets belt only has 50% AP content and all characteristics of the gun besides ammunition capacity are worse.
The four M2 Browning machine guns are still equipped with mid-war belts. For anti-aircraft purposes the Universal belt is the best due to the high content of M8 AP-I rounds. They are good at starting fires and will dispatch fragile opponents like Yaks and Bf 109s with ease. Unfortunately they don't have much burst mass and are less effective against sturdy targets than the typical US 6-gun complement; this is noticeable when fighting Fw 190s, for example. Another downside specific to the A-10 and C-5 Kingcobras is that their machine guns have less ammunition than the A-5. The wing guns lost 50 rounds per gun to make room for the new wing hardpoints and the nose guns lost 20 rounds because of the new cannon installation. Mind your aim and fire in long bursts only if you're sure that they will hit. The cannon can finish off twin-engined fighters and bombers.
The nose guns are tightly clustered and the two wing-mounted M2 Brownings are mounted midway on the wings. This makes convergence an issue. A common recommendation is to use 400-500 meters convergence to concentrate the machine gun fire, but this is largely up to personal preference. Consider turning on vertical targeting if using a lower convergence setting; this makes leading the cannon easier in turning engagements. Vertical targeting will make attacking ground vehicles more awkward, so it has more drawbacks in Ground RB.
The P-63A-10 can be configured with the following ordinance:
- Without load
- 3 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs (1,500 lb total)
The A-5 only had a single hardpoint under the fuselage for a 500 lb bomb. The A-10 has new wing hardpoints and can carry triple the bomb load, a welcome improvement. The wing bombs will drop as a pair first and the second drop will release the fuselage bomb. The US 500 lb bomb is not particularly powerful but can still do good work if delivered with reasonable accuracy. The first drop is more forgiving since the two bombs have a decent combined blast radius. The second drop is more demanding but the centreline position allows you to deliver it accurately; it is very satisfying to land one next to or on top of an enemy tank.
Usage in battles
The P-63A-10 has good all-round characteristics and lends itself to several possible strategies. Examine what nations are present on the enemy team; German and Italian teams usually have Bf 109s, C.205s, and similar fighters that climb well and typically attack from above, while Soviet teams tend to stay at low to medium altitudes and can be comfortably outclimbed. If you want to work with an altitude advantage against Axis teams, try sideclimbing once you reach 3000-4000 meters.
Going after bombers is a valid option provided that they are not at extreme altitudes; attack from underneath, directly above, or the side and try not to sit on their tails. Open up with the machine guns early on, and once the distance is short enough for consistent hits to be scored, start using the cannon in short bursts. Optimally, the machine guns can knock out defensive gunners and start fires, while the cannon can rip off tails or wings. It is very gratifying to dismember a bomber with a well-placed cannon shot. The rear-mounted engine protects the P-63 from engine knockouts but it pays not to sit still, as even small calibre machine guns can ignite the wing fuel tanks with fatal results.
The P-63 excels at diving attacks on attackers and fighters due to its mild control compression, durable wings, and good energy rentention. If the target evades, simply zoom climb back up or extend away, then look for an opening to engage again. This tactic works well if you catch someone in the middle of a climb since they will be continuously forced down. Just be careful against Soviet fighters since they perform optimally at low altitude.
When committing to a dogfight, avoid turning for more than short periods of time. Although the P-63 turns well at high speed, such manoeuvres tend to bleed its energy and put a lot of stress on the pilot. If an engagement has cost a lot of speed, altitude, and ammunition, consider disengaging. The P-63 relies on being able to enter engagements with an energy advantage and using that to win. And during heated combat, avoid letting the P-63's speed drop below 300 km/h. If this happens, use combat flaps and try to regain speed as quickly as possible.
With WEP, the P-63A-10 has a significantly better power-to-weight ratio than the A-5, which was somewhat underpowered. This means that you can engage in turnfights, spiral climbs, and stall climbs more comfortably. Still, enter those with caution. The low speed handling isn't any better.
Evasive manoeuvres and defensive flying are important skills to master in the P-63 since it cannot always rely on outrunning enemies, outturning them, or having teammates nearby. If the pursuer has a lower top speed than the P-63 and does not have ludicrously powerful cannons, extend away in a shallow dive and continuously make slight dodges upwards and downwards. With the A-10, you can escape by diving to sea level; almost no aircraft around its battle rating can keep up if you hold onto your speed. Rolling scissors are effective to force overshoots against opponents with poor roll rates. As a last resort, combining roll, elevator, and rudder results in an unpredictable and rapid spiral while bleeding speed quickly.
The general flow of battle can be unpredictable. If your team has numerous sideclimbing fighters, you can enter battle slightly ahead of them and tie up the enemy, setting them up for friendly boom-and-zoom attacks. Dragging Axis fighters to lower altitudes can work well, as they tend to be significantly slower there. Against Soviet aircraft, stick to boom-and-zoom attacks and maintain a safe distance. Their low speed handling and power-to-weight are significantly better and their speeds are comparable. The Yak-3 can send you back to the hangar if you do not watch your speed and altitude.
The P-63A-10 is a good yet uncommon choice for Ground RB. Many US fighters or attackers like the Hellcat and Thunderbolt can carry heavy ground attack ordinance but are out of their element in the low-altitude environment of Ground RB matches. Their high altitude performance advantages are moot and they struggle to turn or climb effectively, making it easier for Bf 109s, C.205s, and even Zeroes to mop them up. The P-63A-10 has excellent performance at low altitudes and is right at home in the skies above tank battles.
If there are no enemy fighters, take the bomb payload and load the Ground Targets belt for the cannon. After spawning in, gain some altitude and look for targets to bomb. When the bombs have been expended, extend away and gain some altitude while getting your bearings. If enemy aircraft are present, climb some more and engage once you have an energy advantage. If the skies are clear, you can fly around the map, strafe targets with the machine guns, and annoy tanks with the cannon. Returning to base to reload the bombs is an option if the battle is not moving very quickly. If you think enemy aircraft will be inbound soon, climb to get the drop on them when they spawn in.
As mentioned before, the P-63A-10 cannot cope with enemy fighters when burdened with its full bombload. There is unfortunately no option to take only the centerline bomb, so think carefully before spawning in. If it turns out that your team does not have control of the air, you can ditch the ordinance and go after fighters, then return to the airfield once it's safe to reload the bombs. A more risky option is deliver the bombs and make a beeline towards your airfield using your sea level speed. Once you are covered by friendly airfield AA, you can climb and reset the engagement on your terms.
A well-flown P-63A-10 can destroy and harass both ground and air targets. As long as you stay aware of your surroundings, few opponents will give you trouble.
Manual Engine Control
|Controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Separate||Not controllable||Not controllable|
|I||Fuselage Repair||Radiator||Offensive 12 mm|
|II||Compressor||Airframe||New 12 mm MGs||FMBC mk.1|
|III||Wings Repair||Engine||Offensive 37 mm|
|IV||Engine Injection||Cover||New 37 mm Cannons|
Pros and cons
- Good horizontal speed and acceleration
- Excellent dive speed
- Excellent performance at high speed, relatively minor compression
- Good rate of climb
- Good turn radius
- Good energy retention if maneuvering is kept to a minimum
- 37 mm cannon can chew bombers easily
- No fuel tank in the fuselage
- Can carry an impressive 1500 lbs worth of bombs if the need arises
- Almost double the amount of 37 mm shells compared to previous Bell aircraft
- Poor turn time at lower speeds
- Large difference in trajectory between 37 mm and 12.7 mm, limiting the opportunities at which the firepower of both can be utilized
- 37 mm cannon is not that effective against tanks
- Not much ammunition for the machine guns
- Wings are littered with fuel tanks and easily set ablaze
- Default paint scheme makes the aircraft visible at a longer distance
Bell P-63A-6/A-7/A-8/A-9/A-10 Kingcobra Army Fighter
The A-6 series introduced two additional multipurpose pylons under the wings, which could hold two 500-lb (227-kg) bombs or two additional fuel tanks with a capacity of 75 gallons (284 liters). To provide the extra space needed, the Colt-Browning M2.5 12.7mm machine guns in the wings had their ammunition reduced from 250 to 200 rounds per gun. To reduce the risk of the plane going into a flat spin, the shape of the elevator fin was changed, and its area was reduced. A total of 130 A-6 aircraft were built.
During operation, the A-1, A-5, and A-6 aircraft exhibited a strain in the skin of their wings, so the A-7 series (150 planes) featured a thicker lining and reinforced structure. The fighter also had difficulty when exiting a dive or performing vertical maneuvers. This was partially countered by installing a counterbalance in the elevator control system and by increasing the area of the elevator fin. The problem was completely eliminated only by the time modification C was released.
The A-8 series (200 aircraft) had the Allison V-1710 engine, equipped with a water-methanol mixture direct-injection afterburner which could be used to briefly increase engine power to 1800 hp. Also, the airplane was fitted with an improved propeller (the Aeroproducts A6425-D3), an N-6 camera was installed, and the aircraft's armor was upgraded to 85.5 kilograms.
The A-9 series (445 aircraft) had its armament strengthened at the request of the Red Army Air Force. A Colt-Browning M10 37mm cannon was installed. The new gun featured improved ballistics and 58 more rounds of ammunition per gun. To make space for this change, the ammunition for the fuselage guns was reduced to 250 rounds each. In addition, 5 kg of armor were added when the pilot's seat was upgraded.
The A-10 series (730 aircraft) received new N-9 sights. The mass of the aircraft's armor had reached 121 kg, and the aircraft could carry 6 unguided rockets.
As the improved P-63A was being delivered to the Soviet Union, priority shifted to supplying the eastern armies preparing for military action against Japan. During the campaign of August 1945 in the Far East, the P-63 was used to escort bombers and reconnaissance aircraft as well as to cover troops from the air and attack Japanese encampments.
From October 1943 to December 1944, Bell Aircraft produced a total of 1,725 P-63A fighter aircraft, after which the design was replaced by the C modification.
Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.
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.
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|
|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|
|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-47 Thunderbolt||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-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|
|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|