|This page is about the American fighter P-63A-5. For the Russian version, see P-63A-5 (USSR). For other versions, see P-63 (Family).|
The P-63A-5 Kingcobra is a rank III American fighter with a battle rating of 3.7 (AB/RB/SB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27.
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 6,850 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
| Max Speed
(km/h at 6,850 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
| Wing-break speed
| Gear limit
| Combat flaps
|Max Static G|
|< 410||< 380||< 410||> 320|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|3,658 m||1,250 hp||1,400 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 P-63A-5 is armed with:
- 1 x 37 mm M4 cannon, nose-mounted (30 rpg)
- 2 x 12.7 mm Browning M2 machine guns, nose-mounted (270 rpg = 540 total)
- 2 x 12.7 mm Browning M2 machine guns, wing-mounted (250 rpg = 500 total)
The P-63A-5 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 1 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bomb (500 lb total)
Usage in battles
This aircraft is a good all-altitude fighter. The A-5 can out-climb most of its opponents un-upgraded, although "side climbing" is recommended when the higher altitudes are reached. Its straight line speed, especially at higher altitudes, is respectable, competing with 109s of the rank. This aircraft has a poor turn-time at slower speeds, but as with most US aircraft, its high-speed performance is significantly better than the aircraft it faces, making it a good Boom & Zoom aircraft. The 37 mm gun improves damage to aircraft since the 4 x 12.7 mm Brownings are not greatly powerful at the higher tiers- the 37 mm gun compliments the 12.7 mm's as a good bomber hunter, combined with the sleek profile of the aircraft. The aircraft is not intended, nor should be used, as a ground attack vehicle, since it can only carry one 500 lb bomb and the ammunition count for the 12.7 mm guns is not great. The 37 mm gun can be used as ground attack, although this tactic isn't preferred by some as it reduces the ammo count as a whole for the aircraft, which is one of its limiting factors in combat. Tactically, the aircraft is good for small dives against turn-fighting opponents on the tail of your allies, from around 1,000 m or less above the target. Keeping any "side-climbers" down is normally good since the speed and rate of climb allow the P-63 to catch these planes and send them back down.
An interceptor in any respect. Unlike most American designs the Kingcobra lacks heavy payload for ground attack duties. While the 37 mm can load anti-tank rounds, the plane will lose its excellent anti-air HE shells. Of course, the 12.7 heavy machine guns can be used against planes, in a ground attack role they are rather used on soft targets, as the AP shell lacks high-explosive damage radius to deal with AAA & SPAA quickly. The AP shells also require more accuracy while shooting and thus are inferior to the .50 cal Brownings on range e.g. with the HMG effective fire against light targets is possible from 600 m, but with the 37mm AP shells, this needs to be reduced to 400 m.
Manual Engine Control
|Controllable|| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Auto control available
Auto control available
|Separate|| 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
- Powerful 37 mm cannon with 4 x 12.7 mm machine guns as a backup
- Slightly more powerful engine and better manoeuvrability than the already well performing P-39Q Airacobra
- Can WEP for a long time without overheating
- Jack of all trades
- Limited 37 mm ammo
- Bigger target than the P-39Q
- Still stuck with the same M4 cannon as the P-39's
- Slow fire rate for the 37 mm cannon
- 37mm projectiles are still too slow and inaccurate to be reliably effective in a dog fight
- 37mm projectiles can still not penetrate tank armour even at optimal angles
- Centre mounted engine has a higher tendency to take damage in pursuits and from diving planes.
The P-63 Kingcobra was an improved version of the P-39 Airacobra. The P-63A was the first production variant, and production began in October 1943. The USAAF found the P-63 to be inferior to other designs such as the P-51 Mustang, so it was not ordered in quantity. But, production began to facilitate export to the Soviet Union through the Lend-Lease Act.
The Soviet Union played a major role in the development of the P-63, and it was tested heavily in Russia. The P-63A sub-variants were mostly developed as a result of Soviet feedback since the Soviet Union was the largest buyer of the Kingcobra. The P-63A-5 sub-variant incorporated more pilot armor and a fuselage hardpoint, the A-6 added two wing hardpoints and extra fuel tanks, and the 37 mm gun was moved forward on the A-9 due to Soviet feedback - increasing the ammunition load from 30 to 58 rounds.
The P-63A was not used for combat operations by the USAAF. Instead, they were often converted to target aircraft for aerial gunnery training. Most P-63s, though, were exported to the Soviet Union during the war through the Lend-Lease Act.
The P-63 was removed from the Soviet western front in 1943 in order to focus the units on the east for an eventual invasion of Japan. However, both Soviet units and German units reported the presence of P-63 fighters on that front. One Soviet account goes as far as to say that the entire 4th Guards Aviation Regiment (4 GvlAP) was converted to the P-63 in 1944, while they were officially flying the P-39. German accounts also detail the downing of P-63 aircraft by flak guns and fighter aircraft. The official Soviet records still claim that only P-39s were used against Germany.
In the time before the P-63s were transferred to the east, it had been proven as a capable fighter, although there is a widely believed myth that P-63s were used only in the ground attack role. The Kingcobra was able to achieve a number of victories over German aircraft in that time. In the Pacific theatre, P-63s were used during the Soviet invasion of Manchuko and northern Korea. They flew ground attack, close air support, and escort missions in that theatre. The first Soviet air victory with the type in the Pacific was on 15 August 1945, when Lejtenant I. F. Miroshnichenko from 17th IAP/190 IAD, shot down a Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa IJAAS fighter off the coast of North Korea.
The Soviet Air Force maintained large quantities of P-63 Kingcobras after the war, with P-63s remaining in service throughout the Korean War in the 1950’s.
The French Air Force (Armée de l’Air) received 114 P-63 Kingcobras in 1945. These units were received too late to participate in World War 2, and they were first deployed to Algeria. When the French Indochina War broke out, the P-63s were sent to Indochina immediately. By January 1950, only 60 P-63s remained operational due to a lack of spare parts since the United States refused to provide them. The squadrons equipped with the Kingcobra began to receive the F8F Bearcat in February 1951, and the P-63 was taken out of service soon after. The last flight of a P-63 in Indochina occurred in September 1951.
Bell P-63A-1/A-5 (Model 33) Kingcobra Army Fighter
A single-seat, closed-canopy, all-metal monoplane fighter with retractable landing gear and a nose strut. The P-63 Kingcobra was developed as an improved version of the P-39 Airacobra and had a similar layout, with the engine located just behind the cockpit.
Work on the plane, originally designated the XP-39E, began in February 1941. The first prototype, designated XP-63, flew on December 7, 1942, and production of the P-63A-1 (Model 33) began in October 1943, along with the P-39.
The general layout of the P-39 Kingcobra was preserved, but the P-63 featured new, streamlined wings. In order to remedy the P-39's main weakness, a propensity to falling into a flat spin, the area of the vertical tail fin was increased and the aft section of the fuselage was lengthened.
The first production models were equipped with a V-12 liquid-cooled Allison V-1710-93 engine (1325 hp). The aircraft was armed with a Colt-Browning M4 37mm machine gun with 30 rounds and 2 synchronous Colt-Browning M2.5 12.7mm machine guns with 270 rounds per gun. An additional two M2.5s with 250 rounds each were placed in the wing compartments.
Aircraft of both series (except some A-1 planes) were fitted with a ventral pylon which could hold a fuel tank of 75 gallons (284 liters) or one 500-lb (227-kg) bomb.
The aircraft was continually tweaked from one production run to the next, improving its ability to support troops on the field. However, the differences between the A-1 and the A-5 were only slight. The most significant difference, though not a visible one, was the increase in armor from 40 kilograms to 81. 50 P-63A-1 and 20 P-63A-5 planes were produced.
The Red Army became the main consumers of the P-63A. Deliveries to the Soviet Union began in the summer of 1944, via Alaska and the Northwest Staging Route. The P-63A began to support Soviet anti-aircraft operations in the spring of 1945.
The Soviet version of the P-63A differed from the American in one important feature: the presence of a crank to start the engine. In addition, the Soviets equipped the plane with FAB-100 and FAB-250 bombs under the fuselage.
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;
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Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
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|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-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|
|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|