P-63C-5 (France)

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This page is about the French fighter P-63C-5 (France). For other versions, see P-63 (Family).
GarageImage P-63C-5 (France).jpg
ArtImage P-63C-5 (France).jpg
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The ▄P-63C-5 Kingcobra is a rank III French fighter with a battle rating of 4.0 (AB/RB) and 4.7 (SB). It was introduced in Update 1.73 "Vive la France".

The aircraft is a high altitude interceptor/ energy fighter, with its turn radius slightly better than before. The quick dive speed and high energy retention allows the player, with the correct altitude, to engage opponents below numerous times using the high yo-yo method. This aircraft should not be used for ground attack due to its average ammo count.

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 4 572 m663 km/h
Turn time23 s
Max altitude12 500 m
EngineAllison V-1710-117
Cooling systemWater
Take-off weight5 t
Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 4,572 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 627 609 12500 24.2 25.1 16.8 16.8 289
Upgraded 710 663 22.3 23.0 29.0 21.7


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
0 304 378 359 262 ~12 ~6
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 410 < 380 < 410 > 320

Survivability and armour

Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural0 km/h
Gear304 km/h
  • 38 mm Bulletproof glass in front of pilot.
  • 12.7 mm Steel plate behind pilot's top body.
  • 6.35 mm Steel plates on cockpit doors.
  • 19.05 mm Steel plate behind 37 mm autocannon.
  • 15.87 mm Steel plates in front of pilot's feet.
  • 12.7 mm Steel plate behind engine.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB1 190 → 1 536 Sl icon.png
RB3 100 → 4 002 Sl icon.png
SB4 080 → 5 267 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications34 600 Rp icon.png
71 700 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost1 300 Ge icon.png
Crew training44 000 Sl icon.png
Experts150 000 Sl icon.png
Aces700 Ge icon.png
Research Aces390 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
60 / 140 / 410 % Sl icon.png
154 / 154 / 154 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
2 300 Rp icon.png
4 800 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods radiator.png
2 300 Rp icon.png
4 800 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods compressor.png
1 900 Rp icon.png
3 900 Sl icon.png
140 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
2 900 Rp icon.png
6 000 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mods new engine.png
2 900 Rp icon.png
6 000 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
3 800 Rp icon.png
7 900 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
1 900 Rp icon.png
3 900 Sl icon.png
140 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
3 800 Rp icon.png
7 900 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
2 300 Rp icon.png
4 800 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
1 900 Rp icon.png
3 900 Sl icon.png
140 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
FMBC mk.1
1 900 Rp icon.png
3 900 Sl icon.png
140 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
2 900 Rp icon.png
6 000 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
3 800 Rp icon.png
7 900 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png


Offensive armament

Ammunition58 rounds
Fire rate165 shots/min
Ammunition900 rounds
Fire rate750 shots/min

The P-63C-5 (France) is armed with:

  • 1 x 37 mm M10 cannon, nose-mounted (58 rpg)
  • 2 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, nose-mounted (250 rpg = 500 total)
  • 2 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, wing-mounted (200 rpg = 400 total)

Suspended armament

List of setups (1)
Setup 13 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bomb
Main article: AN-M64A1 (500 lb)

The P-63C-5 (France) can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • Without load
  • 3 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs (1,500 lb total)

Usage in battles

The P-63C-5 is a superb energy fighter, especially at low-to-mid altitudes, with a very respectable turn performance. Its extremely high top speed and climb rate at low altitudes, along with good turn performance, allow it to out-energy most opponents, especially if care is taken to lure them into high-speed fights, where most opponents will lose their energy much more quickly than the P-63.

While better at altitude than the P-39 from which it was developed, the P-63 loses much of its performance edge around 3,000-4,000 m compared to its main competitor, the BF-109F, along with many other air superiority fighters. If you find yourself in a dogfight at altitude with such an aircraft, try to lure them to a lower altitude where you can better leverage your performance advantages. If the situation allows, a shallow dive is often a good technique, as it takes advantage of the airframe's low drag to neutralize any performance deficit relative to most opponents. A steep dive can be useful in a pinch, but allows the canny enemy to retain a defined altitude advantage while staying above you.

The M2s are strong machine guns with a relatively long range. While effective out past 500 m, especially against relatively slow targets, care should be taken when firing relative to many other M2-carrying fighters due to the relatively low number of rounds per gun. Remember that you out-speed most opponents, so burning ammo to spook fleeing opponents isn't always necessary.

The 37 mm M10 cannon is ridiculously powerful, but not horribly accurate and gains dispersion quickly when burst firing. Aim carefully when firing, and prioritize its use on stalling fighters or larger opponents such as attackers or bombers. A single shot to a wing or fuselage of an enemy plane is often all that it takes to bring it down. Try to wait until you are within a few hundred metres to fire, even at what would be a dead easy shot for a gun or cannon with better velocity and accuracy. Never fire more than a few shots of 37 mm at a time to minimize dispersion and ensure the cannon does not jam.

Head-on attacks are a mixed bag in the P-63. While the Brownings are strong in a head-on due to their high general damage and good accuracy, the P-63 is generally fragile and extremely prone to fires on the wing fuel tanks, which will immediately neutralize you as a threat even if you survive the fire due to massively increased drag and degraded turn performance. The best way to approach head-ons in this fighter is to dodge using your strong roll to stay off-axis relative to your opponent and use your strong performance and turn characteristics to gain the upper hand in the subsequent fight. If confident in your aim, try firing a short burst at around 800 m from your opponent before dodging. With their high velocity, a well-aimed burst from the Brownings can take a naive opponent by surprise, and will often cause critical damage to their plane. The 37 mm is not generally useful in a properly-executed head-on, as its poor accuracy makes it unlikely to land a hit if you break off to dodge at a safe point. Save the ammo for later when you've drained your opponent of their energy and have a clear shot.

While the P-63 excels as an energy fighter, if you find yourself in the position to boom-and-zoom, it is extremely good at doing so. Its high top speed and strong climb enable you to maintain the decisive energy/altitude advantage that defines boom-and-zooming. The P-63's main disadvantage in a high-speed boom manoeuvre is relatively strong elevator control stiffening at speed, which can make lining up a shot difficult. Remember that against most enemies, as long as you are pushing them down in altitude, it is easy to maintain an energy advantage in this plane, so transitioning from a high energy differential with extremely long boom-and-zoom yo-yos to a lower energy differential with tighter loops can be advantageous, as it puts the opponent under more pressure as they have less time to prepare between each of your approaches.

The P-63 can make effective bomber hunter as a typical bomber makes an easy shot, even with the 37 mm. Ensure you set up your runs effectively, as the P-63's fragility means a well-placed burst from the bomber's turrets can easily take you out of the fight. It's often inadvisable to pursue bombers at high altitude due to the P-63's relatively poor performance above 4,000 m. A canny bomber pilot that is above or even at the same altitude as you will simply turn away and rake you with their defensive armament. However, if you find yourself above a bomber, the P-63's speed can enable safe, high-speed runs that will often net easy kills due to the P-63's strong armament.

Manual Engine Control

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

Pros and cons


  • Excellent dive speed
  • Excellent energy retention
  • Better-than-average climb rate
  • Good flat out speed
  • Good cannon damage


  • Average turn time
  • Worse-than-average performance at low speeds
  • Ineffective armament against higher rank aircraft
  • Prone to engine damage when being chased


The P-63C saw little use with the US Air Force, and most were exported via Lend-Lease to the USSR. However, France also placed an order for 300 P-63C Kingcobras, to be delivered in 1945; of these, 114 aircraft were delivered before the rest of the order was voided, as the US found it unprofitable to continue producing Kingcobras after the war's end. By the time of contract cancellation, 3 full squadrons had converted to the Kingcobra while many more planes weren't ready for service. The first squadron to convert to the P-63 was the II/9 "Auvergne", based in North Africa.

The delivery of these aircraft to France caused a diplomatic stir in the United States, where the Lend-Lease program had been subsidized using taxpayer dollars. It was hoped that the aircraft would see service fighting the Luftwaffe in WWII, rather than sit the war out. However, the French soon made good use of their P63C Kingcobras with the outbreak of conflict in French Indochina between 1946-47.

The first Kingcobras arrived in 1949, replacing ex-WWII Spitfires that had been donated by the RAF. As the Viet Minh had no air force, the P-63Cs were used as ground attack aircraft, dropping WWII-era 250 lb bombs or non-finned napalm bombs. However, the Viet Minh soon began to receive advanced AA guns from the USSR and China, resulting in a dramatic increase of aircraft loss rates. At one point, the attrition rate reached 25% per year, with 30 aircraft losses between 1949 and 1951. The majority of these aircraft were written off due to flak damage, or were destroyed in runway accidents due to the poor quality of the French airfields. The aircraft were further limited by a lack of spare parts (the US refused to supply any) and a general hostile attitude towards the conflict in the United States.

By 1951, the American attitudes changed and began actively supporting the French forces. As a result, the French started receiving surplus F6F, F8F and F4U aircraft from American inventories. By winter of that year, the P-63C Kingcobra had disappeared from service in Indochina. None of the airframes were ever shipped back, and several wrecked aircraft remain in present-day Vietnam. The final French P-63 was retired in 1962, having served as a trainer with the French Air force.



See also

External links

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-39Q-25
  ▂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-1F · AH-1G · AH-1Q · ▅AH-1S early · ▅AH-1S · ▅AH-1S Kisarazu
See Also  Fuji Heavy Industries · Agusta

France fighters
Dewoitine  D.371 · D.371 H.S.9 · D.373 · D.500 · D.501 · Pallier's D.510 · D.520
Morane-Saulnier  M.S.405C1 · M.S.406C1 · M.S.410
Arsenal  V.G.33C-1
Bloch  M.B.152C1 · M.B.157
Caudron  C.R.714
Sud-Ouest  S.O.8000 Narval
American  H-75A-1 · H-75A-4 · ▄P-39Q-25 · ▄P-40F-5 Lafayette · ▄P-47D-22-RE · ▄P-63C-5 · F-6C-10-NA
  ▄F6F-5 · ▄F6F-5N · F4U-7 · ▄F8F-1B
Other countries  ▄Seafire LF Mk.III · ▄Yak-3 · Challe's ▄Yak-9T · NC.900