Difference between revisions of "P-59A"

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(Updated description.)
(Added section on Boom and Zoom tactics)
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To accommodate the new type of engines, the {{PAGENAME}} underwent some significant modifications such as a higher placed wing (mid-fuselage compared to the P-63’s low-wing setup), extended tail and fuselage and widened body to accept the turbojet engines. The new {{PAGENAME}} was plagued with many problems (many of which were attributed to early turbojets themselves), though, in the fighter was tested by pilot Chuck Yeager who was thoroughly dissatisfied with the speed of the aircraft, however, he noted that the flight characteristics of the aircraft were amazingly smooth.
 
To accommodate the new type of engines, the {{PAGENAME}} underwent some significant modifications such as a higher placed wing (mid-fuselage compared to the P-63’s low-wing setup), extended tail and fuselage and widened body to accept the turbojet engines. The new {{PAGENAME}} was plagued with many problems (many of which were attributed to early turbojets themselves), though, in the fighter was tested by pilot Chuck Yeager who was thoroughly dissatisfied with the speed of the aircraft, however, he noted that the flight characteristics of the aircraft were amazingly smooth.
  
The {{PAGENAME}} finds itself in a unique position in War Thunder as a jet fighter sitting at rank IV, though just having turbojets compared to its battle rating buddies sporting propellers will not give it the sole advantage. Several turbo-props will be able to keep up, however, the manoeuvrability of this aircraft is where it shines and when the pilot utilises rudder control and combat flaps, the {{PAGENAME}} can surprisingly outmanoeuvre many aircraft including British Spitfires.  The 37 mm autocannon and the three 12.7 mm machine guns are sufficient enough to punch large holes through enemy aircraft or dismantle them piece-by-piece. Without any suspended ordnance, the {{PAGENAME}} will strictly be a fighter/bomber interceptor unless there is a corner of the map where the Airacomet can ground attack without the threat of ambush by enemy fighters as it will need to maintain its speed to be useful.
+
The {{PAGENAME}} finds itself in a unique position in War Thunder as a jet fighter sitting at rank IV, though just having turbojets compared to its battle rating buddies sporting propellers will not give it the sole advantage. Several turbo-props will be able to keep up, however, the maneuverability of this aircraft is where it shines and when the pilot utilizes rudder control and combat flaps, the {{PAGENAME}} can surprisingly outmaneuver many aircraft including British Spitfires.  The 37 mm autocannon and the three 12.7 mm machine guns are sufficient enough to punch large holes through enemy aircraft or dismantle them piece-by-piece. Without any suspended ordnance, the {{PAGENAME}} will strictly be a fighter/bomber interceptor unless there is a corner of the map where the Airacomet can ground attack without the threat of ambush by enemy fighters as it will need to maintain its speed to be useful.
  
 
== General info ==
 
== General info ==
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<!-- Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Speed, manoeuvrability, acceleration and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle. -->
 
<!-- Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Speed, manoeuvrability, acceleration and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle. -->
 
[[File:P-59A *kamikazi-kit 001.jpg|450px|thumb|right|Without having to worry about propeller clearance, the '''{{PAGENAME}}''' had stubby landing gear.]]
 
[[File:P-59A *kamikazi-kit 001.jpg|450px|thumb|right|Without having to worry about propeller clearance, the '''{{PAGENAME}}''' had stubby landing gear.]]
The P-59A ''Airacomet'' is quite an unusual jet with a number of unique and quirky characteristics. Firstly, it has a very low battle rating considering it is a jet. The reason for this is due to how poor its performance is compared to every other jet and most super-props (P-51H, F8F-1B, Bf 109 K-4, G.56, I-225). Secondly, the aircraft is unbelievably manoeuvrable and able to out-turn Spitfires at the BR with the correct usage of the combat flaps and rudder. These oddities make the ''Airacomet'' a very interesting plane to fly and the complete opposite of 90% of jets the player might've flown before. The P-59 has excellent manoeuvrability and decent roll rate. The very terrible acceleration is something to keep an eye on, but in a straight line, you will be able to catch other opponents. It will take a long time to get up to speed, but sooner or later, you'll catch your opponent if they continue to fly in a straight line.  
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The P-59A ''Airacomet'' is quite an unusual jet with a number of unique and quirky characteristics. Firstly, it has a very low battle rating considering it is a jet. The reason for this is due to how poor its performance is compared to every other jet and most super-props (P-51H, F8F-1B, Bf 109 K-4, G.56, I-225). Secondly, the aircraft is unbelievably maneuverable and able to out-turn Spitfires at the BR with the correct usage of the combat flaps and rudder. These oddities make the ''Airacomet'' a very interesting plane to fly and the complete opposite of 90% of jets the player might've flown before. The P-59 has excellent maneuverability and decent roll rate. The very terrible acceleration is something to keep an eye on, but in a straight line, you will be able to catch other opponents. It will take a long time to get up to speed, but sooner or later, you'll catch your opponent if they continue to fly in a straight line.  
  
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
|-
+
! rowspan="2" | Characteristics
! colspan="8" | Characteristics
 
|-
 
! colspan="8" | ''Stock''
 
|-
 
 
! colspan="2" | Max Speed<br>(km/h at 9,144 m)
 
! colspan="2" | Max Speed<br>(km/h at 9,144 m)
! rowspan="2" | Max altitude<br>(meters)
+
! rowspan="2" | Max altitude<br>(metres)
 
! colspan="2" | Turn time<br>(seconds)
 
! colspan="2" | Turn time<br>(seconds)
! colspan="2" | Rate of climb<br>(meters/second)
+
! colspan="2" | Rate of climb<br>(metres/second)
! rowspan="2" | Take-off run<br>(meters)
+
! rowspan="2" | Take-off run<br>(metres)
 
|-
 
|-
 
! AB !! RB !! AB !! RB !! AB !! RB
 
! AB !! RB !! AB !! RB !! AB !! RB
 
|-
 
|-
| 659 || 638 || {{Specs|ceiling}} || 20.9 || 21.4 || 16.1 || 15.3 || 457
+
! Stock
 +
| 659 || 638 || rowspan="2" | {{Specs|ceiling}} || 20.9 || 21.4 || 16.1 || 15.3 || rowspan="2" | 457
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="8" | ''Upgraded''
+
! Upgraded
|-
+
| 723 || 690 || 19.2 || 20.0 || 23.4 || 19.5
! colspan="2" | Max Speed<br>(km/h at 9,144 m)
 
! rowspan="2" | Max altitude<br>(meters)
 
! colspan="2" | Turn time<br>(seconds)
 
! colspan="2" | Rate of climb<br>(meters/second)
 
! rowspan="2" | Take-off run<br>(meters)
 
|-
 
! AB !! RB !! AB !! RB !! AB !! RB
 
|-
 
| 723 || 690 || {{Specs|ceiling}} || 19.2 || 20.0 || 23.4 || 19.5 || 457
 
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
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{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="5" | Features
+
! colspan="6" | Features
 
|-
 
|-
! Combat flaps !! Take-off flaps !! Landing flaps !! Air brakes !! Arrestor gear
+
! Combat flaps !! Take-off flaps !! Landing flaps !! Air brakes !! Arrestor gear !! Drogue chute
 
|-
 
|-
| ✓ || ✓ || ✓ || X || X<!-- ✓ -->
+
| ✓ || ✓ || ✓ || X || X || X    <!-- ✓ -->
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
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{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="5" | Limits
+
! colspan="7" | Limits
 
|-
 
|-
! rowspan="2" | Wing-break speed<br>(km/h)
+
! rowspan="2" | Wings (km/h)
! rowspan="2" | Gear limit<br>(km/h)
+
! rowspan="2" | Gear (km/h)
! rowspan="2" | Combat flaps<br>(km/h)
+
! colspan="3" | Flaps (km/h)
 
! colspan="2" | Max Static G
 
! colspan="2" | Max Static G
 
|-
 
|-
! + !! -
+
! Combat !! Take-off !! Landing !! + !! -
 
|-
 
|-
| {{Specs|destruction|constructions}} || {{Specs|destruction|chassis}} || 520 || ~10 || ~6
+
| {{Specs|destruction|body}} || {{Specs|destruction|gear}} || 520 || 520 || 290 || ~10 || ~6
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
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{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="4" | Optimal velocities
+
! colspan="4" | Optimal velocities (km/h)
 
|-
 
|-
! Ailerons<br>(km/h)
+
! Ailerons !! Rudder !! Elevators !! Radiator
! Rudder<br>(km/h)
 
! Elevators<br>(km/h)
 
! Radiator<br>(km/h)
 
 
|-
 
|-
 
| < 450 || < 420 || < 350 || N/A
 
| < 450 || < 420 || < 350 || N/A
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|}
 
|}
  
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==== Engine performance ====
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="3" | Compressor (RB/SB)
+
! colspan="3" | Engine
 +
! colspan="4" | Aircraft mass
 +
|-
 +
! colspan="2" | Engine name || Number
 +
! colspan="2" | Empty mass || colspan="2" | Wing loading (full fuel)
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="2" | General Electric J31-GE-3 || 2
 +
| colspan="2" | 3,710 kg || colspan="2" | 128 kg/m<sup>2</sup>
 +
|-
 +
! colspan="3" | Engine characteristics
 +
! colspan="3" | Mass with fuel (no weapons load) || rowspan="2" | Max Takeoff<br />Weight
 +
|-
 +
! Weight (each) || colspan="2" | Type
 +
! 8m fuel || 20m fuel || 29m fuel
 +
|-
 +
| 387 kg || colspan="2" | Centrifugal-flow turbojet
 +
| 3,974 kg || 4,328 kg || 4,593 kg || 5,820 kg
 +
|-
 +
! colspan="3" | {{Annotation|Maximum engine thrust @ 0 m (RB / SB)|The maximum thrust produced by each engine, while mounted in the aircraft. NOTE: Thrust varies significantly depending on speed & altitude.}}
 +
! colspan="4" | Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (WEP)
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="3" | Setting 1
+
! Condition || 100% || WEP
 +
! 8m fuel || 20m fuel || 29m fuel || MTOW
 
|-
 
|-
! Optimal altitude
+
| ''Stationary'' || 750 kgf || 780 kgf
! 100% Engine power
+
| 0.39 || 0.36 || 0.34 || 0.27
! WEP Engine power
 
 
|-
 
|-
| 0 m || 750 kgf || 780 kgf
+
| ''Optimal'' || 750 kgf<br />(0 km/h) || 780 kgf<br />(0 km/h)
 +
| 0.39 || 0.36 || 0.34 || 0.27
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
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* 2 x 6.35 steel plates behind the pilot seat
 
* 2 x 6.35 steel plates behind the pilot seat
 
* 9.5 mm steel plate mounted behind the pilot's head
 
* 9.5 mm steel plate mounted behind the pilot's head
 +
 +
As an early jet fighter, common carryovers from the propeller-driven aircraft were found in the {{PAGENAME}} which were eliminated in later aircraft in favor of more fuel or heavier suspended armaments. It was standard to envelop the pilot with armored plates especially in a fighter such as the Airacomet to protect from defensive fire or anti-aircraft shrapnel. To protect the pilot from attacks from the front, a 6.35 mm steel plate was placed both behind the offensive weapons and in front of the instrument panel in the cockpit. A 38 mm bulletproof glass was installed in the front windshield. Three different armored plates were placed behind the pilot's seat and headrest and were of varying thicknesses of 6.35 mm and 9.5 mm.
 +
 +
As the {{PAGENAME}} struggles for speed, it may have been a better option to sacrifice all of the armor but the bulletproof windshield in order to allow for the extra speed due to the weight savings. Unfortunately, this would not be realized until later jet fighters made this transition to forgo most if not all protective armor to squeeze out more power or more ordnance.
  
 
== Armaments ==
 
== Armaments ==
 
=== Offensive armament ===
 
=== Offensive armament ===
 
<!--Describe the offensive armament of the aircraft, if any. Describe how effective the cannons and machine guns are in a battle, and also what belts or drums are better to use. If there is no offensive weaponry, delete this subsection.-->
 
<!--Describe the offensive armament of the aircraft, if any. Describe how effective the cannons and machine guns are in a battle, and also what belts or drums are better to use. If there is no offensive weaponry, delete this subsection.-->
 +
[[File:P-59A Camo skin sln2006.jpg|450px|thumb|right|The '''{{PAGENAME}}''' with the "Fear the Shadows" camouflage. Due to the camouflage being nearly pitch black, it can be next to impossible to spot the plane in night battles.]]
 +
 
{{main|M10 (37 mm)|Browning M2 (12.7 mm)}}
 
{{main|M10 (37 mm)|Browning M2 (12.7 mm)}}
  
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* 1 x 37 mm M10 cannon, nose-mounted (45 rpg)
 
* 1 x 37 mm M10 cannon, nose-mounted (45 rpg)
 
* 3 x 12.7 mm Browning M2 machine guns, nose-mounted (600 rpg = 1,800 total)
 
* 3 x 12.7 mm Browning M2 machine guns, nose-mounted (600 rpg = 1,800 total)
 +
 +
As found on earlier Bell fighters (P-39 and P-63), 37 mm autocannons tended to be heavy hitters with well-placed hits leaving only remnants of enemy fighters or bisecting bomber wings or fuselage. Though a heavy hitter, it is not without faults as it tends to work best in close range (>300 m) and when aircraft are showing the most surface area. Tail-shots have a bad propensity to ''spark'' or hit, but leave minimal or no damage (ricochet shot). Best chances for taking out an aircraft with this cannon is to wait until the enemy begins to maneuver and expose much of its wing or fuselage surface area, giving the 37 mm round the best chance to hit as close to perpendicular as possible thus avoiding sparking or a ricochet shot).
 +
 +
The 12.7 mm machine guns, though not as powerful as an autocannon round, can find their way to putting nice sized holes in engines, control surfaces, fuel tanks and pilots. Since the {{PAGENAME}} has all of its armament located in the nose of the aircraft, the pilot does not have to worry about calculating for convergence and the three machine guns effectively work as a shotgun and sends out a spread pattern of 12.7 mm bullets towards the enemy aircraft. Again, close in, these machine guns can be devastating, though definitely remain an option for longer range shots, however, their punch does start to drop off after a while. It is best to fire the 37 mm autocannon and the 12.7 mm machine guns separately due to the differences in velocity and bullet drop as the heavier 37 mm round will lose velocity quicker and drop sooner than the 12.7 mm rounds and with only 45 rounds to work with, the pilot will not want to squander the precious ammunition which will not land in the same location where the 12.7 mm rounds will hit.
  
 
== Usage in battles ==
 
== Usage in battles ==
 
<!-- Describe the tactics of playing in an aircraft, the features of using aircraft in a team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view, but instead, give the reader food for thought. Examine the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB). -->
 
<!-- Describe the tactics of playing in an aircraft, the features of using aircraft in a team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view, but instead, give the reader food for thought. Examine the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB). -->
 
[[File:P-59A mrlight013 001.png|450px|thumb|right|The '''{{PAGENAME}}''' helps an enemy Japanese fighter perform the very complicated end-over manoeuvre which requires careful removal of the vertical and horizontal stabilizers.]]
 
[[File:P-59A mrlight013 001.png|450px|thumb|right|The '''{{PAGENAME}}''' helps an enemy Japanese fighter perform the very complicated end-over manoeuvre which requires careful removal of the vertical and horizontal stabilizers.]]
There are three ways the player can use the P-59A; energy fighter, highly manoeuvrable dogfighter, or interceptor.
+
There are multiple ways the player can use the P-59A; energy fighter, highly maneuverable dogfighter, interceptor, or boom and zoomer.
  
 
=== Energy Fighter ===
 
=== Energy Fighter ===
  
* The P-59A is a decent energy fighter that can be used versus enemies with worse energy retention, such as most twin-engine fighters and the Fw 190's. This tactic should not be flown versus aircraft like Spitfires, 109's and Ki-84's, however. All of these aircraft have far superior energy retention, climb rates, and speeds than you do. You should only try to out-stall an opponent when they are coming to you with an energy disadvantage, as the ''Airacomet'' has a relatively high stall speed and mediocre climb rate. It is to be noted, however, that the aircraft can very easily recover from a full stall but is a little unstable after having to pull the nose down.
+
* The P-59A is a decent energy fighter that can be used versus enemies with worse energy retention, such as most twin-engine fighters and the Fw 190's. This tactic should not be flown versus aircraft like Spitfires, 109's and Ki-84's, however. Many of these aircraft have superior energy retention, climb rates, and acceleration compared to the P-59A. You should only try to out-stall an opponent when they are coming to you with an energy disadvantage, as the ''Airacomet'' has a relatively high stall speed and mediocre climb rate. It is to be noted, however, that the aircraft can very easily recover from a full stall but is a little unstable after having to pull the nose down.
  
 
=== Dogfighter ===
 
=== Dogfighter ===
  
* The role that P-59A excels the most at is as a medium-altitude dogfighter. This role will allow you to use its unbelievable manoeuvrability to the fullest. The only aircraft that can keep up to you in turns are the Zero's, the Reppu's and the occasional Ki-61. You can outspeed all of them very easily due to their very low top-end speeds, however. It is important to know that you can only outturn Spitfires and Yak-3's with appropriate use of combat flaps and efficient application of the aircraft's solid rudder. A smart pilot will also use the aircraft's great roll rate to help manoeuvre around opponents. The close-range nature of dogfighting is also a boon to the P-59A because of the 37 mm cannon's mediocre muzzle velocity of 610 m/s compared to the Browning's 900 m/s, and at close range, you do not have to worry about that difference.
+
* The role that P-59A excels the most at is as a medium-altitude dogfighter. This role will allow you to use its unbelievable maneuverability to the fullest. The only aircraft that can keep up to you in turns are the Zero's, the Reppu's and the occasional Ki-61. You can out-speed all of them very easily due to their very low top-end speeds, however. It is important to know that you can only out-turn Spitfires and Yak-3's with appropriate use of combat flaps and efficient application of the aircraft's solid rudder. A smart pilot will also use the aircraft's great roll rate to help maneuver around opponents. The close-range nature of dogfighting is also a boon to the P-59A because of the 37 mm cannon's mediocre muzzle velocity of 610 m/s compared to the Browning's 900 m/s, and at close range, you do not have to worry about that difference.
  
 
=== Interceptor ===
 
=== Interceptor ===
  
 
* The P-59A is a very solid interceptor that can easily climb up to bomber altitude and shred their airframes with the potent armament layout at its disposal. Be sure to steer clear of the gunners, as even though your airframe can take a beating, its never a good idea to tail a bomber with at least decent defensive armaments. One should come in at an oblique angle and aim at the wings and engines of the enemy.
 
* The P-59A is a very solid interceptor that can easily climb up to bomber altitude and shred their airframes with the potent armament layout at its disposal. Be sure to steer clear of the gunners, as even though your airframe can take a beating, its never a good idea to tail a bomber with at least decent defensive armaments. One should come in at an oblique angle and aim at the wings and engines of the enemy.
 +
 +
=== Boom and Zoom ===
 +
 +
* Boom and Zoom tactics can be utilized by the P-59A against opponents that may present a challenge in a turning fight. Due to the P-59A lack of prop drag it has decent straight line energy retention. Although this tactic does not leverage the primary strengths of the P-59A it is a very useful fall back when fighting enemys such as the A6M5 Zero or the A7M2/A7M1 Reppu.
  
 
=== Specific enemies worth noting: ===
 
=== Specific enemies worth noting: ===
  
* [[A6M5]]. The dreaded Zero is an aeroplane to be feared while playing the P-59A, due to the fact that it is one of very few aircraft that can turn with you. Under no circumstances are you to engage a Zero in a manoeuvring fight, as it'll turn circles around you. The Zero is plagued by several downfalls though, namely an extremely weak airframe and slow top-end speeds, and you can take advantage of both of these.
+
* [[A6M5]]. The dreaded Zero is an aeroplane to be feared while playing the P-59A, due to the fact that it is one of very few aircraft that can turn with you. Under no circumstances are you to engage a Zero in a maneuvering fight, as it'll turn circles around you. The Zero is plagued by several downfalls though, namely an extremely weak airframe and slow top-end speeds, and you can take advantage of both of these.
* [[A7M2]]/[[A7M1 (NK9H)|A7M1]]. Being a cousin of the legendary Zero, you can expect a similar flight style between the two. The Reppu keeps the manoeuvrability of its cousin while improving speed, acceleration and armaments. Approach a Reppu the same way you would approach the Zero.
+
* [[A7M2]]/[[A7M1 (NK9H)|A7M1]]. Being a cousin of the legendary Zero, you can expect a similar flight style between the two. The Reppu keeps the maneuverability of its cousin while improving speed, acceleration and armaments. Approach a Reppu the same way you would approach the Zero.
  
 
=== Modules ===
 
=== Modules ===
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'''Pros:'''
 
'''Pros:'''
  
* Unbelievable manoeuvrability for a jet
+
* Unbelievable maneuverability for a jet
* Solid armament layout centred entirely in the nose
+
* Solid armament layout centered entirely in the nose
 
* Great roll rate
 
* Great roll rate
 
* Sturdy airframe which can take a beating
 
* Sturdy airframe which can take a beating
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* Slow for a jet, unable to keep up with most super-props
 
* Slow for a jet, unable to keep up with most super-props
 
* Mediocre acceleration due to being an early jet aircraft
 
* Mediocre acceleration due to being an early jet aircraft
* 37 mm cannon rounds can be less effective and easily deflected dut to the angle of attack
+
* 37 mm cannon rounds can be less effective and easily deflected due to the angle of attack
 
* Large target when coming in from above or below
 
* Large target when coming in from above or below
 
* Wings are littered with fuel tanks
 
* Wings are littered with fuel tanks
 +
* No suspended ordnance for dedicated ground-attack
  
 
== History ==
 
== History ==
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== Media ==
 
== Media ==
 
''Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.''
 
''Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.''
 +
 
;Images
 
;Images
 
<div><ul>
 
<div><ul>
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<li style="display: inline-block;"> [[File:P-59A_WTWallpaper_006.jpg|thumb|none|250px|]] </li>
 
<li style="display: inline-block;"> [[File:P-59A_WTWallpaper_006.jpg|thumb|none|250px|]] </li>
 
<li style="display: inline-block;"> [[File:P-59A_WTWallpaper_007.jpg|thumb|none|250px|]] </li>
 
<li style="display: inline-block;"> [[File:P-59A_WTWallpaper_007.jpg|thumb|none|250px|]] </li>
</div></ul>
+
</ul></div>
  
 
;Videos
 
;Videos
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* ''reference to the series of the aircraft;''
 
* ''reference to the series of the aircraft;''
 
* ''links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.''-->
 
* ''links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.''-->
 +
 
;Related development
 
;Related development
 +
 
* Bell [[P-39 (Family)|P-39]] Airacobra
 
* Bell [[P-39 (Family)|P-39]] Airacobra
 
* Bell [[P-63 (Family)|P-63]] Kingcobra
 
* Bell [[P-63 (Family)|P-63]] Kingcobra
  
 
;Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
 
;Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
 +
 
* de Havilland [[Vampire FB 5|Vampire]]
 
* de Havilland [[Vampire FB 5|Vampire]]
 
* Gloster [[Meteor (Family)|Meteor]]
 
* Gloster [[Meteor (Family)|Meteor]]
Line 250: Line 275:
 
* [[wt:en/news/6295/current|[Development<nowiki>]</nowiki> P-59A Airacomet: One of Its Kind]]
 
* [[wt:en/news/6295/current|[Development<nowiki>]</nowiki> P-59A Airacomet: One of Its Kind]]
  
 +
{{AirManufacturer Bell}}
 
{{USA jet aircraft}}
 
{{USA jet aircraft}}
 
{{USA premium aircraft}}
 
{{USA premium aircraft}}

Revision as of 02:36, 27 May 2020

P-59A
p-59a.png
FIND ON MARKETPLACE
AB
RB
SB
General characteristics
Brief
Detailed
5.7/5.3/5.3BR
1 personCrew
5.8 tTake-off weight
3.32 kg/sBurst mass
Flight characteristics
13 000 mCeiling
2 х General Electric J31-GE-3Engine
JetType
airCooling system
Speed of destruction
845 km/hStructural
390 km/hGear
Offensive armament
37 mm M10 cannonWeapon 1
45 roundsAmmunition
164 shots/minFire rate
3 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gunWeapon 2
1 800 roundsAmmunition
768 shots/minFire rate
Economy
Sl icon.png3 000/4 420/1 710Repair
10 000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
290 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
940 Ge icon.pngAces
166 × 2 Talisman.png % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
270 × 2 Talisman.png % Sl icon.png190 × 2 Talisman.png % Sl icon.png100 × 2 Talisman.png % Sl icon.png

Description

GarageImage P-59A.jpg


The P-59A is a gift rank IV American jet fighter with a battle rating of 5.3 (AB/RB) and 5.7 (SB). It was introduced during Update 1.89 "Imperial Navy" as a reward for the Operation H.E.A.T event. It is currently a rare vehicle and is only obtainable through the Gaijin Marketplace.

At the early stages of World War II in 1941, Major General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold was invited to attend a demonstration of the United Kingdom’s Gloster E.28/39, the first British jet aircraft. Impressed with what he saw, he requested a copy of the blueprints to the Power Jets W.1 turbojet engine and received them along with a Whittle W.1X turbojet and drawings for the more powerful W.2B/23 engine. All of this was handed over to General Electric for them to produce a U.S. version of the engine. Next, Bell Aircraft Corporation was approached to build a fighter which would utilize this new jet. Accepting the challenge, Bell started by modifying a version of its P-63 Kingcobra propeller-powered fighter.

To accommodate the new type of engines, the P-59A underwent some significant modifications such as a higher placed wing (mid-fuselage compared to the P-63’s low-wing setup), extended tail and fuselage and widened body to accept the turbojet engines. The new P-59A was plagued with many problems (many of which were attributed to early turbojets themselves), though, in the fighter was tested by pilot Chuck Yeager who was thoroughly dissatisfied with the speed of the aircraft, however, he noted that the flight characteristics of the aircraft were amazingly smooth.

The P-59A finds itself in a unique position in War Thunder as a jet fighter sitting at rank IV, though just having turbojets compared to its battle rating buddies sporting propellers will not give it the sole advantage. Several turbo-props will be able to keep up, however, the maneuverability of this aircraft is where it shines and when the pilot utilizes rudder control and combat flaps, the P-59A can surprisingly outmaneuver many aircraft including British Spitfires. The 37 mm autocannon and the three 12.7 mm machine guns are sufficient enough to punch large holes through enemy aircraft or dismantle them piece-by-piece. Without any suspended ordnance, the P-59A will strictly be a fighter/bomber interceptor unless there is a corner of the map where the Airacomet can ground attack without the threat of ambush by enemy fighters as it will need to maintain its speed to be useful.

General info

Flight performance

Without having to worry about propeller clearance, the P-59A had stubby landing gear.

The P-59A Airacomet is quite an unusual jet with a number of unique and quirky characteristics. Firstly, it has a very low battle rating considering it is a jet. The reason for this is due to how poor its performance is compared to every other jet and most super-props (P-51H, F8F-1B, Bf 109 K-4, G.56, I-225). Secondly, the aircraft is unbelievably maneuverable and able to out-turn Spitfires at the BR with the correct usage of the combat flaps and rudder. These oddities make the Airacomet a very interesting plane to fly and the complete opposite of 90% of jets the player might've flown before. The P-59 has excellent maneuverability and decent roll rate. The very terrible acceleration is something to keep an eye on, but in a straight line, you will be able to catch other opponents. It will take a long time to get up to speed, but sooner or later, you'll catch your opponent if they continue to fly in a straight line.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 9,144 m)
Max altitude
(metres)
Turn time
(seconds)
Rate of climb
(metres/second)
Take-off run
(metres)
AB RB AB RB AB RB
Stock 659 638 13 000 20.9 21.4 16.1 15.3 457
Upgraded 723 690 19.2 20.0 23.4 19.5

Details

Features
Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear Drogue chute
X X X
Limits
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
845 390 520 520 290 ~10 ~6
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 450 < 420 < 350 N/A

Engine performance

Engine Aircraft mass
Engine name Number Empty mass Wing loading (full fuel)
General Electric J31-GE-3 2 3,710 kg 128 kg/m2
Engine characteristics Mass with fuel (no weapons load) Max Takeoff
Weight
Weight (each) Type 8m fuel 20m fuel 29m fuel
387 kg Centrifugal-flow turbojet 3,974 kg 4,328 kg 4,593 kg 5,820 kg
Maximum engine thrust @ 0 m (RB / SB) Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (WEP)
Condition 100% WEP 8m fuel 20m fuel 29m fuel MTOW
Stationary 750 kgf 780 kgf 0.39 0.36 0.34 0.27
Optimal 750 kgf
(0 km/h)
780 kgf
(0 km/h)
0.39 0.36 0.34 0.27

Survivability and armour

  • 6.35 mm steel plate mounted behind the armaments
  • 6.35 mm steel plate in front of the pilot
  • 38 mm bulletproof glass (63°) mounted in the windshield
  • 2 x 6.35 steel plates behind the pilot seat
  • 9.5 mm steel plate mounted behind the pilot's head

As an early jet fighter, common carryovers from the propeller-driven aircraft were found in the P-59A which were eliminated in later aircraft in favor of more fuel or heavier suspended armaments. It was standard to envelop the pilot with armored plates especially in a fighter such as the Airacomet to protect from defensive fire or anti-aircraft shrapnel. To protect the pilot from attacks from the front, a 6.35 mm steel plate was placed both behind the offensive weapons and in front of the instrument panel in the cockpit. A 38 mm bulletproof glass was installed in the front windshield. Three different armored plates were placed behind the pilot's seat and headrest and were of varying thicknesses of 6.35 mm and 9.5 mm.

As the P-59A struggles for speed, it may have been a better option to sacrifice all of the armor but the bulletproof windshield in order to allow for the extra speed due to the weight savings. Unfortunately, this would not be realized until later jet fighters made this transition to forgo most if not all protective armor to squeeze out more power or more ordnance.

Armaments

Offensive armament

The P-59A with the "Fear the Shadows" camouflage. Due to the camouflage being nearly pitch black, it can be next to impossible to spot the plane in night battles.

The P-59A is armed with:

  • 1 x 37 mm M10 cannon, nose-mounted (45 rpg)
  • 3 x 12.7 mm Browning M2 machine guns, nose-mounted (600 rpg = 1,800 total)

As found on earlier Bell fighters (P-39 and P-63), 37 mm autocannons tended to be heavy hitters with well-placed hits leaving only remnants of enemy fighters or bisecting bomber wings or fuselage. Though a heavy hitter, it is not without faults as it tends to work best in close range (>300 m) and when aircraft are showing the most surface area. Tail-shots have a bad propensity to spark or hit, but leave minimal or no damage (ricochet shot). Best chances for taking out an aircraft with this cannon is to wait until the enemy begins to maneuver and expose much of its wing or fuselage surface area, giving the 37 mm round the best chance to hit as close to perpendicular as possible thus avoiding sparking or a ricochet shot).

The 12.7 mm machine guns, though not as powerful as an autocannon round, can find their way to putting nice sized holes in engines, control surfaces, fuel tanks and pilots. Since the P-59A has all of its armament located in the nose of the aircraft, the pilot does not have to worry about calculating for convergence and the three machine guns effectively work as a shotgun and sends out a spread pattern of 12.7 mm bullets towards the enemy aircraft. Again, close in, these machine guns can be devastating, though definitely remain an option for longer range shots, however, their punch does start to drop off after a while. It is best to fire the 37 mm autocannon and the 12.7 mm machine guns separately due to the differences in velocity and bullet drop as the heavier 37 mm round will lose velocity quicker and drop sooner than the 12.7 mm rounds and with only 45 rounds to work with, the pilot will not want to squander the precious ammunition which will not land in the same location where the 12.7 mm rounds will hit.

Usage in battles

The P-59A helps an enemy Japanese fighter perform the very complicated end-over manoeuvre which requires careful removal of the vertical and horizontal stabilizers.

There are multiple ways the player can use the P-59A; energy fighter, highly maneuverable dogfighter, interceptor, or boom and zoomer.

Energy Fighter

  • The P-59A is a decent energy fighter that can be used versus enemies with worse energy retention, such as most twin-engine fighters and the Fw 190's. This tactic should not be flown versus aircraft like Spitfires, 109's and Ki-84's, however. Many of these aircraft have superior energy retention, climb rates, and acceleration compared to the P-59A. You should only try to out-stall an opponent when they are coming to you with an energy disadvantage, as the Airacomet has a relatively high stall speed and mediocre climb rate. It is to be noted, however, that the aircraft can very easily recover from a full stall but is a little unstable after having to pull the nose down.

Dogfighter

  • The role that P-59A excels the most at is as a medium-altitude dogfighter. This role will allow you to use its unbelievable maneuverability to the fullest. The only aircraft that can keep up to you in turns are the Zero's, the Reppu's and the occasional Ki-61. You can out-speed all of them very easily due to their very low top-end speeds, however. It is important to know that you can only out-turn Spitfires and Yak-3's with appropriate use of combat flaps and efficient application of the aircraft's solid rudder. A smart pilot will also use the aircraft's great roll rate to help maneuver around opponents. The close-range nature of dogfighting is also a boon to the P-59A because of the 37 mm cannon's mediocre muzzle velocity of 610 m/s compared to the Browning's 900 m/s, and at close range, you do not have to worry about that difference.

Interceptor

  • The P-59A is a very solid interceptor that can easily climb up to bomber altitude and shred their airframes with the potent armament layout at its disposal. Be sure to steer clear of the gunners, as even though your airframe can take a beating, its never a good idea to tail a bomber with at least decent defensive armaments. One should come in at an oblique angle and aim at the wings and engines of the enemy.

Boom and Zoom

  • Boom and Zoom tactics can be utilized by the P-59A against opponents that may present a challenge in a turning fight. Due to the P-59A lack of prop drag it has decent straight line energy retention. Although this tactic does not leverage the primary strengths of the P-59A it is a very useful fall back when fighting enemys such as the A6M5 Zero or the A7M2/A7M1 Reppu.

Specific enemies worth noting:

  • A6M5. The dreaded Zero is an aeroplane to be feared while playing the P-59A, due to the fact that it is one of very few aircraft that can turn with you. Under no circumstances are you to engage a Zero in a maneuvering fight, as it'll turn circles around you. The Zero is plagued by several downfalls though, namely an extremely weak airframe and slow top-end speeds, and you can take advantage of both of these.
  • A7M2/A7M1. Being a cousin of the legendary Zero, you can expect a similar flight style between the two. The Reppu keeps the maneuverability of its cousin while improving speed, acceleration and armaments. Approach a Reppu the same way you would approach the Zero.

Modules

P-59A thememethunder 001.png
Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Offensive 12 mm
II Compressor Airframe New 12 mm MGs
III Wings repair Engine Offensive 37 mm
IV G-suit Cover New 37 mm cannons

Being a premium, all modules are unlocked upon acquiring the vehicle.

The recommended belts to use are Tracers for the Brownings and either Default or Universal for the 37 mm cannon.

Pros and cons

P-59A *kamikazi-kit 002.jpg

Pros:

  • Unbelievable maneuverability for a jet
  • Solid armament layout centered entirely in the nose
  • Great roll rate
  • Sturdy airframe which can take a beating
  • Tricycle landing gear to help with high-speed landings
  • Access to premium rewards
  • Very low repair cost

Cons:

  • Slow for a jet, unable to keep up with most super-props
  • Mediocre acceleration due to being an early jet aircraft
  • 37 mm cannon rounds can be less effective and easily deflected due to the angle of attack
  • Large target when coming in from above or below
  • Wings are littered with fuel tanks
  • No suspended ordnance for dedicated ground-attack

History

The P-59A Airacomet is the very first US jet-powered fighter, whose development began back in 1941, when the USA received the schematics for the Whittle turbojet engine from Great Britain. It was the Bell Aircraft Corporation that signed the contract to assemble the New World’s first jet-powered fighter. Despite the unicity of the task at hand and lack of experience in the development of jet-powered aircraft, the company was planning on launching a serial production of the fighter as opposed to just building a test unit. The first aircraft was assembled as early as 1942 and underwent testing until 1944 – the engineers were struggling to solve a multitude of technical issues caused by the new engines. Once the majority of the engine-tuning problems were fixed, it turned out that the flight characteristics of the new vehicle couldn’t surpass even those of serially produced piston-engine models. Nonetheless, a small series of P-59s was manufactured – a total of 66 aircraft branded “Airacomets”. The US jet-powered firstling failed to impress the military, and soon all combat aircraft were replaced with P-80 Shooting Stars.

- From Devblog

Media

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

Images
  • P-59A WTWallpaper 001.jpg
  • P-59A WTWallpaper 002.jpg
  • P-59A WTWallpaper 003.jpg
  • P-59A WTWallpaper 004.jpg
  • P-59A WTWallpaper 005.jpg
  • P-59A WTWallpaper 006.jpg
  • P-59A WTWallpaper 007.jpg
Videos
P-59 Airacomet - Everything You Need to Know - WhooptieDo
P-59A Airacomet - Early Look & Review - BaconGaming
P-59A Airacomet "The Most OP Thing I Have Flown In Years!" - Bo Time Gaming

See also

Related development
  • Bell P-39 Airacobra
  • Bell P-63 Kingcobra
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

External links


Bell Aircraft Corporation
Aircraft 
Fighters  P-39N-0 · P-39Q-5
  P-400
  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
Helicopters 
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 jet aircraft
F-4  F-4C Phantom II · F-4E Phantom II
F-80  F-80A-5 · F-80C-10
F-84  F-84B-26 · F-84G-21-RE
F-86  F-86A-5 · F-86F-25 · F-86F-2 · F-86F-35
F-89  F-89B · F-89D
F-104  F-104A · F-104C
F9F  F9F-2 · F9F-5 · F9F-8
FJ-4  FJ-4B · FJ-4B VMF-232
Other  P-59A · F3D-1 · F2H-2 · F3H-2 · F-100D
A-4  A-4B
B-57  B-57A · B-57B

USA premium aircraft
Fighters  F4U-4B VMF-214 · Thach's F2A-1 · Galer's F3F-2 · P-26A-34 · P-40C · P-43A-1
  P-47M-1-RE · ⋠P-47M-1-RE · P-51A · P-51D-10 · P-51D-20-NA · ␠Kingcobra · XP-55
  ▃A6M2 · ▃Ki-43-II · ▃Ki-61-Ib · ▃Bf 109 F-4 · ▃Fw 190 A-8 · ▃Spitfire LF Mk IXc
Twin-engine fighters  XP-38G · Bong's P-38J-15 · P-38K · P-61A-1 · XF5F · XP-50 · F7F-3
Jet fighters  P-59A · F-86F-35 · F-89B · F-89D
Attackers  A2D-1 · AU-1 · XA-38
Bombers  A-26C-45DT · B-10B · BTD-1 · PBM-3 "Mariner" · PV-2D