P-63 Kingcobra: post-WWII service

A successor to the P-39 Airacobra, the Bell P-63 Kingcobra never saw combat in American colors but was heavily exported via Lend-Lease during WWII, and was used on three continents after the conflict.

The prototype P-63 first flew on 7 December 1942, the one-year anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. The single-seat P-63 was 33′ long with a 38′ wingspan. It was powered by an Allison V-1710 liquid-cooled engine with a two-stage turbocharger. The ceiling was 43,000′ and the average combat radius was 450 NM.

Other than being larger and more sleek than the P-39, the P-63 shared it’s general shape. Improvements were the restoration of the turbocharger which had been deleted from the Airacobra, new laminar flow wings, a new tail for better stability, and a high-performance A64 11’7″ 4-bladed steel propeller. Except for the rudder, all of the P-39’s fabric surfaces were replaced by metal on the P-63.

Read the rest here: P-63 Kingcobra: post-WWII service

Thunderbolt Thursday

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RAF P-47 Thunderbolt MkIIs

I don’t know if this is a wartime picture or postwar.  They appear to have non-SEAC roundels and fin flash (for those that don’t know, South East Asia Command did away with the standard red in the national markings to avoid being mistaken for the Hinomaru of Japan)  but from what I’ve read, other than an Operational Training Unit in Egypt very few Jugs were used by the RAF outside of the PTO.  And the ones used in the PTO were primarily used in Burma.

Move along, no loitering allowed

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A U.S. Navy Douglas A-4E Skyhawk (BuNo 152012) of Attack Squadron 45 (VA-45) Det.1 Blackbirds intercepting a Soviet Tupolev Tu-126 Moss AEW aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea in 1973. VA-45 Det.1 was assigned to Carrier Anti-Submarine Air Group 56 (CVSG-56) aboard the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid (CVS-11) for a deployment to the Mediterranean Sea from 24 November 1972 to 4 May 1973.

Beauty in Conflict: Korat Air Base, Thailand 06/16/1975

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A right rear view of an F-111 aircraft half silhouetted by sunlight amid dark clouds. Twenty-six F-111 aircraft of the 347th Tactical Fighter Wing are being redeployed from Korat Air Base, Thailand, to the United States due to a reduction in forces.