Bell P-39 Airacobra (2nd Edition)

Yellow • 2011
AuthorsArtur Juszczak, Robert Pęczkowski
IllustratorArtur Juszczak
Release date2011-06-16
Cat. No.6129
CategoryAvailable CategoryDostępne
FormatB5, 160 pages (112 in colour)
Price75.00 PLN Price17.00 GBP

Zaprojektowana jako myśliwiec przechwytujący, Airacobra, w chwili wprowadzenie do służby, była uważana za jeden z najbardziej zaawansowanych samolotów.

Pięknie zaprojektowana z zastosowaniem najnowszych technologii nie osiągnęła wybitnych sukcesów w służbie, ale w rękach pilotów radzieckich okazała się dobrym samolotem.

Książka ta opisuje techniczne aspekty tego ważnego, ale często pomijanego, w opisach, samolotu z drugiej wojny.

Książka zawiera plany we wszystkich skalach od 1/144 do 1/32. Zdjęcia historyczne oraz zachowanych egzemplarzy oraz wzory malowań wszystkich wersji i z różnych krajów.

Designed as an interceptor, when the Bell P-39 Airacobra appeared in 1941 it was acclaimed as one of the most advanced combat planes of the time. Elegantly designed and innovatively engineered (it featured the engine mid-aircraft like a racing car), it experienced mixed operational fortunes but was especially successful in the Soviet air force. This book is a full technical history of this important but neglected fighter of World War Two. It presents scale plans of all versions, many detailed photographs of surviving aircraft, full colour illustrations of the aircraft in the different liveries of its many users: USAAF, RAF, Soviet, French, Italian and others, in total more than 50 colour profiles.


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  • Airfix Model WOrld • 2013-04-13
  • Cybermodeler.com • 2013-04-13

    Mushroom Model Publications (MMP) is based in the UK. They have all their books printed by Stratus in Sandomierz Poland in the English language. Stratus also does their own series of books in both Polish and English. This book was sent to me directly from Stratus.

    Designed as an interceptor, when the Bell P-39 Airacobra appeared in 1941 it was acclaimed as one of the most advanced combat planes of the time. Elegantly designed and innovatively engineered (it featured the engine behind the pilot and a 37mm cannon), it experienced mixed operational fortunes. This was largely due to its engine limitations and the extra weight of operational equipment.

    Rejected by the RAF, the type was especially successful in the Soviet Air Force. This book is full of the technical history of this important, but neglected, fighter of WWII. It covers all production versions. The modifications and improvements made by the Soviet Air Force, who took much of the production output, are also described in detail.

    The book includes scale plans of all versions. 1/72nd scale line drawing plans, and one 1/144th drawing are in the pages of the book. There is a large 23 ½” x 16 ¼” poster that is folded and inserted into the book. This has a 1/32nd scale 5-view line drawing on one side of it of the P-39Q. On the opposite side is 2 1/48th scale 5 view drawings.

    One is of the P-39Q and the second is of the P-39F. Neat!!

    The 1/72nd line profile drawings in the pages of the book include:


    P-39C (2 drawings. One is a 4 view)

    P-39D (2 drawings)

    British Airacobra I


    P-39D-2 reconnaissance version

    P-39F (2 drawings. One is a 4 view)

    TP-39F (2-seat trainer)





    P-39N (2 drawings)

    P-39Q (3 drawings)

    TP-39Q (2-seat trainer)

    TP-39 UTI (Soviet 2-seat trainer conversion)

    There are 7 data lists in the book and 41 technical manual illustrations.

    The book has color walk around shots of P-39’s in museums. Unfortunately, we are not told where some of these shots were taken.

    A P-39Q in Soviet markings that is in a Finish Museum. There are 43 very detailed walk around photos of this one.

    A P-39N somewhere in a US museum. There are 91 very detailed walk around shots of this one. These walk around photos show all the details of the airframes of these 2 aircraft and their armaments. Pretty much every inch of their anatomy!!

    Also included in the color photos is a shot of the cockpit interior of an unspecified version and 2 color photos of the Allison V-1710 engine.

    At the back of the book are pages with 43 color profile paintings. These include:

    P-39C in US markings (2 profiles)

    P-400 in US markings (8 profiles, One is a 4 view)

    British Airacobra I

    P-400 in Soviet markings

    P-400 in Portuguese markings

    Airacobra Mk. I in Soviet markings

    P-39D in US markings

    P-39D-1 in US markings

    P-39D-2 in US markings (a 3 view)

    P-39D-2 in Soviet markings

    P-39F in US markings

    P-39F in RAAF markings (3 profiles)

    P-39J in US markings

    P-39K in US markings

    P-39K in Soviet markings

    P-39L in US markings

    P-39M-1 in US markings

    P-39N in Soviet markings (5 profiles, One is a 3 view)

    P-39N-1 in Soviet markings (2 profiles)

    P-39N-5-BE in French markings (2 profiles)

    P-35N-5 in French Markings

    P-39Q-1 in US markings

    P-39Q-10 in US markings

    P-39Q-15 in Soviet markings

    P-39Q-25-BF in French markings

    P-39Q-25 in Soviet markings

    P-39Q in Soviet markings

    P-39Q in Polish markings

    There are 61 detailed black and white wartime photos and 4 color ones.

    This has got to be “THE BOOK” for info about the Bell Airacobra. It is super-packed with info. Highly recommended to both aircraft enthusiasts and modelers.

  • ModelingMadness.com • 2013-04-13

    Reviewer: Scott Van Aken

    The P-39 was an aircraft that was one of those 'what if' types that started out as an outstanding interceptor design, but thanks to the lack of willingness to see it built with the engine intended, turned into a somewhat mediocre performer.

    Designed around a supercharged Allison engine, the prototype offered much promise in terms of speed. However, the USAAC decided it didn't want the two stage supercharged engine, opting for an unsupercharged engine. This alone was enough to cause performance to degrade quite a bit. Adding military equipment then took the plane out of contention as a fast interceptor. It was also rather unusual in having the engine behind the pilot, even though that did leave a lot of room in the nose for armament, including the large 37mm cannon.

    With the war on the horizon, the aircraft was put into production. It was pretty much a pig above 15,000 feet, but below that was a somewhat capable performer. The aircraft was a total failure with the RAF who operated it in combat for only three days before removing it from the front line. The Soviets had much better luck as they used theirs at low level and appreciated the heavy punch of the nose mounted cannon. Even then, the number of modifications the Soviets made to the plane to have it meet standards was considerable.

    The US had little choice but to use the Airacobra as there wasn't anything else available when they went to war. North Africa and the Southwest Pacific were the main areas of operation for US Airacobra units. Of course, the type was also used by training units back home, but the majority of Airacobras saw use with the Soviets, who flew them until the end of the war.

    This new book in MMP's Yellow series takes a look at the design and development of the P-39 from the initial design through till the last one rolled off the production lines in 1944. The majority of P-39s were the P-39Q and most of those were, as you by now surmise, sent to the Soviets. Within the book's 160 pages is a complete rundown on the aircraft and its different variants, complete with descriptions of the differences between them. The history section covers the use of the aircraft both by the US and Allies.

    A few of these planes are still flying and some are in museums around the world with the best original example being a Soviet P-39 in the Finnish AF Museum. It is in great shape considering it has never been restored and is one that is featured quite a bit in the color detail section. Other aircraft are also included in the details area and this includes period images and pages from the maintenance manuals to give even greater insight into this fighter. There are also a goodly number of the color profiles we have all come to expect from MMP books. As an added bonus, there are scale plans included in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 scale, the latter two provided as huge foldouts that provided additional detail drawings.

    Overall, it is a most complete look at one of the world's more interesting fighters. A book that continues the excellence of MMP products and one that I can highly recommend to you.

    July 2011

  • Amazon.co.uk bestseller list • 2013-04-13
  • Internetmodeler.com • 2013-04-13

    By Chris Banyai-Riepl

    About five years ago, Mushroom Model Publications released their book on the P-39 Airacobra. At the time, it was one of the best books on the subject, providing a great type breakdown and a good selection of photos. For many, though, this book has been difficult to get a hold of, so MMP has decided to reprint the title and update it a bit. This new edition features scale drawings in 1/72, just like the original, but also in 1/48 and 1/32. There are also additions to both the photo content and profile content, making this a great update to the earlier edition.

    The book is broken down into several logical sections. The book begins with a type breakdown, from the YP-39 on through to the P-39Q. Sections following that cover Soviet modifications, official performance specs, and a list of Soviet aces. The specific variant sections combine scale drawings with oblique sketches and photos to clearly delineate the differences between the variants.

    After the type breakdown, which includes most of the period photos, there is a section of walkaround detail photos. Most of these are made up from museum examples, although there are some period photos and maintenance manual sketches. This section is divided up according to areas, so there is an engine section, a wing section, and so on. Ending the book are the color profiles, and nearly all of these are identical to the original book, with the exceptions of Portuguese and Australian examples.

    If you missed the first volume, here's another chance. Don't pass this one up. If you already have the first edition, the decision becomes a bit more difficult. The differences between the two are slight, but if you need larger scale drawings or are looking for more photo references, then this might be a worthy upgrade. Either way, it is a quality book and remains one of the better tomes out there on the P-39 Airacobra.

  • Aerostories.org • 2013-04-13

    The Bell P-39 Airacobra is far from being an unknown fighter but he was it was surely unpopular during WW2. Even if it was innovative in many ways it never became a great fighter even if it did its job with many air forces between 1941 and 1945. Regarding the P-39, many publications have been released and Mushroom offers a kind of compilation of some of these. The book is divided in two parts, the first is describing the many versions of the P-39 and the second one is dedicated to the modelers in showing many parts of the aircraft from surviving airframes.

    The first part is illustrated with some photographs and many technical drawings useful for the modelers. For unknown reasons, if the exports are mentioned, only exports sent to Soviet Union and United Kingdom are reported and nothing is said on the number of P-39s taken on charge by France, Australia, Portugal and Italy...but they are dully represented at the end of the book where some colour profiles can be found. So we would have to check another reference to complete this part.

    However, the second part is very instructive and is surely useful for any modelers, and a separate sheet of scale plans (1/32, 1/48 and 1/72), the modelers or any P-39 enthusiast won’t waste their money in purchasing this book which provides at a reasonable price a good source of information but them only.


    Phil Listemann

  • Kitmaniac.com • 2013-04-13

    Designed as an interceptor, when the Bell P-39 Airacobra appeared in 1941 it was acclaimed as one of the most advanced combat planes of the time. Elegantly designed and innovatively engineered (it featured the engine mid-aircraft like a racing car), it experienced mixed operational fortunes but was especially successful in the Soviet air force.

    The book:

    First of all we have to do justice, the MMP Books are awesome, the high quality of research, images and technical drawings. The book is part of the famous Yellow Series of the MMP Books, famous by the high detailed research about the aircraft theme of every book. All book is full of images, many of this never seen before, are wartime color images, museum aircraft and private walk arounds, the images and utilization of the original technical drawings don’t give space for doubts about the details of the aircraft. The Scale planes come on the 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32, with very accurate designs. One thing that have special attention from me is the excellent genealogy of the plane on the initial pages, this give us the opportunity to understand the development of the Airacobra. The images are another great point, we have images from all nationalities that used this fighter. The technical drawings, many of this come from the original manuals of the aircraft, detailed all parts of the plane. A love to see the details of the Alisson engine on these pages. On the final pages we find a excellent collection of profiles, more than 50, with P-39 from all countries and with a accurate detailing. This book is a full technical history of this important but neglected fighter of World War Two. I have the pleasure to say that this book keep the tradition of the yellow series ad give us a excellent research base for modelers interested to build an Airacobra. My friend Telmo, see the book and decides to build a P-39Q, and me too, yes I have to buy one Airacobra nowww, the book will be our principal research material. This book is highly recommended.

    Special thanks to MMP Books for the sample review.


  • Air Modeller Issue 37 • 2013-04-13
  • Amazon.co.uk customer review (1) • 2013-04-13

    Another very good book on the Airacobra 21 July 2012

    By Eng Luis A. Tavares

    It is not difficult to review Mushroom books (I owe most of the ones dealing with aviation) as they correspond exactly to what they advertise : complete descriptions of the aircraft studied with very fine drawings, detailed drawings of structure and systems, colour profiles,colour and b&w photos, detailed description of variants, etc. I owned the first edition of this book that was already very good, but this one is even more complete.

    I would recomend not only this but all Mushroom books. A last remark: the format (smaller than A4) is also very useful.

  • ScaleModellingnow.com • 2013-04-13

    Review by: Jamie Haggo

    This is the latest in MMP’s yellow series and it’s an absolute must-have for fans of the P-39.

    This book is absolutely packed with just about everything a modeller could think of to put into a book; history, period photographs (both colour and black and white), walkaround photos, scale plans with full rivet detail in 1:32, 1:48 and 1:72, full colour profiles (stunning by the way) etc etc.

    Words almost fail me when trying to review this book. It’s the absolute complete package and is hugely inspirational.

    Normally I get a model, then look for a resource to help with that project. Whereas this is the other way round, just flicking through this book meant potential modelling projects were swimming around in my head and I’ll definitely be building a P-39 soon.

    This is exactly what every modelling reference book should be like. I can’t wait to review more in the series. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

    Jamie H.

  • SAM October 2011 • 2013-04-13
  • IPMSUSA.org • 2013-04-13

    Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS #26266

    Other Publication Information: Softcover. 160 pages, 112 in color, 4-view drawings in 1/32, 1/48, 1/72, 1/144, historical photos, 25 pages of full-color profiles

    Spoiler alert – if you don’t want to know what I think, go to the next paragraph. This is THE only book you will need to own for reference on the P-39 Airacobra. Printed on high quality gloss paper, this paperback book is printed on A5 size with 160 pages chock full of information. Modelers will love the information included in this book.

    The very first thing you will notice upon opening the book is four view drawings of the P-39F and Q in 1/48th scale and the P-39Q in 1/32nd scale. If you build 1/72nd scale, fear not – there are plenty of 72nd scale drawings throughout the book. OK, 1/144th scale guys, there are drawing in the book for you as well.

    The development of the aircraft is followed from prototype to the P-39Q. The P-63 variant is not covered in this book. I suspect we’ll see that one in a separate book. Each version is illustrated in detail, with emphasis on the armament and differences. The photos are quite clear and large enough to use. What is nice is that the differences between British and Soviet Aircrobras are discussed. Two aircraft that got my attention were the two-seat trainer aircraft. Talk about ugly. The P-39 is not a particularly attractive airplane, but when you add the other cockpit in front of the standard one, it turns really ugly really fast.

    The Soviet aircraft are given a special chapter.

    There is a list of Soviet Aces.

    The technical description chapter will appeal to the mechanically minded modeler. Drawings from the actual manual are included for authenticity.

    The rest of the book is in full color. I found the Soviet aircraft in the Finnish Museum to be the most interesting because it isn’t a restored example. It is still in its wartime finish, unrestored. Every aspect of the aircraft is covered. The Soviet original aircraft plus aircraft undergoing restoration will be a tremendous help for the modeler, especially the super-detailer. Supplemented with drawings from the maintenance and pilot manual, you can’t go wrong here. Everything is here: fuselage, wings, tail, landing gear, and armament. This chapter alone makes this book worth obtaining.

    25 pages of full color profiles are included at the end of the book to motivate the modeler even more. The Airacobra carried some unique schemes. Included are pre-war, Southwest Pacific, Africa, British, Soviet, Australian, Italian, Polish, Portugese, and Free French markings.

    If you only want to have one book on the P-39 then this is THE book. Literally everything a modeler could want to model a P-39 is included – drawings, historical black and white photos, and color photos of the actual aircraft. You couldn’t ask for more in a reference book. I loved it.

    Highly recommended.

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