The Bell P-59 Airacomet was a single seat, twin jet engine fighter aircraft that was designed during World War II, the first produced in the United States.
As the British were further along in jet engine development, they donated an engine for the United States to copy in 1941 that became the basis for the General Electric jet used by the P-59 a year later.
Because the aircraft was underpowered, the United States Army Air Forces were not impressed by its performance and cancelled half of the original order for 100 fighters, using the completed aircraft as trainers.
Although no P-59s entered combat, the aircraft paved the way for later generations of U.S. turbojet powered aircraft.
Unrelated piston engine powered pusher propeller design developed from the Bell XP-52, none built.
Prototype of the new jet engine powered aircraft.
Series of test aircraft.
Two YP-59A delivered to the US Navy for carrier evaluation.
First production version.
Redesignated ZF-59A in June 1948.
Study for a single engine P-59A.
Improved P-59A, 80 aircraft ordered but only 30 built, 50 were cancelled.
Redesignated ZF-59B in June 1948.
38 ft 10 in (11.84 m)
45 ft 6 in (13.87 m)
12 ft 4 in (3.76 m)
386 sq ft (35.9 m2)
8,165 lb (3,704 kg)
11,040 lb (5,008 kg)
Max take-off weight
13,700 lb (6,214 kg)
356 US gallons (1,350 l; 296 imp gal)
2 × General Electric J31-GE-5 centrifugal flow turbojet engines,
2,000 lbf (8.9 kN) thrust each
413 mph (665 km/h, 359 kn) at 30,000 ft (9,144 m)
375 mph (604 km/h, 326 kn)
375 mi (604 km, 326 nmi)
950 mi (1,530 km, 830 nmi)
46,200 ft (14,100 m)
Time to altitude
30,000 ft (9,144 m) in 15 minutes 30 seconds
1 × 37 mm M10 auto cannon with 44 rounds of ammunition
3 × .50 cal AN/M2 Browning heavy machine guns with 200 rounds per gun.