Bell P-59 Airacomet

Specifications

1st Flight 1942

Crew: 1

Length: 38 ft 10 in (11.84 m)

Wingspan: 45 ft 6 in (13.87 m)

Height: 12 ft 4 in (3.76 m)

Wing area: 386 sq ft (35.9 m2)

Airfoil: root: NACA 66-014; tip: NACA 66-212

Empty weight: 8,165 lb (3,704 kg)

Gross weight: 11,040 lb (5,008 kg)

Max takeoff weight: 13,700 lb (6,214 kg)

Fuel capacity: 356 US gallons (1,350 l; 296 imp gal)

Powerplant: 2 × General Electric J31-GE-5 centrifugal-flow turbojet engines, 2,000 lbf (8.9 kN) thrust each

Performance

Maximum speed: 413 mph (665 km/h, 359 kn) at 30,000 ft (9,144 m)

Cruise speed: 375 mph (604 km/h, 326 kn)

Range: 375 mi (604 km, 326 nmi)

Ferry range: 950 mi (1,530 km, 830 nmi)

Service ceiling: 46,200 ft (14,100 m)

Time to altitude: 30,000 ft (9,144 m) in 15 minutes 30 seconds

Armament

Guns:

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

Variants

XP-59 – Unrelated piston engine-powered pusher-propeller design developed from the Bell XP-52. Not built.

XP-59A – Prototype of the new jet engine-powered aircraft, three built, serial numbers 42-108784/108786.

YP-59A – Series of test aircraft, 13 built, serial numbers 42-108771/108783.

YF2L-1 – Two YP-59A (42-108778/108779) delivered to the US Navy for carrier evaluation as Bu63960/63961.

P-59A – First production version, 20 built, serial numbers 44-22609/22628. Redesignated ZF-59A in June 1948.

XP-59B – Study for a single-engined P-59A.

P-59B – Improved P-59A. 80 aircraft ordered but only 30 built, serial numbers 44-22629/22658, further 50 (44-22659/22708) cancelled.

Redesignated ZF-59B in June 1948.

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