Cobra in the Hangar

With the rundown of the P-38 Lightning project, some of the troops were getting a bit antsy because they wanted work on an aircraft, not stand around waiting for something to happen.

The recent trade of the museum's very significant P-40 wreck for a P-39 Airacobra with Precision Aerospace saw the collection and storage of good mainplanes and tail feathers, but no fuselage assembly. Eventually, a damaged fuselage and other parts became available at Precision Aerospace and their collection was organised. Along with other Cobra fuselages on hand from PNG, a new fuselage was built, which resulted in a composite P-39 Airacobra for display in the Classic Jets museum.

The completed P-39 Airacobra is painted in 24 Sqn. RAAF colours, and marked as 24 Sqn's first Airacobra A53-12, that flew in the defence of Sydney after the Japanese submarine attack in Sydney harbour in May 1942.

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New P39 Airacobra restoration images at July 2009

P39
The P39 wings are completed, painted and await fitting to the fuselage. The fuselage is positioned in the hangar in preparation to fitting of the wings. The fuselage support stands are locked to the floor and the gantry waits rolling away. The 20mm cannon and 50 cal ammunition cannisters are seen here nearing completion. Final fit out of the gun bay is completed while the fuselage undergoes further attention.
The CJFM troops position the starboard wing for fitting. The reduction gearbox propeller nut thread required attention before the nut ran freely. The port wing is seen here fitted with both undercarriages extended correctly. Paper protects the fuselage paint while trimming and fitting the wing to fuselage fairings. The non operational Allison 1710 engine awaits fitting after the Cobra is on its wheels.