Bell P-59A Airacomet Mahogany Model
Introducing the ready-to-ship P-59A Airacomet mahogany model. This 1/48 scale model was handmade with precision and accuracy to produce the finest model that will be the centerpiece of your collection for years to come. This model is a perfect gift for pilots and aviation enthusiasts alike. Not too big or too small, this model features a wingspan of 11.13 inches and a length of 9.25 inches. This model features a very accurate paint scheme with realistic panel lines.
About this Model:
Your model will be delivered exactly as shown in the photographs with the exact same paint scheme. The stand shown in this photograph may vary or change with the model you receive. If you would like to change this model in any other way, please visit our Custom Model section of our website to commission a customized model to be built.
History of the P-59A Airacomet:
The Bell P-59A was the first United States jet fighter aircraft, designed and built during World War II. The USAAF was not impressed by its performance and cancelled the contract when fewer than half of the aircraft ordered had been produced. Although no P-59s went into combat, it paved the way for another design generation of U.S. turbojet-powered aircraft and was the first turbojet fighter to have its turbojet engine and inlet nacelles integrated within the main fuselage. Major General Henry H. Arnold became aware of the United Kingdom's jet program when he attended a demonstration of the Gloster E.28/39 in April 1941. The subject had been mentioned, but not in depth, as part of the Tizard Mission the previous year. He requested, and was given, the plans for the aircraft's power plant, the Power Jets W.1, which he took back to the US. On 4 September, he offered the U.S. company General Electric, a contract to produce an American version of the engine. On the following day, he approached Lawrence Bell, head of Bell Aircraft Corporation, to build a fighter to utilize it. Bell agreed and set to work on producing three prototypes. As a disinformation tactic, the USAAF gave the project the designation P-59A, to suggest it was a development of a completely unrelated Bell XP-59 fighter project that had been canceled. The design was finalized on 9 January 1942, and construction began. In March, long before the prototypes were completed, an order for 13 YP-59A pre-production machines was added to the contract. On 12 September 1942, the first XP-59A arrived at Muroc Army Air Field (today, Edwards Air Force Base) in California for testing. While being handled on the ground, the aircraft was fitted with a dummy propeller to disguise its true nature. The aircraft first became airborne during high-speed taxiing tests on 1 October with Bell test pilot Robert Stanley at the controls, although the first official flight was made by Col Laurence Craigie the next day. Over the following months, tests on the three XP-59As revealed a multitude of problems including poor engine response and reliability (common shortcomings of all early turbojets), insufficient lateral stability, and performance that was far below expectations. Chuck Yeager flew the aircraft and was dissatisfied with the speed, but was amazed at the smooth flying. Nevertheless, even before delivery of the YP-59As in June 1943, the USAAF ordered 80 production machines, designated P-59A Airacomet.