US Bell P59 ''Airacomet'' Fighter Jet

  • Military Aircraft Of The World
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

After American Air Corps. Commanders saw the success of The British “Gloster Meteor” prototype Jet Fighter, it was determined that America needed to begin developing a similar Jet Fighter for use. Bell Aircraft was award the Contract for what would become known as The P-59 “Airacomet”. First flown in 1942, The P-59 was envisioned to be a Twin Engine Fighter, it was the first in American War inventory to featured Jet nacelles built into the aircraft’s fuselage. (8) variants were developed for both The Army Air  Corps and The US Navy. Crewed by a single Pilot, The P-59 was 40-feet long with a wingspan of 45-feet. It was powered by dual GE J31 Turbojets with 2,000-pounds of lift off each. The P-59 could achieve over 400-mph with an operational ceiling of 42,00-feet. It's armament was to be (1) 37mm Cannon and (3) .50 Caliber Machine Guns. She was able of carrying (8) 60-pound Air to Ground Rockets and 2,000-pounds of Ordnance. Although delivered to Allied Airbases, The performance of The P-59 was poor (based in part to it’s experimental Jets and Pilots inexperience). 66 were built by 1945 – but none saw Combat. Decommissioned early, The P-59 nonetheless was an important evolutionary step towards America’s future in Jet Fighter design.