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Author Topic: Victory marks on Pokryshkin's P-39 "100"  (Read 85982 times)
66misos
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« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2012, 08:40:13 AM »

hi Ochotnyik,

stripes like on your photo and kit were usually (always?) painted on upperwings + underwings + tail and were relatively thick to be visible from distance. Kind of fast identification made by quite decorative way.

However, I mean thin stripes painted only on the upperwing, on leading edges. On P-39 3 on each wing, on some Yaks only 1 on each wing. 

Regards,
   66misos
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KL
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« Reply #31 on: July 14, 2012, 09:21:59 AM »

However, I mean thin stripes painted only on the upperwing, on leading edges. On P-39 3 on each wing, on some Yaks only 1 on each wing. 

Those white lines were painted only on Yak-9T, they are related to 37mm cannon



see Yak-9 models by our French connection Xan http://sovietwarplanes.com/board/index.php?topic=1337.0 
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KL
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« Reply #32 on: July 15, 2012, 05:31:27 PM »

I'll try to list some of the reasons why Pokrishkin preferred not to have victory marks painted on his planes.  In his own words or in Soviet era biographies which only celebrated him:

1.  He did not fight for the score.  He saw victories as result of team work not as individual achievements.
2.  Pokrishkin was modest. He did not want his plane to differ from the planes of other (less successful) pilots.
3.  As a commander Pokrishkin did not want to distance himself from subordinates
4.  He did not want to attract enemy planes

Post-Soviet biographers/researchers focused on some other, more problematic details in Pokrishkin's colourful biography:

1.  His first victory was a Soviet Su-2
2.  Since part of the 55 iap documentation was lost/destroyed during 1941 withdrawal, Pokrishkin?s 1941 victory claims were never officially assessed nor confirmed.
3.  In post-war years Rechkalov claimed that Pokrishkin ?stole? his 3 victories from July 1941.

All together, more than enough reasons not to have prominent victory marks?.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 05:38:30 PM by KL » Logged
66misos
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« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2012, 04:45:12 PM »

Hi,
A couple of words about Pokryshkin?s P-39 ?100? S/N 29004 guns.
Firstly, I tried to summarize info about P-39 versions and their armament from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_P-39_Airacobra and  http://www.militaryfactory.com/aircraft/detail.asp?aircraft_id=140

P-39D-BE
   - 1? 37 mm (1.46 in) M-4 cannon (30 rounds),
   - 2? 12.7 mm (0.50 in) synchronized machine guns (200 rpg),
   - 4? 7.62 mm (0.30 in) wing mounted machine guns (1000 rpg).

P-39D-1 (Specifically ordered for delivery under Lend-Lease; 336 produced)
   - 1? 20 mm (.79 in) Hispano M1 cannon,
   - 2? 12.7 mm (0.50 in) synchronized machine guns (200 rpg),
   - 4? 7.62 mm (0.30 in) wing mounted machine guns (1000 rpg);

      Nice picture of P-39 (with 20 mm cannon) firing in the night showing quite impressive firepower:
      

P-39D-2
   - 1? 37 mm (1.46 in) M-4 cannon (30 rounds),
   - 2? 12.7 mm (0.50 in) synchronized machine guns (200 rpg),
   - 4? 7.62 mm (0.30 in) wing mounted machine guns (1000 rpg).

P-39N
   - 1? 37 mm (1.46 in) M-4 cannon (30 rounds),
   - 2? 12.7 mm (0.50 in) synchronized machine guns (200 rpg),
   - 4? 7.62 mm (0.30 in) wing mounted machine guns (1000 rpg);

P-39Q-1
   - 1? 37 mm (1.46 in) M-4 cannon (30 rounds),
   - 2? 12.7 mm (0.50 in) synchronized machine guns,
   - 1? 12.7 mm (0.50 in) machine guns (300 rpg) in a pod under each wing.

      

      

There is often mentioned that Soviets removed the wing machine guns to improve roll rate by reducing rotational inertia.
I did not find a photo shoving P-39Q with gun pods under each wing in Soviet color. I think that ?removing wing guns? was mainly about gun pods.

I do not say that Soviets did not (sometime?, usually?) remove also wing mounted guns leaving only 1x cannon plus 2x synchronized guns in upper-front fuselage, but at least these two images showing wing mounted guns still in place:

Rechkalov?s P-39N-0 s/n 42-8747 from 1944/45 (note clearly visible USAAF background under the star):
      

Pokryshkin?s P-39N-0 ?100? S/N: 42-9004 from the summer 1943:
      

Conclusion ? Pokryshkin?s P-39 ?100? S/N 29004 had wing guns installed, at least at the date of well known photography.
Regards,
     66misos
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 04:50:41 PM by 66misos » Logged

66misos
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« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2012, 05:29:19 PM »

Hi,
circle seems to be closed. I've got mail from Igor Zlobin, that basically confirms KL's statement - the photo (scan from doc film) in my first post in this topic shows plane of Dimitry Glinka, not Pokryshkin. Here is a mix of several photos confirming that.



And here are some Igor's statements:
"Что касаеться маркировки из кинохроники то самолет принадлежит Дмитрию Глинке из 100 ГвИАП, обратите внимание что полк в составе 9 ГвИАД и по идее должен нести обозначения на коке и хвосте (пилотка) но ее нет !!!",
translated to english:
"Concerning labeling/marking of the plane from a newsreel, it belongs to Dmitri Glinka from 100 GvIAP, note that the regiment belongs to 9th GvIAD and was supposed to have the symbol on the tail and spinner, but it had not!"

"Но если бы на самолете (Покрышкина, my note) были знаки побед то мы бы их обязательно увидели и на других фотографиях!!! А их к сожалению нет. До сих пор не на одной машине 16 ГвИАП не найдено ни одной звездочки побед за 1943 год...",
translated to english:
"If there were victory marks on the (Pokryshkin's) plane, we would necessarily see them also on the other photos!!! But unfortunately there are no such photos. Untill now we did not find any victory mark on the any 16 GvIAP plane in the year 1943."

Regards,
   66misos



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66misos
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« Reply #35 on: August 28, 2012, 03:26:00 PM »

Pokryshkin?s early Airacobra(-s) version?

According to the http://scalemodels.ru/modules/forum/viewtopic_t_14131_start_40.html and http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/romanenko/p-39/
the first Airacobras arrived to 16 GIAP were 11x P-39D-2, 7x Р-39К-1 and 14x P-39L-1. Version flown by Pokryshkin differs from article to article.
  • P-39D-2 was equipped with a three-bladed Aeroproducts propeller and a 37mm (1.46 in) cannon,
  • Р-39К-1 was a P-39D-2 with the vents added to nose,
  • P-39L-1 was a P-39K with three-bladed Curtiss Electric propeller and revised nose gear,
e.g. all these versions were equipped with the 37mm cannon through propeller spinner, visually distinguishable only via nose vents and nose gear (and may be propeller blades):


Airacobras delivered latter (L, N, Q) had 37mm cannon usually protected by cover:


Only production versions equipped with 20mm cannon through propeller spinner were:
  • P-39D-1 Specifically ordered for delivery under Lend-Lease,
  • P-400 ? on all pictures I saw the propeller blades are black with the yellow tips.



HOWEVER,
this is a shortened part of the article from Suchov?s (pilot in 16 GIAP since May 30, 1943) book Эскадрилья ведет бой about the moment when Pokryshkin exchanged his old ?13? with the new ?100?:
In mid-July ... We stopped by a fighter with the tail number "13". It is well known commander?s plane. Actually his former plane.  "Thirteenth" already did its job?fought many fights, many forsages during hot days. It's time to change the engine...
Nearby is the aircraft... almost new one. To beat "Junkers" and "Heinkels" ? it needs more powerful weapons. And here it is: a 37-millimeter cannon ...
Pokryshkin is weighing the possibility of one and the other plane. He knows "thirteenth", he likes her. Or to take a new one?
Pokryshkin strode towards a new plane.
- Comrade Captain, what number to paint?
- The ?One? has to be for the regiment commander.
- He did not fly, he is "sick" all the time - Sasha Klubov says.
- All the same, is not allowed! - says Pokryshkin.
- Then the ?ten"!
- It is better to "thirty", the number of kills - says Regiment Engineer Captain Kopylov.
Lieutenant Nikolai Trofimov says with a smile:
- We must look forward - to count to one hundred ...
 - Write "hundred"! ? Alexander succumbed to the general mood, too, laughed, waved his hand:
- Okay, if ?one hundred? then ?one hundred?. Paint it!
From that day a new call sign was approved for Pokryshkin: Hundredth ...


Of course, those memories are not always very reliable source. Also dialogues looks quite artificial. However, at least Pokryshkin?s motivation to exchange planes could be true.

This photo shows Pokryshkin in front of some P-39. Looking at the propeller spinner, it looks more like the one with big hole for 20mm cannon than the one with the tight hole for 37mm cannon (without cover):


But no serial or board number is visible and it seems that Pokryshkin preferred being photographed/filmed not in front of his plane but someone else one (?RGA?, ?50? ...). 

So, did Pokryshkin flew Airacobra with 20mm cannon in propeller spinner or not?

Regards,
     66misos

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KL
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« Reply #36 on: August 28, 2012, 09:45:10 PM »

Another photo from the series (supposedly spring 1943! Cannon/gun not visible...  Sad Note yellow propeller tip!  Smiley)



from http://www.stoletie.ru/fotoreportazh/nepobezhdennyj_pokryshkin_2010-11-12.htm

HTH,
KL
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learstang
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« Reply #37 on: August 29, 2012, 01:31:29 AM »

A yellow propeller tip - was that usual on the Soviet Kobras?

Regards,

Jason
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KL
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« Reply #38 on: August 29, 2012, 04:35:44 AM »

according to V. Romanenko and his "Aerokobri vstupyut v boi" book, Pokrishkin was photographed in front of his P-39D-2 (41-38520).  Photo was taken on 28.05.1943 at Popovicheskaya airfield.

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66misos
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« Reply #39 on: August 30, 2012, 10:40:43 AM »

Hi KL

thank you for interesting picture.

Quote
Posted by: learstang 
A yellow propeller tip - was that usual on the Soviet Kobras?
Regards,
Jason

Hi Jason,
this is a standard look of the Aeroproducts propeller - silver-grey blades without yellow tips:
   

However, there were P-400 exported within L-L from USA to GB. P-400 is basically only renamed P-39D-1 dedicated for export. But RAF was not satisfied with them so a lot of P-400 were re-exported further from GB to SU. Those P-400 had black propeller blades with yellow tips. Plus, there was a number of P-400 transferred from USAAF to SU:


But yellow tips were not limited only to P-400. Here is another photo showing Pokryshkin standing in front of Airacobra with (black) blades with yellow tips:


Also this profile by Igor Zlobin shows black propeller blades with yellow tips:

Regarding this profile, this is his statement from www.scalemodels.ru:
?According to the info from historian Oleg Levchenko and after one month in the archive in the city of Podolsk (CAMO) ? I deleted red tail tips on the planes from period spring-summer of 1943.?
However, propeller blades yellow tips kept.

Finally, this I found in the Pokryshkin?s book Небо войны (Sky of War) about replacement his old ?13? with new ?100?:
I flew almost all time on the plane with board number 13 and shot down more than 20 enemy planes. But when new Airacobras with the stronger armament arrived, I decided to take one of them.  Stepanov received my ?13?. He did not want to fly with ?13? so they pained 0 behind 13. He was shot down during the first fight. Now I have also three-digit number on my plane and I have got order not to call with my name because German fighters already hunt me. I try to call with my new number but it was very difficult to pronounce. Boys laugh.
- Paint me hundred! I told them.
- Here hundred, here hundred. Short and clear, isn?t it?
Since that I flew plane with board number ?100?.

Details are different from those in the Suchov?s book but motivation ? to replace the old one with the new one with the stronger armament ? is the same.
It shows again that Pokryshkin flew Airacobra with 20mm cannon (e.g. P-39D-1 or P-400) at the beginning.

Regards,
     66misos

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learstang
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« Reply #40 on: August 30, 2012, 05:44:28 PM »

Thank you very much for the information, 66misos!  I'm finishing up a couple of 1/72nd scale P-39's, one for Rechkalov and the other one I haven't decided on, perhaps Sultan Ahmet-Khan.  It's always good to get more information on the Kobras.

Best Regards,

Jason
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KL
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« Reply #41 on: August 30, 2012, 09:06:48 PM »

It looks that yellow tip indicates Curtiss Electric propellers

Quote
?P-39D-2 was equipped with a three-bladed Aeroproducts propeller and a 37mm (1.46 in) cannon

according to http://www.airwar.ru/enc/fww2/p39.html P-39D-2 had Curtiss propeller with yellow tip... Mass produced P-39 models, P-39N and P-39Q were equipped with Aeroproducts propellers, this may explain why yellow tips were relativelly rare on VVS P-39s.

P-39D-2 was externaly identical to British Aircobras, so it would have the same spinner with wide opening.  It was armed with 37mm cannon - Pokrishkin probably newer faught on 20mm armed P-39  - memoirs are probably misleading in this case  Huh

HTH,
KL
« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 09:14:37 PM by KL » Logged
66misos
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« Reply #42 on: August 31, 2012, 05:45:27 PM »

Hi,

here are some photos to show variability in P-39 propellers:

1. Aeroproducts logo and propellers:
   
    Note the new type of the P-39 front gear.

2. Curtiss Electrics logo and propellers:
   
    Note the old type of the P-39 front gear.

As you can see both Aeroproducts and Curtiss Electrics propeller blades can be black or grey and with or without yellow tips. The best way is to follow the image of the actual plane.

Quote
Posted on: August 30, 2012, 09:06:48 PM
P-39D-2 was externaly identical to British Aircobras, so it would have the same spinner with wide opening.

Not P-39D-2 but P-39D-1 was externaly identical to British Aircobras (e.g. P-400), so P-400 would have the same spinner with wide opening as P-39D-1.

According to the http://scalemodels.ru/modules/forum/viewtopic_t_14131_start_40.html and http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/romanenko/p-39/ and http://www.airvectors.net/avp39.html

P-39D - three-bladed Curtiss Electric variable-pitch propeller, M4 37 millimeter cannon,
P-39D-1 - the primary difference being replacement of the M4 37 millimeter nose cannon with a 20 millimeter Hispano Mk.404 cannon,
P-39D-2 - restored the M4 37 millimeter nose cannon.

From http://www.airvectors.net/avp39.html:
"Roughly in parallel with P-39D production, Bell manufactured a total of 675 "P-400" Airacobras for export. The P-400 was very similar to the P-39D-1, with the 20 millimeter Hispano cannon, but instead of 7.62 millimeter Brownings in the wings it featured 7.7 millimeter (0.303 caliber) Brownings for compatibility with British ammunition."

P-400 in RAF:


P-400 Lt Farout 39th FS 35th FG:


Regards,
     66misos

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KL
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« Reply #43 on: August 31, 2012, 08:29:36 PM »

here are some photos to show variability in P-39 propellers:

1. Aeroproducts logo and propellers:
   
    Note the new type of the P-39 front gear.

2. Curtiss Electrics logo and propellers:
   
    Note the old type of the P-39 front gear.

As you can see both Aeroproducts and Curtiss Electrics propeller blades can be black or grey and with or without yellow tips.
Some of the planes you refer to are restored planes and museum exhibits - Restored planes are notoriously unreliable if you are looking for authentic colours!!!
Photos are better, but if you are looking for ?factory? colours only documents will provide reliable info.

P-39D - three-bladed Curtiss Electric variable-pitch propeller, M4 37 millimeter cannon,
P-39D-1 - the primary difference being replacement of the M4 37 millimeter nose cannon with a 20 millimeter Hispano Mk.404 cannon,
P-39D-2 - restored the M4 37 millimeter nose cannon.

You should also put things in historical perspective:
First  P-39s (armed with 20mm cannons) arrived on North Atlantic convoys.  Those became operational in 1942 and fought in northern part of the front (Murmansk, North Sea).
P-39D-2 (armed with 37mm cannons) arrived later, through Iran.  Those become operational in spring 1943 and were utilized on the southern part of the front (Kuban, Black Sea)

Pokrishkin simply could not fight on those earliest P-39s (Airacobra Mk-1, P-400)

HTH,
KL 
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66misos
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« Reply #44 on: August 31, 2012, 11:21:20 PM »

Hi KL,

I fully agree with you regarding memoirs. I more and more think those books are written by a group of unnamed people based on the basic facts/info/events given by "main" author and with some propaganda goal.
In this perspective I also think that Pokryshkin flew only Airacobras with 37mm cannon and none (at least regularly) with 20mm cannon.

Regarding color of the propeller blades - I have no intention to give a definite answer or FS color number. I only say that nothing is cut to the stone and that there are options for VVS P-39s.

Although one can see some pattern - if propeller blades are "dark" (e.g. originally black) then stencils are bright (e.g. yellow). And if propeller blades are "bright" (e.g. kind of silver-grey) then stencils are dark (black?).
And sometime with and sometime without yellow tips. And sometime no (AP or CE) logo is visible.  Embarrassed
Photo of the actual plane is the best reference.

Regards,
     66misos


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