P-39 Airacobra „Yellow 44“, 212 giap, 22 giad


by Michal Sekula

March 14, 2016
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P-39(Q-10) Airacobra from 212 giap, 22 giad in non-standard one-color light blue-gray scheme, photographed sometime between summer 1945 and winter 1946/47 when regiment was based at the Stockerau airfield in Austria:

The first photo shows Cobra during overhaul and the second photo shows the same Cobra after overhaul, still at the same location, but several hours/days latter.

The little vent between propeller and nose gear leg as well as wing guns are missning, so it should be either late N (with removed wing guns) or early Q version in standard configuration. This Cobra could be old enough for war-time overhaul and repainting with the war-time paints for single-seat fighters.
Summarized observation:
- diagonal stripe and number 44 have evident outline,
- vertical probably red line separates regimanta markings (light blue nose) from the rest light bluegrey surface,
- number 44 is evident free-hand work and is underlined with the (probably) same color as outline,
- red star on the fuselage seems to be without thin red outline,
- the spinner on the first photo has different color fom the number 44 but similar to the fuselage color,
- darker color is on the cannon tube cover on the spinner and around nose guns,
- front landing gear leg, originally dark green, seems to be repainted with the same color like upper surface so it is very probable that Cobra overall was really in one color. 
The 212 giap had to use the light blue color as the regimental fast recognition element. But according to some accounts (visual evidence) 212 giap used yellow spinners and the divisional stripe on the tail was sometimes painted also in regimental color, on many photos it is clearly not white. The were not seen such deviations in 129 and 213 giap.
In the photography the yellow filter is probably the most widely used. It offers an accurate tone range in compensating for the blue sensitivity of panchromatic films, it lightens yellow and darkens blue (sky).

Let me thank to KL and Massimo from sovietwarplanes.com for their comments and help.

References and sources of the photos:
vif2ne.ru/nvi/forum/0/0.htm (VIF)