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P-39Q of P.B. Ovsyannikov, 28 giap, 5 giad

by Michal Sekula

April 28, 2014
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This is profile of Porfiriy Borisovich Ovsyannikov’s P-39Q from 28 giap, 5 giad:

his profile is based on photo and info from interview at and shows aircraft as it could look in early May 1945 when regiment conducted bombing attacks on an enemy forces in the town Palmnicken, using 100 kg and 250 kg bombs.

Pictures and info about FAB bombs taken from, put together in one doc over several layers a scaled into one common scale.


28 giap together with 68 giap and 72 giap belonged to the same 5 giad. Regimental marking of 28 giap was white propeller spinner. The question is if and what was painted on the tail in this particular time period.
The appearance of Ovsyannikov’s plane is based on Ovsyannikov’s memories:
"In our regiment we had white spinners, and I think the rudders were also white. The stars on the wings? I don’t even remember where they were, but I think they were only on the bottom. The serial numbers remained on the fins, but I don’t remember their color. I remember one (tactical number) —42. This was already after they had shot me down and I had changed aircraft.
In early May 1945 our regimet participated in bombing attacks on an enemy forces in the town Palmnicken… using 100 kg and 250 kg bombs."

and on the analysis of the high resolution photo kindly provided by Oleg Korytov.
I superimposed high resolution photo with P-39 color profile to better see surface painting details on the Cobra behind Ovsyannikov’s Cobra „42“. The bottom part of the vertical white "band" on the rudder is more back, it looks like either much wider band or almost half of the rudder painted white. I marked it with black dots:


Left side of the white part is clear arch. Black arrows show position of slightly darker area, it could correspond to the hinge line. It is darker than area to the right from it, so it looks like unpainted part of the rudder, not white in shadow.

When lines are kept in the original full length, then fuselage fits as well as leading edge of the tail (e.g. is hidden). Cockpit and rudder does not fit.
When lines are deformed (shortened) in perspective, then fuselage fits as well as white bottom part of rudder and cockpit almost fits, but tail leading edge is not hidden. Anyhow, this seems to be much closer to reality.
In neither case hinge line exactly fits to photo dark area.
Where the curvature disappears behind the elevator, the rudder is nearly ended. It does not look very probable that they masked thin, 3 cm wide piece of Olive Drab on the rudder. It looks that the rudder was painted white on its approximately 2/3 back, and OD for 1/3 close to the hinge.
Full discussion is at