The Bell P-39N was the first version of the Airacobra to be produced in truly large numbers, with a total of production run of 2,095 aircraft in three main sub-series. All three were powered by the Allison V-1710-85 (E19) engine, and could carry 75 US gallon and 175 US gallon belly fuel tanks.
The first 500 aircraft were produced as the simple P-39N. Of these the first 166 aircraft carried the same amount of internal fuel as earlier Airacobras – 120 US gallons – but after that three fuel cells were removed to reduce weight, reducing the internal fuel capacity to 75 US gallons. All 500 P-39Ns used the 10ft 4in Aeroproducts propeller.
The 900 P-39N-1s differed from the P-39N only in that they used the 11ft 7in Aeroproducts propeller.
The P-39N-2 designation was given to 128 P-38N-1s converted to act as photographic reconnaissance aircraft.
The P-39N-3 designation was given to a further 35 aircraft converted in the same way.
The 695 P-39N-5s were similar to the -1, but with a series of minor changes. The bullet-proof glass behind the pilot’s head was replaced with armour plate, while the radio and oxygen systems were improved.
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