Pokryshkin Alexander and his fighter Bell P-39 Airacobra

Pokryshkin Alexander was born in 1913 in Novonikolayevsk (Novosibirsk), the son of poor immigrants. Already at age 14 he began his professional career. Dreaming of the sky led by Alexander in flying school, which, as it turns out, was preparing only aircraft technicians. After graduating from this institution and excellent learning a real part in this Pokryshkin not braked and soon externally perfectly well his exams at the flying club. He then graduated from training in Kachin Pilot School and was oriented to serve in the 55th IAP, which was located near the town of Balti near the Soviet-Romanian border. 2 months before the start of the war majestically Russian regiment received the MiG-3.

In an effort to achieve the greatest heights in the development of the fighter, Pokryshkin virtually all his knowledge and power is directed to the improvement of flight and combat skills. Initially, he was a bad shot at the "cone", but as a result of constant occupation was able to become one of the best snipers own regiment. Taking into account the fact that the pilots in the air worse than doing a right turn and tried to avoid them, Alexander Pokryshkin starts deliberately committing to train sharp right-hand maneuvers. In general, a dramatic air combat maneuvering in the future pilot-Al paid a lot of attention strongly. In order to cope with severe congestion it a lot of sports. In the breaks between workouts Pokryshkin able to calculate how long it takes to replace the position of the aircraft from the moment of the impact of the pilot on these or other control knobs — in a dogfight all seemed principled.

Own first plane Alexander Pokryshkin shot down on 22 June 1941. Unfortunately, the car was downed by his own fellow bombers Su-2. Bomber landed on the fuselage in the field, its pilot survived but the navigator died. The chaos of the first day or almost all rescued future ace, and he otvertelsya only very severe scolding from his superiors. Within a few days in the intelligence Pokryshkin departure knocks German fighter Bf.109, but zasmotrevshis the leaning car, he is shot down and could barely bring plane to the airport. The command is highly valued intelligence report flier and are increasingly lured to perform reconnaissance missions. Despite the strict instructions not to engage in fights, Pokryshkin constantly gets involved in them, considering shameful vorachivatsya the airfield with full ammunition. At one point, he came to the base with a broken canopy cockpit. The bullet tail gunner Ju.88 bombers landed right in the sight and the pilot miraculously did not die.

Pokryshkin Alexander and his fighter Bell P-39 Airacobra
Alexander Pokryshkin with his wingman Zhoroj Golubev

In one of the flights during the attack pontoon bridge across the river rod Pokryshkina knocks flak and he plans directly into the forest and loses consciousness, then 3 nights get through the lines to the private airfield. Again engaged in a combat actions, he often thinks about new ways of doing battle. In 1941, he wrote that a major setback when accompanied bombers SAT is a low rate of fighters, the consequence of this is keeping the fight on the horizontal maneuvers. The conclusion forced upon one: to accompany bombers obsolete design needs only at high speed. For her achievements should be accompanied by the fighters do flight "snake", above and behind followed by machinery, esheloniruyas in height. With all this and a couple of links of fighters to build a "snake" to meet each other, providing mutual cover, so called method of tracking means "scissors".

After languishing fights 1941 55 Fighter Wing appears to re-form and gets new Yak-1, once this became the 16th Guards IAP. At the front of the regiment falls in June 1942. Within 6 months of operations to "Jake" Pokryshkin wins more than 7 wins, among them downed aircraft were 4 and 2 Bf.109 Ju.88.

In the spring of 1943 the regiment again received the new machine, now South American fighters P-39 "Cobra". Specifically on their regiment's pilots were at the epicenter of the fight in the Kuban. In these battles across as there are strong possibilities Pokryshkina as a fighter pilot. It is necessary to see that the South American 37-mm gun had a very low rate of fire. Pokryshkin joined by a trigger switch to the shooting and cannon and machine guns. The results are not forced himself to expect when hit enemy aircraft almost torn to pieces.

Then he invents a new order of battle, received the title of "Kuban whatnot" and contributes to its introduction in all divisions of fighter aircraft. It also introduces other elements of air combat, for example, the output from the blow to bend down "barrel" with a decrease in speed. Dozing enemy could jump off the mark and be in the crosshairs crawled aircraft. Pokryshkin taught pilots: "Seek the enemy, it is not you, and you may find it. Initiative and surprise — these are the components of victory. Maneuver so that fool, outwit the enemy. Sturm boldly, decisively. If knocked — rip it up, you've reach this much. "

Pokryshkin Alexander and his fighter Bell P-39 Airacobra

According to official sources in the sky Kuban Alexander Pokryshkin knocks 16 German planes, but the actual numbers would be and bolshennymi. On April 12 at the station, he knocks Crimean 4 Messerschmitt Bf.109, and on April 28 in one battle immediately 5 'laptezhnikov »Ju.87. At the time of the patrol Pokryshkin never flew in a straight line, in order not to lose speed, his fighter was moving in waves through the movement, resembling an ellipse.

May 24, 1943 Pokryshkin the first time it was awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Union. At this point, his account was shot down 25 German planes. After 3 months, he gets a second Star of the Hero. Fighting in the sky Ukraine, he writes on his own account another 18 "Junkers", including two high-altitude spy. In November 1943, applying wall tanks, he arranges the hunt for the German transports Ju.52, flying over the Black Sea communications. For 4 flights over the Black Sea it sends to the bottom 5 transport "Junkers".

In February 1944, a pilot's career a turning point. Fearful of losing the famous hero and symbol of propaganda, forbid him to fly a lot and it is equally focused on teamwork. In June 1944 he received the rank of colonel, and takes command of the 9th Guards air division. Of his 65 official victories, only six were won in the last 2 years of the war. In August 1944, he was awarded the Gold Star of the Hero of the third Russian Union. During the war flying ace conducted 650 sorties, 156 air battles personally shot down 59 aircraft and 6 in the group. After the war, mastered fighter jets, one of the first to fly the MiG-9, and in 1972 he became Marshal of Aviation.

Pokryshkin Alexander and his fighter Bell P-39 Airacobra
Fighter P-39N «Airacobra» c number 100, which flew Pokryshkin

Bell P-39 «Airacobra»

By the end of the war majestically Russian South American fighters P-39N and P-39Q were the main fighters, who received the USSR under the Lend-Lease. Total USSR was 4952 fighter of 9584 made cars. Specifically for the P-39N «Airacobra» with board number 100 finished the war Alexander Pokryshkin. Russian pilot ace creatively approached the airplane, and made its combat strategy against the introduction of the German aircraft. Flying to the "Cobra" Pokryshkin from spring 1943 shot down 48 enemy aircraft, bringing their own personal victories and 59 cars.

P-39 «Airacobra» — is a single-seat, all-metal cantilever monoplane with a low-wing aircraft had tricycle landing gear. The design of the aircraft was quite unusual for its time because the engine was behind the pilot's cabin. To heat the weapon bay and the cockpit was used special gasoline heater. For the same reason, had its propeller gearbox lubrication system, which was not associated with the engine. The compartment was behind the cockpit and weapons bay was divided from him a special fire-and gas-tight barrier. Cockpit canopy was removable. Along the edges of cabin were two doors opening on the ceiling cabin that looks reminiscent of the car. The right door was used for entry / exit from the cab, and the left was used only as an emergency exit and had no stops, which would locked her in the open position. Not recommended to use it, because it was further part of the radio equipment installed.

Engine compartment was out of the cockpit and was divided special fire barrier. Installed on the aircraft engine, "Allison V-1710 various modifications with capacity from 1,100 to 1,325 hp (Without afterburner mode). The engine allows the aircraft to reach speeds at 605 km / h at an altitude of 4200 meters and 531 km / h at sea level. Starting the engine performed using the electric starter from the ground source (in the forward fuselage fairings on the left or left-wing housed the outlet ground power supply) or onboard Accum. It was also possible to manually start the engine with the starter handle.

Pokryshkin Alexander and his fighter Bell P-39 Airacobra

To manually run the 2 people from a start button (received the title from Russian technicians' pen friendship ") for 3-5 minutes had to spin the flywheel starter to merit their high speed, then going on the starter clutch shaft to the motor shaft. Hatch access to the starter is to the right of the engine. Ignition dial located under the right wing fairings are easily removable. Most of the aircraft have three-blade metal propeller (model P-39Q21-25 — chetyrehlopostnoy) production of "Aeroprodakts" or "Curtiss Electric". Propeller pitch in flight could change. The diameter of the screws ranged from 3.16 to 3.54 meters.

The power supply system consisted of a motor shestisektsionnyh wing fuel tanks and pipelines. Tank varied depending on the modification of the fighter, but usually equated with 450 liters. There was also the possibility of installing outboard tanks. The aircraft could be in the air for more than 3.5 hours, the radius of the act was about 1000 km. Service ceiling was 10,670 feet.

Armament fighter had enough different and varied depending on the modifications of the aircraft. In the early versions, it consisted of a 20-mm gun (ammunition 60 rounds) in the later of the 37-mm gun (ammunition 30 rounds), and 2-synchronous fuselage machine guns 12.7 mm (200-270 ammunition rounds) and 4 x-wing machine guns caliber 7,62 mm (500-1000 ammunition rounds). On the modification of P-39Q instead of four rifle-caliber machine guns were installed two 12.7-mm machine guns, which were in the fairings under the wings. It should be noted separately that since the sub-option machine Q-20, the wing machine guns are often not established. Russian experts at thought that 2-12.7-mm machine guns and 37-mm cannon is quite enough for most purposes and more appreciated a gain maneuverability and flight characteristics of a fighter.

Pokryshkin Alexander and his fighter Bell P-39 Airacobra

Nasal 12.7-mm machine guns were mounted in such a makarom that their breech was part of the cockpit, allowing the pilot, if necessary, to make them manually reset. The holes in the front cabin wall, through which passed the breech guns were covered with leather wall with Velcro-type "lightning", which made it possible to avoid falling into the flight the cabin cool air. If all this is not enough this design also protects the pilot from the powder gases in the conduct of fire from machine guns and cannons. To ensure that during the shooting plane alignment will not be affected very much, empty gun tape units, together with the sleeves shoot from guns and cannons accumulated in special compartments in the bottom of the fuselage, where they have been removed already on the ground.

On the P-39 «Airacobra» BOOK cabin pilot, oxygen cylinders and engine. Behind the pilotfighter was firmly protected engine, for which there was an armored plate. Specifically for the pilot's head was bulletproof width of 63.5 mm and just below was another armored plate. In front of the pilot protected bulletproof glass, 35 mm wide, to which was attached an armored plate inclined. Besides using armor plate 5 was protected gear screw, which also has increased protection pilot ahead. In all this is a book can be considered quite optimal, because the pilot and rear, and the front was protected by a nearly two-fold.

Sources used:
www.aviahobby.ru / publ / pokr_rechk / pokr_rechk.html

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