1. #1
    In reaction to my previous thread here still going, i'd love to ask all the P39 Airacobra drivers to share their knowledge.

    It's my favoured ride in Il2 Sturmovik and in FB (got NO AEP yet) it's an equally awesome plane.
    I've also read the article the general P39 flying on Airwarfare.com but that left me with a few open ends, like what a 'saddle kill' is exactly.

    So, can the P39 Fans gather here pls and post their hints, tips, pointers and advice on how to use this underdog plane to the max?

    Pls post stuff like;
    General flying
    Quickest way to takeoff and up to a fighting configuration when an enemy strike is incoming
    Turning, do's and don'ts
    Flaps, when to use combatflaps etc.
    Power and Enginemanagement
    Using the awesome 37MM cannon to it's full effect.
    Just any bit of info available
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  2. #2
    Good thread. I love P39, one of my favourite rides in game.
    About flying it, well I fly it (in combat situations) like I fly several other planes so I can't give much special tips regarding this plane specially.

    P39 guns are interesting -- I always use 'em all (firing at the same time), except for shooting at distance where you cannot aim with both cannon and MGs -- something must miss.(with proper gun convergence that can be solved to some degree).
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  3. #3
    I like the P-39 but once it gets in a flat spin,
    thats the end of it
    .
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  4. #4
    Turns and combat manuevers: Use the combat flaps to extend the turn long enough to get the enemy on your tail to drop out and extend or overshoot. Just pop the flaps in and out as needed so you don't lose energy as fast as the guy behind you. All things being equal most German planes (your average opponent) won't be able to out-turn a Cobra.

    Once the bad guy behind you decides to extend you can turn on him for a couple of snapshots. If he overshoots then you can pick himup and he will have a very hard time shaking you as longs as he can't dive to pick up some quick energy to trade for a zoom climb. Cobras will sustain a climb much better than most planes, but they don't zoom too well when compared to 109's or FW's.

    To take away your opponent's advantage corkscrew down to the deck as you turn. If he follows then he will find that his only option will be to level out and firewall the engine to try to extend if he can't keep up with your turn. This means that you will get a couple of shots at hit before he gets away, and maybe even more than that.

    Don't be afraid of the tumble. Learn what the edge is in a hard turn...grayed out and shaking but with popping the c-flaps you can get those vapor trails off the wings and snap her around faster than most people want to imagine. If she departs just ride the roll through with the stick and she will right herself and you can continue the turn. If you let it go a couple seconds you will quickly drop a couple of hundred meters out of the way of a bad guy zooming down on your six.

    Those are a couple of the ways you can use this plane's nastier habits to your advantage.

    Any flying: For any manuever you can't yank n' bank the Cobra. Smooth out your maneuvers by thinking your way through them and you will find she can do some amazing things and you will retain more energy to boot. SMOOTHER IS BETTER IN A COBRA. FASTER WILL COME WITH SMOOTHER.

    If she tumbles you can recover from the deathspin but you really need at least 3500m for an even chance. Since the plane does it's best at 3000m or less I usually just bail because if I don't recover right away the plane will have dropped 2000 meters or more in the few seconds I've been fiddling with her and I might not even have time to bail out. And if it was real life I would definitely bail anyway in that case.

    Setting up the plane:

    As soon as I take off I set the plane up for a fight. I leave the radiator open all the way for the trip to the fight and throttle up to 100%. Then I level the plane with the stick and ease up on it as I tap out the elevator trim. The plane settles down right away (about 5 or so taps does it...it differs among the variants) and then I set the throttle to 70% for the flight out to the fight.

    I have to use stick to get there but now the plane is set up in case I get bounced on the way. Once in the fight I set the radiator to 2 and try not to use more than 95% throttle. More than that is for emergencies only.

    When diving the Cobra will push well over 600kph and still be able to pull out of it when other planes will break up but you need to be smooth about it. Because she picks up speed so fast in a dive you need to be sure and chop the throttle or you will just find yourself blasting past the target before you realise it. And since the plane retains energy so well it's pretty hard to slow it down so you have to pay more attention to your speed than in most planes when diving.

    If you do need to slow down the combat flaps are a good option, but anything more will jam right away.

    BTW: "saddle" kill might mean shooting at the cockpit...shooting the pilot out of his saddle. With the big cannon any hits around the cockpit area are going to cause a lot of havoc or scare the bejeezus out of the pilot should he survive.

    Speaking of the guns:

    I set the MG's to 200m and the cannon to 150. If I'm in a D model with a Hispano or the 400 I set the cannon to 200.

    At 100-150 the loft on the 37mm is neglible so it can be used as a single-shot rifle to pop off single or double shots. Use the machineguns to wear down the target and the cannon to finish him off. The cannon can be used to loft shots at big bombers farther away (1000m or so) by lifting the nose but it's wasteful.

    I rarely bother with the extra ammo option for the N-1 since the extra weight makes it nose heavy and it's just more BB's for the .303's. I'd rather take extra fuel.

    I love flying the beastie because it feels more like real flying than most of the planes in the game. The workload is higher than say, a Spifire, but it's rewarding to learn how to use it. Any kills I get I know I earned.

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  5. #5
    The P-39 is indeed very lovely. History made it a bit of a underdog but, it can perform with any other aircraft if handled right. The 37mm cannon still puzzles me though. It is obiously a big gun but, I don't see much result if i hit another aircraft with it in a dogfight. That is also why I am happy with the 20mm gun in the earlier P-39 versions we nog got.
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  6. #6
    P39 is a good and beautifull plane. The mixture of 50s and the big gun really make it a good fighter.

    Nevertheless, I prefered it the way it handled in the original IL2. It was a lot more difficult to fly then, but also a lot more rewarding, once mastered. One of the main reasons, why I hope Patch4.0 will be out soon and set somethings straight again
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  7. #7
    Very good stuff so far, Civildog points it all out quite nicely and lots of those things got noticed by myself (and others hope) too when flying this plane.

    >>Civildog posted this: Any flying: For any manuever you can't yank n' bank the Cobra. Smooth out your maneuvers by thinking your way through them and you will find she can do some amazing things and you will retain more energy to boot. SMOOTHER IS BETTER IN A COBRA. FASTER WILL COME WITH SMOOTHER.<<- I definitely 2nd this, as i use this asset of the plane to it's fullest to turn at full speeds, as soon as i start yanking the stick the plane will immediatly show that you made a big mistake doing so.


    On the guns: like Platypus said; they are a good mix but the 37MM cannon is tricky.
    But i figured out yesterday why that is compared to the 37MM on the Yak.
    The Cobra's T9 cannon fires slower and more curved, the NS-37 of the Yaks have a higher rof and flatter shell trajectory, i can hit things more easy with the NS-37 then the T9.

    Like Loneranger said: The plane feels completely different in FB/AEP then in the original IL2, i found that pretty dissapointing too and hope that it will be fixed, the IL2 flying is just a bit more tricky but more real (i think) and more fun.

    I'd love to know how you guys get the plane up if you just spawned and your own airfield comes under attack, like i've read the same in the Fw190 Flight Manual PDF file i've downloaded somewhere. Last night i took off and was bounced by someone i had'nt seen coming in right after i pulled my gear up.
    Lucky for me he was a really poor shot, so he wasted only ammo.
    I just floored the throttle, pulled flaps up, added wep, trimmed 5-7 nothches nose-down and started turning, he overshot and i came on his tail.
    But all the time i was no higher then 100-150M above ground.
    Do the combat or takeoff flaps add to the lift during climb at lower speeds ?(250KM/h)
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  8. #8
    msalama's Avatar Senior Member
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    Feb 2005
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    Yeah, the Iron Dog's a plane!

    Just remember to avoid sudden and abrupt control inputs when flying her. For example, apply full up elevator & full left rudder simultaneously and that's you in a deathspin That said, you'll be OK if you take care to always paint your patterns in broad strokes so to speak...
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  9. #9
    P39 tips take the link to Airwarfare.com P39 tips.
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  10. #10
    IL-2 Wingman excellent utility that can be used to compare aircraft, loadouts, guns.. I believe the most complete one.

    It is interesting to compare M4(P39) and NS37(Yak, LaGG-3, IL-2).

    Some data from program:
    NS37
    RPM - 250
    MV - 900m/s
    gun weight - 170kg

    M4
    RPM - manual
    MV - 600m/s
    gun weight - 405kg

    Soo..
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