Hobby Master 1/72 scale HA1710: Bell P-39Q Airacobra of 4 Stormo, C.T. Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force, Italy 1945. Production of 588 pieces, of which only a few came to the UK. Box not totally perfect on this model.
The Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force was formed in October 1943 after the Italian armistice a month earlier. The Italian pilots now flew for the Allies and in June and July 1944 received 75 former USAAF 332nd Fighter Group P-39Qs. These aircraft equipped the Gruppi 9° and 10° of 4° Stormo and the name J. Baracca was to honor an Italian Ace from WWI. The black prancing horse was used because it was Baracca’s aircraft emblem. This horse emblem would go on to become the famous Ferrari emblem.
The Bell P-39 Airacobra originally flew with excellent performance but by the time the
aircraft reached the front lines the Army Air Corp had changed so many features that the
plane was far from what Bell had originally designed. They added weight, removed the
supercharger from the Allison engine that didn’t have the power it claimed. What could
have been and should have been one of the best aircraft of WWII turned out to be much less. Even with all its flaws they still produced 9,584 P-39s.