Well, the news we were hoping for has arrived. Jerry Yagen’s Bell P-39F Airacobra 41-2175 under restoration for the past few years at Pioneer Aero Ltd. in Ardmore, New Zealand has successfully flown for the first time since her wartime forced-landing in Australia on May 1st, 1942. Frank Parker took her up on her maiden flight, and all went well judging by his beaming smile in Gavin Conroy’s photo below.
For more details on the aircraft’s history, please see our recent post HERE which covered the engine runs earlier this month. Also, to get a sense of the raw power that the P-39’s Allison V-1710-85 can generate, check out the video below which Pioneer Aero’s Paul McSweeney posted on YouTube following the high power engine runs a few days ago… Make sure to crank up the volume! Congratulations to all involved in this marvelous restoration, especially Pioneer Aero Ltd. and of course Jerry Yagen. The world now has a third airworthy Airacobra!
Many thanks indeed to Gavin Conroy for permission to use his photographs in this article. For more of Gavin’s extraordinary photography, please do visit his website and Facebook Page!