For aircraft and cartoon enthusiasts: Daria the Airacobra
Well as both an aircraft enthusiast and an amateur artist, I'm a fan of the Disney movie "Planes"
and I'm a fan of the MTV series "Daria"
and I'm quite skilled in cartooning.
So given the fact that I'm an airplane nut and I love both cartoons, I often wondered if Daria had appeared in that movie what plane she would have been.
I finally settled on the Bell P-39 Airacobra.
Now the Airacobra when it first flew was a really advanced plane: it had the engine midships, behind the pilot, which made the nose free to be armed with a heavy gun and the plane to be fitted with a tricycle undercarriage, which in those days was very unusual, it gave the plane excellent all around vision which made taxiing on the runway a breeze.
But sadly it was a decision by the NACA (which later became the NASA) that sealed this sleek advanced plane's fate. Because of General Motors having a big stake in the aeroplane industry at the time, the Airacobra was fitted with an Allison V-1710 V-12 engine and that engine was tempramental and restricted the plane's service altitude. To make the Airacobra deliver what it promised, it was fitted with a turbo supercharger to make the Allison work accordingly.
But when the boffins at NACA got the assurance from General Motors that a more advanced version of the Allison was in the last stages of development, they advised that the Airacobra should NOT be fitted with Turbo superchargers and be fitted with Normal superchargers instead.
BUT GM underestimated the development length of the advanced version of the Allison which took two full years longer at which more advanced planes would get them.
What this meant was that the Airacobra was severely underpowered and stood no chance against contemporary fighters such as the Messerschmitt 109, the Supermarine Spitfire and the Mitsubishi A6M Zero.
British squadrons receiving the Airacobra replaced them quickly with Spitfires and the Free French Air Force replaced theirs with Yakovlev Yak-9 fighters.
So what to do with an unpopular plane that nobody wants to have? Well sell them on and the biggest user of second hand Airacobras was the Soviet Union where the Red Airforce used them as ground attack fighters, flying at treetop level where the Allison worked the best. The heavy nose mounted guns were feared and the plane was faster than the feared Focke-Wulf 190.
Also the Airacobra gave the Soviets something that their indigenous fighters did not have: On board radio, which save precious time getting the planes to where they were needed. All in all the Red Airforce used the Airacobra in their thousands, proving that this unpopular plane still could get into its prime.
Which is where the link with Daria comes in, she's unpopular at school, looked down upon by her peers and yet in the underground she's respected and can deliver a killer blow with her words.
So here she is: Daria Morgendorffer as a Bell P-39 Airacobra. I'll color these later.
Haha, Hipster Airacobra!!
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