|Manufacturer||Bell Aircraft Corporation|
The Bell FL Airabonita was an experimental shipboard interceptor aircraft developed for the U.S. Navy. It was similar to and a parallel development of the land-based P-39 Airacobra, differing mainly in the use of a tail wheel landing configuration in place of the P-39's tricycle gear. It first flew on May 13, 1940. Only one aircraft was manufactured.
The FL-1 was powered by a single Allison XV-1710-6 engine installed amidship behind the pilot and driving a three bladed propellor in the nose through a 10 foot 4 and half inch (3.2 m) extension shaft. The aircraft had provisions for 0.5 inch (12.7 mm) or 37 mm cannon firing through the propellor shaft and two 0.3 inch (7.62 mm) machine guns in the fuselage nose.
Delivery of the prototype to the Navy was delayed due to difficulties with the Allison engine until February 1941. Following Navy tests the aircraft was returned to Bell for modification in December 1941, but before the modifications were completed the Navy decided that the XFL-1 was not suitable for further development.
Specifications (XFL-1 Airabonita)
- Green, William (1961). War Planes of the Second World War - Fighters (Vol 4). London: Macdonald.
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