P-400 (P-39) Airacobra Instrument Panel AP-347
AeroAntique is pleased to share this instrument panel owned by one of our good friends. We welcome inquiries and are happy to put you in contact with the owner of this artifact. Please email us with the name of the artifact at firstname.lastname@example.org .
This WWII-era P-400 instrument panel resides in the collection of our friend Charles Darby of New Zealand.
According to Charles:
"This early-model P-39 variant was ordered direct by the British Air Ministry, hence never had a P-39 designation or a USAAF serial number. Like the P-322 Lightning, however, the P-400s were deemed unsuitable for the RAF's high-altitude interceptor requirements, and most were returned to the USA. That was not surprising as they were designed, like the P-40, as an Army ground support aircraft --- and US Army horses of the 1930s were not expected to have to operate above 10,000ft. AP347 was allotted to the 36th Fighter Sqn, 8th Fighter Group and was involved in the early stages of the air defence of Port Moresby, eventually being written-off at Bulldog Strip. This instrument panel was recovered in the 1960s, and the airframe was recovered about 10 years later. Sadly, it was left outside the Aero Club at Jackson Field (7-Mile), Port Moresby, where, as of a few years ago, it had virtually disintegrated from surface and intergranular corrosion."