19 thoughts on “Name that Plane…”

  1. Nope. It’s not a PA-48 – no wingtip tanks, no big-ass turbine exhaust on the port side, plus it’s got nose gear. Looks like a Bell P-63 to me.

    And shame on you for not recognizing that, by the way – there’s a P-63 at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Why haven’t you memorized it’s beautiful curves and contours?

    1. Is that nose gear or some ground handling equipment. You can see shadows of the underside of the wings (and none on the P-80 to the left). Is it perhaps a P-51? I know North American Aviation did a publicity flight with the XB-70 and a P-51, touting the “fastest” prop plane and the fastest jet bomber.

  2. Not a Mustang – there’s no air intake under the plane. I think that’s why Brad thought it was an Enforcer at first.

    Look at the tail position, relative to the ground shadows and the edge of the pavement. It’s definitely a tricycle landing gear. Only things that would be right for that would be P-39 or P-63, and that’s a 4-blade prop, so it’s not a P-39.

    Look at this picture: http://www.jacquelinecochranairshow.org/Portals/1/images/ondisplay/2005/p-63.jpg

    (That, incidentally, is the particular P-63 that Brad has no excuse for not having seen up close and personal. 🙂 )

  3. My question is: with an XB70 in the foreground, who cares what is in the background? Valkyrie is about as cool as they come. Right up there with the Phantom!
    (That aside, it is an interesting question.)

  4. http://realitypod.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/XB-70A_Valkyrie_SN_62-0001._Photo_taken_at_Wright-Patterson_AFB_061122-F-1234P-0121.jpg

    Okay, same picture here, but seems to be higher resolution so more zoom is possible. I’m 99% that this is a P-63 now. You can definitely see the lack of Mustang air intake and Enforcer turbine exhaust. The thing that would seal the deal for me is the little wing-root intakes, but the prop is blocking the port side and the starboard side is in shadow. There’s a dark spot on the side, aft of the cockpit, that’s in just about the right spot to be exhaust on a P-63, also.

    1. I’m quite familiar with the P-63. But you’ve seen the dinky little screen I have to work with. Even hi-res pics are pretty dang small on this thing. Really all I could see was four blades.

    2. Okay, good point. Ctrl+= will blow things up bigger.

      I’m still at a loss as to why a P-63 would be there, though.

      Also, dude – next time I get down that direction, I’ve got a great place to go for a fam-fire. It’s about 10 minutes off the 10, just after you get up past the Indio Grade.

    3. Wings are all wrong for a P-63. And you can’t tell if there is an intake under the plane due to the person standing in front of it (what looks like a front landing gear in the blur). More likely a P-51, since we can establish “motive” for the plane being there – the publicity shoot.

    4. Craig – look at this picture of a Mustang on the ground. I was looking for the intake, and I totally missed the other things that hang down under a Mustang: the inner gear doors.


      Also, I blew up the bit of the picture with the plane in question.


      You can pretty clearly see there’s nothing underneath the plane, and the thing in front is not a person. Also, look at the tail vs the ground – it’s not resting on the ground.

  5. The picture is at National Museum of the USAF at Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton OH, where the only remaining XB-70 ended up. Pretty much any and every aircraft has an excuse for being there, including the P-80, C-54, and what looks like an AW.660 Argosy in the background. I think its either a P-39 or P-63, both of which the USAF museum has on display.

  6. Glad you guys think you can make out what that thing is. I blew it up and it just gets fuzzy. I agree that’s Wright Pat, but beyond that I can’t tell anything about the AC you guys are arguing about, other than it’s an airplane with a four bladed paddle prop. I will say, however, it would be strange type of Cobra if it is. I’ve never seen a pic with any of the Cobras bearing a 4 blade paddle prop.

    Been a long time since I was at Wright Pat, and I need to take the grand kids.

    1. The P-63 on display at the USAF Museum arrived there in day-glow orange paint scheme, as outfitted by the manufacturer to resemble the aircraft’s chief wartime contribution – “Pinball” target. It’s been at WP since 1958. The give away is the angle of the wing, showing shadow instead of sunlight.

  7. I think we can toss out the P-39, as the most likely airframe would be the P-39Q with a three bladed prop.

    Here is the P-63 on display at the USAF Museum: http://www.flickr.com/photos/50467989@N05/5377704021/in/set-72157625136397468

    Even if disregard the paint scheme, there’s the issue of the angle of the wings. The photo linked here was taken with my camera at eye level, call it 5 ft 8 inches. You barely see any underside of the wing.

    The aircraft in question from the main photo shows us a fair amount of underside. The camera was about… oh… say more than 30 feet off the ground (the height of the XB-70). Only one way that wing shadow would appear – this plane is a tail dragger. Were it a tricycle undercarriage, we’d see just the wing’s upper surface or at least head on (as with the P-80 or T-33 to the left), with no hint of shadow.

    QM pinned this further – the prop is not the type used on the P-63 either.

    If the glove fits….

    1. http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/1008/p6303.jpg

      Here’s a P-63 with the paddle-type prop. Note also the decals on the blades at about 1/4 of the way out from the spinner, visible on both this pic and the bomber pic. Also note the shadows underneath the leading edges of the wing.

      Add that to the missing inner gear doors and missing air intake …

Comments are closed.