XFL-1 Airabonita

Airabonita in flight

Airabonita in flight

Taxi animation test

In-flight animation test

The Bell XFL-1 'Airabonita' was a parallel development of the P-39 'Airacobra' for the United States Navy. It was similar to the land-based P-39, differing mainly in the use of a tailwheel configuration in place of the P-39's tricycle gear. Only one example was built, first taking flight on 13 May 1940.

Although the Navy stated that it "would consider a liquid-cooled engine installation provided a material increase in performance over air-cooled engine can be shown." The Airabonita was rejected by the Navy after the design failed to qualify for the technical and performance requirements for carrier operations.

Additionally, contemporary radial engine aircraft such as the Grumman F4F Wildcat and later the Vought XF4U-1 Corsair significantly outperformed the Airabonita.

The single prototype was transferred to Maryland. Grounded and used for armament tests, the aircraft was later scrapped. For many years her remains were visible at the dump at NAS Patuxet River.

She sure is pretty tho!

Original model by helijah