Twin Kobra

Started by McGreig, March 08, 2007, 02:47:38 PM

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I was browsing through the Tophe Twin Tailed Tribute threads in The Knackers Yard when, to my slight surprise, I came across a photo of my Twin Kobra in the "Old Plastic Twin Tails" thread, apparently taken on its debut on the Soviet Aircraft SIG stand at Telford 2006.

Appropriately, this model was started in France and was inspired directly by Tophe's "Forked Ghosts" series.

So, if anyone's interested, here's the back story.

Soviet designer Viktor Belyaev, who specialised in designs using twin fuselages and swept forward wings (see Gordon & Gunston's "Soviet X-Planes" for details of some of his designs, including the DB-LK twin fuselage medium bomber) designed the single seat, twin fuselage OI-2 fighter in 1941.

This was occasionally referred to as the "Twin Kobra" because of its strong resemblance to a twinned Bell P-39. However, although it used the P-39 concept of mid-fuselage engine location and car door type cockpit entry, it seems to have been an entirely original design (the Soviet Union didn't get its first P-39s until December 1941).

Unfortunately, although the OI-2 received the go-ahead in April 1941, the project was abandoned two months later when war broke out.

Belyaev's OKB was disbanded and Belyaev spent the War at Factories 166 and 288 as head of the strength calculations bureau of Myasischev's OKB.

However, it is known that he took the loss of his OKB and the destruction of his unusual designs very hard and it isn't a big What If to suppose that he persisted with the concepts while working for Myasischev or that, given the vast quantities of P-39s and P-63s available in the USSR at the time, he could have begged, borrowed or stolen two old Airacobras to convert into a proof-of-concept aircraft.

Which, of course, in the "What If" world, is exactly what he did. Unfortunately, by the time he got a prototype in the air the concept was thought to be obsolete and the sole example of this interesting aircraft eventually rotted away in a corner of Factory 288 as all energies were focussed on the development of jet aircraft  - - - -
Unless, of course, anyone has any other ideas. Like, maybe, a jet version. Or a twin P-63. On floats. Or something - - -

The model itself was made from two Academy P-39s and a lot of plastic card and putty. The geometry is based on the proportions of the Me-109Z. Although Lend Lease aircraft were rarely repainted, it's finished in the Soviet late war greys on the assumption that such a major rebuild would have required a new coat of paint.

And it's given me an idea for the P-40 Group Build - - - -


Must admit I admired that the first time I saw it - nice to have the background
Decals my @r$e!


i like it, Tophe is gonna go crazy when he see's this  :wub:  
on the bench:

-all kinds of things.