This sought after plane was designed as saw limited production by Bell for the military, and Hubley captured the moment in time. Unfortunately for Bell, future production contracts were lost and the toy was less popular as a result.
Wingspan is about 10 1/4″ and the toy is an impressive size. The landing gear folds up, turret guns rotate, and propellers spin.
Condition is used, but all the original parts are present. Tires are about to go, but still present. Moderate chipping throughout, but there the toy is spectacular in its originality.
Borrowing some great history off of Wikipedia: “In an effort to break into the aviation business, Bell Aircraft created a unique fighter concept touted to be “a mobile anti-aircraft platform” as well as a “convoy fighter.” Created to intercept enemy bombers at distances beyond the range of single-seat fighter interceptors, the YFM-1 (Y, service test; F, fighter; M, multiplace) was an innovative design incorporating many features never before seen in a military aircraft, as well as several never seen again. Using a streamlined, “futuristic” design, the Bell Airacuda appeared to be “unlike any other fighters up to that time.”
According to Major Alexander De Seversky’s 1942 book, Victory Through Air Power, the Bell Airacuda “represents a great engineering achievement. But its designation as ′convoy fighter′ is erroneous, since that requires different disposition of armament. With its maximum firepower directed forward, it really offers a preview of an effective long-range interceptor fighter.”
A forward-firing 37 mm (1.46 in) M4 cannon with an accompanying gunner was mounted in a forward compartment of each of the two engine nacelles. Although capable of aiming the cannons, the gunners’ primary purpose was simply to load them with the 110 rounds of ammunition stored in each nacelle.
The crew of five included the pilot and gunners; a copilot/navigator who doubled as a fire-control officer, using a Sperry Instruments “Thermionic” fire control system (originally developed for anti-aircraft cannon) combined with a gyro-stabilised and an optical sight to aim the weapons and a radio operator/gunner armed with a pair of machine guns stationed at mid-fuselage waist blisters for defense against attack from the rear.
An unusual feature of the Airacuda was the main door for entry. The door was opened and pulled down and hinges folded in on three steps for the crew to climb into the aircraft.”