Bell P-59 Airacomet Survivors

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The Bell P-59 Airacomet was the first jet fighter to be put into production in the United States. Sixty-six were built. Six Airacomets survive.

YP-59A 42-108777

YP-59A 42-108777 is being restored to airworthy condition at Chino.

The Air Museum Planes of Fame is conducting a fund raising effort to complete the restoration of the Airacomet:

January 2007 -- The Air Museum Planes of Fame -- Chino, CA

Itís crunch time, and we need your help!

This year the Air Force is celebrating its 60th anniversary and we plan to honor them with a fully restored P-59 -- Americaís first jet aircraft. It will be the only P-59 flying today and, at 65 years old, the oldest flying jet in the world.

Imagine the spectacle of a Heritage Flight featuring both Americaís first jet, and its latest modern fighter jet. What a treat it will be for thousands of spectators at air shows around the country. What an honor for our veterans.

All of this can soon be a reality if we can raise some $50,000.

Our little grass-roots group has been at it every Saturday for 16 years now. Thatís nearly 40,000 hours.

Weíve made great progress! But we need your help with the final push.

So, please join us by giving what you can. No amount is too small, but time is of the essence. So help us finish this monumental project by giving big and giving soon.

Thank you in advance for your interest and support,

Team Comet

Print and fill out the Bell P-59 Airacomet Restoration Donation Form and mail it to the Air Museum Planes of Fame with your contribution.

YP-59A 42-108777 is the oldest surviving Airacomet. It had a second cockpit in the nose when it appeared on display outdoors at the Air Museum Planes of Fame on May 20, 1984.

YP-59A 42-108777 was displayed indoors on October 18, 1987.

YP-59A 42-108777 had been disassembled and stripped of all paint on August 9, 1992.

The reassembled fuselage of YP-59A 42-108777 was displayed at the Chino warbird airshow on April 24, 1999.

YP-59A 42-108777 wore the short-lived national insignia with a red surround that was used from July to September of 1943.

The fuselage of YP-59A 42-108777 is seen here on August 23, 2002.

The wings were reattached to this Bell YP-59A Airacomet, 42-108777 just days before the 2006 Chino warbird airshow. Its General Electric I-16 engines have been rebuilt and the airplane is expected to fly within a year. It carries construction number 27-10.

Bell YP-59A Airacomet, 42-108777 is displayed with a dummy propeller to confuse spies.

Bell YP-59A Airacomet, 42-108777.

Bell YP-59A Airacomet, 42-108777.

Bell YP-59A Airacomet, 42-108777 rolling on its own wheels as a nearly complete airplane.

Bell YP-59A Airacomet, 42-108777.

YP-59A 42-108777 in the Planes of Fame restoration hangar on January 6, 2007.

YP-59A 42-108783

Not strictly a survivor, YP-59A 42-108783 was photographed by Richard Lockett at an open house at the General Electric Air Research Laboratory at Schenectady, New York on June 22, 1946. It was the last of thirteen YP-59As. Note the occupant riding in the open forward cockpit. This Airacomet served as a drone controller.

YP-59A 42-108783 receives fuel from a Shell tanker truck at GEARL on June 22, 1946.

P-59A 44-22614

P-59A 44-22614 is displayed at the March Field Air Museum. It is seen here on February 18, 2000.

P-59B 44-22633

P-59B 44-22633 has been displayed on a pole at Edwards Air Force Base for over three decades. It is seen here on July 6, 1975.

By July 3, 1982, P-59B 44-22633 had been painted silver and four guns were installed in its nose.

A cutaway General Electric I-16 jet engine is displayed next to the Airacomet.

P-59B 44-22650

P-59B 44-22650 is displayed at the National Museum of the Air Force.

Airacomet Links

Airacomets are also displayed at the National Air and Space Museum and Harold Warp Pioneer Village.

Joe Baugher has a history of the Bell P-59 Airacomet.

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