Manufacturer: Bell Aircraft

Model: 32R

Name: Baby Cobra

Type: Racer

Date: 1948

Status: Experimental

Country: United States

Service: none

Designation: none


The Bell Baby Cobra was the last in a series of lightweight single-engine designs that started with Design D-6 (Army Air Corps XP-77), moving on to production variants P-77A and P-77B Airafighter (Models 32A and 32B) — similar to the prototypes and using inline and radial engines, respectively — on to the P-77C (Model 32E) which had a radial engine and a redesigned tail.

The Baby Cobra was conceived strictly as a racer. It returned to the inline engine of the first two models, but with the tail of the third. The main difference was of course the swept wing.

While the Model 32/P-77 series were entirely made of plywood (the idea being to use non-strategic materials so as to keep it for the bombers, basically) the Baby Cobra, was all-metal.

The Baby Cobra never participated in any official race, as it crashed on its way to Reno in July 1949, killing its test pilot Abraham Ulupong.


After the P-77C Airafighter, he Baby Cobra takes the P-77 lineage one step further in the form of a racing aircraft. These were extremely popular in the postwar years, and the P-77 would have made a great starting point for that!

Although it reverts to the inline engine of the XP-77 prototype, the fuselage and tail are those of the P-77C and the wing is swept back. Apart from the engine, the resulting aircraft has very little to do with the original type, as can be seen when comparing the two profiles!

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