The Airacomet has the honour of being the first United States jet fighter aircraft to enter service…, with a “little” help from British jet engine knowledge. Bell was the company chosen for this endeavour for its usual innovative ideas, but mainly because its was the least busy of the big aeronautical companies. Entering a new era, Bell chose to be prudent, too prudent in fact: their Airacomets were big, cumbersome, heavy and underpowered. When first flown in Oct 1942 it became soon obvious the performances achieved were, in fact, worse than the latest piston engined fighters. The very few of them produced never saw combat and served firstly as trainers.
Pot bellied things they were. Anyway, they sure have a serious punch with those three .50 HMG’s and 37 mm cannon.