Dive Site: Airacobra Wreck, Rendova, Solomon Islands

Cockpit from across the sb wing at Airacobra Wreck diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

Site Overview

Site Type: Airplane Wreck
Depth: Median: 27MBottom: 28M
Location: Between the fringing reef to the north west of Munda and the main island of Rendova. Solomon Islands.

Description

The Airacobra wreck near Munda in the Solomons Western Province is largely intact and sits upright on a sandy bottom in an accessible 28 m of water.

The Bell P-39 Airacobra was one of the principal American fighter aircraft in service when the United States entered World War II. It had an innovative layout, with the engine installed in the centre of the fuselage, behind the pilot, and driving a tractor propeller via a long shaft.

Cockpit and propeller at Airacobra Wreck diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

This example sits at 28m on a flat sandy bottom.

From the front at Airacobra Wreck diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

Usually the viz is pretty good and will stay that way if you keep your fins up!

From the front with divers at Airacobra Wreck diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

Actually quite a large plane for a fighter.

Diver for scale at Airacobra Wreck diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

It is full of what I assume are juveniles – they made it hard to get any ‘long’ shots.

The cockpit at Airacobra Wreck diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

Hanging around the back were a bunch of Gold-spotted Sweetlips – just ‘hanging’ as Sweetlips are wanton to do.

Gold-spotted Sweetlips with wreck behind at Airacobra Wreck diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

On the wing there was a Leaf Scorpionfish. As with many Solomons dive sites, there was no current or surge, so he wasn’t doing much leaf action. In fact he hopped away after he got bored of us.

Leaf scorpionfish on the wing at Airacobra Wreck diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

Inside the wreck are large numbers of bug-eyed shrimp – looking like they’ve escaped from some crazy animated feature.

Behind them are the shrimps at Airacobra Wreck diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

The flatter surfaces, the corals have started to claim as their own.

Along the starboard wing at Airacobra Wreck diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

Rather usefully, Dive Munda have models of the aircraft wrecks that they dive in their dive shop. Have a look before you go down.

Model of the Airacobra at Dive Munda Shop diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit