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Lockheed P-38F Lightning

Discussion in 'Allied Aviation Of WWII' started by Jim, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. Jim

    Jim Active Member

    Sep 1, 2006
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    The Lightning was designed in 1937 as a high-altitude interceptor. The first one built, the XP-38, made its public debut on February 11, 1939 by flying from California to New York in seven hours. Because of its unorthodox design, the airplane experienced "growing pains" and it required several years to perfect it for combat. Late in 1942, it went into large-scale operations during the North African campaign where the German Luftwaffe named it "Der Gabelschwanz Teufel"--"The Forked-Tail Devil."

    P-38F’s of the USAAF flew from Youk les Bains airfield during the campaign in Tunisia. First used to fly bomber escort and interceptor missions, the lightning’s of the Twelfth Air Force began flying regularly in the ground-attack role in March 1943

    Equipped with droppable fuel tanks under its wings, the P-38 was used extensively as a long-range escort fighter and saw action in practically every major combat area of the world. A very versatile aircraft, the Lightning was also used for dive bombing, level bombing, ground strafing and photo reconnaissance missions.

    By the end of production in 1945, 9,923 P-38s had been built. The P-38L shown below, painted as a P-38J with the 55th Fighter Squadron based in England, was donated to the United States Air Force Museum in 1961 by the Bob Bean Aircraft Corp., Hawthorne, California and the Kaufmann Foundation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


    Lockheed P-38FI Lightning [​IMG]

    • TYPE: Single-seat, twin-engine fighter
    • ENGINES: Two 1225-bhp Allison V-1710-49/53s
    • DIMENSIONS: Wingspan 52 ft (15.9 m) length 37 ft 10in (11.5 m) Height 9ft 10 in (3 m)
    • WEIGHT: 18,000 lbs (8165 kg) fully loaded
    • PERFORMANCE: Maximum speed 395 mph (636 km/h) at 25,000 ft (7620 m) Maximum range 1750 miles (2816 km) with drop tanks

  2. worldwar

    worldwar New Member

    Oct 15, 2012
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    Such a nice plane, which was manufactured by Lockheed and introduced in 1941. the cost of plane was US$ 97,147 in the early 1944.


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