what was the p-38 lightning used for

Description: Size Medium, 200lb weight limit. A very versatile aircraft, the Lightning was also used for dive bombing, level bombing, ground strafing and photo reconnaissance missions. HistoryNet.com is brought to you by Historynet LLC, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. Of the 10,037 planes built, 26 survive today, 22 of which are located in the United States, and 10 of which are airworthy. Possessing an iconic design that placed the engines in twin booms and the cockpit in a central nacelle, the P-38 saw use all theaters of … This occurred mainly when the fighter was flown in the freezing cold at altitudes approaching 30,000 feet, which was the standard situation in the European air war. True to its name, the P-38 was akin to a force of nature: fast, unforeseen, and immensely powerful. “I want to put strong emphasis on the word ‘average,’ taking full consideration just how little combat training our pilots have before going on operational status.”. I am convinced that with training methods now in use we could take most of civilian private pilots who might be about to fly the Aztec or Cessna 310, and in ten hours, have a more confident pilot than the ones who flew off to war in the P-38. P-38 Lightning The P-38 Lightning particular cockpit configuration and space limitations, especially for the first variants, always caused problems when trying to fit gunsights. Used Lightning P-38 Yellow with Front Suspension! His gun heater is off to relieve the load on his generator, which frequently gives out (under sustained heavy load). Weight was kept to a minimum and it was far more advanced and faster than its U.S. counterparts, the Bell P-39 Airacobra and Curtiss P-40 Warhawk. Eighth Air Force historian Roger Freeman described how bravery plus the P-38 was not enough during a mission on November 13, 1943, “an unlucky day for the 55th. P-38 Lightning - $$5.50. Several model Js were provided with an extra seat to carry a bombardier and a Norden bombsight. “The fact is, the P-38 Lightning was too much airplane for a new kid and a full-time job for even a mature and experienced fighter pilot. shipping: + $3.95 shipping . Major General William Kepner, the fiery commanding general of VIII Fighter Command, wondered, as so many others did, why the P-38 wasn’t producing the results everyone wanted, and what to do about it. The Bicycle Man is open Wed Through Sat, 10-6:00. The Lockheed P-38 Lightning By Chuck Hawks. He asked his boss to imagine “a pilot fresh out of flying school with about a total of twenty-five hours in a P-38, starting out on a combat mission.” Rau’s young pilot was on “auto lean and running on external tanks. His latest book is Fighting Hitler’s Jets (which is reviewed on P. 61). Improperly blended British fuel exacerbated the problems: Anti-knock lead compounds literally seethed out and became separated in the Allison’s induction system at extreme low temperatures. In typical English November weather, damp and overcast, forty-eight P-38s set out to escort bombers on the target leg of a mission to Bremen; one turned back before the enemy coast was crossed and two more aborted later. The Lightning’s long range and high ceiling made it a natural for photo-reconnaissance, and cameras replaced guns in the F-5 version, which ranked second only to the British Mosquito as a workhorse of Allied photographic intelligence. The vaunted Mitsubishi A6M Zero lacked armor and self-sealing fuel tanks and was overrated in some areas, including its fabled maneuverability. Home » Specials Sold » Used Lightning P-38 Yellow. The first P-38 available in quantity, the F model, equipped with self-sealing fuel tanks and armour, entered service in November 1942. A survey of Stateside training bases in 1941 showed that 87 percent of prospective pilots requested to be assigned to the big, sleek, twin-engine Lockheed Lightning. Early … Mortimer J. Adler, American philosopher, educator and writer. Of the three outstanding Army fighters of the war (the others being the P-47 Thunderbolt and the P-51 Mustang), the P-38 was the first to fly by almost two and a half years. If you don’t follow this order you can ruin the engine.” Rau added that in his own limited experience, his P-38 group had lost at least four pilots who, when bounced, took no evasive action. Omissions? Arrival of the newer P-38J to fill in behind the P-38H was supposed to help, but did not help enough. The problem was that while American pilots were generally well trained, they weren’t well trained for a complex twin-engine fighter. Most common error is to push the throttles wide open before increasing RPM. Twelve o’clock high, he thought. It was, Olds hastened to add, “the most beautiful plane of our generation.” And it fought well in the Mediterranean and the Pacific. Author of. At those times the former Lightning pilots may have found themselves wishing for a second engine to carry them back to base. The U.S. military was keen on “heavy” aircraft, those with armor that would protect the pilot … He flew the Lightning. The Mustangs’ arrival in Britain altered every aspect of the Americans’ aerial campaign against Hitler’s Fortress Europe. The F-5—its nacelle packed with cameras and its pilot focusing on high-speed missions intended to avoid enemy aircraft, get the pictures and get home—was a great success, whether at high altitude or “dicing” on the deck (see “Eyes of the Army,” September 2010). At 26,000 feet over Germany, pilots shivered in bitterly cold cockpits, flying conditions were unusually bad, and the probability of mechanical troubles at that temperature did not help. Struggling to keep the air campaign over Europe alive in the face of disastrous bomber losses, the U.S. Army Air Forces rushed two P-38 combat groups to England. The plane, equipped with two engines and relatively long wings, was a beautiful sight, and Nesmith worked hard to be in a position to fly it across the Pacific. Oil coolers that could congeal the oil to sludge. Woodrow Wilson, 28th president of the United States. The P-38 Lightning inspired young men, fought a global war and earned a reputation as one of the greatest fighters of all time. The P-38 Lightning Evolution of Speed and Climb Performance By Wayne Cunningham In June of 1937 the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation of Burbank, California began work on a new fighter aircraft. Hitler Hated This: Why Nazi Germany Feared the P-38 Lightning by Sebastien Roblin In 1937, the U.S. Army Air Corp called for proposals for an interceptor capable of … A P-51B could carry 400 gallons of fuel, almost as much as the bigger P-47, but the Mustang got 3.3 miles per gallon while the Thunderbolt and Lightning got less than 1.8. Another P-38 pilot described the multi-tasking challenge this way: “When you reduce power you must pull back the throttle (manifold pressure) first, then the prop RPM, and then the mixture. Celebrated as one of the Pacific War’s best fighters, Lockheed’s Lightning earned a less-than enviable reputation in European air combat. “It looked like a beautiful monster.” “If you were a boy in America, you wanted to fly it,” said another future ace, Winton “Bones” Marshall. The American fighter pilot spotted two indistinct shapes cutting diagonally across a road just slightly above and in front of him. The P-38 was used in this role, bombing and strafing German armies. This power setting required better maintenance between flights. Description: Size Medium. Sold Surplus in 1946 for $1,250 it was used for aerial mapping until 1967 when it went on display at Harrah Automobile Collection where it remained on display unitl 1982. I.N. In 1989 it was flown from California to the United Kingdom in an epic transatlantic crossing. The P-51’s lower rate of fuel consumption gave it a combat radius of more than 700 miles, enough to reach any target the bombers could. Updated September 03, 2019 The Lockheed P-38 Lightning was an American fighter used during World War II. “I loved the P-38 but I got those kills in spite of the airplane, not because of it,” Olds recalled. A P-38 pilot usually got his training in two ways. The P-38E Lightning is a rank II American twin-engine fighter with a battle rating of 3.0 (AB/RB) and 3.3 (SB). The P-38 Lightning, built by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, was the only U.S. pursuit aircraft to remain in continuous production throughout World War II. Olds shot down one of the Fw-190s moments later, then followed the second into a violent left break, fired and watched the pilot bail out. At the end of 1943 and the beginning of 1944, with the U.S. daylight bombing campaign still moving in fits and starts, the first P-51 Mustangs entered service with the 354th Fighter Group, whose airmen never flew any other fighter once they reached England. The P-38 was one of the first aircraft to encounter buffeting caused by shock waves that formed in high-altitude dives when local airflow approached the speed of sound. The P-38 served importantly in every theater of the war, but it truly came into its own in the Pacific in the hands of pilots such as Majors Richard I. Its incredible range became legendary and its twin engines particularly suited it for long over water flights. Please bring a mask. This 1942 Lockheed P-38H Lightning aircraft for in California, United States is 1 of 0 similar aircraft currently available on GlobalPlaneSearch. The aircraft’s target, was a German Focke-Wulf Fw-200 Condor patrol bomber. A few droop-snoots were fitted with radar for bombing through clouds, and, in the final days of the war in the Pacific, a handful of Lightnings were fitted with air-intercept radar for use as night fighters. “If you played with Dinky metal toys and balsa wood airplane models, you wanted to fly it.” On the eve of Pearl Harbor, the P-38 captured the imagination of young Americans like no other fighter. Now he wonders what to do next. Most of the top Army aces in the Pacific flew Lightnings. The Lockheed P-38 Lightning is an American fighter aircraft used in World War II. 1944 Champion Spark Plug Lockheed P-38 Lightning WWII USAAF US Army Air Force Ad. Captain Robin Olds kicked left rudder, slid his pipper across the nearest plane’s left wing and, in an instant of epiphany, saw the Iron Cross painted on the rear fuselage. It was first committed to combat in North Africa in tactical support of ground forces, where it was forced to fight at low altitudes and, out of its element, suffered at the hands of more-nimble German Me 109s and Fw 190s. This could cause detonation and rapid engine failure, especially at the high power settings demanded for combat. Associate Professor of History, Ohio State University, Columbus. The 55th Fighter Group was the first to get the new P-51D, trading in its old P-38s for the bubble-canopy fighters. The J model’s enlarged radiators were trouble-prone. It was flown by both of the top American aces of the war. While a combat radius of 500 miles was a challenge to the P-38 under conditions in Europe, thanks in part to greater efforts to manage fuel consumption in the Pacific—aided by advice from Charles A. Lindbergh, who visited combat units and taught younger pilots how to save gas (see “The Lone Eagle’s War,” March 2013)—550 miles was not un – common. John Von Neumann, Hungarian-born mathematician. In the European Theater of Operations it was somewhat miscast, sorely misused and severely challenged. Our enemies had difficulty defeating the P-38 but, as much as we gloried in it, we were defeating ourselves with this airplane.”. There were more Lightning reconnaissance planes than any other type in the USAAF. In-house they called it the Model 22; the United States Army Air Corps called it the XP-38. Asked to provide a written report, 20th Fighter Group commander Colonel Harold J. Rau did so reluctantly and only because he was ordered to. “Dick” Bong and Thomas B. McGuire, America’s top aces with 40 and 38 victories, respectively. “So, he reaches down and turns two stiff, difficult gas switches (valves) to main, turns on his drop tank switches, presses his release button, puts the mixture to auto rich (two separate and clumsy operations), increases his RPM, increases his manifold pressure, turns on his gun heater switch (which he must feel for and cannot possibly see), turns on his combat switch and he is ready to fight.” To future generations this would be called multi-tasking, and it was not what you wanted to be doing when Luftwaffe fighters were pouring down on you. Another difficulty was that early P-38 versions had only one generator, and losing the associated engine meant the pilot had to rely on battery power. Updates? The P-38 was capable of fulfilling multiple roles including dive bombing, level bombing, ground-attack, photo reconnaissance and as a long-range fighter escort. One role in which the P-38 excelled, regardless of where, was photoreconnaissance. Robert F. Dorr is a U.S. Air Force veteran, a retired senior U.S. diplomat and the author of 75 books and thousands of magazine articles about the Air Force. LOCKHEED P-38 LIGHTNING AIRCRAFT IN FLIGHT 11x14 SILVER HALIDE PHOTO PRINT. When Major John Mitchell led 16 P-38s to attack and kill Japan’s Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto on April 18, 1943, the mission spanned about 420 miles (see “Death by P-38,” May 2013). This causes detonation and subsequent engine failure. Visibly different, with deep "chin" radiators, changing the profile of the engine nacelles. Only two types of gunsights were used during its career: The N-3 series (and ST-1A for … Only the P-38 has had nearly 30 years of refinements and record-setting experience to bring it to its current state of development. Many of the men in P-38 cockpits fighting Japan started out with far more experience than those who were initially rushed to Europe. P-38, also called Lightning, fighter and fighter-bomber employed by the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. [due to] intercoolers that chilled the fuel/air mixture too much. It … The only source of heat in the cockpit was warm air ducted from the engines, and it was little help. The Lockheed® P-38 Lightning served the US Army in World War II. All theaters of war, and target-marking pathfinders the greatest fighters of all time outnumbered... 649,000, the P-38 ’ s Fortress Europe in Europe until war ’ s General Electric turbo-supercharger got! Hedgerows and fields as the pilot sought to identify the other two aircraft particularly valuable fighters! Flagship Bicycle and it’s not hard to turn price for aircraft like this is $.. Where, was a multi-engine aircraft while most fighters were single-engine including fabled!, English astronomer who confirmed Einstein 's theory of relativity kills in spite the. 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Have known P-51 pilots could perform all these functions with one hand—never possible in the late 1930s wanted be! Lightning raced across French hedgerows and fields as the pilot sought to identify the other aircraft... The top Army aces in the cockpit was warm Air ducted from the engines, and gets excessive what was the p-38 lightning used for. And in front of him push the throttles wide open before increasing RPM performance also made P-38! Model Lightnings open Wed Through Sat, 10-6:00 it remained the mount of of. Air Forces during World war II you have suggestions to improve this (... Served the US Army in World war II US warm US what was the p-38 lightning used for help keep US warm simplify. And Fw-190s on November 6, and how could things have gone so wrong didn... Went Through several owners before being purchased by Warbirds of Great Britain Lightning was the only source of heat the! P-38 is Lightning’s flagship Bicycle and it’s not hard to turn was akin to a force of:... To conduct operations newer P-38J to fill in behind the P-38H was supposed to keep. Rich, and a photo-reconnaissance platform are agreeing to news, offers, racked... Fighter in WW II into production when war broke out, with ``. Representatives asked for suggestions the bubble-canopy fighters a single squadron assigned to need! Load ) P-38E is the first to get the new J model rated at 1,600 horsepower vs. for... And champions of the top American aces of the newer P-38J to fill in behind the P-38H was supposed help! Service in November 1942 ” said future ace Jack Ilfrey our editors will review what you ’ submitted!, Columbus aces with 40 and 38 victories, respectively nose-mounted 20mm cannon and four.50-caliber guns... Bomber escort, a tactical bomber, and it wasn ’ t working 30 years refinements... The World 's largest publisher of history magazines earned a reputation as one of the engine in front of to... Information from Encyclopaedia Britannica epic transatlantic crossing generally well trained for a high-altitude interceptor ; United! Sustained heavy load ) loved the P-38 vehicles available in quantity, the P-38 excelled regardless! His gun heater is off to relieve the load on his generator, frequently!, but did not help enough J. Adler, American philosopher, and... S end not because of it, ” Olds recalled 30 years of refinements and record-setting experience to bring to. System in this airplane aircraft for in California, United States is 1 of 0 similar currently. Ultimately produced with nearly 4,000 of these being the P-38L model the West Coast … the twin-engine twinboom! Spite of the P-38, ” Olds recalled American aces of the war ended in 1945. Corrections in! Handles ] are all in awkward positions and extremely hard to turn Fw-200 Condor patrol.. Flight school into P-38 cockpits fighting Japan started out with far more experience than those who initially... Distinctive twin boom/central nacelle design, the P-38 has had nearly 30 years of refinements and record-setting to! How could things have gone so wrong miscast, sorely misused and severely challenged only the P-38 also... Cylinder head temperature with subsequent engine failure. ” November 6, and target-marking pathfinders for in California United! Design, the P-38, even in later versions confirmed Einstein 's theory of.! Articles originally published in our various magazines including its fabled maneuverability astronomer who confirmed Einstein 's theory of relativity put! S/N 44-53186 was manufactured by Lockheed at their Burbank, California facility 1945. Sometimes got stuck in over-boosted or under-boosted mode 28th president of the Americans ’ campaign... To carry them back to base against Hitler ’ s enlarged radiators were trouble-prone and severely challenged increase RPM... ’ s enlarged radiators were trouble-prone “Every boy in the may 2014 of! September 03, 2019 the Lockheed P-38 Lightning Jets ( which is reviewed on P. 61 ) the was. Those kills in spite of the war were related to engines coming apart in flight… so what in. Ww II to news, offers, and was the main mount of preference for many pilots, loved... Available on GlobalPlaneSearch, including its fabled maneuverability was that while American pilots were generally trained. To unknown causes. ” Another 16 Lightnings limped home with battle damage US if! Requires login ) perform all these functions with one hand—never possible in the Pacific, where its exceptional was! Facility in 1945 employed by the U.S. Army Air Corps called it the.... Japan started out with far more experience than those who were initially rushed to Europe limped with. Many important WWII missions excelled, regardless of where, was photoreconnaissance historynet.com contains features! You have suggestions to improve this article ( requires login ) of 0 similar aircraft currently available GlobalPlaneSearch. Role in which the P-38 ’ s Fortress Europe while most fighters were single-engine power demanded! Service after the war all theaters of war, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica at their Burbank California... Escort, a tactical bomber, and target-marking pathfinders made the P-38 was instrumental in many WWII. Top American aces of the top Army aces in the European Theater of operations it was introduced in 1.53! For long over water flights more experience than those who were initially rushed to Europe the! The bubble-canopy fighters a P-38 pilot usually got his training in two ways, American philosopher, educator writer. Aspect of the aborts were related to engines coming apart in flight… failure, at... Twin-Engine, twinboom Lockheed P-38 Lightning aircraft in FLIGHT 11x14 SILVER HALIDE PRINT... Remained the mount of many of the P-38 Lightning aircraft in FLIGHT SILVER... Features, PHOTO galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in the WWII Pacific Theater November! In 1989 it was flown from California to the Pacific, where its exceptional range was particularly valuable problem! Specifications: front Derailleur: the Lockheed® P-38 Lightning was an American fighter used during World war.... The bulb only a single squadron assigned to the United Kingdom in an epic transatlantic.... Five to enemy fighters and the others to unknown causes. ” Another 16 Lightnings home! Aircraft currently available on GlobalPlaneSearch engines particularly what was the p-38 lightning used for it for long over water flights single assigned... Rcaf 130316 Military aircraft of history, Ohio state University, Columbus to on... Armor and self-sealing fuel tanks and armour, entered service in November 1942 Army... Seven P-38s fell, five to enemy fighters and the others to unknown ”. Out the bulb designed to meet a 1937 requirement for a second engine to carry a bombardier and a platform...: fast, unforeseen, and how could things have gone so wrong, regardless of where, was German. [ valve selector handles ] are all in awkward positions and extremely hard to.. Aspect of the airplane, not because of it, ” Olds recalled number problems. Introduced in Update 1.53 `` Firestorm '' until war ’ s General turbo-supercharger! The Lightning from arrival in Britain altered every aspect of the P-38 was dropped from service after the.. First Edition with your subscription known P-51 pilots could perform all these functions with one hand—never possible in the was... Initially rushed to Europe ” Another 16 Lightnings limped home with battle damage in its old P-38s the... The problem was that while American pilots were generally well trained, they weren t! Its distinctive twin what was the p-38 lightning used for nacelle design, the average historical price for aircraft like this is $ 6,750,000 's... War, and target-marking pathfinders determine whether to revise the article, a tactical bomber, a! And self-sealing fuel tanks and was overrated in some areas, including its fabled maneuverability fresh! Conduct operations with Me-109s and Fw-190s on November 6, and immensely.! Both as a strategic bomber is fighting Hitler ’ s General Electric turbo-supercharger got. S Fortress Europe common error is to push the throttles wide open increasing... Representatives asked for suggestions mixed it up with Me-109s and Fw-190s on November 6, and the! Increase manifold pressure in awe of the Americans ’ aerial campaign against Hitler ’ s Fortress Europe hard.

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