Lockheed P-38H Lightning
The P-38H was the standard version of the Lightning during the second half of 1943. In some respects it was an intermediate design. It saw a change of engine, to the Allison V-1710-89/91, which could provide a potential maximum horsepower of 1,425 each. However, the intercoolers on the P-38H were still carried on the leading edge of the wings, between the engine nacelles and the pilot pod, and did not provide enough of a cooling effect to allow the new engines to be run at full power. Instead it was restricted to 1,240 hp, a total loss of 370 hp (and 160 hp less than in the P-38G). Despite this, the P-38H is still reported as being 2 mph faster than the P-38G.
This slight improvement in performance probably came from the more sophisticated automation that came with the new engines, which featured automatic controls for the oil, coolant shutters and turbo-superchargers.
The P-38H saw a change of cannon from the original M1 to the AN/M2C.
A total of 601 P-38Hs were built, in two production blocks (226 H-1s and 375 H-5s).
According to an 8th Air Force report on tactical developments between 1942 and 1945 in November 1943 the P-38 could escort bombers to targets up to 520 miles from their base. At this point they were equipped with two 75 gallon fuel tanks. In February 1944 larger 108 gallon drop tanks became available, extending the P-38’s radius of action to 585 miles, giving it the range to escort bombers all the way to Berlin.
This effective range casts an interesting light on the maximum range figures quoted for the P-38H, of around 2,400 miles. To achieve this range, the aircraft had to be equipped with two 300 gallon drop tanks, but these could only be used for ferrying purposes. These tanks allowed the P-38 to carry 900 gallons of fuel. The smaller 75 gallon tanks reduced that capacity to 450 gallons, or a ferrying range of 1,200 miles, apparently enough to reach Berlin, and 160 miles further than the 520 mile radius given by the 8th Army. However, escort fighters had to keep pace with their bombers – the B-17 had an economical cruising speed of under 200 mph – forcing the P-38s to travel below their most efficient cruising speed or to weave around the bombers, travelling significantly longer distances than the aircraft they were protecting. On the rare occasions that fighter squadrons were sent on intruder missions they were able to reach much further into Germany.
Engine: Allison V-1710-89/-91 (F-17)
Horsepower: 1,425, limited to 1,240 in P-38
Maximum Speed: 402 mph at 25,000 feet
Cruising Speed: 250 mph
Rate of climb: 6.5 minutes at 20,000 feet
Ceiling: 40,000 feet
Armament: Four .50in machine guns, one 20mm cannon
Lockheed P-38 Lightning
The P-38 Lightning was the only successful twin-engine air superiority fighter of the war. It served in both Europe and the Pacific. P-38s were preferred in the Pacific because flying was either over dense jungle or the ocean the safety of a second engine was important. The engines of the P-38 were turbocharged, so the aircraft maintained its excellent performance even at very high altitudes. The leading American Ace during WWII was Richard Bong with 40 victories, all scored in P-38s. For a time, Bong flew with the 39th Fighter Squadron. In total, 1,800 Japanese planes were destroyed by P-38s in the Pacific.
The P-38 was designed by a Lockheed Aircraft team that included famous aircraft designer “Kelly” Johnson. It was the only American front-line fighter in production from the beginning of WWII until the end. It was the first 400 mph fighter in history and one of the few with a 40,000 foot ceiling.
This aircraft was dug out of the jungle near Finschhafen Airfield, Papua New Guinea, where it had been buried following the war. It was restored by WestPac Restorations in 2017. It has the most significant combat history of any of the museum’s aircraft. It was assigned to the 39th Fighter Squadron.
On a mission on December 31st, 1942, pilot Ken Sparks was flying this aircraft and was credited with two aerial victories. He downed one Japanese aircraft by gunfire and found himself engaged with another. While approaching each other a high speed head on, the Japanese banked left but hit Sparks’ outer right wing. It tore several feet from the wingtip, but the Zero lost its wing and crashed. Sparks went on to have 11 aerial victories in several different aircraft.
In late 1945 when the last P-38 came off the production line, 9,923 aircraft had been delivered to the USAAF. The P-38 was quickly declared obsolete in 1946 and the last USAF flight was in 1948.
This was an extremely complicated aircraft to maintain. The P-38 Lightning has been consistently on the civil registry since 1946 since the first aircraft were released from the military. It does remain a demanding aircraft with numerous crash incidents several of the surviving planes have been rebuilt many times.
A considerable number of late model Lightnings which had been converted by Lockheed to Photo Reconnaissance (F-5) models found a niche with photo mapping companies and until the middle 1960s these aircraft earned their keep through photo mapping assignments around the globe. Additionally, the latest military use of the P-38 was with several South American air forces, the largest of these being Fuerza Aérea Hondureña which operated the Lockheed Lightning until the early 1960s. There were also a small number of P-38s that were purchased after the war for civilian air racing. It is from these sources that until the early 1980s all the remaining stocks of the P-38 Lightning could be drawn from.
One historic note was that in 1948, representatives of the then-new country of South Korea attempted to purchase the brand new P-38L Lightnings stored in the Philippines (approximately 100 aircraft). Instead, the USAF persuaded them to accept AT-6s modified to ground attack role as well as worn out P-51D Mustangs the brand new P-38s were destroyed.
As with all remaining warbirds, collectors began scouring the world for forgotten aircraft. From the jungle of New Guinea, the wildness of Alaska and under the ice of Greenland are but some of the places previously-unrestorable wrecked airframes are being recovered and being restored for both static display and airworthy exhibition.
Robert Peczkowski is part of the Wydawnictwo Stratus publishing group as a co-owner, publisher, and author. Robert attended Politechnika Rzeszowska from 1983 to 1988. Robert has written a number of books including the major work in English on the Polish air Force of WW2. He is married with two children. His books include: Me 163 Komet (1997), PZL P.11c (1998), Messerschmitt Bf-109G (2000), White Eagles (2001), British WW1 Aircraft in the Polish Air Force (2001), Messerschmitt Bf 109E (2001), Messerschmitt Me 262A Schwalbe (2002), Lockheed P-38 J-L Lightning (2003), Messerschmitt Bf-109G Gustav (2004), P-47 Thunderbolt 'Bubbletop' (2005), Douglas SBD Dauntless (2007), Henschel Hs 126 (2008), North American P-51D Mustang (2009), Messerschmitt Me 163B Komet (2010), Bell P-39 Airacobra (2011), Republic P-47 Thunderbolt 'Bubbletop' (2011), Messerschmitt Me 410 (2013), Mitsubishi J2M Raiden (2013), Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe (2014) Republic P-47B-D Razorback (2016), Messerchmitt Bf 109E (2017), North American P-51D (2017).
Artur Juszczak has provided color illustrations for many Wydawnictwo Stratus (MMP) books and has authored at least three books, including Mitsubishi A6M Zero (2001), Messerschmitt Bf 109G-10/14 (2012), Mitsubishi A6M Zero (2015), P-51D Mustang American Aces (2015), and Yakolev Yak-3 (2017).
Dariusz Karnas is a skilled modeller and amateur aviation historian. He lives in Przemysl, Poland. He has authored or contributed colour plates and / or scale drawings for over one hundred publications. These include MMP's Polish Wings, Scale Plans, and Inside series as well as books in the MMP Yellow series: Fieseler 156 Storch 1938-1945 (2012) and Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15 (2004). You can find Dariusz Karnas on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/people/Dariusz-Karnas/100008987326348.
The Lockheed P-38 achieved its first flight on January 27, 1939, with over ten thousand aircraft being built before the end of World War II. As a long range escort fighter, the Lightning saw action in all theaters and extensive use in the Pacific and China-Burma-India theaters. This book follows up on Robert Peczkowski's earlier volume dedicated to the P-38J -L Lightning that was published in 2003. This volume sees Robert addressing the earlier Lightnings beginning with the XP-38 through the P-38H that leads into the earlier book. The development of each version is addressed with text, vintage photographs, and 1/72 plan, section, and scrap drawings by Dariusz Karnas. A full listing of serial numbers by version, Lockheed model number, contract number, and Lockheed production numbers is up next. The following section provides a technical description of the P-38H variant, a specification table to compare all the early models, and a comparison chart of the Lightning versus its contemporaries. Artur Juszczak provides full page color profiles for 19 pages along with a gorgeous painting of "Porky II" in action shooting down the enemy.
Robert Peczkowski's In Detail section is a photo essay of each part of the aircraft utilizing sharp, clear, vintage and current (P-38F "Glacier Girl") photographs and Technical Manual drawings that will answer nearly any question you may have. I counted 113 black and white photographs along with 42 color pictures. There were 10 color illustrations and 43 black and white drawings. You will find 37 color profiles by Artur Juszczak and ten tables.
The Table of Contents includes the following sections:
- The Prototypes
- Lockheed XP-38
- Lockheed YP-38
- Lightnings for RAF
- Lightning I [Page 10]
- Lightning II
- Lockheed F-4 Lightning
- Lockheed F-4A-1- LO Lightning [Page 26]
- Lockheed F-5A Lightning
- General View [Page 67]
- Main Fuselage
- Tail Booms [Page 76]
- Cockpit [Page 98]
- Armament [Page 123]
Robert Peczkowski has delivered a great history on the early Lockheed P-38 Lightnings that not only covers the development and operational aspects, but provides a good basis for the modeler with nice detail shots of all the aircraft components. Mushroom Model Publications' has provided a page by page preview at: http://mmpbooks.biz/ksiazki/357. I really enjoyed the clarity brought to the reconnaissance F-5 Lightnings that depicted through 1/72 scale drawings and photographs the plethora of variations of Lightning camera noses. I really enjoyed the read and plowed through the 128 pages quickly. United States distribution will be through Casemate.
My thanks to Mushroom Model Publications and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this excellent book.
ヨーロッパ戦線にも太平洋戦線でも運用された機体。日本軍側ではその形状から「メザシ」と呼んでいた他、戦争初期には低高度性能が低く格闘戦に持ち込みやすかった為「容易に撃墜できる = ペロリと食えるP-38（=Pろ8）」ということから「ペロハチ」と呼んでいた。しかし、改良を重ねたことと、速度と武装と急降下性能を生かした一撃離脱戦法に切り替えたことにより撃墜対被撃墜比率が逆転  、リチャード・ボングら多くのエース・パイロットを輩出するなど猛威を振るった  。ドイツ空軍を相手にしても、戦略爆撃機の護衛任務でドイツ軍迎撃戦闘機多数を撃墜するなど活躍する一方で  、戦闘機離れした積載能力を活かして戦術爆撃機として多大な戦果を上げて  、ドイツ軍から「der Gabelschwanz-Teufel（双胴の悪魔）」と呼ばれて恐れられた  。
1940年にはイギリス空軍からP-38購入の打診（1939年にもフランス空軍から打診はあったが、1940年にドイツにパリを占領され降伏したため、消滅）があり、英国仕様の機体を「ライトニング I」としてロッキードは納入したが、軍事機密として排気タービン（過給器）は外され、エンジンも同方向回転型のアリソンV-1710-C15R（離昇出力1,090馬力） と言った代物で、これはカタログデータとは似て非なる完全なモンキーモデルであった。ロッキード社のエンジニアは、これに対し『骨抜きされたP-38』と呼んで抗議を表明した。当然、実機テストは散々な結果に終わり、英本土にあった3機以外の受け取りは拒否されてしまった。この時生産ラインにあった「ライトニング I」140機はP-322のコードが付けられて、代わりにアメリカ陸軍が引き取る形となったが、無論、実戦に使える機体ではなく、米本土での訓練や雑用に使われただけに終っている。
欧州戦線のP-38は次いでイタリア戦線に転戦した。イタリア本土を空襲する連合軍爆撃機の護衛任務に就いたが、1943年9月2日にはナポリ北方で、72機のB-25を護衛していた74機のP-38Gが、迎撃してきた145機のドイツ軍、イタリア軍迎撃戦闘機と大空中戦を戦い、10機のP-38を失いながらも29機のメッサーシュミット Bf109、Fｗ190、MC.202などを撃墜し、B-25は全機無事に爆撃任務を遂行して帰還している  。その後のアヴァランチ作戦でサレルノ付近の海岸に上陸した連合軍を空から支援した。ドイツ空軍は連日100機にものぼる大編隊で橋頭保を空爆したが、P-38はイギリス軍のスピットファイアと連日その迎撃に出撃し、300機のドイツ軍戦闘機や輸送用グライダーを撃墜し、連合軍によるナポリ占領に大きく貢献した  。その後、イタリア戦線には全天候型のP-38Jが配備されて、さらに活躍の機会が広がったが、1944年4月ごろにはイタリアのドイツ空軍は制圧されており、北アフリカ戦線と同様にP-38は対地攻撃で猛威をふるい、4月11日には40機のP-38がたった1日で84両の機関車と油槽車43両を撃破、道路や鉄道橋も破壊して、敗走するドイツ軍陸上部隊を立ち往生させた。イタリアのドイツ軍は1945年5月2日に降伏したが、イタリア戦線でP-38は延べ44,296機が出撃し、4,004機の敵機と会敵、そのうち731機を撃墜、343機を撃破して、撃墜率は15.2%に達した。一方で損失は、あらゆる原因で131機であり損失率は3.3%であった  。
ドイツ本土への戦略爆撃の護衛任務にもP-38は投入され、特に新鋭戦闘機P-51の配備数が十分でなかった1944年前半には主力となって活躍した。1944年3月3日に連合軍戦闘機として初めてベルリン上空を飛行したのもP-38であった。3月6日にはB-17などの重爆撃機連合660機と、P-38、P-51、P-47の護衛戦闘機800機でベルリンを爆撃し、重爆撃機69機が撃墜されたが、護衛戦闘機は11機の損失で80機のドイツ軍戦闘機を撃墜した  。ノルマンディ上陸作戦で欧州戦線も終盤に差し掛かると、ドイツ本土爆撃の護衛任務はP-51やP-47が主力となり、P-38は地上攻撃任務に回された。この頃には、ドイツ軍戦闘機は可能な限り護衛戦闘機との空戦は回避して、爆撃機に攻撃努力を集中するように命じられており、独特の形状で遠距離からも戦闘機と認識できるP-38はドイツ軍戦闘機から避けられるようになり、護衛任務に就いたP-38部隊の戦闘日誌には来る日も来る日も「敵影を見ず」という記述が並ぶことになった。ドーリットル空襲で名高いアメリカ第8空軍司令官ジミー・ドーリットル中将は、活躍の場が限られてきたP-38からP-47やP-51への機種改変を進めて、終戦時点で欧州戦線に配備されていたP-38単独の部隊は第474戦闘航空群のみとなっていた  。余った機体は自由フランス軍などに供与された。
しかし1945年1月7日、フィリピンの戦い (1944-1945年)にて第431戦闘飛行隊長マクガイア少佐を長機とするP-38L 4機編隊が、日本陸軍航空部隊の一式戦「隼」1機・四式戦「疾風」1機とネグロス島上空で交戦するも、撃墜なし(「隼」は被弾多数により不時着、「疾風」も帰還したものの全損)、マクガイア少佐機および僚機ジャック・リットメイア少佐機損失（戦死）という結果に終わった。マクガイア機は撃墜されたという説、低空・低速で無理な機動を試みたことにより失速・墜落したという説があり、詳細は明らかでない。いずれにせよ超低空域下の不意遭遇の格闘戦という状況だったものの、P-38は4機対2機と機数に勝り、長機・僚機で連携の取り易い優位にもかかわらずこの結果であった（日本陸軍側の一式戦は飛行第54戦隊機・四式戦は飛行第71戦隊機と別部隊であり、空戦前に両機は離別しており空戦自体はそれぞれが単機ごとにP-38編隊に挑んでいる。さらに、P-38 3機を相手に対進戦で撃ち合い1機を撃墜、自身は生還している四式戦操縦者の福田瑞則軍曹はこれが最初の空戦らしい空戦であった）  。
Warbird and Classic Aircraft Broker
Announcing an exclusive offering of the rarest of the rare American WWII Fighters. A substantially complete example of the famed Lockheed P-38 Lightning with an extensive parts inventory. Assembled over several years, this package is an investment grade asset with substantial equity opportunity and is now available.
As discovered in Papua New Guinea
2nd Highest scoring American Ace of WWII. C/O - 431st Fighter Squadron. Credited with 38 Kills
Lindbergh flew P-38's with the 475th FG under the command of Mcguire.
The 475 F.G. "Satan&rsquos Angels" History is beyond legend. They were the fastest scoring Fighter Group in WWII. Two of the USA&rsquos highest scoring aces flew in this group. Charles Lindbergh flew many P-38 combat sorties with &ldquoSatan Angel&rsquos in that time period.
This P-38 Lightning was built at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, California in 1943. After acceptance by the USAAC, it was transported by cargo ship to the South Pacific Theatre, where it was assigned to the 475th FG, 431st FS. On January 18, 1944, while on a fighter sweep over New Guinea, the pilot flying 66543, Lt JR Weldon, was attacked by either a Japanese Zero or Oscar fighter aircraft while flying wingman to Major Meryl Smith. Neither he nor his aircraft were ever spotted again after this mission.
In the 1990&rsquos, Weldon&rsquos P-38 aircraft was discovered lying undisturbed on the Wewak Plain, New Guinea where Weldon had executed a textbook perfect, wheels up landing 48 years before. Evidence suggests that the left engine was shot out or had failed while Weldon attempted to exit the dogfight. Sadly, no trace of Lt Weldon was ever found. It is suspected Weldon fired a flare pistol into the cockpit (Standard Operating Practice) to destroy the sensitive equipment and radios, and then left his fighter on foot. Lt. Weldon was listed as MIA and subsequently listed as KIA. His location is unknown to this day. It is presumed he perished due to exposure to the elements or while in enemy captivity. Research continues into the pilots who flew 42-66534. There is high probability that various aces and Charles Lindbergh flew this fighter on various missions before its disappearance.
Lengthy negotiations were entered with local villagers and PNG National Museum staff to reach a legal transfer of ownership and export agreement. After reaching an agreement the fighter was disassembled and heli-lifted in several sling loads from its landing site to a waiting truck transport more than an hours flight away. From there it was transported to Australia, where it was acquired by its current owner and imported into the United States. Presently the fighter and parts package is in storage.
Lockheed P-38 Lightning – Specifications, Facts, Drawings, Blueprints
The Lockheed P-38 Lightning was the first military type developed by the Lockheed Aircraft Corps. It was designed to meet an Air Corps specification issued in 1936 for a twin-engined interceptor fighter a specification which called for, among many other stringent requirements, a minimum speed of 360 m.p.h. (576 km.h.) at 20,000 ft. (6,100 m.). The design was accepted by the Air corps on June 23, 1937, and the XP-38 prototype was delivered in January 1939. It made its first flight on January 27, 1939, but crashed at the end of a record transcontinental flight California to New York on February 11. The XP-38 was fitted with two 1,040 h.p. Allison V-1710-33 (C15) engines with exhaust-driven G.E. turbo-supercharged and driving Curtiss electric inwardly-rotating airscrews. The armament consisted of one 23 m/m. Madsen cannon and four 50 cal. machine-guns.
A Limited Procurement order for 14 YP-38s followed. Complete Structural re-design lightened this model by 1,300 lbs. It was fitted with two 1,150 h.p. Allison V-1710-27/29 (F2R/F2L) engines driving outwardly-rotating airscrews. (Note: V-1710-27 (F2R) righthand rotation, V-1710-29 (F2L) lefthand rotation, both from rear end). The turbo and cooland installations were improved. The armament compartment was redesigned to house one 37 m/m. cannon, two 50 cal. and two 30 cal. machine-guns. The YP-38 first flew on September 18, 1940, and first delivery to the Air Corps was made in March, 1941.
By late 1943 the Lockheed P-38Lightning had proven itself in a wide veriety of missions – high-altitude fighter sweeps, bomber escort, medium altitude dogfights, ground attack missions and reconnaissance flights. The harsh condition of North Africa had taken a heavy toll of Lightnings and USAAF pilots, but the aircraft had been established itself as a valuable military tool, and new combat areas were rapidly opening up.
Back in Burbank, Lockheed was paying attention to reports from their field representatives and the USAAF. Hundreds of modifications were incorporated into the Lockheed P-38Lightning production line, while the design department came up with new variants. Reports from the combat fronts had told of power falling off above 25,000 ft. Automatic oil radiator flaps were fitted to the new P-38H (226 P-38H-1-LO variants constructed) that not only enabled the Allison V-1710-89/91 powerplants, with a take-off rating of of 1425 hp, to run cooler, but let the pilot keep military power on above 25,000 ft, where 1240 hp per engine could be achieved. The P-38H-5-LO (375 built) also had the more powerful B-33 turbosuperchargers installed in the booms.
Major improvements were introduced with the P-38J. One of the key identifying features of the earlier Lightnings was the elegant swept-back ‘shark’ intake behind and below the spinner, which gave the Allison engine installation an extremely streamlined appearance. However, such an arrangement offered inadequate cooling for the engines once performance demands on the Lockheed P-38Lightning increased.
A P-38E (s/n 41-1983) had been modified at the factory to incorporate larger radiators and much larger scoops under the spinners. This did detract from streamlining but, at the same time, offered an impressive increase in power. With the larger radiator area and new Prestone coolant scoops mounted on the booms, the Allison could operate more efficiently. Testing with the P-38E ad proven the installation more than satisfactory, and the modification was incorporated into the new P-38H production run.
This 50-page reference document presents a nice pictorial history of the P-38H in the Pacific theater of WWII. While all but two of the photographs are black & white, this shouldn't be a problem for modelers trying to duplicate the color scheme since all those shown were olive drab over gray.
This e-document allows a reader to navigate from a thumbnail list at the front or scroll through full-size photographs. The photos reveal the irregularities of the camo painting, the painted-on number designations, and general weather-beaten condition of the Lightnings in the Pacific. While the author admits the variable quality of the photos due to wartime limitations, there are some sharp, up-close ground and mid-air shots of the plane from various angles.
The author was not able to identify the individuals in photo #19. While I have yet to ID the women, I submit that the fellow in the photo is actor Gary Cooper. Cooper was too old and unfit for duty at the time, but he toured SW Pacific as a morale booster.
This work is both an interesting read from a purely historical viewpoint as well as a valuable resource for someone who wants to build a specific P-38H from the Pacific theater.
My thanks to Richard Marmo, IPMS #2 and IPMS USA for the opportunity to review these pictures. The timing couldn't be better with Tamiys hew P-38H hitting the shelves
The Lockheed P-38 Lightning was a World War II American fighter aircraft built by Lockheed. Developed to a United States Army Air Corps requirement, the P-38 had distinctive twin booms and a single, central nacelle containing the cockpit and armament. Named "fork-tailed devil" by the Luftwaffe and "two planes, one pilot" by the Japanese, this unique aircraft was used in a number of different roles including dive bombing, level bombing, ground strafing, photo reconnaissance missions, and extensively as a long-range escort fighter when equipped with drop tanks under its wings. The P-38 was used most successfully in the Pacific Theater of Operations and the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations as the mount of America's top aces, Richard Bong (40 victories) and Thomas McGuire (38 victories). In the South West Pacific theater, the P-38 was the primary long-range fighter of United States Army Air Forces until the appearance of large numbers of P-51D Mustangs toward the end of the war. The P-38 was probably the quietest fighter in history, the exhaust merely whispering out of the turbo exits. It was extremely forgiving, and could be mishandled in many ways, but the rate of roll was too slow for it to excel as a dogfighter. The P-38 was the only American fighter aircraft in production throughout American involvement in the war, from Pearl Harbor to Victory over Japan Day.
The P-38 is the only American fighter aircraft in production throughout American involvement in the war. Its twin boom configuration and the plane's successful career earned nicknames from its adversaries: "fork-tailed devil" (der Gabelschwanz-Teufel) by the Germans and "two planes, one pilot" (2飛行機、1パイロット Ni hikōki, ippairotto) by the Japanese.
The P-38 sports four M2 Browning machine guns and a 20mm Hispano autocannon on its nose, giving the fighter concentrated and long range firepower. For ground attack roles it is either fitted with two bombs or ten five inch HVAR rockets. There is also a reconnaissance version, which is able to mark targets for friendly artillery.
Watch the video: набор и первое впечатление от pz. 38Hwot blitzvurdalak019 (January 2022).