Lockheed P-38 Lightning

Written by Tom Jenkins On December - 21 - 2011 under Airplanes Comments Off on Lockheed P-38 Lightning

Using nothing else but the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, Major Richard I. Bong and Thomas B. McGuire won forty and thirty-eight battles respectively, making the Pacific the most successful war theater for the Lockheed P-38 Lightning. It was also the only type of plane capable of carrying out eight hundred mile long courses, the one needed to shoot down Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto on April eighteen, nineteen forty-three.

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Being less maneuverable than the Japanese fighters, the Lockheed P-38 Lightning used a diving tactic to zoom in and focus on their target in combination with their formidable weaponry. Should the pilots have lost one of the engines on the Lockheed, they would’ve been able to get back to safety with only one of them. This model was also present in Europe, but it was not as effective against the small, easier to maneuver German fighters.

Moreover, its Allison engines did not work at their best and sometimes even malfunctioned due to the European Theater’s altitude and colder weather. It still effectively fulfilled the roles of escorting, doing reconnaissance and bombing. The Lockheed P-38 Lightning had a design with a wingspan of fifty-two feet, a length of 37 feet and 10 inches, was 12 feet and 10 inches high, had an empty weight of twelve thousand and eight hundred points and a gross weight of twenty-one thousand and six hundred pounds, reaching a top speed of four hundred and fourteen miles per hour and shooting out of four .50 inch machine guns, one 20mm cannon and dropping up to four thousand pounds of bombs. It only had one seat, however.

There were about one thousand and four hundred Lockheed P-38 Lightning created that had no weaponry whatsoever and were purely meant for reconnaissance. They were completed as F4’s and F5’s and they were the favored type of reconnaissance aircraft’s by the USAAF. This type of fighter was the only one that had the range necessary to make ferry flights across the Atlantic. It was the only one to be in production prior to the outburst of the war and to continue until the end of it. Oddly enough, Lockheed had no luck in creating advanced versions of the craft that ruled the skies in the Pacific. The more power XP49 and XP58 were to slow on maturing and thus neither one of them was successful. Nonetheless, none of that mattered since Lockheed P-38 Lightning was able of doing all it was needed to do.

Lockheed P-38 Lightning Pictures Gallery

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