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Lockheed P-38 "Lightning"

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First conceived in 1937 by Lockheed chief engineer Hall L. Hibbard and his then assistant, Clarence “Kelly” Johnson, the twin-boomed P-38 was the most innovative plane of its day, combining speed with unheard-of advances: two supercharged engines and a potent mix of four 50-caliber machine guns and a 20-mm cannon. The name "Lightning" was believed bestowed on the aircraft by the British who, for a short time, considered the fighter for their own inventory. 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, particularly in the air battles over the Pacific, and become one of America's classic and highly recognizable warbirds. A very versatile aircraft, the Lightning was also used for dive bombing, level bombing, ground strafing and photo reconnaissance missions. Some 10,038 P-38 Lightnings were ultimately produced with nearly 4,000 of these being the P-38L model.

P38DEdit

Lockheed P-38D "Lightning"
P-38D
General Historical Information
Place of origin USA
Manufacturer Lockheed
Produced In 1941
Speed 531 km/h
Category Fighter
Ground-attack aircraft
General Ingame Information
Used by USA
Crew in‑game 1
Guns 6x 12.7 cm M2HB machineguns (2000 I + APT rounds)
1x 37 mm M4 autocannon (15 HE+APT rounds)
Historical Picture
P38D

The first production order was 35 P-38Ds, featuring a low-pressure oxygen system, self-sealing fuel tanks, and some aerodynamic changes to resolve tail buffeting in dives. None of these aircraft ever saw combat. Their main role in the story of the P-38 was to work out bugs and give the USAAF experience with handling the type.

P38GEdit

Lockheed P-38G "Lightning"
300px
General Historical Information
Place of origin USA
Manufacturer Lockheed
Produced In 1941
Speed 531 km/h
Category Fighter
Ground-attack aircraft
General Ingame Information
Used by USA
Crew in‑game 1
Guns 1x 20 mm AN/M2 cannon (150 HE rounds)
4x 12.7 cm M2HB machineguns (2000 I + APT rounds)
Historical Picture
P38G

The G variant was created at the end of 1942 and was based on the E and F variants. The G had a more powerful turbocharged Allison V-1710-51/55 engine. Engine management was significantly more automated than before. The P-38G had a reinforced fuselage and could carry two extra 300-gallon (1136-liter) fuel tanks. Although it wasn't equipped to carry rockets and bombs, it was often modified on the field to carry 250-lb or even 500-lb bombs as well as unguided rockets.

P38JEdit

Lockheed P-38J "Lightning"
P38lightning
General Historical Information
Place of origin USA
Manufacturer Lockheed
Produced In 1943-1945
Speed 666 km/h
Category Fighter
Ground-attack aircraft
General Ingame Information
Debut Debut in FH
Used by USA
Crew in‑game 1
Guns See table
Special abilities Radar (on several maps)
Historical Picture
P38J

In the progression of the development of the P-38 Lightning, the J model likely marked the most improvements to the Lightning. Lessons learned from previous version, prompted a number of design changes that were rapidly and progressively implemented during the production run of the P-38J, including reworked intercooler system, additional fuel tanks. Because of this changes, the P-38J was the fastest Lightning, capable of 675 km/h at 8000 m, about 30 km/h faster than the -G version.


Weapon layouts Guns Bombs Rockets
Variant 1 1x 20 mm AN/M2 cannon (150 HE rounds)
4x 12.7 cm M2HB machineguns (2000 I + APT rounds)
10x 127mm HVAR "Holy Moses" Rockets
Variant 2 1x 20 mm AN/M2 cannon (150 HE rounds)
4x 12.7 cm M2HB machineguns (2000 I + APT rounds)
2x 500 kg
Variant 3 1x 20 mm AN/M2 cannon (150 HE rounds)
4x 12.7 cm M2HB machineguns (2000 I + APT rounds)
Variant 4 1x 20 mm AN/M2 cannon (150 HE rounds)
4x 12.7 cm M2HB machineguns (3600 I + APT rounds)
10x 127mm HVAR "Holy Moses" Rockets
Variant 5 1x 20 mm AN/M2 cannon (150 HE rounds)
4x 12.7 cm M2HB machineguns (3600 I + APT rounds)
2x 500 kg
Variant 6 1x 20 mm AN/M2 cannon (150 HE rounds)
4x 12.7 cm M2HB machineguns (3600 I + APT rounds)

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