The P-38 Lightning


As one of the most advanced fighter aircraft of the War the Lockheed P-38 Lightning was second to none. Some the engineering advances included tricycle landing gear, flush-riveted sheet metal on all external surfaces and the first that used twin turbo-charged engines.

Reaching its peak in the in the Pacific with the twin turbo-charged engines proved to be just the safety net needed to bring many pilots home after hard won dog-fights.

The adaptability of the P-38 had no limits. She was used as a dog fighter by day and a bomber by night. Stripped down and filled with all types’ cameras and used for photo reconnaissance, carrying no weapons and armor relying only on her speed to return safely. The Lightning was used as an air ambulance, glider tug and even a torpedo bomber.

The Japanese always said “two planes one pilot.” The German called it “the fork-tailed devil”. The Lockheed P-38 was adored by her pilots and very much respected by her enemies.

The P-38 Lightning by Lockheed was developed for a requirement of the United States Army Air Corps. She had distinctive twin booms and a single central nacelle for armament and the cockpit for a single pilot. She was also used as a dive bomber and ground strafing. When carrying external drop tanks she was an extremely long-range escort fighter. Her most successful use was the Pacific Theater of Operations and the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations.

Some of her top aces were Richard Bong with “40 Victories” and Thomas McGuire with “38 Victories”. The P-38 was the primary long-range fighter aircraft of the United States Army Air Corps until large numbers of the P-51D Mustangs started showing up toward the end of the war.

The P-38 Lightning by Lockheed was the only American fighter aircraft in active production throughout the duration of American involvement in the war, from Pearl Harbor all the way to VJ Day.

Lockheed P-38 Lightning

P-38 Lightning Listings

HASEGAWA TYPE 1 ATTACK BOMBER MODEL11 ZERO FIGHTER TYP 22 P 38G LIGHTNING NEW
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EXECUTIVE MODELS SEAF028W P 38J LIGHTNING 1 32 PUTT PUTT MARU AP38PL AIRPLANE
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