World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of P-51 Mustang
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of T-34/85
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Fw-190
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Churchill
wwiivehicles.com ©2016
Search:
United States' flagUnited States' Army Air Corps aircraft marking

United States' Lockheed P-38J Lightning fighter

Design

Due to cooling problems in previous version of the P-38, the P-38J had a reorganized cooling and turbo charger intercooling systems.1,2,3 The nacelles had a different shape and deeper intakes.1,2

The dive brakes on the P-39J were electrically controlled.3

The engines were no longer limited.1 Emergency boost was 1,600 HP.1

Production

The first P-38J was delivered and first flew in August 1943.1,3

  • Manufacturer: Lockheed Aircraft Company2

Variants

  • Lockheed P-38J:
  • Lockheed P-38J-25: Had a flat windscreen.1 The instrument panel was revised.1 There were dive or compressibility flaps under the wings.1
  • Lockheed P-38J "droop snoot": Bomb aiming lead ships.1 Had larger nose installed.1 A navigator / bombardier would operate a Norden bombsight through a plexiglas section.1

Specifications

  Lockheed P-38J Lightning1,2
Type Fighter2, Fighter bomber1
Crew 11,2
Engine (Type) 2: Allison V-1710-89/911
2: Allison V-1710-1112
Cylinders V 121,2
Cooling Liquid2
HP 1,425 each1, 1,475 each2
Propeller blades 3 each1
Dimensions  
Span 52'1,2
15.85 m1
Length 37' 10"1,2
11.53 m1
Height 9' 10"1,2
3 m1
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Maximum load 21,600 lb2
Performance  
Speed @ 5,000' /
1,542 m
360 mph1
579 kph1
Speed @ 25,000'
7,620 m
414 mph1,2
666 kph1
Cruising speed 186 - 290 mph1
299 - 467 kph1
Climb 3,670'/minute1
1,118 m/minute1
Climb to 20,000' /
6,096 m
7 minutes1
Service ceiling 43,800'1, 44,000'2
13,350 m1
Range 450 miles2
Range with 3,200 lb
726 kg bombs
725 miles1
1,167 km1
Maximum ferry range 2,260 miles1
3,637 km1
Armament 1:20 mm2
4: MG2
Nose 1: 20 mm1
4: 0.5" MG1
Bombs 3,200 lb2
Bombs - under wings 4,000 lb1
1,814 kg1
  Lockheed P-38J-25 Lightning1
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 12,780 lb1
5,797 kg1
Loaded 19,800 lb1
8,981 kg1
Maximum load 21,600 lb1
9,798 kg1
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  3. American Attack Aircraft Since 1926, E. R. Johnson, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site