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United States' Lockheed P-38L Lightning fighter

Design

The P-38Ls could carry 10 HVAR 5" rockets in trees that were located under the wings.5

Production

The P-38L entered service in June 1944.1,5

Variants

  • Lockheed P-38L"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

Usage

9th Tactical Air Force

The P-39Ls were primarily used in their role as a fighter bomber with the 9th Tactical Air Force after 1943.5

After World War II

Honduras received some of the extra P-38Ls after World War II.5

Specifications

  Lockheed P-38L Lightning
Type Fighter1,2,3, Fighter bomber1,2,3,4,5
Crew 11,2,3,4, 1 - 25
Engine (Type) 2: Allison V-1710-111/113 turbo charged piston1,2
2: Allison V-1710-111/113 piston3,4
2: Allison V-1710-89/915
Cylinders Inline1,2, V 123, 125
Cooling Water5
HP 1,425 each1,5, 1,475 each2, 1,600 each1
Propeller blades 3 each1,4, 3 electric controlled5
Dimensions  
Span 52'1,2,3,4,5
15.85 m1,2,3,4
Length 37' 10"1,2,3,4,5
11.52 m2,3, 11.53 m1,4
Height 9' 10"1,2,3,4
2.99 m2,3, 3 m1,4
Wing area 327 ft2 1, 327.5 ft2 2,3,5
30.42 m2 1,2,3
Weight  
Empty 12,800 lb2,3,5
5,806 kg2,3
Loaded 17,500 lb5, 21,600 lb2, 21,800 lb3
9,798 kg2,3
Performance  
Speed @ 25,000'
7,620 m
414 mph1,2,3
666 kph1,2,3
Speed @ 25,500' 414 mph5
Cruising speed 290 mph5
Climb to 20,000' /
6,095 m
7 minutes2,3
Service ceiling 44,000'1,2,3,5
13,400 m1, 13,410 m2,3
Range 450 miles2,3
724 km2,3
Range - internal fuel 475 miles1
765 km1
Range - loaded 450 miles5
Range - max 2,600 miles5
Armament  
Nose 1: 20 mm1,2,3,4,5
4: 12.7 mm MG1,2,3
4: 0.5" MG1
4: .50 cal MG5
Bombs - under wings 2: 1,000 lb1
2: 454 kg1
OR 2: 1,600 lb1,2,3
2: 726 kg1,2,3
OR 4,000 lb1, 3,200 lb5
1,814 kg1
OR  
Rockets - under wings 10: 5"1
10: 127 mm1
10: 5" HVAR5

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, General Editor Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  5. American Attack Aircraft Since 1926, E. R. Johnson, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site