|This page is about the American twin-engine fighter P-38K. For other uses, see P-38 (Family).|
The IV is a gift Rank IV American twin-engine fighter with a battle rating of 5.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced during Update 1.53 "Firestorm" when it became available as part of a Christmas Sale Bundle in 2015, and again in the 2017 Summer Sale in the "Daredevil" bundle.
| Max Speed
(km/h at 6,401 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
| Max Speed
(km/h at 6,401 m)
|Max altitude (meters)||Turn time (seconds)|| Rate of climb
|Take-off run (meters)|
|Combat flap||Take-off flap||Landing flap||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
| Wing-break speed
| Gear limit
| Combat flap
|Max Static G|
|< 321||< 460||< 500||> 240|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|8,500 m||2,600 hp||3,380 hp|
Survivability and armour
Examine the survivability of the aircraft. Note how vulnerable the structure is and how secure the pilot is, whether the fuel tanks are armoured, etc. Describe the armour, if there is any, and also mention the vulnerability of other critical aircraft systems.
The P-38K is armed with:
- 1 x 20 mm AN/M2 cannon, nose-mounted (150 rpg)
- 4 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, nose-mounted (500 rpg = 2,000 total)
Usage in battles
The main and only tactic of the P-38K is, solely an air superiority and it excels at that.
When playing the P-38K, climb to a high altitude, search for the enemy and locate an enemy you feel confident in engaging. Assuming you are above the enemy target, put the aircraft into a gradual descent, which allows you to maintain a speed advantage. As you are descending; make small corrections on your path so you don't give the element surprise away by overshooting the enemy. Now you are about one to two seconds away from your target. Here you will line your sights up, with your sights on the tail and fire a bust with your cannon and machine guns. While keeping the momentum, climb back up to the height you where before and repeat for the best results.
This plane does not carry any bombs or rockets. So using this in a ground strike role is not recommended.
Manual Engine Control
|Controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Separate||Not controllable||Not controllable|
Pros and cons
- Excellent speed, acceleration and climb rate (one of the fastest climbing props in the game)
- Very powerful armament, great for bomber hunting
- Armament being positioned in the nose allows it to have great and fearsome head-on capability
- Adequate roll and turn time (You can actually out turn even Yak's and Spitfires with the landing flaps! Though use them on and off)
- Cockpit visibility, important in simulator matches, is mostly unobstructed
- Acceleration is a great deference when escaping and/or evading enemy aircraft
- Excellent Sliver Lion and Research Point earner
- Best Boom & Zoom P-38 in game
- Great air superiority aircraft
- Wing fuel tanks, easily catches on fire when shot
- Unable to dive to put wing fires out without breaking wings
- Very delicate airframe, will not take much damage and it is easy to rip wings in dives, no air/drive brakes installed
- Easy to black out if crew vitality is low I.e. G-force and stamina are low
- Single armament preset: No external bombs or rockets
- When throttling up very fast to WEP, it can cause plane spin/unstable due to the engine torque
- Low cannon ammunition amount, compared to other planes in the rank
The concept of the plane was made in February 1937 when the US Army Air Corps made a requirement for a plane that had twin-engine and can act as an high-altitude interceptor that can hold a large amount of armament and ammunition. The term "interceptor" was used for the aircraft by the requirement authors, 1st Lt Benjamin S. Kelsey and Gordon P. Saville, to bypass the Air Corps' strict requirements on aircraft designs at the time. The specifications laid by this new requirements also called for a maximum speed of 360 mph (580 km/h) and able to climb to 20,000 ft altitude in six minutes, making it the most tough specifications at the time. Design proposals were made for the specifications, one of which would become the Bell P-39 Airacobra, but it was the Lockheed design team headed by Hall Hibbard and Clarence "Kelly" Johnson that made the final product. They made many designs with a twin-engine configuration. The prototypes made for the design used a twin-boom design to hold all the components of the aircraft. Various armaments were tested on the aircraft, from different machine gun combinations and auto cannons. It was finally settled to four M2 .50 cal machine guns and one Hispano 20 mm auto cannon. The aircraft armament configurations, all at the nose of the aircraft, was very unusual for an American aircraft design, as most of their designs and those of their foreign contemporaries had the armament mounted on the wings angled forward. Because of this mounting, the aircraft is able to fire at a longer distance accurately than wing-mounts.
No surviving P-38K aircraft exist.
Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the aircraft;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
It was available as part of a Christmas Sale Bundle in 2015. then again in the 2017 Summer Sale in the "Daredevil" bundle.
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
- other literature.
|USA twin-engine fighters|
|P-38||XP-38G · P-38E Lightning · P-38G-1 Lightning · P-38J-15 Lightning · Richard Bong's P-38J-15 Lightning · P-38L-5-LO Lightning · P-38K Lightning|
|P-61||P-61A-1 · P-61C-1|
|F7F||F7F-1 Tigercat · F7F-3 Tigercat|
|Other||XF5F Skyrocket · XP-50 · F-82E Twin Mustang|