|This page is about the American twin-engine fighter Bong's P-38J-15. For other uses, see P-38 (Family).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
Richard Bong's P-38J-15 Lightning is a rank IV American twin-engine fighter with a battle rating of 4.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was available in Update 1.57 "Battle March" to be obtained during the 2016 "Chronicles of World War II" after completing 22 "Aircraft Tasks". The plane is painted after the camouflage scheme of American pilot Richard Bong of the US Army Air Forces, who is the highest-scoring American pilot ace with 40 kill credits in a P-38.
The P-38J is a sleekly designed, twin-engine monoplane by Lockheed Martin. This plane has a top speed of 431 Mph (694 kph) with an airspeed warning at 460 Mph (740 kph). The array of weaponry it has installed is: 1 x AN/M2 20 mm cannon with 4 x 12.7 mm Browning machine guns. Further-expanding the role, with upgrades, it can be equipped with either: bazooka's or bombs to further allow it to conquer and dominate the battlefield, whether that be air or ground.
| Max Speed
(km/h at 7,921 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
| Max Speed
(km/h at 7,921 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|
|7,500 m||2,540 hp||2,845 hp|
Survivability and armour
- 6.5 mm Steel - Fore cockpit armor plating
- 6.5 mm Steel - Pilot's seat
- 9.5 mm Steel - Pilot's headrest
- 38 mm Bulletproof glass - Windscreen
Bong's P-38J-15 is armed with:
- 1 x 20 mm AN/M2 cannon, nose-mounted (150 rpg)
- 4 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun, nose-mounted (500 rpg = 2,000 total)
Bong's P-38J-15 can be outfitted with the following ordinance:
- Without load
- 6 x 114 mm M8 rockets
- 2 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs (1,000 lb total)
Usage in battles
When playing the P-38J climb to a high altitude, search for the enemy, locate the enemy you feel confident in engaging. Once these steps have been, ticked-off the check-list. Assuming you are above the enemy target: Put the plane into a gradual descent, which gives you and allows you to maintain the 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. Line your sights up, with your sights on the tail and fire a bust with your cannon and machine guns. You have now shot down your target. Why keeping the momentum, climb back up to the height you where before and repeat for the best results.
Using this plane in ground battles, is very effective once you have unlocked the appropriate modules. FMBC Mk.1 allows you to equip two x 500 lb bombs, these are mounted under the wings. To help get the bombs on target, use the machine guns to help predict where the bomb will fall. To do this, put the plane into a steep dive. As you near the ground and start getting closer, fire the machine guns. Using a short bust, if the bust hits the area or target you are aiming for; drop the bombs then pull up.
They are great for destroying, tanks, bunkers and ships. M10 Bazooka module allows you to equip your P-38J with two bazooka's each bazooka has three rockets in total you get six rockets. These are attached to the lower nose panel, and are very accurate. These are ideal for destroying tanks and bunkers.
Once the ground units have been destroyed, you can use this to plane dominate the air and keep the enemy bomber and fighters away. This will help you secure that much wanted victory!
Manual Engine Control
|Controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Separate||Not controllable||Not controllable|
|I||Fuselage Repair||Radiator||Offensive 12 mm|
|II||Compressor||Airframe||New 12 mm MGs||FMBC mk.1|
|III||Wings Repair||Engine||Offensive 20 mm|
|IV||G-Suit||Engine Injection||Cover||New 20 mm Cannons||Rocket Launcher M10|
Pros and cons
- Excellent speed
- Excellent acceleration
- Excellent climb rate
- Very powerful armament, great for bomber hunting
- Armament being positioned in the nose allows it to have great and fearsome head on capability
- Multiple armament presets: Gives it a wider role it can have external Bombs or Rockets mounted
- Good roll and turn time
- Good overall visibility in simulator matches
- Great Air superiority aircraft
- Great research and sliver lion rewards
- Wing fuel tanks, prone to fuel tank fires when shot
- Unable to dive to put wing fires out, without breaking wings
- Easy to rip wings in dives, no air/drive breaks as installed on P-38L
- Easy to black out if crew vitality is low, i.e. G-force and stamina are low
- Low cannon ammunition amount, compared to other planes in the tier
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.
The P-38 performed very well in the Pacific and European theater's during World War II. They where used in roles such as: Bombers Escorts, Escort V.I.P's, Performing reconnaissance over enemy locations, Combat Air Patrols, Ground Attack, Search and Rescue and other important and critical roles.
Unfortunately it is estimated that only five P-38J's survive to this day. Only two of them are still airworthy.
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.
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|