P-38E

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VTOL | Rank 5 USSR
Yak-38 Pack
This page is about the American twin-engine fighter P-38E. For other variants, see P-38 (Family).
p-38e.png
GarageImage P-38E.jpg
360://https://wiki.warthunder.com/images/9/9a/Cockpit_p-38e.jpg
P-38E
AB RB SB
3.0 3.0 3.3
Research:11 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:38 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

The P-38E Lightning is a rank II American twin-engine fighter with a battle rating of 3.0 (AB/RB) and 3.3 (SB). It was introduced in Update 1.53 "Firestorm".

The P-38E is the first of the P-38 vehicles available in game, and is all round a very good plane. It gets an interceptor airspawn on most maps, which allows the P-38 to very often find itself above or at an equal altitude to its opponents. The main strength of the P-38E is its speed and energy retention, so it should be used accordingly - play it as an energy fighter or Boom 'n' Zoomer. The P-38E is also surprisingly manoeuvrable for such a large plane - while it can't outmanoeuvre single-engine fighters, it can put up a good fight.

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 7 012 m635 km/h
Turn time23 s
Max altitude12 192 m
EngineAllison V-1710-29
TypeInline
Cooling systemWater
Take-off weight8 t
Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 7,012 m)
Max altitude
(metres)
Turn time
(seconds)
Rate of climb
(metres/second)
Take-off run
(metres)
AB RB AB RB AB RB
Stock 612 594 12192 24.1 25.0 10.5 10.5 380
Upgraded 661 635 21.9 23.0 17.2 13.5

Details

Features
Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
X X
Limits
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
790 289 620 400 250 ~9 ~5
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 380 < 460 < 500 > 420
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
6,800 m 1,050 hp 1,176 hp

Survivability and armour

Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural790 km/h
Gear289 km/h
  • 7 mm steel - in front of cockpit
  • 7 mm steel - pilot seat
  • 10 mm steel behind pilot head
  • 38 mm bulletproof glass - behind windscreen

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB1 370 → 1 744 Sl icon.png
RB4 560 → 5 804 Sl icon.png
SB3 200 → 4 073 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications10 320 Rp icon.png
23 700 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost750 Ge icon.png
Crew training11 000 Sl icon.png
Experts38 000 Sl icon.png
Aces250 Ge icon.png
Research Aces220 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
80 / 220 / 350 % Sl icon.png
124 / 124 / 124 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Research:
690 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 600 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mods radiator.png
Radiator
Research:
690 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 600 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mods compressor.png
Compressor
Research:
780 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 800 Sl icon.png
110 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Research:
870 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 000 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mods new engine.png
Engine
Research:
870 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 000 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
Research:
1 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 500 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
Airframe
Research:
780 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 800 Sl icon.png
110 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
Cover
Research:
1 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 500 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
bmg50_belt_pack
Research:
690 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 600 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
bmg50_new_gun
Research:
780 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 800 Sl icon.png
110 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
anm2_belt_pack
Research:
870 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 000 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
anm2_new_gun
Research:
1 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 500 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Offensive armament

Ammunition150 rounds
Fire rate600 shots/min
Ammunition2 000 rounds
Fire rate750 shots/min

The P-38E 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

Air Realistic Battles.

While fast at its BR of 3.0, the P-38 is slower than many planes it will face at 3.7 and 4.0, most specifically the Fw 190 A-1 and the Bf 109 F-4 and F-4/trop, although it does have an air spawn, which can be used temporarily to have the advantage on these enemies. Attempt to pick out planes at its BR or planes that are slower than it, then target them.

When forced to deal with faster opponents, evade and use teammates. If the direction it is caught going in is opposite to the team's side of the map, a handy trick is rolling over and pulling 180 degrees until the plane comes out the other direction, a maneuver known as a split S. It gains speed (instead of a horizontal turn, which loses it) and exposes the plane to the minimum amount of enemy fire while doing so, which is important, as the P-38 is very broad in the wings and prone to catching fire due to the fuel tanks.

In terms of ammunition, Air Targets is preferential for the cannon and Universal for the MGs, if stealth is not used. There are other options, most notably Ground Targets for the cannon and Tracers or Ground Targets for the .50 cals, but the tracers on the .50 cals are weak, unlike the M20 API-T on the P-51s and P-47s, and groundpounding should be reserved for later parts of the game in case a bomber is climbing to space, as the plane is an interceptor and cannot carry suspended armaments.

Ammo conservation on the cannon is not very important; it has a low fire rate and does not jam easily once the 'New 20mm Cannon' modification is unlocked; moreover, each shell has a high damage output, especially on stealth. The .50 cals can be sprayed indiscriminately.

As a bomber-hunter, the P-38E is superb. Its nose-mounted armaments allow it to sit a kilometer behind enemy bombers such as He 111s, outside of effective range of their guns but still able to hit hard with its 20mm cannon.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Controllable
Auto control available
Controllable
Not auto controlled
Controllable
Not auto controlled
Separate Not controllable
1 gear
Not controllable

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Nose-mounted armaments give great long-range accuracy: no need to worry about convergence
  • Good speed on the deck
  • Decent at head-ons in a tight spot, due to the 20 mm cannon and nose-mounted .50 cals
  • Can always get home with one engine left

Cons:

  • Very large airframe is easy to hit and burns quite easily
  • Easy target when flying slow
  • Bad at recovering energy after a dive or when turning
  • Can't fight with one engine
  • The tail is prone to snapping off when hit by cannon shells, even at long ranges

History

Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the aircraft in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under === In-game description ===, also if applicable).

Notable pilots

Major Richard Bong began military flight training in the P-38E after graduating from basic flight school in the single engine AT-6 Texan.

Media

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

External links


Lockheed Corporation
Fighters  XP-38G · P-38E · P-38G-1 · P-38J-15 · Bong's P-38J-15 · P-38K · P-38L-5-LO · YP-38
Bombers  B-34 · PV-2D
Jet Fighters  F-80A-5 · F-80C-10
  F-104A · F-104C
Export / License  A-29 · ▄Hudson Mk V
  ␗P-38L-1
  ␗F-104A · ▀F-104G · ␗F-104G · ▅F-104J · ▄F-104S
See Also  Mitsubishi Heavy Industries · Fiat Aviation

USA twin-engine fighters
P-38  XP-38G · P-38E · P-38G-1 · P-38J-15 · Bong's P-38J-15 · P-38L-5-LO · P-38K · YP-38
P-61  P-61A-1 · P-61C-1
F7F  F7F-1 · F7F-3
Other  XF5F · XP-50 · F-82E