Difference between revisions of "P-38G-1"

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|cockpit=334221/1109992
 
|cockpit=334221/1109992
 
}}
 
}}
{{Notice|''This page is about the aircraft '''{{PAGENAME}}'''. For other uses, see [[P-38_(Disambiguation)|P-38 (Disambiguation)]]''}}
+
{{About
 +
| about = American twin-engine fighter '''{{PAGENAME}}'''
 +
| usage = other uses
 +
| link = P-38 (Family)
 +
}}
 +
 
 
== Description ==
 
== Description ==
<!--''In the description, the first part needs to be about the history of and the creation and combat usage of the aircraft, as well as its key features. In the second part, tell the reader about the aircraft in the game. Insert screenshot of the vehicle. If the novice player does not remember the vehicle by name, he will immediately understand what kind of vehicle it is talking about.''-->
+
<!-- ''In the description, the first part should be about the history of and the creation and combat usage of the aircraft, as well as its key features. In the second part, tell the reader about the aircraft in the game. Insert a screenshot of the vehicle, so that if the novice player does not remember the vehicle by name, he will immediately understand what kind of vehicle the article is talking about.'' -->
 
[[File:GarageImage_P-38G-1Lightning.jpg|420px|thumb|left]]
 
[[File:GarageImage_P-38G-1Lightning.jpg|420px|thumb|left]]
 
{{break}}
 
{{break}}
The '''{{Specs|name}}''' is a Rank {{Specs|rank}} American twin-engine fighter {{Battle-rating|1}}. It was in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.29.
+
The '''{{Specs|name}}''' is a rank {{Specs|rank}} American twin-engine fighter {{Battle-rating}}. It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to [[Update 1.29]].
  
 
== General info ==
 
== General info ==
 
=== Flight Performance ===
 
=== Flight Performance ===
<!--''Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Maximum speed, maneuverability, speed and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.''-->
+
<!-- ''Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Speed, manoeuvrability, acceleration and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.'' -->
====Stat card====
 
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
|-
 
|-
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! colspan="2" | Turn time<br>(seconds)
 
! colspan="2" | Turn time<br>(seconds)
 
! colspan="2" | Rate of climb<br>(meters/second)
 
! colspan="2" | Rate of climb<br>(meters/second)
! rowspan="2" |Take-off run<br>(meters)
+
! rowspan="2" | Take-off run<br>(meters)
 
|-
 
|-
 
! AB
 
! AB
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|-
 
|-
 
! colspan="2" | Max Speed<br>(km/h at 7,040 m)
 
! colspan="2" | Max Speed<br>(km/h at 7,040 m)
! rowspan="2" |Max altitude (meters)
+
! rowspan="2" | Max altitude (meters)
 
! colspan="2" | Turn time (seconds)
 
! colspan="2" | Turn time (seconds)
 
! colspan="2" | Rate of climb<br>(meters/second)
 
! colspan="2" | Rate of climb<br>(meters/second)
! rowspan="2" |Take-off run (meters)
+
! rowspan="2" | Take-off run (meters)
 
|-
 
|-
 
! AB
 
! AB
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! WEP Engine power
 
! WEP Engine power
 
|-
 
|-
| 5,800 m || 2,620 hp || 3,010 hp  
+
| 5,800 m || 2,620 hp || 3,010 hp
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
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=== Survivability and armour ===
 
=== 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. Describe the armour, if there is any, also mention the vulnerability of other critical aircraft systems.''-->
+
<!-- ''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.'' -->
 
* 38 mm Bulletproof glass in cockpit top front.
 
* 38 mm Bulletproof glass in cockpit top front.
 
* 6.5 mm Steel plates in the nose.
 
* 6.5 mm Steel plates in the nose.
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== Armaments ==
 
== Armaments ==
 
=== Offensive armament ===
 
=== Offensive armament ===
<!--''Describe the offensive armament of the aircraft, if any. Describe how effective the cannons and machine guns are in a battle, and also what belts or drums are better to use. If there is no offensive weaponry, delete this subsection.''-->
+
<!-- ''Describe the offensive armament of the aircraft, if any. Describe how effective the cannons and machine guns are in a battle, and also what belts or drums are better to use. If there is no offensive weaponry, delete this subsection.'' -->
 
{{main|AN/M2 (20 mm)|Browning M2 (12.7 mm)}}
 
{{main|AN/M2 (20 mm)|Browning M2 (12.7 mm)}}
  
 
The '''''{{PAGENAME}}''''' is armed with:
 
The '''''{{PAGENAME}}''''' is armed with:
 
 
* 1 x 20 mm AN/M2 cannon, nose-mounted (150 rpg)
 
* 1 x 20 mm AN/M2 cannon, nose-mounted (150 rpg)
 
* 4 x 12.7 mm Browning M2 machine guns, nose-mounted (500 rpg = 2,000 total)
 
* 4 x 12.7 mm Browning M2 machine guns, nose-mounted (500 rpg = 2,000 total)
  
 
=== Suspended armament ===
 
=== Suspended armament ===
<!--''Describe the aircraft's suspended armament: additional cannons under the wings, bombs, rockets and torpedoes. This section is especially important for bombers and attackers. If there is no suspended weaponry remove this subsection.''-->
+
<!-- ''Describe the aircraft's suspended armament: additional cannons under the wings, bombs, rockets and torpedoes. This section is especially important for bombers and attackers. If there is no suspended weaponry remove this subsection.'' -->
The options available for the '''''{{PAGENAME}}''''' Lightning are:
+
{{main|M8}}
 +
 
 +
The '''''{{PAGENAME}}''''' can be outfitted with the following ordinance:
 +
* Without load
 
* 6 x M8 rockets
 
* 6 x M8 rockets
  
 
== Usage in the battles ==
 
== Usage in the battles ==
<!--''Describe the tactics of playing in an aircraft, the features of using vehicles in a team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view but give the reader food for thought. Examine the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).''-->
+
<!-- ''Describe the tactics of playing in an aircraft, the features of using vehicles in a team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view, but instead, give the reader food for thought. Examine the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).'' -->
 
As typical in American planes, the P-38G suffers a bit in turning, whilst excelling in the tactic known as Boom & Zoom. However, it is not all it can do well. Its two engines work to create a splendid power-to-weight ratio, therefore a great climb rate too. What this is means is that, if you take care to climb at the start of a match, not only will you have a great altitude advantage over most of your opposition, you will find yourself able to outdive and catch most of your opposition. Being a large target however, you must take care to not spend too much time in "fur balls" (essentially, massive concentrations of dogfighting planes); also while the Lightning's turning ability and stall speed is superior to most twin and even single engine aircraft you should take care in avoiding prolonged engagements unless you are extremely confident that it will be a 1v1 scenario. The P-38's main job is to sweep in, fire, and climb away. If you play with discipline, you will find yourself uncatchable. Using MEC (Manual Engine Control) on the P-38G-1 is easy to do and is great for novices who are exploring MEC for the first time.
 
As typical in American planes, the P-38G suffers a bit in turning, whilst excelling in the tactic known as Boom & Zoom. However, it is not all it can do well. Its two engines work to create a splendid power-to-weight ratio, therefore a great climb rate too. What this is means is that, if you take care to climb at the start of a match, not only will you have a great altitude advantage over most of your opposition, you will find yourself able to outdive and catch most of your opposition. Being a large target however, you must take care to not spend too much time in "fur balls" (essentially, massive concentrations of dogfighting planes); also while the Lightning's turning ability and stall speed is superior to most twin and even single engine aircraft you should take care in avoiding prolonged engagements unless you are extremely confident that it will be a 1v1 scenario. The P-38's main job is to sweep in, fire, and climb away. If you play with discipline, you will find yourself uncatchable. Using MEC (Manual Engine Control) on the P-38G-1 is easy to do and is great for novices who are exploring MEC for the first time.
  
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! colspan="7" | MEC elements
 
! colspan="7" | MEC elements
 
|-
 
|-
! rowspan="2" |Mixer
+
! rowspan="2" | Mixer
! rowspan="2" |Pitch
+
! rowspan="2" | Pitch
 
! colspan="3" | Radiator
 
! colspan="3" | Radiator
! rowspan="2" |Supercharger
+
! rowspan="2" | Supercharger
! rowspan="2" |Turbocharger
+
! rowspan="2" | Turbocharger
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Oil
 
! Oil
 
! Water
 
! Water
! Type  
+
! Type
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Controllable || rowspan="2" | Controllable<br>Automatic pitch || rowspan="2" | Controllable || rowspan="2" | Not controllable || rowspan="2" | Combined || rowspan="2" | Not controllable || rowspan="2" | Not controllable
 
| Controllable || rowspan="2" | Controllable<br>Automatic pitch || rowspan="2" | Controllable || rowspan="2" | Not controllable || rowspan="2" | Combined || rowspan="2" | Not controllable || rowspan="2" | Not controllable
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|}
 
|}
  
 +
===Modules===
 +
{| class="wikitable"
 +
! colspan="1" | Tier
 +
! colspan="2" | Flight performance
 +
! colspan="1" | Survivability
 +
! colspan="2" | Weaponry
 +
|-
 +
| I
 +
| Fuselage Repair
 +
| Radiator
 +
|
 +
| Offensive 12 mm
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
| II
 +
|
 +
| Compressor
 +
| Airframe
 +
| New 12 mm MGs
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
| III
 +
| Wings Repair
 +
| Engine
 +
|
 +
| Offensive 20 mm
 +
| Rocket Launcher M10
 +
|-
 +
| IV
 +
|
 +
| Engine Injection
 +
| Cover
 +
| New 20 mm cannons
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|}
  
 
=== Pros and cons ===
 
=== Pros and cons ===
<!--''Summarize and briefly evaluate the vehicle in terms of its characteristics and combat effectiveness. Mark its pros and cons in the bulleted list. Do not use more than 6 points for each of the characteristics. Avoid using categorical definitions such as "bad", "good" and the like - they have a substitution in the form of softer "inadequate", "effective".''-->
+
<!-- ''Summarize and briefly evaluate the vehicle in terms of its characteristics and combat effectiveness. Mark its pros and cons in the bulleted list. Try not to use more than 6 points for each of the characteristics. Avoid using categorical definitions such as "bad", "good" and the like - use substitutions with softer forms such as "inadequate" and "effective".'' -->
 
'''Pros:'''
 
'''Pros:'''
 
* Good top speed
 
* Good top speed
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* Turns well at high speeds
 
* Turns well at high speeds
 
* Nose mounted weaponry allows long range shooting, as well as being an exceptional opponent in head-ons
 
* Nose mounted weaponry allows long range shooting, as well as being an exceptional opponent in head-ons
* Has a great ammunition reserve for its machine guns  
+
* Has a great ammunition reserve for its machine guns
* Cannon has a respectable ammunition reserve of 150 rounds  
+
* Cannon has a respectable ammunition reserve of 150 rounds
 +
 
 
'''Cons:'''
 
'''Cons:'''
 
* Large aircraft and thus an easy target
 
* Large aircraft and thus an easy target
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== History ==
 
== 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 big, take it to a separate article, taking a link to an article about the vehicle and adding a block "/ historical reference" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/Name-vehicles/historical reference) and add a link to it here using the <code>main</code> template. Be sure to include links to sources at the end of the article.''-->
+
<!-- ''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 big, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/ History" (example: <nowiki>https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History</nowiki>) and add a link to it here using the <code>main</code> template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <code><nowiki><ref></nowiki></code>, as well as adding them at the end of the article. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under <code><nowiki>=== Encyclopedia Info ===</nowiki></code>, also if applicable).'' -->
 
The P-38 was an all-metal, three-wheeled, single-seater, twin-engined monoplane fighter with an aerodynamic design rarely seen in World War II.
 
The P-38 was an all-metal, three-wheeled, single-seater, twin-engined monoplane fighter with an aerodynamic design rarely seen in World War II.
  
Line 239: Line 282:
 
The G variant was created at the end of 1942 and was based on the E and F variants. The G had a more powerful turbocharged Allison V-1710-51/55 engine and benefited from more automated engine management. The G model had lighter weight and handling characteristics compared to the later J and L models, and was therefore favored by some of the more experienced pilots despite accumulated age and wear in theater.
 
The G variant was created at the end of 1942 and was based on the E and F variants. The G had a more powerful turbocharged Allison V-1710-51/55 engine and benefited from more automated engine management. The G model had lighter weight and handling characteristics compared to the later J and L models, and was therefore favored by some of the more experienced pilots despite accumulated age and wear in theater.
  
The armament suite was formidable and consisted of a 20mm Hispano AN/M2 cannons with 150 rounds and four 12.7mm Colt-Browning M2.5 machine guns with 500 rounds apiece. The fuselage of the F and G models was reinforced, and the operating manual allows for the carry of two extra 300-gallon (1136-liter) fuel tanks, or up to 1100 lbs of external ordnance. However, in-theater operational requirements often dictated the need for heavier ordnance, and it was not uncommon for 2 x 1000 bombs to be hung on the racks. Field modifications allowed additional external ordnance to be loaded, including 2 x M10 triple-tube bazooka launchers, or installation of outer wing pylons allowing 4 x 500 lb bombs to be carried outboard of the engines (two bombs per pylon) - thereby allowing long-range drop tanks to be carried simultaneously on the standard inner-wing racks.
+
The armament suite was formidable and consisted of a 20mm Hispano AN/M2 cannon with 150 rounds and four 12.7mm Colt-Browning M2 machine guns with 500 rounds apiece. The fuselage of the F and G models was reinforced, and the operating manual allows for the carry of two extra 300-gallon (1136-liter) fuel tanks, or up to 1100 lbs of external ordnance. However, in-theater operational requirements often dictated the need for heavier ordnance, and it was not uncommon for 2 x 1000 bombs to be hung on the racks. Field modifications allowed additional external ordnance to be loaded, including 2 x M10 triple-tube bazooka launchers, or installation of outer wing pylons allowing 4 x 500 lb bombs to be carried outboard of the engines (two bombs per pylon) - thereby allowing long-range drop tanks to be carried simultaneously on the standard inner-wing racks.
  
One of the P-38's unique characteristics was its incredibly long range, especially for a fighter - a trait which made it ideally suited to: bomber escort; intruder patrols; and long-range strikes, such as the famous "shuttle missions" over Germany to Ukraine.  Perhaps the most exceptional display of the P-38G's capabilities was Operation Vengeance - a war-changing mission to kill the Imperial Japanese Navy's brilliant naval strategist and mastermind of the Pearl Harbor attack, Admiral Isokoru Yamamoto. The highly-secret 18 April, 1943 interception successfully brought down two G4M1 bombers - one transporting Adm. Yamamoto, the other carrying his chief of staff. Despite the mission's success, the U.S. kept the operation a state-secret for some 35 years in order to protect the intelligence sources and methods used to plan the operation.
+
One of the P-38's unique characteristics was its incredibly long range, especially for a fighter - a trait which made it ideally suited to bomber escort, intruder patrols, and long-range strikes, such as the famous "shuttle missions" over Germany to Ukraine.  Perhaps the most exceptional display of the P-38G's capabilities was Operation Vengeance - a war-changing mission to kill the Imperial Japanese Navy's brilliant naval strategist and mastermind of the Pearl Harbor attack, Admiral Isokoru Yamamoto. The highly-secret 18 April, 1943 interception successfully brought down two G4M1 bombers - one transporting Adm. Yamamoto, the other carrying his chief of staff. Despite the mission's success, the U.S. kept the operation a state-secret for some 35 years in order to protect the intelligence sources and methods used to plan the operation.
  
 
The P-38 was widely used by the Army Air Force (USAAF) in all theaters and was the plane used by the United States' top aces: Richard Ira Bong (40 kills) and Thomas McGuire (38 kills). Other noteworthy aces of early P-38s include: Jack Ilfrey and Dixie Sloan of the Mediterranean Theater; Robin Olds and John Lowell of the European Theater; Charles McDonald, Gerald Johnson and numerous others in the Pacific Theater. George Welch, famed for his exploits in a P-40 during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor also became a P-38 ace of 12 kills. In addition, the famed 'Lone Eagle', Charles Lindbergh, splashed a Ki-46 at the controls of a P-38 while on a visit with the 475 FG in the South Pacific.
 
The P-38 was widely used by the Army Air Force (USAAF) in all theaters and was the plane used by the United States' top aces: Richard Ira Bong (40 kills) and Thomas McGuire (38 kills). Other noteworthy aces of early P-38s include: Jack Ilfrey and Dixie Sloan of the Mediterranean Theater; Robin Olds and John Lowell of the European Theater; Charles McDonald, Gerald Johnson and numerous others in the Pacific Theater. George Welch, famed for his exploits in a P-40 during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor also became a P-38 ace of 12 kills. In addition, the famed 'Lone Eagle', Charles Lindbergh, splashed a Ki-46 at the controls of a P-38 while on a visit with the 475 FG in the South Pacific.
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== Media ==
 
== Media ==
<!--''An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.''-->
+
<!-- ''Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.'' -->
[http://live.warthunder.com/feed/camouflages/?q=%23p38g Camouflages for the P-38G on live.warthunder]
+
* [http://live.warthunder.com/feed/camouflages/?q=%23p38g Camouflages for the P-38G on live.warthunder]
  
== Read also ==
+
== See also ==
''Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example,''
+
''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;''
 
* ''reference to the series of the aircraft;''
 
* ''links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.''
 
* ''links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.''
''ETC.''
 
  
== Sources ==
+
== External links ==
 
''Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:''
 
''Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:''
 
* ''topic on the official game forum;''
 
* ''topic on the official game forum;''
* ''page on aircraft encyclopedia;''
+
* ''encyclopedia page on the aircraft;''
 
* ''other literature.''
 
* ''other literature.''
  
 
{{USA twin-engine fighters‎}}
 
{{USA twin-engine fighters‎}}

Revision as of 13:49, 23 March 2019

VTOL | Rank 5 USSR
Yak-38 Pack
P-38G-1
p-38g.png
P-38G-1
AB RB SB
3.3 3.3 3.7
Research:14 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:55 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game
This page is about the American twin-engine fighter P-38G-1. For other uses, see P-38 (Family).

Description

GarageImage P-38G-1.jpg


The P-38G-1 Lightning is a rank II American twin-engine fighter with a battle rating of 3.3 (AB/RB) and 3.7 (SB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.29.

General info

Flight Performance

Characteristics
Stock
Max Speed
(km/h at 7,040 m)
Max altitude
(meters)
Turn time
(seconds)
Rate of climb
(meters/second)
Take-off run
(meters)
AB RB AB RB AB RB
627 617 12,192 23.5 24.0 12.6 14.6 380
Upgraded
Max Speed
(km/h at 7,040 m)
Max altitude (meters) Turn time (seconds) Rate of climb
(meters/second)
Take-off run (meters)
AB RB AB RB AB RB
693 660 12,192 20.6 22.0 25.7 18.0 380

Details

Features
Combat flap Take-off flap Landing flap Air brakes Arrestor gear
X X
Limits
Wing-break speed
(km/h)
Gear limit
(km/h)
Combat flap
(km/h)
Max Static G
+ -
790 289 534 ~9 ~5
Optimal velocities
Ailerons
(km/h)
Rudder
(km/h)
Elevators
(km/h)
Radiator
(km/h)
< 321 < 460 < 500 > 240
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
5,800 m 2,620 hp 3,010 hp

Engine performance

Engine
Engine Name Number present
Allison V-1710-51 12-cylinder 2
Engine characteristics
Weight (each) Type Cooling
610 kg Inline Water
Engine power (Stock)
Mode Max Take-off
Arcade 1,084 hp 1,350 hp
Realistic/Simulator 1,072 hp 1,200 hp
Engine power (Upgraded)
Mode Max Take-off
Arcade 1,264 hp 1,531 hp
Realistic/Simulator 1,252 hp 1,380 hp
WEP Duration
Arcade Realistic/Simulator
25 seconds Infinite

Survivability and armour

  • 38 mm Bulletproof glass in cockpit top front.
  • 6.5 mm Steel plates in the nose.
  • 6.5 mm Steel plates in pilot's seat.
  • 9.5 mm Steel plate in pilot's headrest.

Armaments

Offensive armament

The P-38G-1 is armed with:

  • 1 x 20 mm AN/M2 cannon, nose-mounted (150 rpg)
  • 4 x 12.7 mm Browning M2 machine guns, nose-mounted (500 rpg = 2,000 total)

Suspended armament

Main article: M8

The P-38G-1 can be outfitted with the following ordinance:

  • Without load
  • 6 x M8 rockets

Usage in the battles

As typical in American planes, the P-38G suffers a bit in turning, whilst excelling in the tactic known as Boom & Zoom. However, it is not all it can do well. Its two engines work to create a splendid power-to-weight ratio, therefore a great climb rate too. What this is means is that, if you take care to climb at the start of a match, not only will you have a great altitude advantage over most of your opposition, you will find yourself able to outdive and catch most of your opposition. Being a large target however, you must take care to not spend too much time in "fur balls" (essentially, massive concentrations of dogfighting planes); also while the Lightning's turning ability and stall speed is superior to most twin and even single engine aircraft you should take care in avoiding prolonged engagements unless you are extremely confident that it will be a 1v1 scenario. The P-38's main job is to sweep in, fire, and climb away. If you play with discipline, you will find yourself uncatchable. Using MEC (Manual Engine Control) on the P-38G-1 is easy to do and is great for novices who are exploring MEC for the first time.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Controllable
Automatic pitch
Controllable Not controllable Combined Not controllable Not controllable

Modules

Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage Repair Radiator Offensive 12 mm
II Compressor Airframe New 12 mm MGs
III Wings Repair Engine Offensive 20 mm Rocket Launcher M10
IV Engine Injection Cover New 20 mm cannons

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Good top speed
  • Good dive acceleration
  • Nose-mounted weaponry creates "buzz-saw" effect
  • Excellent roll rate
  • Great climb rate
  • Extremely stable in terms of torque
  • Turns well at high speeds
  • Nose mounted weaponry allows long range shooting, as well as being an exceptional opponent in head-ons
  • Has a great ammunition reserve for its machine guns
  • Cannon has a respectable ammunition reserve of 150 rounds

Cons:

  • Large aircraft and thus an easy target
  • Prone to elevator damage, may shear off when struck by cannon rounds
  • Low dive speed limit
  • Controls will stiffen at 350 mph
  • Modest armament for a BnZ fighter
  • Cannon is highly dependent on "New 20mm cannon" upgrade in order to be able to fire accurately.
  • Will often catch fire.

History

The P-38 was an all-metal, three-wheeled, single-seater, twin-engined monoplane fighter with an aerodynamic design rarely seen in World War II.

An experimental XP-38 (Model 22) was first flown on January 27, 1938. Production began in June of 1941.

The G variant was created at the end of 1942 and was based on the E and F variants. The G had a more powerful turbocharged Allison V-1710-51/55 engine and benefited from more automated engine management. The G model had lighter weight and handling characteristics compared to the later J and L models, and was therefore favored by some of the more experienced pilots despite accumulated age and wear in theater.

The armament suite was formidable and consisted of a 20mm Hispano AN/M2 cannon with 150 rounds and four 12.7mm Colt-Browning M2 machine guns with 500 rounds apiece. The fuselage of the F and G models was reinforced, and the operating manual allows for the carry of two extra 300-gallon (1136-liter) fuel tanks, or up to 1100 lbs of external ordnance. However, in-theater operational requirements often dictated the need for heavier ordnance, and it was not uncommon for 2 x 1000 bombs to be hung on the racks. Field modifications allowed additional external ordnance to be loaded, including 2 x M10 triple-tube bazooka launchers, or installation of outer wing pylons allowing 4 x 500 lb bombs to be carried outboard of the engines (two bombs per pylon) - thereby allowing long-range drop tanks to be carried simultaneously on the standard inner-wing racks.

One of the P-38's unique characteristics was its incredibly long range, especially for a fighter - a trait which made it ideally suited to bomber escort, intruder patrols, and long-range strikes, such as the famous "shuttle missions" over Germany to Ukraine. Perhaps the most exceptional display of the P-38G's capabilities was Operation Vengeance - a war-changing mission to kill the Imperial Japanese Navy's brilliant naval strategist and mastermind of the Pearl Harbor attack, Admiral Isokoru Yamamoto. The highly-secret 18 April, 1943 interception successfully brought down two G4M1 bombers - one transporting Adm. Yamamoto, the other carrying his chief of staff. Despite the mission's success, the U.S. kept the operation a state-secret for some 35 years in order to protect the intelligence sources and methods used to plan the operation.

The P-38 was widely used by the Army Air Force (USAAF) in all theaters and was the plane used by the United States' top aces: Richard Ira Bong (40 kills) and Thomas McGuire (38 kills). Other noteworthy aces of early P-38s include: Jack Ilfrey and Dixie Sloan of the Mediterranean Theater; Robin Olds and John Lowell of the European Theater; Charles McDonald, Gerald Johnson and numerous others in the Pacific Theater. George Welch, famed for his exploits in a P-40 during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor also became a P-38 ace of 12 kills. In addition, the famed 'Lone Eagle', Charles Lindbergh, splashed a Ki-46 at the controls of a P-38 while on a visit with the 475 FG in the South Pacific.

From 1942 to 1943, Lockheed built 1,462 P-38Gs. Whether out of preference, or sheer necessity, some F and G models served in theater as late as 1945. They were finally decommissioned in 1949.

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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