P-38G-1

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RANK 6 USA
"APACHE" | AH-64A Peten
This page is about the American twin-engine fighter P-38G-1. For other variants, see P-38 (Family).
P-38G-1
p-38g.png
GarageImage P-38G-1.jpg
360://https://wiki.warthunder.com/images/8/89/Cockpit_p-38g.jpg
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

Description

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 1.27.

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 8 229 m660 km/h
Turn time22 s
Max altitude12 192 m
EngineAllison V-1710-75
TypeInline
Cooling systemWater
Take-off weight7 t

Despite being a heavy twin engine fighter the P-38G has a quite good overall performance. Its level speed is comparable to many single engined fighters and even faster than some of them. It can reach 550 km/h at the sea level and thanks to its superchargers the plane's maximum is speed is close to 660 km/h at 5000m alt. The cruising speed remains constant up to 11000m alt. That makes it a good medium and high altitude fighter and in most cases outperforms the opposition.

Acceleration in level flight is decent and when it starts diving it gets very good. However, it is required to keep an eye on the speed because the maximum structural speed limit is low in this plane. Of course due to the plane's configuration it suffers a lot from high speed compression, which starts close to 0.70 Mach.

Climb rate is comparable to other American fighters. The plane is able to reach 5000m in 4 minutes and 40 seconds which is quite mediocre. Its climb rate at 1000m is close to 18 m/s but, again thanks to the supercharger, it will not suffer so much at high altitude. When climbing from 5000m alt to 9000m alt it will outperform most of other fighters.

The P-38G's turn rate is quite good but depends a lot on its Fowler flaps. They do increase the lift significantly but at the cost of a proportional increase in drag too. Sustained turn rate is quite good, better than in almost every other heavy twin engined fighter but in most cases only comparable or worse to other single engined fighters. On the other hand the instantaneous turn rate especially with deployed flaps is very good and can help a lot with getting the guns on the target and high deflection shooting.

The other issue is its roll rate, at best it reaches 70 degrees per second at 400 km/h.

The way that Lighting's engines are mirrored in turn direction makes it so the pilot does not need to worry about the propeller torque effect as the propellers on one side negate the effect of the other. Furthermore, the plane doesn't require any trimming except for some elevator adjustments to fly in a straight line.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 8,229 m)
Max altitude
(metres)
Turn time
(seconds)
Rate of climb
(metres/second)
Take-off run
(metres)
AB RB AB RB AB RB
Stock 634 616 12192 23.1 24.0 14.6 14.6 380
Upgraded 687 660 20.9 22.0 22.4 18.0

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
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

Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural790 km/h
Gear289 km/h
  • 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.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB1 230 → 1 565 Sl icon.png
RB3 920 → 4 990 Sl icon.png
SB4 000 → 5 092 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications13 740 Rp icon.png
33 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost860 Ge icon.png
Crew training16 000 Sl icon.png
Experts55 000 Sl icon.png
Aces320 Ge icon.png
Research Aces250 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
70 / 170 / 200 % Sl icon.png
130 / 130 / 130 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Research:
920 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 200 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mods radiator.png
Radiator
Research:
920 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 200 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mods compressor.png
Compressor
Research:
1 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 400 Sl icon.png
130 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Research:
870 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 100 Sl icon.png
110 Ge icon.png
Mods new engine.png
Engine
Research:
870 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 100 Sl icon.png
110 Ge icon.png
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
Research:
1 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 600 Sl icon.png
190 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
Airframe
Research:
1 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 400 Sl icon.png
130 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
Cover
Research:
1 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 600 Sl icon.png
190 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
bmg50_belt_pack
Research:
920 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 200 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
bmg50_new_gun
Research:
1 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 400 Sl icon.png
130 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
anm2_belt_pack
Research:
870 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 100 Sl icon.png
110 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon rocket.png
Rocket Launcher M10
Research:
870 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 100 Sl icon.png
110 Ge icon.png
Mods weapon.png
anm2_new_gun
Research:
1 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 600 Sl icon.png
190 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Offensive armament

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

The P-38G-1 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)

Suspended armament

Number of setups1
List of setups
Setup 16 x M8 rocket
Main article: M8

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

  • Without load
  • 6 x M8 rockets

Usage in battles

The P-38G-1 is a medium- and high-altitude fighter which excels in anti-bomber roles and when working with teammates to destroy enemy fighters. Its manoeuvrability is unsurprisingly worse than that of single-engine fighters, but is quite good compared to that of other heavy fighters. The plane excels in a boom and zoom roll, where its powerful armament and good energy retention are brought into the spotlight.

In a turning engagement, the P-38 fares better than most other heavy fighters. When engaging its flaps, it can turn surprisingly well; however, these flaps bleed a considerable amount of airspeed, and sustained turning is unadvisable in most scenarios. Most single-engine fighters will be able to outturn the P-38. All of this means that engaging in furballs is unwise. It is usually better to boom and zoom, going in and out of the dogfight while evading enemy fire.

If there is an enemy on the P-38's tail it is best to dive away, utilising the plane's great acceleration; or to fly towards teammates. The P-38's lack of manoeuvrability compared to single-engine fighters means that attempting a rolling scissors or other type of reversal is often very difficult. Indeed, the plane suffers especially from a poor roll rate, which although excellent for a plane of this size, is not comparable to that of planes such as the Fw 190.

With a 20 mm cannon and four machine guns located in its nose, the P-38G-1 has formidable firepower. This can be used to destroy enemy bombers to great effect (the P-38 finds much success in a bomber-hunting role), and to easily destroy lightly armoured ground targets. Smaller enemy planes such as single-engine fighters are especially easy to take down.

In ground realistic battles, this plane can be used reasonably well to destroy ground targets and ensure air superiority. With 6 rockets and nose-mounted guns, the P-38 can destroy lightly-armoured and open-top vehicles easily, and also engage some more heavily-defended targets.

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:

  • Good top speed
  • Good dive acceleration
  • Nose-mounted weaponry creates a "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 around 350 mph
  • Modest armament for a Boom & Zoom fighter
  • Cannon is highly dependent on "New 20 mm 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 favoured by some of the more experienced pilots despite accumulated age and wear in theatre.

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 (1,136-litre) fuel tanks, or up to 1,100 lbs of external ordnance. However, in-theatre operational requirements often dictated the need for heavier ordnance, and it was not uncommon for 2 x 1,000 bombs to be hung on the racks. Field modifications allowed additional external ordnance to be loaded, including 2 x M10 triple-tube rocket 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 theatres 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 theatre as late as 1945. They were finally decommissioned in 1949.

In-game description

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. Engine management was significantly more automated than before.

The plane carried a formidable armament consisting of 20mm Hispano AN/M2 cannons with 150 rounds and four 12.7mm Colt-Browning M2.5 machine guns with 300 rounds apiece. The P-38G had a reinforced fuselage and could carry two extra 300-gallon (1136-liter) fuel tanks. The G was not equipped to carry rockets and bombs, but was often modified on the field to carry 250-lb or even 500-lb bombs as well as unguided rockets.

The P-38G was widely used by the Army Air Force (USAAF) in all theaters of the war. They were often used for shuttle missions over Germany from the airfields of Ukraine. The best known operation in which the P-38G participated was Operation Lightning, which changed the war in the Pacific. The mission, which was flown on April 18, 1943, intercepted and shot down a Japanese G4M1 bomber with Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto on board. In addition, the P-38 was the plane of choice of the two most successful American aces: Richard Ira Bong (40 kills) and Thomas McGuire (38 kills).

From 1942 to 1943, Lockheed built 1,462 P-38Gs. They were decommissioned in 1949.

Media

Videos

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