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Lockheed P-38 Lightening  

Lockheed P-38J Lightening

The Lockheed P-38 Lightning, less famous than the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt or the North American P-51 Mustang, led a good career as an interceptor, both in the European theater and the Pacific theater. The history of the P-38 starts in 1937 when the US Air Force gave out a note asking industries to design a new fighter dedicated to high altitudes. Many companies contacted thought that the specifications required by the army were impossible to achieve and didn't continue in their research. Nevertheless, engineers of Lockheed examined numerous solutions and chose the least orthodox one: a twin-engine fighter with two vertical stabilizers. The first prototype flew January 27, 1939 and impressed everyone by crossing the American continent in 7 hours and 2 minutes; beating the previous record. This "advertisement" was a good idea because some months later, 13 evaluation units were ordered and finally, the construction of the P-38 rose to 9 923 units.

 Specifications

Full Name

Lockheed P-38L  lightning

Type

Fighter

Origin

USA

Manufacturer

Lockheed

Wingspan

19.96 m

Length

13.51 m

Height

3.63 m

Weight

Empty:5817 kg

Maximum Speed

407 km/h

Range

2494 km

Engine

2 x 1600 hp Allison V-1710-111/113

Armament

1 x 20mm cannon, 4 x .5in machine guns, external bomb load and rocket load of 1814kg

Crew

1

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