Lockheed P-38 Lightning. The Lockheed P-38 Lightning was a World War II American fighter aircraft built by Lockheed. Developed to a United States Army Air Corps requirement, the P-38 had distinctive twin booms and a single, central nacelle containing the cockpit and armament. Named "fork-tailed devil" by the Luftwaffe and "two planes, one pilot" by the Japanese, this unique
The P-38 Lightning introduced a new dimension to American fighters - a second engine. The multi-engine configuration reduced the Lightning loss-rate to anti-aircraft gunfire during ground attack missions. Single-engine airplanes equipped with power plants cooled by pressurized liquid, such as the North American P-51 Mustang, were particularly vulnerable. Even a small nick in one coolant line could cause the engine to seize in a matter of minutes.
The Lightning designed by Lockheed engineer Clarence "Kelly" Johnson and his team of designers, represented one of the most radical departures from tradition in American fighter development. The Lightning was a complete break-away from conventional airframe design, power, and at long last, armament. Not only did it have twice the power and almost twice the size of its predecessors, but with no less than four .50 cal. machine guns plus a 20 mm cannon, the P-38 had enough firepower to sink a ship--and sometimes did. Concentrated in the central fuselage pod, the guns fired parallel which eliminated a need for a propeller synchronizer.
Tags: Lockheed P-38 Lightning, P-38, Lightning, Dogfight, Bombing, Death, Cannon, World War 2, Allies, Axis, Europe, Pacific, world at war, Hitler, Stalin, Kelly Johnson, Lockheed, Airpower, USAF, Luftwaffe
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