LOCKHEED P-38 LIGHTNING OPERATIONAL TIMELINE

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by CORSNING, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. CORSNING

    CORSNING Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Lead maintenance technician.
    Location:
    Clyde, Ohio
    #1 CORSNING, Feb 21, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015
    Hi everyone,
    I have attempted to put together a quick reference sheet for the P-38 in hopes that it will give everyone a better understanding of which model to use when comparing aircraft. And, of course, I have a limited library and knowledge of Lockheed's fighter. I am asking for everyone's help in fine tuning the reference sheet.

    LOCKHEED P-38 LIGHTNING

    Horse power ratings given are for each engine. Where first operational date is not known, date of entry into service (ES) is given.

    XP-38: 1st flight January 27, 1939. V-1710-11/15 @ 3,000 rpm/GE B-1 turbo: 1,150 hp./T.O./S.L. 1,150 hp./25,000 ft.a

    P-38-LO: July 1941 deliveries begin. Unit? V-1710-27/29/GE B-2 turbo: 1,150 hp./T.O./S.L. 1,150 hp./25,000 ft.

    Note: The first P-38s to arrive in England were rated at 42"Hg up to about 20,000 ft., 40"Hg at 25,000 ft., and with further reductions above that altitude.

    P-38D: August 1941 30 delivered to USAAF with 23mm cannon. Aerodynamic changes made and self sealing fuel tanks added. V-1710-27/29.

    Note: P-38s (30) P-38Ds (36) were issued to training units as RP-38s and RP-38Ds respectively.

    P-38E:(ES) November 1941. Stationed in Alaska in the June 1942. V-171027/29.

    Model 322-61: Dec.'41 1st delivered to England. V-1710-C15/3,000 rpm. 1,150 hp./T.O./S.L., 1,040 hp./3,000 rpm./13,600 ft., 930 hp./2,600 rpm./15,000 ft.

    December 7, 1941:
    Note 1: 69 P-38D/Es are in active service. 1st Pursuit Group at Selfridge Field, Michigan is the only full equipped P-38 unit.
    Note 2: P-38E based I Iceland downs a German Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor maritime reconnaissance aircraft, the first aerial kill by American forces.

    P-38F: Mar.1,'42 Deliveries begin to USAAF. V-1710-49/53/GE B-13 turbo/47"Hg: 1,325 hp./T.O./S.L. 1,325 hp./25,000 ft.

    F-4-1: April 16, 1942. 8th Photo Sqn. 1st combat operations. V-1710-27/29.

    P-38F/G: July 1942. 48th, 49th 50th Sqn./14th FG Assemble at March Field.

    P-38F: August 28, 1942. 1st FG (England). V1710-49/53.

    P-38F 1st attempt to intercept German A/C: No contest.

    P-38F-15: (Date?) Maneuver flap settings introduced.

    P-38G-1: (ES) June 1942. (Unit?) v-1710-51/55/47"Hg: 1,325 hp./T.O./S.L., 1,325 hp./25,000 ft.

    P-38G-10 (Date?) (Unit?) External load capacity increased to 3,200 lbs. V-1710-51/55.

    December 27, 1942 P-38s 1st mission in the Southwest Pacific. 39th FS/35th FG.

    F-5A-1: (ES) August 1942. (Unit?) V-1710-51/55.

    P-38F/G: November 16, 1942. 14th FG becomes operational in North Africa.

    February 1943: Ben Kelsey P-38 operational boosting limits report: "We found that below 25,000 ft. we could pull up to 60"Hg (1,600 hp.) of manifold pressure without material harm, and we could run as high as 40" at 40,000 ft." Ben warned of limiting to short duration.

    March 1943 Kelsey recommended a combat rating of 47"Hg at 3,000 rpm (1,325 hp.) up to 20,000 ft. Eighth fighter command eventually established 45" up to 25,000 ft. Wright Field recommended 41" (1,240 hp.) and no war emergency.

    Note: For Eighth Air Force pilots and their crews it was not uncommon for the throttle stops to be removed allowing 60-70"Hg manifold pressure in their P-38H, P-38Js or P-38Ls.

    P-38H: April 1943 Deliveries begin. V-1710-89/91 @ 54"Hg: 1,425 hp./T.O., 60"Hg: 1,600 hp./26,500 ft.
    1st Lightnings with fully automatic engine control and oil radiator flaps.

    P-38H: (ES) Mid-1943. (Unit?)

    P-38H: Oct.15,'43. 1st fully combat operational (?). 55th FG (England)

    P-38J-5: Dec.28,'43. 1st combat mission. 20th FG/8th AF. V-1710-89/91.

    Note: The P-38J, with its redesigned cooling system, was the first Lightning capable of using full rated power without fear of overheating the engine.

    P-38JL March 1944: 55 gallon internal fuel tanks added in outer wing panel leading edges.
    2 x 90 gallon + 2 x 60 gallon + 2 x 55 gallon = 410 gallons total internal fuel.

    Early 1944 The P-38J becomes the standard model Lightning in the ETO.

    P-38J-25: June 1944: New dive recovery flaps 3,000 lbs. hydrayulic boosted ailerons along with proper cockpit heating and defrosting are introduced.

    Dive Recovery Flaps: An added benefit of the dive recovery flaps was their ability to pitch the nose 10-20 degrees "up" momentarily when turning, even if the flap combat position on the selector is being used.

    P-38-5-LOs (June 1944)are modified at Langford Lodge by the addition of replacement kits (dive recovery flaps and boosted ailerons).

    P-38J-10/15: June 1944: Some are being retrofitted in the field with replacement kits.

    P-38L: (ES) June 1944. (Unit?) V-1710-111/113 @ 54 ": 1,425 hp./T.O./S.L., 60"Hg: 1,600 hp./28,700 ft., 54"Hg: 1,425 hp./29,000 ft. 1st tail warning radar in a (USAAF) fighter.

    June 1944: 65"Hg boost approved by Allison on V-1710-89/91

    Early July: 8th AF was operating at 65"Hg boost settings.

    P-38M: January 5,1945. (Unit?) V-1710-111/113

    REFERENCES:
    wwwiiaircraftperformance.com, Mike Williams
    America's Hundred Thousand, Francis H. Dean
    P-38 Lightning vs. Ki-61 Tony, New Guinea 1943-44, Donald Nijboer
    The P-38 Lightning Evolution of Speed and Climb Performance, Wayne Cunningham
    Der Gabelschwanz Teufel, Carlo Kopp

    Please look over what I have posted and feel free to make any corrections or suggestions.

    Jeff
     
  2. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    2,281
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    none
    Location:
    Lazio
    #2 Vincenzo, Feb 21, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015
    for the statistical digest P-38 gone in Alaska in june '42
    statistical digest give 69 P-38 on hand to end of november '41
    same source
    first P-38 in eto (USAAF colours) julliet '42
    same in MTO november '42
    same FEAF august '42

    factory acceptances until november '41 (incluse) 154 (prototypes uncluse)
    december '41: 52
     
  3. varsity07840

    varsity07840 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2013
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    8
    No such thing as a P-38LO. The suffix system was not use prior to the start of the war.

    Duane
     
  4. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    15,205
    Likes Received:
    2,042
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Public Safety Automotive Technician
    Location:
    Redding, California
    Home Page:
    In 1941, an unarmed photo-recon airframe was produced from a P-38E, designated F-4-1-LO

    The LO simply meant it was manufactured at Lockheed's Burbank plant and that identifier system was in place between the mid-1920's through the early 1960's
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,995
    Likes Received:
    438
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Cheers, Jeff :)

    Those should be the P-38F. The engines were up-rated at October 1942, 1325 HP up to 4000 ft (47 in Hg), 1240 HP from 4000 to 25000 ft, per 'Vee's for victory'. The intercoolers were weak spot, eg. here it was only 41.5 in Hg at 3000 rpm (some 1150 HP) at 25000 ft.
    This table is from 1944, granted not many P-38F were left by then. I'm afraid that critical altitudes should be for 'no ram' rather than for 'with ram':

    tab1.jpg

    Military power for the V-1710-C15 (per Allison nomenclature; V-1710-33 per USAF nomenclature) at altitude was 1040 HP at 3000 rpm at 13600 ft (table)

    The -F was 1st delivered in Feb 1942, the -G was 1st delivered in June 1942, if that might help :)

    1240 HP up to 21000 ft, lower power above that:

    tab3.JPG

    Eventually (1944) all P-38s were rated for 2 x 2000 lb external payloads. We know that Lightning II (RAF's aircraft that never was; equivalent of the P-38F) carried 2 x 2000 lb torpedoes. It would be cool if we'd have a better chronology of P-38's external loads.

    tab2.JPG
     
  6. CORSNING

    CORSNING Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Lead maintenance technician.
    Location:
    Clyde, Ohio
    Thank you all for your input. I greatly appreciate the help.

    Jeff
     
Loading...

Share This Page