P-38 Air Filter

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Nov 16, 2008
Can anyone tell me if the air filter mounted in the main wheel wells of the P-38 was present on the J series operating in Europe? Here's a diagram of the unit from another thread on this site. It's #6 in the top diagram and #18 in the lower one.


Because this unit is tucked into the wheel well, there is no way of seeing it in period photos on the net. Thanks.
My understanding is that an air filter was factory installed on the production line as standard from the H model onward. However, I do not know if it was the same arrangement as in the drawings you posted for the J & L models.

Also, an air filter may have been factory installed on some of the late-G models, but I do not know for sure.
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I would guess if this shows up in the maintenance manuals, it was a required installation. Also consider the system it's providing filtration for.
Thanks guys. The P-38 parts manual does show this installation for the J and L as well as the H. I thought that maybe it was tropical option only much like the British and German filters used in the desert but I have found nothing saying that this item was for dusty conditions only.

I am building a model of an ETO P-38J. Tamiya includes the parts for the filter but ask that you not install it.
From the P-38 Training Manual dated August 1945
P-38 Training Manual.png

Also, Technical Order No. 01-75-8 dated 16 June 1943 states that all P-38 aircraft thru the G-10 and associated F-4/F-5 aircraft are to be fitted with ". . . a permanent air filter assembly . . . as soon as possible, and not later than the next 50-hour inspection . . ." The reason stated is "To reduce excessive oil consumption and engine malfunctioning caused by the ingestion of dust, sand, and other foreign material into the air intake system . . ."
Interesting info. I'm leaning toward these being installed on my bird. I know the Brits had issues with their Typhoons operating from dusty French airfields and had to come up with a rapid solution to block direct air ingestion into the carb intake while on the ground.

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