P-38 captured!

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by pampa14, Sep 20, 2015.

  1. pampa14

    pampa14 Active Member

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    I share with you some rare pictures (in color and w/b) of fighters Lockheed P-38 Lightnings captured and with German and Italian markings during World War II. Does anyone know how many were captured and how they came to Europe once they have been used in the Pacific? To view the photos visit the link below:


    Aviação em Floripa: P-38 Lightning capturados


    Best Regards.
     
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  2. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Good stuff!
     
  3. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #3 GregP, Sep 20, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
    Nice shots, Pampa. I can tell you from experience that I would hate to try to make a P-38F flyable without a tech order!
     
  4. rank amateur

    rank amateur Member

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    I would think that the last p38, the one with the roundels was not captured but simply deliverd.
     
  5. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    We didn't fight very hard with the British at that time. We surrendered it in return for some beer, bangers and mashed, and maybe a date with a good-looking Brit lady.
     
  6. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Could it have been Romanian colours?
     
  7. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    That would have to be an early war RAF roundel, if that was the case, as the roundel changed in 1942.
     
  8. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    I'd hesitate to colorize a black and white pic ... but maybe it could have been another nationality.

    There goes the beer, bangers and mashed, and the British lady. Damn! It was starting to look like a good time.
     
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  9. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    #9 fubar57, Sep 21, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
  10. IdahoRenegade

    IdahoRenegade Member

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    At least 3 "P-38s" were delivered to the British in early '42. They were part of the order for the model 322. The Brits insisted on a P-38 variant with 2 same-rotation engines (IIRC V-1710C engines) for compatibility with the P-40s they had. They also specified NO turbochargers. Both of these changes were resisted by Lockheed, who's engineers referred to them as the "Castrated Lightnings".

    At least one captured '38 was used in the MTO to ambush our bombers. IIRC it was flown by an Italian ace. He was finally brought down by a YB-40 (B-17 gunship), but not until after he shot the crap out of it.
     
  11. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    NOT TRUE - this fairy tale was made up by Martin Cadin in the book "Fork Tailed Devil." The YB-40 was never operated anywhere near Italy.
     
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  12. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    This passage is wrong on some accounts. Do you have source for claims that Lockheed was against producing non-turbo V-1710s, and that RAF was specifying just non-turbo 322s?
     
  13. IdahoRenegade

    IdahoRenegade Member

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    Interesting and thank you for the correction. There are several pages devoted to that story IIRC in the book. I know he was off on several other claims in that book (not the least with his attacks on Kesley), I should have fact checked that one.
     
  14. IdahoRenegade

    IdahoRenegade Member

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    That was detailed in Bodie's book. According to him, they not only specified non-turboed and non-"handed" engines, they actually specified the 1710C, which was somewhat obsolete and superseded by an improved single-stage supercharged version at the time. Supposedly for commonality with their P-40s. I have not verified that from other sources.
     
  15. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    That P-38 was never "brought down", the Italians ruined the engines with their low grade fuel.
     
  16. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #16 GregP, Oct 2, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015
    The British order for specifically non-turbocharged non-handed engines is very well documented. Allison could not have cared less, but Lockheed didn't want to do that to the P-38.

    All Allison V-1710 base aero power units were single stage supercharged engines. Some in the 100 series added an auxiliary stage to make an effective 2-stage engine, mostly for the Bell P-63 ... but the base unit was single-stage supercharged.

    Late in the war Allison designed and the V-1710-127 (government description). The Allison description was the V-1710 E22. E means it drove a driveshaft. F means it drove a propeller. Most of the useful Allison were either Es, Fs, or Gs. The G had a heavier-duty nosecase, gears, stronger rods, and made more HP up higher. They were late in the game, and not many were made. They look very similar to an F but the nosecase parts are not interchangeable and some internal engine parts are much stronger than the E/F series. Notably the rods.

    They DID make one turbo-compound engine that made some 2800 HP and ran it on a test bench, but it never flew as far as I know.
     
  17. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    If Bodie really wrote that British were somehow against the turboed Lightning, then he is wrong. The order for 500+ of turboed Ligning IIs is documented on both 'Vee's for victory' and 'America's hundred thousands', books where much more sober aproach is used. The order for Lighning I (= no turbo, engine V-1710 C-15), both by French and British, preceeded the order for Lighning II (turbo, V-1710-27/29, ie. F series engines). The C-15 engine was indeed used on the P-40s produced in 1940.
    We might recall that, by the time British and French were ordering, there was no example of either static of flying P-38 with turbo, or without turbo for that matter.

    Why Lockheed will not want to produce non-turbo P-38? They can produce them faster, it will be cheaper for the costumer, yet Lockheed will make at least same money per aircraft produced.

    Calling any V-1710 as a member of 100 series is misleading. The reasonably widely produced V-1710-93 was 2-stage suprecharged, for example.
     
  18. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Lockheed didn't want to produce the single-rotation unit and they also knew planes headed for Europe would need altitude performance. Both the single-rotation and the non-turbo would result in unhappy customers, and Lockheed wasn't looking for that outcome.

    In the end, the government order prevailed. Nobody at Lockheed liked it much. Allison wouldn't have cared since the engines had left the shipping dock in the as-ordered configuration. After all, they were an engine manufacturer, not a airframe supplier.
     
  19. IdahoRenegade

    IdahoRenegade Member

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    #19 IdahoRenegade, Oct 4, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015
    There wasn't a "Lightning I" order that preceded a "Lightning II" order, per Bodie anyway. All were ordered as Is. The British did indeed change the "Lightning I" order to a mix of "Lightning Is (model 322B) the "Lightning II" (turboed version) for a portion of their order (524 of the approximately 670 piece order). They learned quickly during the BOB and realized the non-turbocharged versions would not do what they needed. And by that time the BoB was over and there wasn't quite the desperate need that there had been. I THINK the Lightning IIs were supposed to be "equivalent to the P-38-e", which would have been "handed" and turboed engines. However, Britain cancelled the order for all but 3 airplanes, I think all "Lightning Is, prior to the first delivery. I wish Bodie's book was available as an e-book, it would make searching much easier!
     
  20. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #20 GregP, Oct 4, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015
    You're being much too picky, Tomo.

    The V-1710-93 had an auxiliary stage added. It was not an engine with internal 2-stages, and could easily be tuned to run without the auxiliary stage by the addition of standard parts. It had the external auxiliary stage. Yes, it functioned as a 2-stage engine, but the basic engine was still a single-stage supercharged V-12 that had the pressure carburetor fed by the aux stage.

    As far as I know, the complete list of V-1710s with auxiliary stages or even the odd 3-speed would be the -45, -47, -57, the oddball -65 with Panial supercharger, -93, -97, -101, -103, -109, -109A, -111, -113, -117, -119, -121, -123, and -125.

    The -45 is meaningless since they only made one.

    The -47 is mostly meaningless. They flew 3 and they flew in the 3 XP-63s, one of which was supposed to get a Merlin, but the Allison outclimbed it and it was re-engined with an Allison instead. Neither of the two Merlin-engined P-63s were completed with Merlins in them. The XP-63s never made it into service, so nobody other than a few test pilots ever saw one.

    The -57 is meaningless since they only made one.

    The -65 never flew AFAIK.

    The -93 did make it into the early P-63As, of which the USA got few. They only made 200 P-63A-8s, 730 P-63A-10s and 38 TP-63A-10s. 2,397 of 3,303 of all P-63 variants went to the Soviet Union, and the vast majority of the early -93's went to someone else and we never saw them except for the delivery flights through Alaska.

    The -97 is meaningless as it was a test mule.

    All the rest of the V-1710s equipped with auxiliary stage superchargers were of the -100 series and that is why all the allison experts ignore the sub-100 series engines ... very few were actually flown and the survivors with the aux stages are rare. I know of exactly two that are avialable for overhaul at this time and, if anyone wants them, they will only be sold with -100 engines and 12-lobe crankshafts.

    So what I said earlier pretty much goes. Our regular service pilots really only saw the -100 series Allisons with the Aux-stage superchargers. A few test pilots saw earlier Aux-stage units, but they never made service and nobody who went through USAAF A&P school who got assigned to active-duty units had much to do with the sub -100 aux-stage engines except for a very few early P-63As that we got. The P-63s we DID get usually went to reserve units. We assigned 1825 P-63 serial numbers, but actually got about 900 of them, the vast majority of which had -100 series Allisons installed. I doubt we ever saw more than maybe 50 of the early P-63As with -93 engines, and they were never issued to combat units.

    None of the P-63s in US service was ever acepted for combat use even though they had great climb rates, very fast roll rates, and were only some 11 or so mph slower than the P-51. They certainly would have been better than some of the mounts we were flying at the time, but the war was already being won and another supply chain wasn't needed. The P-63 had a LOT of Soviet design input after initial deliveries. Their suggestions were incorporated and resulted in a much beter final product ... for the Soviet Union. After all, they WERE the primary customer.

    I believe the Soviets were responsible for moving the cannon forward and almost doubling the ammunition capacity and they made several other changes to ensure the P-63 could recover from flat spins. It proved to be a good bird for them.

    The guys who fly the Palm Springs P-63 in our airshow love it, and report light and responsive handling.
     
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