P-38 Cockpit heating

Discussion in 'Technical' started by Sgt. Pappy, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. Sgt. Pappy

    Sgt. Pappy Member

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    With all the random sources out there, it's difficult to find some true answers.

    Almost all sources name the Lightning as Der Gabelschwanz Teufel but that whole jazz seems made up propaganda.

    So I'm trying to figure out the actual heating upgrades made to the P-38 in the cockpit and on the cockpit. That is, the pilot's heating and the defrosters. Was it the P-38J that introduced at least adequate heating, while the P-38L perfected it? Or did the heating just suck in all P-38's BUT the L? Some sources say that J's had horrible heating/defrosting, others say it was solved in the J.

    My P-38H, J, L, F-5B pilot's manual states that 'late [P-38] airplanes' have heat ducted from both engines while earlier versions have heat only from the right engine and that 'later airplanes' have electrical heating equipment. Not much detail in the variants there.

    So, question summary:

    1) Was it the P-38J that introduced at least adequate heating, while the P-38L perfected it? Or did the heating just suck in all P-38's BUT the L?

    2) Pilots speak highly of their P-38J's even in the ETO but were they really comfortable and able enough to fight at high alts?

    3) If it was the P-38J, which subvariant solved the heating? J-15? J-25?
     
  2. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    'Der Gabelschwanz Teufel' means the 'fork tailed devil'.

    I have the pilots manual for the P-38 at home, so will check it out for ya over the weekend.
     
  3. Sgt. Pappy

    Sgt. Pappy Member

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    Thanks A4K! Much appreciated. Is it the same manual as mine?

    Oh yes, I meant that Der Gabelschwanz Teufel was more American propaganda perhaps in order to make people think the Germans were absolutely terrified of it. More often than not, improper training for P-38 pilots meant that initially, the Germans didn't have much to fear until later models came out.
     
  4. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    G'day mate!
    Sounds like we've probably got the same manuals, as I couldn't get any more information than that out of mine. Sorry about that.
     
  5. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Sgt,

    >Oh yes, I meant that Der Gabelschwanz Teufel was more American propaganda perhaps in order to make people think the Germans were absolutely terrified of it.

    It might be more of a post-war invention by the writer and warbird lover Martin Caidin, from what I've heard.

    I can tell you for certain that "Gabelschwanzteufel" is just one syllable short of a tongue twister, at least for my North German voice organ.

    I'm sure that even if someone in the German forces had come up with that name, it would have been eroded to "Gabi" pretty quickly - a (once) rather popular girl's name in Germany.

    The absence of references to "Gabelschwanzteufeln" or "Gabis" in books written by Luftwaffe airmen and the routine use of the name "Lightning" to describe the type leads me to conclude that the Germans never knew of this supposed nickname in WW2.

    "Gabelschwanz" actually sounds more like an ornithological term, as the Red Kite and the Black Kite were called "Gabelweihen" ('forked harriers') for the shape of their tails. (You'll probably recognize the "...weihe" part of the name as it was applied to the Focke-Wulf Fw 58, too :)

    I've seen an RLM-approved aircraft recognition book from WW2 that provided mnemonic names for the various types, such as "three-finger Ju" for the Ju 88 (for the looks of the short nose between the two produting engines), and it simply listed the P-38 as "zweischwänzige Lightning" ('twin-tailed Lightning').

    Quite logical, as the tail does not actually fork! :)

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  6. Sgt. Pappy

    Sgt. Pappy Member

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    Hah then I'm right about the propaganda.

    Thanks HoHun. So many books a.k.a. 'reliable resources' have said that the Germans called it the Gabelschwanz teufel, and the same books state the P-38J's weight IDENTICAL to the L which makes no sense... even the P-38J blocks prior to the J-25.

    So I'm having a hard time with the details like cockpit heating, electrical equipment and so forth without running into false info. if anyone has some great, test-proven data on the P-38 (like weights) that may help me a lot. Thanks!
     
  7. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Interesting info Henning, thanks!

    Will let you know if I find anything, Sgt.
     
  8. KevinB

    KevinB New Member

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    I’m very new here so please excuse the avtar and such till I get this figured out.

    I doubt Lockheed would go through the trouble of ducting heat from both sides because of complexity of ducting and weight from both engines through the already crowded wing. If the pilot looses an engine the pilot will make up the heat from standing on the rudder pedal :)
    ...I'm thinking this aircraft probably needs to be held in a good bank with one engine out…cockpit heat is not critical compared to other issues IMHO, and I’d be surprised to find out that they brought heat from both sides.

    Interested,
     
  9. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Kevin, have you ever head of "Rudder Trim?"
     
  10. KevinB

    KevinB New Member

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    are you saying that you think twins engine aircraft (in general) fly straight with rudder trim and prime engine out? Ummm ....do you you know what Vmc means?"


    clue: It's not the minimum speed you can control with "rudder trim"

    also:

    same question while trying to make best ias?

    back to the bank comment:
     
  11. KevinB

    KevinB New Member

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    I'm thinking my time on this forum will be short
     
  12. KevinB

    KevinB New Member

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    ADIOS

    ignore the mention of prime since this A/C is counter-rotating props,
     
  13. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Minimum controllable airspeed, and I guess with regards to this discussion, airspeed with regards to yaw, usually applied to discussions around engine out take offs - Yes I'm a pilot and a flight instructor - how many times have you flown a twin with one engine out????

    But to answer your first question it also depends on the aircraft - in a P-38 - yes, in an older Piper Aztec, maybe at sea level while crossing your fingers.

    And again, discussed with regards to engine outs during take off.....

    Your call....


    And it also means the P-38 never had a critical engine if you know what that is....
     
  14. KevinB

    KevinB New Member

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    I think it's pretty common knowledge that engine out is a need for bank. If we bank towards the good engine, the horizontal component of the tilted lift opposes the yawing into the dead engine. 5 degrees of bank is what I was trained to expect when I was training for M.E.L.
    Anyway; A twin that fly’s coordinated with engine out and only rudder trim as you assert? Maybe in a flight simulator…. I've not been such an aircraft that handles asymetrical thrust like you assert. Maybe this is specific to some aircraft you've logged time in??

    Flight Instructor?? I'm glad you werent mine. My MEI always used the saying “ball”- “bank”- “Blue” you ever hear of this?

    Hint: The "Ball" is the coordinator ---remember step on the ball?
    The "bank" is the amount of bank to maintain coordinated flight
    the blue is the blue Vyse line (single engine best rate of climb)

    Back to Vmc:
    Typically the yaw axis of control is the first to be lost at Vmc…..Vmc is not based on the aircraft’s ability to maintain yaw control with just trim as you seem to assert above. I think that if you look at all operating procedures it will tell you airspeed must be maintained above Vmc. It’s been my experience that Vmc with a twin is the airspeed that full deflection of rudder will not maintain directional stability… and all bad things follow. So basically; I am asserting that the ability to maintain directional stability with trim alone goes away at a speed higher than Vmc.

    I disagree that you can trim this aircraft straight and level with engine out as you seem to assert with simply rudder trim. I'm sorry but we’ll have to disagree on this point.
     
  15. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    And of course you're talking on takeoff in a GA aircraft that has a critical engine - the P-38 DID NOT have a critical engine.

    Actually there is one, an Aero Twin Commander 520 with the IO-540 (Coleman) conversion found on the later models. - but since we were talking P-38, the actual engine out proceudre is to REDUCE power on the good engine, feather and trim.....
    I'm not a MEI but that's OK, a student is as good as his or her instructor, or is that the other way around....:rolleyes:
    Yes I have see above.....
    OK, and your point with regards to a P-38?
    That's a procedure in a GA light twin - I've had time in a 737 full motion sim and flown (training) 737s -200 and it all rudder....

    But then again we're now talking jets, different aninal.....
    Again, we're talking P-38, GA and now airliners - all different, expect if you flown an aero commander or a shrike commander.....
     
  16. KevinB

    KevinB New Member

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    Flyboy:
    I’m thinking you and I may be on a slightly different frequency.



    I still hope to learn something from you guys and I think what you guys are providing here is invaluable.


    I still doubt that Lockheed would have ducted heat from both engines. As a planner, I’d say that flight is over and a %50 chance of having cabin heat is good enough till the A/C is back on the ground from the levels with a serviceable aircraft.

    KB
     
  17. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    perhaps.....

    Thanks - all of us bring something to the table, that's what makes this site so unique...


    Actually getting back to that query - there was a heat exchanger in the right engine (a shroud around the exhaust, similar to GA aircraft) used for cabin heating - in later models the same set up was placed on both engines (I believe the fist block of J models). This also worked the windscreen defrost. There was also an electrical hook-up for an electrically heated flight suit.
     
  18. KevinB

    KevinB New Member

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    Great Info...Thanks
     
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