22
May
09

World War II American Fighters: Lockheed P-38 Lightning

IMG_9286

Nicknamed the fork-tailed devil by the Germans, this American fighter achieved what many nations had hoped for in a twin-engine fighter — one that could actually fight.

IMG_9299

Designed by Kelly Johnson of Lockheed’s Skunkworks, the twin-boom design with a center nacelle for the pilot created an effective gun platform that didn’t have the aiming problems of wing-mounted guns. 

IMG_9312

The aircraft didn’t gain acceptance with US Army Air Corps pilots, however, until after Charles Lindbergh, brought on as a consultant, taught American pilots how to set the fuel mixture on the airplane.  After Lindbergh’s contribution, which greatly increased the range of the aircraft, this long range fighter began to dominate the air in both the Pacific and European theaters.

IMG_9356a

Sleek, fast and deadly, this warplane usually armed with four fifty caliber machine guns and a 20 millimeter canon, served as a bomber escort, interceptor, ground attacker, photo reconnaissance and as a radar equipped night fighter.

 IMG_9361  

This particular P-38, which can be found at the EAA Airventure Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, was piloted by Richard I Bong of Poplar, Wisconsin, America’s Ace of Aces.  Shown here with 26 Japanese kills to his credit, Captain Bong would go on to shoot down 40 Japanese aircraft during World War II which leads all American aces in total number of kills.

Advertisements

1 Response to “World War II American Fighters: Lockheed P-38 Lightning”


  1. May 24, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    I have a model of this plane on my desk at work, I’ve always loved them.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


May 2009
S M T W T F S
« Apr   Jun »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 280 other followers


%d bloggers like this: