P-38 Planes of Fame Hangar Talk

The plane unfortunately had some mechanical difficulties and didn’t make a full flyover. Here are some shots and details from the day.

This is the plane that was used in Operation Vengeance and it was designed, first requested a design from the United States Army Air Force for their call for a high altitude dog fighter. could climb up to 20,000 feet in six minutes. And so it was awarded to Lockheed to develop this type of plane and this is the same Lockheed that became the Skunk Works. She’s a rare configuration because she has twin booms and the twin booms are there to accommodate the twin allison engine which each one is 1710 cubic inch displacements and 425 plus power. Armament was 4 50 caliber machine guns and 1 20 millimeter cannon. Now, if you know anything about the 50 caliber machine guns, you could fire anywhere from 600 rounds to 800 rounds a minute. That’s 13 bullets per second. So you multiply that by four, you have quite a bit of firepower. Also, the 20-millimeter gun alone is a huge, huge round that will destroy another aircraft. So they have 13 bullets coming out of each gun, every second, and they’re throwing a couple of pounds of hope in front of you. This design also allowed the armament to be mounted in the nose. And the mounting there, that means the pilot is shooting at what he wants to shoot at is the direction he’s flying at. before other planes have those 50 cals out on the wings and they have to compensate for something called converging fire which means you both all four guns have to be planes in a direction about 400 yards ahead of you. P-38 is not like that. You fly at what you want to shoot at. Of the 10,000 or so built, there are quite a few not unaccounted for. So we have maybe only six of these incredible planes that we can fly.

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