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Lockheed P-38 test planes and planned developments

GTX

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Hi folks,

I recently came across this proposal for a P-38 fitted with a 75mm cannon (+ two 12.7mm MGs). Note that the central pod is re-profiled to accomodate the cannon. The second and third pics show the usual P-38 pod shape against the re-profiled pod.

Regards,

Greg
 

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red admiral

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Many thanks for this. I'd seen it mentioned before somewhere. A book on Air Warfare by Chris Chant IIRC (not sure). From what I remember one P38 was such modified then tested in a ground firing which destroyed the airframe.
 

GTX

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Hi folks,

Here's another one that made it to at least the mock-up stage: The "six-shooter" with two 20mm cannon instead of the usual single one.

Regards,

Greg
 

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GTX

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Hi folks,

Some more P-38 developments - this time as a glider tug. As you can see this was actually trialed. The final pic shows the special harness required. Apparently, the number of gliders able to be towed by one P-38 up to 3 waco CG-4A type gliders.

Regards,

Greg
 

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Jemiba

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Mating a P-38 to a transport glider was also tried on a different way i
n 1949, when a piggy back combination of a british Hamilcar and a P-38
was tested in the US
(from J.E.Mrazek "Kampfsegler im 2.Weltkrieg" )
 

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Archibald

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GTX said:
Hi folks,

I recently came across this proposal for a P-38 fitted with a 75mm cannon (+ two 12.7mm MGs). Note that the central pod is re-profiled to accomodate the cannon. The second and third pics show the usual P-38 pod shape against the re-profiled pod.

Regards,

Greg
Some would think that this P-38 looks fat,
BUT at least
- it has a bubble canopy
- it looks much more futuristic like this!
 

GTX

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Hi folks,

Yet another P-38 development/trial - this time in the Torpedo carrying role - apparrently two torps could be carried.

Regards,

Greg
 

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yasotay

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I have always been curious to know if there was ever a consideration to put RR Merlin and/or four bladed propellers on the P-38 ???
 

red admiral

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There was no serious consideration given to it, but quite likely some thought about it.
 

elmayerle

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I wish I could see a drawing of what was reported as being Kelly Johnson's idea of the "ultimate P-38". It would've had the extended center nacelle of the "Lightning Swordfish", a bubble canopy, and the radiators and oil coolers mounted in the wing leading edge, much like those of the Mosquito. I can see that they might have looked at putting the intercoolers there, too, but I can see several issues that would complicate that. In any case, such a redesign would've forced a considerable "hiccup" in production and was never authorized by the USAAF.

Now, if you remove the turbocharger and intercooler and replace the engines with two-stage supercharged Merlin 61s or so, you'd have some weight and balance problems by removing all that mass aft of the cg, but there are ways of coping with that. A better alternative would be the mods tested on the P-38K (http://home.att.net/~C.C.Jordan/P-38K.html). It would definitely be an interesting subject to model. Looking at that page, I wonder how much higher the thrust line had to be as I'd love to model an "ultimate P-38" with all those mods.
 

Firefly 2

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red admiral said:
Many thanks for this. I'd seen it mentioned before somewhere. A book on Air Warfare by Chris Chant IIRC (not sure). From what I remember one P38 was such modified then tested in a ground firing which destroyed the airframe.
Was this aircraft meant to have a anti-tank/ anti - shipping role? Or was it still intended as an interceptor?
I know the Germans tried various times to build aircraft with big bore guns, also for the intercepting role.
 

hesham

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Hi,

I think this project was developed from P-38 as
cargo aircraft,please see;
http://www.google.com/patents?id=70tQAAAAEBAJ&printsec=abstract&zoom=4&dq=Bleriot+aircraft#PPA2,M1
 

Apophenia

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hesham said:
Hi,

I think this project was developed from P-38 as
cargo aircraft,please see;
http://www.google.com/patents?id=70tQAAAAEBAJ&printsec=abstract&zoom=4&dq=Bleriot+aircraft#PPA2,M1
Wild concept!

From the planform and cropped horizontal tail, the base design may have been the XP-58 Chain Lightning?
 

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Sentinel Chicken

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There was also a floatplane version of the P-38- I can't recall off hand if it made it to flight hardware, though. There was a single strut under each engine connecting to a float and the tail booms were swept upwards to keep them clear of the spray/water.

I'm blanking out on the book's title, but it was a book that covered the operational history of the P-38 and it had several pics/line drawings of the floatplane Lightning.
 

Apophenia

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Sentinel Chicken said:
There was also a floatplane version of the P-38- I can't recall off hand if it made it to flight hardware, though. There was a single strut under each engine connecting to a float and the tail booms were swept upwards to keep them clear of the spray/water.

I'm blanking out on the book's title, but it was a book that covered the operational history of the P-38 and it had several pics/line drawings of the floatplane Lightning.
Very interesting ... I'd love to see those line drawings. I assume that the booms would be the same as for the prototype modified for tail flutter reduction.

This is much more radical than the float P-38 concept mentioned elsewhere. They all describe a simple twin float attachment to allow long-range, over-water ferry flight by otherwise standard P-38s.
 
J

joncarrfarrelly

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Apophenia said:
Sentinel Chicken said:
There was also a floatplane version of the P-38- I can't recall off hand if it made it to flight hardware, though. There was a single strut under each engine connecting to a float and the tail booms were swept upwards to keep them clear of the spray/water.

I'm blanking out on the book's title, but it was a book that covered the operational history of the P-38 and it had several pics/line drawings of the floatplane Lightning.
Very interesting ... I'd love to see those line drawings. I assume that the booms would be the same as for the prototype modified for tail flutter reduction.

This is much more radical than the float P-38 concept mentioned elsewhere. They all describe a simple twin float attachment to allow long-range, over-water ferry flight by otherwise standard P-38s.
The aircraft with the upswept booms, 41-1986, was so converted as part of the seaplane development program, the modification had nothing to do with tail flutter reduction research. The tail flutter story pertaining to 41-1986 is old and incorrect.
The float conversion was to enable the P-38 to self ferry among the islands, the aircraft were to retain their retractable undercarriage and the floats were to attach to the wing center section, not the booms. The intent was that after the aircraft arrived at their forward base the floats would be removed and the aircraft would operate as regular land-based aircraft.
Two different revised boom and tailplane configurations were tested on the aircraft, 41-1986 was also the first of the two-seat P-38s.

Jon
 

GTX

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I came across this a while back:

Very early in the Pacific War, a scheme was proposed to fit Lightnings with floats to allow them to make long-range ferry flights. The floats would be removed before the aircraft went into combat. There were concerns that salt spray would corrode the tailplane, and so one P-38E was modified with a raised tailplane and a rearward-facing second seat for an observer to monitor the effectiveness of the new arrangement. This P-38E was not actually fitted with floats, and the idea was quickly abandoned since the US Navy proved to have enough sealift capacity to keep up with P-38 deliveries to the South Pacific.

Regards,

Greg
 

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Apophenia

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Greg,

Excellent find! There's a fine what-if project.

Jon,

Thanks for the correction on 41-1986. That tail flutter story goes back at least as far as William Green's War Planes of The Second World War series.

Cheers
 

airman

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P-322 Lightning - export variant
a navalized variant, and
P-49 : based on P-38 but with 2× Continental XI-1430-1 inverted V-12s, 1,600 hp
here more detail :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_XP-49
 

Jos Heyman

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Add to that the XP-58, a development of the Lightning with a crew of two. Two aircraft were ordered with serials 41-2670/2671 but only the first one was completed. It flew on 6 June 1944.
There was also the F-4 and F-5 photographic versions.
 

frank

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I don't think it was a development of the Lightning, just similar in design. IIRC, it was about the size of a P-61 & powered by two W-3420s.


Jos Heyman said:
Add to that the XP-58, a development of the Lightning with a crew of two. Two aircraft were ordered with serials 41-2670/2671 but only the first one was completed. It flew on 6 June 1944.
There was also the F-4 and F-5 photographic versions.
 

Caravellarella

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You can consider the Lockheed Constellation as a Lightning development if you want; the Constellation used a scaled up Lightning wing......

Terry (Caravellarella)
 

hesham

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Hi,

here is a perspective views based on sketched by C.L. Kelley Johnson,
the proposed ski and float versions are also illustrated.
 

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Antonio

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here is a perspective views based on sketched by C.L. Kelley Johnson,
hesham, please, where did you found that?
 

hesham

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My dear Pometablava,

please receive my special message.

Here is the P-38 variants from the book,The American Fighter.
 

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lark

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The sketches in Heshams reply nr.23 appeared in two batches the
American magazine "Flying" of August 1945.

First group , design idea's that led to the P-38
Second group , proposed versions of the Lightning.
 

Pioneer

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Apophenia said:
hesham said:
Hi,

I think this project was developed from P-38 as
cargo aircraft,please see;
http://www.google.com/patents?id=70tQAAAAEBAJ&printsec=abstract&zoom=4&dq=Bleriot+aircraft#PPA2,M1
Wild concept!

From the planform and cropped horizontal tail, the base design may have been the XP-58 Chain Lightning?
Could this possibly have been a quicker and cheaper alternative to the Northrop P-61 Blackwidow?

Regards
Pioneer
 

frank

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Like the P-38M?


Pioneer said:
Apophenia said:
hesham said:
Hi,

I think this project was developed from P-38 as
cargo aircraft,please see;
http://www.google.com/patents?id=70tQAAAAEBAJ&printsec=abstract&zoom=4&dq=Bleriot+aircraft#PPA2,M1
Wild concept!

From the planform and cropped horizontal tail, the base design may have been the XP-58 Chain Lightning?
Could this possibly have been a quicker and cheaper alternative to the Northrop P-61 Blackwidow?

Regards
Pioneer
 

robunos

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To go with Hesham's post here :-

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,1639.msg106296.html#msg106296


From Kookaburra's 'Lockheed P-38 Lightning Described' Roy Cross, 1969, page 2


cheers,
Robin.
 

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sagallacci

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Regarding the question about using the P-58 as a short-cut P-61 alternative - nah. The P-58 was a over-size and over-weight bomber-destroyer/heavy escort concept, handicapped with engines that didn't get built, the Allison 3420s were the third(?)fourth(?) engine choice, and varying mixes of weapons. The P-61 was a straight-forward purpose designed nightfighter that avoided changing roles, configurations, and general hardware inflation that nearly doubled the weight of the P-58 over its developement. Only one P-58 was completed and flown with only mediocre results.
 

Stargazer2006

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My reply as usual, Steve... "Google is your friend".

From Joe Baugher's website:

53193 (F-5G-6-LO) to RFC at Kingman AAF Nov 2, 1946.
To civil registry as NX34993 in 1947.
To N34993, to CF-NMW, then N3005. Shipped to Canada for scrap in 1965.
Restored fitted with F-80 nose. Registration N38PS reserved but not taken up.
Crashed and destroyed near Whitehouse, OH Aug 1, 1978, killing the pilot.
Restoration project after crash, Kissimmee, Florida.
Marked as N3005/PS
There is also a whole page on this particular bird at WarbirdRegistry.org:
Lockheed P-38 Lightning/44-53193
 

JFC Fuller

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I apologise if this question has already been asked but I am wondering if anyone has a line drawing of the XP/P-38K? I understand that no photograph of the type currently exists but I imagine that someone somewhere has produced some sort of graphical representation based on surviving plans?

I must confess that after stumbling on the Boeing XB-38 (which is a beautiful aircraft) I have something of a fascinationwith the V1710 engine at the moment and the P-38K seems to be the ultimate secret project for that power plant.
 

JFC Fuller

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Apparently that is the 1st test aircraft and not the more comprehensive second airframe.
 

Arjen

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No picture, but a discussion on aero-web.org about the P-38K. http://www.aero-web.org/specs/lockheed/p-38k.htm
There was a mule. There was a real P-38K. They get confused all the time.

<edit> A picture, but it is a picture of the Mule, same as the one on http://www.456fis.org/P-38K.htm, but possibly a better scan. According to Warren M. Bodie in his "The Lockheed P-38 Lightning", Widewing Publications, 1991, the Mule had identical propellers to the sole P-38K-1-LO. Bodie writes in chapter 13:
...an airplane that resembled the P-38J like a twin brother but was a better performer in most categories. That airplane was the Lockheed P-38K-1-LO...
In other words, P-38J and P-38K were much alike. The Mule as pictured shows the Hamilton-Standard propellers as also fitted to the P-38K. All in all, combining the Mule and a standard P-38J should provide a reasonable picture of what the P-38K looked like.
Mr Bodie's book is the most comprehensive account I have yet been able to find of the Lightning. He has lots more to tell about the P-38. Highly recommended.</edit>
 

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