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P-38 Lightning Speculation Thread


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46 minutes ago, PatrickAWlson said:

McGuire was known to use flaps to turn with Zeros,  but that was not recommended tactics.

 

 

There is a flap position labeled MANEUVER.  What got McGuire on that fateful day is his flight spotted a couple of EA down low very early in their patrol, one that McGuire wanted to complete to maximize his chance of EA encounters, so he told to flight to engage without dropping their still heavy tanks.  So he was trying to pull off his tight turning trick with full internal and partially full external fuel tanks.  I'm not sure what the book max G load limit is with full external tanks, but that would be a structural issue.

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3 hours ago, Feathered_IV said:

Without Zeros or Ki-61s to fly against, its hard for me to get excited about the P-38 yet.  :mellow:

Part of me feels that way as well. Would love to fly the 38 in the IL-2 engine, diving on some Zeros with a brilliant green tropical jungle and clear blue water below. 

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"So he was trying to pull off his tight turning trick with full internal and partially full external fuel tanks.  I'm not sure what the book max G load limit is with full external tanks, but that would be a structural issue."

 

Or he spun it. The accounts I have read were that he went in upside down after stalling and losing control of the aircraft. G limits would likely not be the thing that killed him when trying to reef a fully loaded fighter around in a descending turn, and a few eye witnesses have said McGuire spun it. Additionally, McGuire is known to have said that you are never to try to turn in a P-38 with external tanks mounted; this may be a structural deal but I imagine he also had flown his plane enough on the edge that he knew it would most likely stall/spin, and he either forgot (not likely in my opinion) or was comfy enough in his own abilities flying the P-38 that he thought he could get around and drop tanks once he had his nose on the target (an enemy plane attacking a squadron mate). 

 

One thing I am hopeful for is the tight turning ability I have read about many times. With or without asymmetric thrust I should, per reading, be able to out turn just about everything with a single engine at around 90kts. Sure, that ain't no way to survive in a dogfight, level turns at 90kts vs staying fast and high, but it is a last ditch or response tactic that was apparently very effective vs Bf109, but in 1946 series you'll get your buns toasted trying it, even against human pilots. I would like to see the fabled maneuverability of the real life lightning modeled; I want to pull wingtip vapor on landing approach in front of a bunch of P-47 pilots like I've read about. I am already IN LOVE with my P-38 in the legacy game, flew it every chance I got and was successful in it, but that was the piece I always felt I was missing. 

 

~Rob

 

 

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The Bodenplatte planes should all have access to M20 API-T, and pilots in the ETO did use M20 only belts on at least some occasions, as encounter reports attest to.

 

Also keep in mind the top speed cited for the 38L in here was with 60" MAP.

Edited by PainGod85
Autocorrect :(
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Glad somebody brought up the hydraulic assistance in the 38 - I had forgotten that!  Overall I think the 38 will be a fine bird - I think it will match up to the late war Kraut assets like how some of the Russian planes do now.  In other words stick to your advantages but you can still fly her very agressively.  I think it'll be a fine bird in the lineup - perhaps not the most competitive on paper but still a great plane.  I look forward to flying her and surprising pilots with some of her lesser known qualities.

 

As an aside I have become so accustomed to the lethality of merely 2 50 cals I cannot fathom people even suggesting that somehow 4 50's and a 20mm won't be instantly lethal.  I already shoot down 109's with less than a half second squirt from 2 50's...  guess I just don't value the surplus lethality as highly.  

 

von Luck

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2 hours ago, PainGod85 said:

The Bodenplatte planes should all have access to M20 API-T, and pilots in the ETO did use M20 only belts on at least some occasion, as encounter reports attest to.

 

Also keep in mind the top speed cited for the 38L in here was with 60" MAP.

Agreed.

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23 hours ago, MaxVonDayGlow said:

 

The early model P-38's didn't do well in the ETO. Lack of superchargers and dive flaps (Late J models and forward) to prevent compressibility made it unsuited for escort duty and combat against the LW. By the time these issues were sorted out P-47s and P-51s had entered the theater to take up escort roles. Cost and complexity more than anything else kept the P-38 from being used in much larger numbers in all theaters.

 

America's two top aces (Bong and McGuire) scored their victories in the P-38 against much more nimble opponents. If modeled correctly the P-38L will be among the best air superiority fighters in IL2.

 

I think the only P-38 without the turbo superchargers were the bastardized model 322s sold to the British. I don't think they were ever used as anything other than test flights and training.

 

If the P-38 didn't perform well in Europe early in the war, it was a combination of tactics still in the experimental stages, inexperienced pilots and a limited number of planes, especially after most were transferred to North Africa. Had more of them been available in 1943 to use as long range escort, Eighth AF Bomber Command might not have suffered the tremendous losses they did at Schweinfurt and Regensburg.

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2 hours ago, Kawolski_VII said:

I think it was not well liked by ETO pilots in part because of its lack of amenities. Things like a lack of effective cockpit heater made the long high altitude flights miserable.

Yeah, the complaints about the lack of creature comforts in the 38 are pretty extreme. What I found interesting regarding cold is that not having the engine in front of the pilot removed a major heat source, which just exacerbated the extreme cold at high altitude. Even wearing bomber crew style warm gear didn't help, probably because there was no room for the pilot to move around. 

Edited by Porkins
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  I'm really looking forward to the P-38L, and the variety of missions available to us with this beautiful aircraft.   :cool:

 

  Dive flaps, which first appeared on the last production block of the P-39J, were standard on the L, reducing compressibility dangers during high speed dives.  Along with the introduction of aileron power boost on the P-38J-25-LO "there was a remarkable improvement in the roll rate and turn".

 

  "Early problems, to include the wing intercooler, cockpit heating and defrosting, high aileron forces, and compressibility in a dive, were all addressed and solved during the P-38J production."

 

  With the Ninth Air Force, lots of action from the three P-38 Fighter Groups.  Once the weather cleared on December 23rd they escorted bombers, escorted C-47s dropping supplies to Bastogne, and did their own "armed reconnaissance" ground attack missions with 500 lb bombs.  One action on Christmas Eve had 12 P-38s of the 394th over Trier vectored to 25 FW 190s, with a P-47 squadron also joining in.  Col. Seth McKee, 370th Fighter Group C.O. flying out of the Florennes, Belgium, airfield, reported to be just 15 miles from the front line, is quoted as "I recall that when the weather broke, it was bright and clear.  I could take off and I'd be making a run on a target.  I could look down there and I'd see my target.  I'd look over here and I could see our airbase.  We were that close.  It would take about fifteen or twenty minutes to fly a mission."

 

jugsoverthe-battleofthe-bulge-28-728.jpg.18cdf85acdfe13c4eef59b3a89cdcf1b.jpg

 

 

  One of the engagements Groh records from December 23rd, when the weather cleared enough to fly, one of the day's seven escort missions for the 367th Fighter Group out of  Juvincourt, France, had Lieutenant Fincher and eleven other P-38 pilots from the 392nd Squadron escorting B-26s of the 322nd Bomb Group to Euskirchen to bomb a railroad bridge.  Reportedly two dozen 109s attacked, with losses on both sides.

 

arkansas-traveler-p38-plane2.thumb.jpg.b53265787c4c4b7ef7ff48d3468555a7.jpg

"U.S. Air Force photograph of Lt. James O. Fincher of the 392nd Fighter Squadron, 367th Fighter Group in his P-38J Lightning “Arkansas Traveler” along with his ground crew. The P-38 was photographed at Clastres Airfield, France in October 1944."

 

The Lockheed P-38 Lightning, Warren M. Bodie

The Dynamite Gang, The 367th Fighter Group in World War II, Richard Groh

The 370th Fighter Group in World War II, Jay Jones

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On 3/22/2018 at 9:47 AM, VF31_Gunfighter said:

Or he spun it.

 

Exactly.  That's why when I mentioned G limits I also said "BUT that would be a structural issue" as in unrelated. 

 

Having mentioned that though, a new pilot to the group was assigned to fly wing with Mac, not look for enemy aircraft or take shots or anything, just stay with him.  It was all the guy could do to not lose sight of Mac through a dogfight they found themselves in and when he got back the old P-38 he had been assigned had quite a few popped rivets and buckled skins.  He didn't know what to think.

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The P-38 with its fowler flaps down will have the second best turn rate in the game if it is modeled correctly. The only thing better will be the spit 9. Most of its reputation for lack of agility was due more to the early growing pains of its deployment to Europe (you know, with putting people in 38s with no twin engine training beforehand, and then having them do escort duty at 30,000ft) 

 

The P-38 was actually a very good turner if you do the numbers, and it is also born out of what little test data and anecdotal evidence we have. It is one of the reasons just about every flight sim featuring the P-38 modeled it as a very good turner when the flaps are extended. When 38s first arrived in Europe they repeatedly had very close cut dogfights with spitfires that tended to go either way depending largely on the pilot. 

 

Fowler flaps provide a much better L/D ratio than the other types of flaps featured on ww2 fighters. With split or plain flaps, turn rate and radius improve only for a short duration after deployment. Once the airplane reaches a new sustained airspeed as thrust again equals the new added drag of the flaps, plain and split flaps result in a overall loss in turn rate but will still improve radius. Hence why are mainly useful for situation where you have excess PS or are in a 1 circle geometry fight. Fowler flaps L/D tends to be such that the improvement to turn rate is a net positive even when L=D again. 

 

 

 

 

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Yeah, there doesn't seem to be much differentiation between the types of flaps used in game.  As stated, Fowlers like on the P-47 and P-38 are way more efficient than split flaps and the splits used on the Spitfire are basically a cross between flaps and air brakes. 

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22 minutes ago, chuter said:

Yeah, there doesn't seem to be much differentiation between the types of flaps used in game.  As stated, Fowlers like on the P-47 and P-38 are way more efficient than split flaps and the splits used on the Spitfire are basically a cross between flaps and air brakes. 

I don't think the P-47 used fowler flaps. 

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1 hour ago, RoflSeal said:

P-47 flap definately does move back as it moves down, it doesn't just rotate like Bf-109.

38.jpg

However it's not as extreme as the P-38s

3969375710_1380c33a57_b.jpg

Which would make it a slotted flap as opposed to the lightning's fowler flaps, the spitfire's split flaps, or the 109's plain flaps.

300px-Flap_types.png

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1 hour ago, RoflSeal said:

P-47 flap definately does move back as it moves down, it doesn't just rotate like Bf-109.

...

 

  Yes, this is my understanding of the definition of a "Fowler flap".  In one sentence Wikipedia does seem to define Fowler as a split flap, but another sentence has it that it can be plain or split in design:  "The flap may form part of the upper surface of the wing, like a plain flap, or it may not, like a split flap, but it must slide rearward before lowering."  The P-47's landing flap is reported as "during extension move first aft and then down", but as shown in the photos, it is a slotted trailing edge flap and not the P-38's split flap design.  So, while a different design, it does incorporate the Fowler flap definition of sliding rearward.

 

  I'm learning about the P-47, does the P-47 use their landing flap as a combat maneuvering flap?  The P-38 introduced combat maneuvering flaps with the P-38F-15-LO production block.

 

  I do like that second photo showing the compressibility flap introduced with the P-38J-25-LO.  As can be seen, it is not a speed brake, but rather it changes the center of pressure on the wing as the P-38 approaches compressibility during a high speed dive.

 

Lockheed P-38 Lightning - Warbird Tech Vol. 2, Frederick A. Johnsen, p. 30

P-38 Lightning in detail & scale, Part 1: XP-38 through P-38H - D&S Vol. 57, Bert Kinzey, p. 62

P-38 Lightning in detail & scale, Part 2: P-38J through P-38M - D&S Vol. 58, Bert Kinzey, p. 28

 

Edited by Falkenstein
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12 minutes ago, AeroAce said:

Is the version we are getting going to have the device that solves the tail compressibility problems or are we going to be making many a p38 sized hole in the ground because we can't pull out of dives?

 

  Yes, we are getting the P-38L, the "final and definitive production version of the Lightning".  The largest quantity produced for any version of the Lightning was the L.  If you look at the photos in the posts above, you can see the dive flaps, which first appeared on the last production block of the P-38J, and were standard on the L and there were dive flap retrofit kits for the earlier P-38J models, which reduced compressibility dangers during high speed dives.

 

The Lockheed P-38 Lightning, Warren M. Bodie, p. 208, 210

Edited by Falkenstein
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5 hours ago, Hauksbee said:

Well, the Germans called it the "Fork-Tailed Devil". If they can get that into the FM, it should  be a  joy to fly

 

Lol wut? :lol: It got that name from it shooting down a large number of transports over the Mediterranean.

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12 hours ago, LukeFF said:

 

Lol wut? :lol: It got that name from it shooting down a large number of transports over the Mediterranean.

 

No need for condescension.

If its performance against fighters in BoBo is similar to the real thing, then it will be worthy of the name. 

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Comparing the one we will be getting to the one in old IL2 is really a dodgy exercise.   So many things are just too different about the two titles.

 

My prediction...

 

It will be good at high speed ground attack, but unless some Japanese aircraft magically appear, it will quickly be abandoned for use as a pure fighter.  It's just too big a target, and unlike the Pacific, it has no large performance margin over it's opponents.

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6 minutes ago, BlitzPig_EL said:

Comparing the one we will be getting to the one in old IL2 is really a dodgy exercise.   So many things are just too different about the two titles.

 

My prediction...

 

It will be good at high speed ground attack, but unless some Japanese aircraft magically appear, it will quickly be abandoned for use as a pure fighter.  It's just too big a target, and unlike the Pacific, it has no large performance margin over it's opponents.

 

doesn't matter, I'm going to love flying it probably every bit as much as every other plane in the line up.

Only real problem is how do we choose what we are going to fly ? You log in for the evening, and you are first going to have to chose, do I want to play on the Eastern / Western Front ? Do I want to fly or drive a tank ? First or second World War ?  And all that before you even pick a side or a plane ;) Choices are going to become increasingly difficult lol

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2 hours ago, =FEW=Herne said:

 

doesn't matter, I'm going to love flying it probably every bit as much as every other plane in the line up.

Only real problem is how do we choose what we are going to fly ? You log in for the evening, and you are first going to have to chose, do I want to play on the Eastern / Western Front ? Do I want to fly or drive a tank ? First or second World War ?  And all that before you even pick a side or a plane ;) Choices are going to become increasingly difficult lol

I already have this problem just trying to choose an aircraft. I love flying the Spitfire, P-39, PE2, and 110. Heck, I haven't even touched the new FW, 109, or Yak variants, and these were my go to aircraft in BoS. I was really excited to see the A-20 in Kuban, and I haven't even flown it yet.

 

A common piece of advice in these forums is to just pick one plane and really learn it. I can't do it, I can't limit myself! :biggrin:

Edited by Porkins
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  • 1 year later...

I've always loved the P-38. IMO I think it'll be owned by the 190s and 109s. It's high instantaneous turn rate doesn't worry me.

IMO these things will hurt it:

- Slow at low and medium alt

- Poor sustained turn rate due to poor power-to-weight ratio

- Poor acceleration (see above)

- Huge target

 

It's the first red plane that I find tempting to fly. Korny and I loved to fly it in the old game. It was very rewarding for our team.

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