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Lightning Mk-I


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[80 years ago today] "• The first seven Lockheed Lightning Mark-I are delivered to the RAF. These variants of the P-38E have two right handed engines instead of a right and left handed engine (important for cancelling torque) and lack superchargers. They also have noticeable tail flutter problems, which has been fixed for American versions. British test pilots consider the aircraft to be poor performers and dangerous to operate, leading the War Ministry to cancel the rest of the order ($15 million worth of aircraft). Lockheed will sue the British government and the program will be stalled until Pearl Harbor, when the US government buys the inferior aircraft for continental defense and training. American P-38s in combat zones will have counter-rotating engines and supercharged engines.



Lightning undergoing testing with the RAF"


[I've understood that this version of the P-38 was a superb dogfighter under 14k feet if flown by an expert pilot]

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