Few days ago we published a cool video about a practice run for The Flying Bulls‘ Lockheed P–38 Lightning and F4U Corsair ( Click here for the Video). Today Franco Zanaboni, a friend of Warbird News sent me a picture of the same Lockheed P–38 Lightning as it appeared in 1948.
In September 1945, the P-38 F-5G-6-LO with serial number 44-53254 was surplussed from the Air Force and registered as civil aircraft N25Y by the Lilee Products Co. in Chicago, Illinois who owned the plane for a time, however the story of this plane becomes much more interesting when it was sold to J.D. Reed of Houston, Texas. J.D. Reed was an air racing enthusiast who was successful in recruiting equally passionate pilots, including Charlie “Firewall” Walling. At the same time, Reed worked to further enhance the speed of the plane with a modified carburetor cover to allow additional water injection and the addition of aerodynamically designed propellers and wing tips. His enthusiasm and fine-tuning paid off and Walling achieved 2nd place at the 1947 Miami Air Races – and at the Sohio-Race in Cleveland in the same year.
The below P-38 was raced in this paint scheme in early 1947 and with this nose configuration. It was repainted and modified in mid-1947and became the fastest P-38 in history.Flown by Charlie “Firewall” Walling,it hit 440MPH on the straights at low level.In mid 1947 they added the P-38 fighter nose thinking this streamlined nose would make it faster.Instead it was 8 miles per hour slower!v.
This is how the Lockheed P-38 Lightning looks now, simply beautiful!