Happy Birthday To The Lockheed P-38 Lightning

P-38L Lightning "Ruff Stuff" at the 2012 Thunder Over Michigan Air Show.
P-38L Lightning "Ruff Stuff" at the 2012 Thunder Over Michigan Air Show.
P-38L Lightning “Ruff Stuff” at the 2012 Thunder Over Michigan Air Show.

By Aviation Enthusiasts LLC

The Lockheed P-38 Lightning flew for the first time seventy-five years ago today.  The twin-boomed P-38 was fast, heavily armed and extremely versatile.  The P-38 was the first American fighter capable of flying faster than 400 miles per hour.  Turbo-supercharged engines with boom-mounted radiators gave the Lightning superb high-altitude performance and the tricycle landing gear made engine maintenance easier for maintainers and helped to reduce accidents during take-off and landing.  P-38 pilots executed the long-range intercept mission that killed Japan’s Admiral Yamamoto, who planned the Pearl Harbor attack.  The P-38M variant was one of the fastest night fighters of World War II and the F-4 and F-5 photo-gathering Lightnings were among the best reconnaissance aircraft of the war.  The P-38 was flown by Majors Richard I. Bong and Thomas B. McGuire, America’s top-scoring aces of all time with 40 and 38 victories, respectively.

IN this article you can see a photo of the P-38L Lightning “Ruff Stuff” at the 2012 Thunder Over Michigan Air Show.  The P-38L was the most numerous model produced with 3,923 built.  Visit www.aviation-enthusiasts.com for more aviation and air show memories!

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