View Full Version : Alas; The P38

10-26-2004, 09:50 AM
I think this plane is far too twitchy compared to it's single engined counterparts. And that it's turn at low to moderate speeds is undermodelled.. I mean this is a plane that did very well against the maneuvarable Japanese fighters - and not just BnZ - I forget who - maybe Bong - was killed when he got into a low and slow turn with a ki43 but forget to let loose his drop tanks first. The very fact that one of the USA's formost aces would even enter into that kind of combat with a KI tells you something about the 38..

han freak solo
10-26-2004, 09:55 AM
Bong survived combat only to crash a P-80 on a test flight in the US. He had a flame out immediately after take off and reportedly didn't stand a chance to land it.

Source: "Legends of Airpower" on the Discovery Wings cable network in the US.

10-26-2004, 09:56 AM
From what i remember Richard Bong was killed while testing planes for the Air Force, he ejected and his leg bone broke, and caught him in the chest.
That's what my friend said he read in his book titled "**** Bong"

10-26-2004, 09:56 AM
I think that Oleg knows better than us what the P-38 could do. It was very fast, and B&Z is the most sensible tactic to use anyway. Why would a huge 2-engined bomber interceptor with a wing as big as a carrier's flight deck turn as well as the Japanese fighters which were specifically designed to be very agile??

10-26-2004, 10:00 AM
Actually, the P-38 could turn well. It was rate of roll that wasn't incredible.

10-26-2004, 10:04 AM
Wasn't Bong killed when the airflow removed a fuel filler cap from behind the cockpit, which hadn't been put on correctly?

10-26-2004, 10:04 AM
I think the p38 did well against Japanese planes bcause of its large wings and low stall speeds for the plane. It also did not suffer from torque problems due to counter rotating engines. When it dropped flaps it could get its stall speed lower then 200mph (maybe around 160) that it could hang in a turn fight briefly with the better turning Japanse planes. It just had a huge learning curve in order to get the most out of the plane. I think that is why a lot of p38 pilots are dissappointed is because the current game engine cannot model the p38 as accurately as the single engine planes. This is of course just an opinion i have formed reading various threads on this topic. Yet VFC Korolov and some AFJ squad pilots are absolute masters in the p38 and get the most out the aircraft as it is currently modeled. When i have flown the p38 vs zero in AEP i would get 2 or 3 kills with no damage to me. If flown right the zero has no chance against this plane.

10-26-2004, 10:11 AM
If you remember reading about Bong's kills, he made almost all of them from "headon" against the Zeros.

10-26-2004, 10:13 AM
The pilot you're thinking of was McGuire.

10-26-2004, 10:13 AM
Right, it wasn't bong it was mcguire -
I'm just saying I think the 38 is a tad twitchy - she throws down in a spin a little to easily when, by all accounts, the 38 tended to more 'mush' in a stall - hence the famous 'cloverleaf' horizontal maneuver - which enable the 38 to get a leg up on most german fighters in a horizontal fight. I'm not talking huge changes - it just doesn't quite seem to mesh with pilot accounts at these point. Unlike most of the other planes in the simm.

Interesting p38 thread (http://www.yarchive.net/mil/p38.html)

about mcquire (http://www.acepilots.com/usaaf_mcguire.html)

10-26-2004, 10:17 AM
it probably handles like the british ones that where netured, it just goes fast etc http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

10-26-2004, 10:18 AM
Dont alas us, brother. Jeesh. Its well known that though the P38 was a tremendous fighter, it was never used successfully in low altitude, low speed turn fights. It could out turn Japanese planes at higher altitudes and higher speeds. Just like what folks are saying here...it was primarily used as a boom and zoom fighter.
It just never fails to amaze me the things people will take time to complain about, without taking time first to understand the aircraft. For an exhaustive (literally) narrative of the aircrews, groundcrews, aircraft, tactics and strategy of the pacific war I suggest - "Fire in the Sky" by Eric Bergerud.
Here's a great quote,from that book,
"They adopted the tactics of diving from high altitude into Zero formations with their heavy weapons and zooming back up in a climb no Zero could match. Taking every advantage of the their superior high altitude performance and high speed." - Lt Commander Mitsugu Ko***uda - Japanese 6th Air Corp - Bougainville.

Another telling quote,
" The P38 couldnt turn. So what we did was keep our speed up. We always tried to get an altitude advantage...never let the airspeed get below 350mph.....I always said that if a Zero pilot saw you, you'd never shoot him down."
Lt. Perry Dahl - 5th USAAF

It should also be noted that Bong greatly favored head-on attacks.

10-26-2004, 10:36 AM
Just firing up a little dialogue http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif not 'whining'.

I'd like to see the 38 do just a tad better relative to, say - the 109. Say just an inkling more dynamic range in elevator response - so you don't have to use trim quite so much.

theres a big cross-section of accounts about the 38 - pilot opinions vary wildly. I suspect this is largly because it was a fairly complex plane to master.

I have no doubt Oleg's info on this is very very good - and that his modeling of the plane is extremely well-informed (talked with him about it a little). It may also be that when we get some of the earlier models (I think it was the 'f' that was the best turner - that or the 'h') I'll feel better.

Of course, I feel pretty good right now http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

10-26-2004, 10:46 AM
As its currently modeled the FB P-38 is no match for the FB zero! You can kill zero's all day long in a 38 and never worry about falling victim to a zero's guns. In FB the P40 is more on equal footing with the zero.

10-26-2004, 11:01 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by brasil66:
Another telling quote,
" The P38 couldnt turn. So what we did was keep our speed up. We always tried to get an altitude advantage...never let the airspeed get below 350mph.....I always said that if a Zero pilot saw you, you'd never shoot him down."
Lt. Perry Dahl - 5th USAAF

Interesting, I have a quote that says the exact opposite.

from Herbert E. Johnson, P-38 pilot of the 20th Fighter Group:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>"If jumped on the deck, the best evasive maneuver is a tight level turn. Due to th beautiful stall characteristics of the '38, you can turn might tighter without the danger of spinning than any German craft." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

10-26-2004, 11:21 AM

Tommy Maguire (38 kills)was killed during a training flight when the group of new pilots he was teaching was bounced at fairly low level. Maguire broke his own rules of no low level dogfights and entering the combat zone at 300mph in an effort to save another pilot. It is unclear if Maguire got shot down or spun in.

There is another account by a 38 pilot that was there, he states that Maguire was obsessed over beating Bong's record of 40 kills and becoming the top US Ace. According to this other P38 pilot, Maguire was overly aggressive at low altitude and pushed a bad position which cost him his life.

The problems I see with the P38 are climb rate, zoom climb at low to medium altitude,nose bobbing and stall. I also read where compressibilty was not much of a factor down low as it is in the sim now.

The P38 was the US second best climbing plane behind the P63. The 38 climbs slowly as compared to other US planes--has anyone officially tested the the 38's climb rate ?

I think if the 38 had its official climb rate this would increase its zoom climb and survivability.

Notice the Official Lockheed Martin Information shows the P38L with 1725hp during overboost not the 1600hp we have now.

Notice the speed of the P38L much different from what we have now.


10-26-2004, 11:22 AM

Notice the Official Lockheed Martin Information shows the P38L with 1725hp during overboost not the 1600hp we have now.


10-26-2004, 11:40 AM
I think the main problem with the P38 is people don't use it like it was used. It was a team plane, they flew and attacked together, they used team work to take down there adversaries, they didn't go it alone.

Lateralus_14, your quote while maybe correct involved fighting a German plane, the previous quote was fighting a Japanese plane. I totally different kettle of fish!

10-26-2004, 11:47 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Lateralus_14, your quote while maybe correct involved fighting a German plane, the previous quote was fighting a Japanese plane. I totally different kettle of fish! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I know that, but the quote was relevant for pointing out the problems with the P-38 in-game. Currently even German aircraft can easily turn inside a P-38 given equal starting speeds.

10-26-2004, 12:12 PM
Well, strictly speaking - the 38 does turn inside the 190 in game - pretty handily at lower speeds. The 109 is a different matter - at best it is very close - at worse the 109 owns it. I'm suggesting the margin should go a bit more toward the 38 and this would be just an easing of stall/departure characteristics.
The speed/climb stuff for the L i have not really looked into much.

Mcquire went down because he tried an abrupt turn with a drop-tank. He ordered his flight not to drop their tanks even though they were engaged by an oscar and a frank.

Relative to most japanese types the 38 rules the energy fight.

10-26-2004, 02:16 PM
the stall of the 109 is far easier to cope with than the p38 http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

p38 climb may or may not be right, but doesnt the p51 climb better in aep?
so relitivly its worse, with the p51 overmodeled in climb (possibly)

10-26-2004, 02:25 PM

The climb rate that for the P38L seems too slow as compared to the P63, P51 and P47 during climb tests. The P38 was the second best climbing US aircraft after the P63. Also, there was an engine upgrade that Lockheed Martin did to the P38L-5lo of 1,725hp per engine on overboost (WEP). Of course you could not continually climb utilizing WEP as the engine would overheat but it could really be a performance increase during zoom climbs and high AOA manuevers such as the "Cloverleaf".

Engine Models and Applications:


The power unit on the "E" and "F" engines were identical, with crankshafts, connecting rods, pistons, cylinder blocks, valve gear, and intake manifolds among other components completely interchangeable. The "E" featured a remote propeller reduction gearbox for the Bell P-39 Airacobra (and P-63 Kingcobra) driven with a 10 ft extension shaft turning at crankshaft speed between the engine and reduction gear. The "F" had a conventional integral tractor propeller reduction gear Lockheed P-38 Lightning and Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk. A turbocharged V-1710-F17L/-F17R engine equipped with ADI produced a WER of 2,300 bhp at 3,000 rpm with 90 in hg,, developing a BMEP of 355 psi. The "E" and "F" engines were the bread&butter Allisons, with these engines used in large volume on several major fighter programs of WWII. A total of 66,658 "E" and "F" types were built -- 18,998 "E"-type extension shaft engines were shipped, mainly for P-39 and P-63 aircraft, and 47,660 "F" models were shipped, mainly for P-38 and P-40 airplanes.

Because of the vast number of V-1710 derivatives which were generated, the following table in necessarily incomplete, but includes representative models from the major series. Many of these deviates stem from early development, for example the "C" series consists of 13 unique models with total production of 2,582, yet 2,550 of those engines belonged to one model type (and of the 32 remaining engine, 19 belonged to another model type!). For a more complete, readers are suggested to Daniel Whitney's "Vee for Victory!" or Graham White's "Allied Aircraft Piston Engines of World War II". Note that both Allison and Service designations are used to refer to Allison models, the Allison designation consists of a letter followed by a number with an optional letter suffix, while the service designation is just a number. The service numbers are shown in parenthesis in the following table (some engines were experimental or developmental and not issued a service number).

Dash Application hp/rpm/altitude Comments
A1 (-2) Navy Prototype 795/2480/SL (build 2) Prototype for Navy, first Allison V-1710, 87 PN fuel , 5.88 CR
A2 (-1) Air Corp Prototype 1070/2800/SL (46" Hg abs) Prototype for Air Corp, 92 PN fuel, 5.75 CR
B2R (-4) Dirigible 690/2400/SL Cancelled after loss of both USS Akron and Macon, R for reversible
C15 (-33) Curtiss P-40 1040/3000/SL (42" Hg abs) 1,870 units delivered to British, long nose, Bendix Injection carburetor
D2 (-9) YFM-1A 1150/2950/SL Pusher extension shaft engine
E4 (-35) Bell P39 1150/3000/SL Extension shaft tractor, cannon fired through remote reduction gear
F2R (-27) Lockheed P-38 1150/3000/SL First "short-nosed V-1710", internal spur gear replaced w/external gear
F15R (-75) Lockheed P-38K 1425/3000/SL Water/Alcohol anti-detonation injection (ADI)
F17R (-89) Lockheed P-38H/J 2300/3000/SL (90" Hg abs) WER, Turbosupercharged, w/115/145 fuel and ADI
G6R (-143) N.A. P-82E/F 2250/3200/SL Used Bendix speed-density injection, 115/145 fuel with ADI
E27 (-129) Bell XP-63H 2980/3200/11,000 (100" Hg abs) Most powerful V-1710, Turbocompound experimental engine

__________________________________________________ _________________________________

The cloverleaf was a horizontal maneuver that took advantage of the P-38's
exceptionally gentle stall characteristics. It was a low-speed maneuver. The pilot would tighten his turn until he actually stalled out, ease off and let the plane unstall itself, then tighten back up into a stall, ease up....

Viewed from above, the pattern the airplane flew through the air looked
something like a cloverleaf, and this simply was used in teaching the maneuver


WWII: Of all the Allied fighters you encountered, which was the most
difficult to handle with a good pilot at the controls?

Steinhoff: The Lightning. It was fast, low profiled and a fantastic fighter, and a real danger when it was above you. It was only vulnerable if you were behind it, a little below and closing fast, or turning into it, but on the attack it was a tremendous aircraft. One shot me down from long range in 1944. That would be the one, although the P-51 [Mustang] was deadly because of the long range, and it could cover any air base in Europe. This made things difficult, especially later when flying the jets.

Here's an excerpt of a Luftwaffe experte's (Heinz Knoke, 52 kills, all in
the West) description of a duel with a P-38 (from "I Flew for the Fuhrer"):

"...At once I peel off and dive into the Lightnings below. They spot us
and swing round towards us to meet the attack.... Then we are in a madly
milling dogfight...it is a case of every man for himself. I remain on the
tail of a Lightning for several minutes. It flies like the devil himself,
turning, diving, and climbing almost like a rocket. I am never able to
fire more than a few pot-shots...."

Almost sounds like a descrpition of the AEP/PF P38 - http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif


10-27-2004, 12:30 AM