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June 15, 2009
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Lockheed P-38 Lightning scat 3 by bagera3005 Lockheed P-38 Lightning scat 3 by bagera3005
Lockheed P-38 Lightning scat 3

P-38 Lightning missions

Lieutenant Olds completed fighter pilot training with the 329th Fighter Group, based at Grand Central Air Terminal in Glendale, California. In early 1944 he was part of the cadre assigned to build up the newly activated 434th Fighter Squadron and its parent 479th Fighter Group, based at Lomita, California. Olds logged 650 hours of flying time during training, including 250 hours in the P-38 Lightning, as the 479th trained to become a combat group. It departed the Los Angeles area on April 15 for Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, and shipped aboard the USS Argentina for Europe on May 3. The 479th arrived in Scotland on May 14, 1944, and entrained for RAF Wattisham, England, where it arrived the next day.[26]

The 479th began combat on May 26, flying bomber escort missions and attacking transportation targets in occupied France in advance of the invasion of Normandy.[27] Olds flew an older P-38J Lightning he nicknamed Scat, the first of many fighters bearing the name. His crew chief, T/Sgt. Glen A. Wold, said that Olds showed an immediate interest in aircraft maintenance and learned emergency servicing under Wold. He also insisted his aircraft be waxed to reduce air resistance and helped his maintenance crew carry out their tasks.[28] On July 24 Olds was promoted to captain and became a flight and later squadron leader.

In Scat III, Olds shot down two Focke-Wulf Fw 190s following a low-level bridge-bombing mission to Montmirail, France, on August 14. Eleven days later he and his wingman became separated from the group on an escort mission to Wismar, and attacked a formation of some 40 Messerschmitt Bf 109s. Despite battle damage to his own plane, including loss of a side window of its canopy, Olds shot down two during the dogfight and another on the way home to become the first ace of the 479th FG.[29][30] His combat report for that date concluded:

Still in a shallow dive, I observed another P-38 and an Me 109 going round and round. It seemed that the 38 needed help so I started down. At about 4000 feet, the Jerry, still way out of my range, turned under me and slightly to the right. I rolled over on my back, following him and gave him an ineffective burst at long range. By this time I was traveling in excess of 500 mph. My left window blew out, scaring the hell out of me. I thought I had been hit by some of the ground fire I had observed in the vicinity. I regained control of the aircraft and pulled out above a wheat field. I tried to contact the flight to get myself recognized, but observed an Me 109 making a pass at me from about seven o'clock high. I broke left as well as my plane could and the Jerry overshot. I straightened out and gave him a burst. He chandelled steeply to the left and I shot some more. He passed right over me and I slipped over in an Immelman. As I straightened out at the top, I saw the pilot bail out.[31]

He made eight claims while flying the P-38 (five of which are sustained by the Air Force Historical Research Agency) and was originally credited as the top-scoring P-38 pilot of the ETO.[32].

General characteristics

* Crew: One
* Length: 37 ft 10 in (11.53 m)
* Wingspan: 52 ft 0 in (15.85 m)
* Height: 12 ft 10 in (3.91 m)
* Wing area: 327.5 ft² (30.43 m²;)
* Airfoil: NACA 23016 / NACA 4412
* Empty weight: 12,800 lb[69] (5,800 kg)
* Loaded weight: 17,500 lb[69] (7,940 kg)
* Max takeoff weight: 21,600 lb (9,798 kg)
* Powerplant: 2× Allison V-1710-111/113 liquid-cooled turbosupercharged V-12, 1,725 hp (As certified by Lockheed and Allison Industries) (1,194 kW) each
* Zero-lift drag coefficient: 0.0268[69]

* Drag area: 8.78 ft² (0.82 m²;)[69]
* Aspect ratio: 8.26[69]

Performance

* Maximum speed: 443mph War Emergency Power-1,725 hp @ 64 inHG (28,000 ft)(Courtesy of Lockheed-Martin Corp.)

414mph on Military Power-1,425hp @ 54 inHG at 25,000 ft (667 km/h at 7,620 m)

* Stall speed: 105 mph (170 km/h)
* Range: 1,300 mi combat, over 3,300 mi (5,300 km) ferry (1,770 km / 3,640 km)
* Service ceiling: 44,000 ft (13,400 m)
* Rate of climb: maximum: 4,750 ft/min (1,448 m/min)
* Wing loading: 53.4 lb/ft²[69] (260.9 kg/m²;)
* Power/mass: 0.16 hp/lb (0.27 kW/kg)
* Turn radius: At Eglin Field in 1942, the P-38F was found to have an equal or tighter radius of turn above 15,000 ft (4,600 m) against the P-51, P-40F, P-47C-1 and P-39D.[58] The P-38G and later models further tightened the turn radius, especially the P-38L.

* Roll rate: Testing at Eglin Field determined the rate of roll to be too slow at high speeds, causing a serious disadvantage because the P-38F could not transition from level flight to its tightest turn radius fast enough to keep up with fighters that could roll more quickly into their turns.[58]
* Lift-to-drag ratio: 13.5

Armament
M2 machine gun armament in the nose of the P-38.
Nose of a P-38L. Note the varying lengths of M2 muzzle protruding.

* 1× Hispano M2(C) 20 mm cannon with 150 rounds (2 AP, 2 tracer and 2 HE ammo belt composition) and 4× Browning MG53-2 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns with 500 rpg. The rate of fire was about 650 rounds per minute for the 20×110 mm cannon round (130 g shell) at a muzzle velocity of about 2887 ft/s, and for the .50 in MGs (43–48 g), about 850 rpm at 2,756 ft/s velocity. Combined rate of fire was over 4,000 rpm with roughly every sixth projectile a 20 mm. Time of firing for the 20 mm cannon and .50 caliber machineguns were approximately 14 seconds and 35 seconds respectively.[70]
* 4× M10 three-tube 4.5 in (112 mm) rocket launchers or:
* Inner Hardpoints: 2× 2,000 lb (907 kg) bombs or drop tanks; or 2× 1,000 lb (454 kg) bombs or drop tanks, plus either 4× 500 lb (227 kg) or 4× 250 lb (113 kg) bombs; or 6× 500 lb (227 kg) or 6× 250 lb (113 kg) bombs
* Outer Hardpoints: 10× 5 in (127 mm) HVARs (High Velocity Aircraft Rocket); or 2× 500 lb (227 kg) or 2× 250 lb (113 kg) bombs
Add a Comment:
 
:iconulimann644:
ulimann644 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I really love this plane-design.
Reply
:iconnavjag:
NavJAG Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2013
Awesome - fantastic tribute to one of our greatest combat pilots and leaders as well!
Reply
:iconlebadger0:
LeBadger0 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2013
Fucking awesome
Reply
:iconmidway2009:
Midway2009 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
One my favorite fighters. :w00t: the Germans dubbed it: 'the forked-tailed devil'.
Reply
:iconvoradtralundir:
voradtralundir Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2013
I love the narrative.  From most other accounts the P-38 did not do well in Europe.  Clearly this aircraft was better probably because of the pilot flying her.  Is this Robin Olds?
Reply
:iconlebadger0:
LeBadger0 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2013
Yeah that must be Robin Olds.
Reply
:iconskyworthy:
skyworthy Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Only like one plane better the f82
Reply
:iconseverflameskullrage:
SeverFlameSkullRage Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012
One of my favorite PLANES!!!! :happybounce:
Reply
:iconairsharksquad:
AirSharkSquad Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2011
Nice!!!
Reply
:iconrazgriz3:
Razgriz3 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2009
Still think of the Spitfire or Mustang as 1/2 in Europe but the Lighting runs a tight 3rd place tie with Mossie. Nice art work on this like all the rest you've done. If you ever get the chance to watch the show Dogfights, The episode Air Ambush, tells of Old's other great fight Operation Bolo. And it shows what happened to him on 8/24/44 in greater details
Reply
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