P-38 Specs

The P-38 Lightning is another of the great WWII planes. Although it was introduced in 1939, due to its unique design, it wasn't heavily used until late 1942. The Lightning served as a fighter and a long range bomber escort. It was also used for dive bombing, ground strafing, and photo reconnaissance. It was among the fastest planes made during WWII, due to its twin engines and sleek body.

Another feature that made this plane unique was that each of the engines had the props going in opposite directions. This was to offset the torque from the opposite engine. Still, another feature that was different was that it had nose mounted weapons, including a cannon. This made accuracy much better than for other fighters. In fact the P-38 was so effective that German pilots named it "Der Gableshwanz Teufel", or "The Forked Tail Devil".

Function:     Fighter
Contractor:     Lockheed
Power Plant:     2 Allison V-1710's
Length:     37 ft. 10 in.
Height:     12 ft. 10 in.
Weight:     17,500 lbs loaded
Max Speed:     414 mph
Cruising Speed:     275 mph
Range:     1100 miles
Armament:     Four .50 cal. machine guns & one 20mm cannon
Crew:     1
Deployment Date:     1939