The Lockheed P-38 Lightning is an American single seated, piston-engined fighter aircraft that was used during World War II. Developed for the United States Army Air Corps, the P-38 had distinctive twin booms and a central nacelle containing the cockpit and armament. Allied propaganda claimed it had been nicknamed the fork-tailed devil (German: der Gabelschwanz-Teufel) by the Luftwaffe and “two planes, one pilot” by the Japanese. Along with its use as a general fighter,
The first Lightning to see active service was the F-4 version, a P-38E in which the guns were replaced by four K17 cameras. They joined the 8th Photographic Squadron in Australia on 4 April 1942. Three F-4s were operated by the Royal Australian Air Force in this theater for a short period beginning in September 1942.
On 29 May 1942, 25 P-38s began operating in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. The fighter’s long range made it well-suited to the campaign over the almost 1,200 miles (1,900 km)-long island chain, and it was flown there for the rest of the war.
|National origin||United States|
|First flight||27 January 1939|
|Retired||1949 (United States Air Force) |
1965 (Honduran Air Force)
|Primary users||United States Army Air Forces|
Free French Air Force
|Developed into||Lockheed XP-49 |
The Republic Aviation Corporation was an American aircraft manufacturer based in Farmingdale, New York, on Long Island. Originally known as the Seversky Aircraft Company, the company was responsible for the design and production of many important military aircraft, including its most famous products: World War II's P-47 Thunderbolt fighter, the F-84 Thunderjet and F-105 Thunderchief jet fighters, as well as the A-10 Thunderbolt II close-support aircraft.