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lil_labbit
05-24-2004, 11:39 AM
Well there was this doc on tv over here in the Netherlands last friday (every friday a special on RTL5 if you live here) which stated France and Englands ordered a total of 667 planes. After France got run-over by Germany England initialy took over the whole order. I never heard of this so I did a search and found this:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
* Orders were already in hand from France, Britain, and the USAAC. The French and the British ordered a total of 667, with a "Model 322F" for the French and a "Model 322B" for the British. Each of these variants had unique minor equipment fits tailored for their respective air arms, such as metric measurements on the flight indicators for the French aircraft, but they both shared a major change from all other P-38 variants that were ever made: the superchargers were to be deleted, and the left-handed and right-handed engine arrangement was to be changed to twin right-handed engines.

As superchargers were a new technology, the Anglo-French purchasing commission that ordered the fighters was concerned that the superchargers might lead to delays, and felt that as the aircraft were intended for medium-altitude combat the superchargers would not be needed. The requirement for the sole use of right-handed engines was for commonality with the large numbers of Curtiss Tomahawks both nations had on order. Lockheed engineers protested strongly against this decision, and privately labeled the variant the "castrated" P-38.

After the fall of France in June 1940, the British took over the entire order. They decided that only the first 143 of the order would be delivered in the castrated format, as "Model 322 Lightning Is", with the remaining 524 to be delivered with superchargers and left and right-handed engines, as "Model 322 Lightning IIs".
The British never got that far. Three of the castrated Lightning Is were delivered to the UK in March 1942, and were promptly given a thumbs-down. They "redlined" at 480 KPH (300 MPH) and had nasty handling characteristics. The entire order was cancelled.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You can read the entire story here:
http://www.vectorsite.net/avp38.html

http://members.home.nl/lil.labbit/lilseesya.jpg
Night is better than Day

lil_labbit
05-24-2004, 11:39 AM
Well there was this doc on tv over here in the Netherlands last friday (every friday a special on RTL5 if you live here) which stated France and Englands ordered a total of 667 planes. After France got run-over by Germany England initialy took over the whole order. I never heard of this so I did a search and found this:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
* Orders were already in hand from France, Britain, and the USAAC. The French and the British ordered a total of 667, with a "Model 322F" for the French and a "Model 322B" for the British. Each of these variants had unique minor equipment fits tailored for their respective air arms, such as metric measurements on the flight indicators for the French aircraft, but they both shared a major change from all other P-38 variants that were ever made: the superchargers were to be deleted, and the left-handed and right-handed engine arrangement was to be changed to twin right-handed engines.

As superchargers were a new technology, the Anglo-French purchasing commission that ordered the fighters was concerned that the superchargers might lead to delays, and felt that as the aircraft were intended for medium-altitude combat the superchargers would not be needed. The requirement for the sole use of right-handed engines was for commonality with the large numbers of Curtiss Tomahawks both nations had on order. Lockheed engineers protested strongly against this decision, and privately labeled the variant the "castrated" P-38.

After the fall of France in June 1940, the British took over the entire order. They decided that only the first 143 of the order would be delivered in the castrated format, as "Model 322 Lightning Is", with the remaining 524 to be delivered with superchargers and left and right-handed engines, as "Model 322 Lightning IIs".
The British never got that far. Three of the castrated Lightning Is were delivered to the UK in March 1942, and were promptly given a thumbs-down. They "redlined" at 480 KPH (300 MPH) and had nasty handling characteristics. The entire order was cancelled.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You can read the entire story here:
http://www.vectorsite.net/avp38.html

http://members.home.nl/lil.labbit/lilseesya.jpg
Night is better than Day

Ki_Rin
05-24-2004, 01:49 PM
I believe the lighning the RAF had were eq with 37mm cannon, which were originally intended for the 38

"Consequences are for lesser beings; I am Ki-Rin...that is sanction enough"

SithSpeeder
05-24-2004, 02:28 PM
Great find, Lil Labbit.

IF you go to the site map and navigate down to the aviation area, there is a bunch more info on other planes including the B-17, P-47, P-51, B-25, etc.

* _54th_SPeeder *

http://members.cox.net/~ijhutch/_images/400x200sig.jpg

Gibbage1
05-24-2004, 03:02 PM
The British orderd the P-38's as a high alt bomber intercepter during Bob. They made a few specified changes to the P38 design.

They (British) specified the fallowing.

#1, remove the 37MM canon

#2, remove 2 of the 4 .50 cal browning, and replace them with 2 .30 cal browning

#3, remove the Ge Turbo-Supercharger.

This created a nutered P-38, and after the Brits tested it they concluded

#1, not enough firepower

#2, not enough high-altitude performance.

What kind of dumb smucks were they? Quite a for of the British B-322's (Nutered P-38) were made and were used as trainers after the brits cancled the order. The nutered P-38's could still reach 400MPH, but at a lower alt then the non-nutered P-38, but the firepower of 2 .30's and 2 .50's was simply not enough to bring down the He-111's and Ju-88's that were there intended target. You can tell the British P-38's appart from the US P-38's by the lack of the Turmo on the boom and the two exaust tracks above the wing.

"Most P-39's were sent to the Russians - so I guess that was an American secret weapon against our Russian allies."

Stan Wood, P-38 pilot who also flew the P-39.

rpkiller
05-24-2004, 03:14 PM
Ah, that's one version of events.

However, According to Jane's Fighters of WW2, the supercharger was at that time classified and so removed for overseas sales. Slightly contradictory to this, i've also read in various other sourcd that the superchargers simply required far too much maintenance for a front line rapid response fighter as required by the RAF at the time. Other problems were reputed for the P38's, including (not sure of the accuracy of this) leaking canopies, reliability problems, eamongst others. However, i'd better look these up before spouting contestible comments.

Anyway, my point is that there were pretty valid reasons for the changes and cancelling of order other than shear 'dumb smuck'ness.

Best regards,

rp

p1ngu666
05-24-2004, 03:16 PM
turbo was taken off partly cos of americans wanting to keep em
didnt know the firepower was so low http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-sad.gif
http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/10.gif http://premium.uploadit.org/pingu666/ooooo.jpg http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/10.gif

its british camo but not like the ones ive got pics for, i got some bits wrong and decided id finish it off as a semihistorical or whatever and do the proper camo again http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

http://www.pingu666.modded.me.uk/mysig3.jpg
&lt;123_GWood_JG123&gt; NO SPAM!

p1ngu666
05-24-2004, 03:27 PM
oh gibb remmber i asked u some questions about go229?
http://premium.uploadit.org/pingu666/luxwing.jpg

theres a proper one, but not on my uploadit.org http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

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&lt;123_GWood_JG123&gt; NO SPAM!

Gibbage1
05-24-2004, 03:53 PM
I have 3 books. Each state the Brits requested no turbo-supers on the P-38 AGAINST Lockheeds protest's. The P-38 was designed around the Ge. Lockheed in fact had a bunch of P-38's READY for the Brits and it took them longer to remove the Ge units and change the armorments. The P-38 with the 37MM could have been blasting He-111's out of the sky during BOB in 1940 if the Brits did not request the changes.

Yes, US was reluctant to give away the Ge units, but they were not top secret. They have been in use for some time. I have a photo of a Bi-plane with a Ge turbo-supercharger on it from mid 1930's. Later on when the US got in the way, they WOULD NOT give out any Ge units because they were in VERY high demand on B-17, B-24, and P-38 production.

Its simple. All 3 books say the Brits requested no Ge units because of upkeep difficulties, and that the story of the US keeping the units away from Brits was false at the time, but became true once the war started.

The US had no problems giving the Brits top-secret weapons. We gave them 2 P-80's to test, and they gave us a bunch of jet engines. Also we gave them a bunch of our highly top secret VT Fuse 5" shells to help defend against V-1's. Those VT shells shot down 80% of the incomming V-1's once they were fully deployed.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rpkiller:
Ah, that's one version of events.

However, According to Jane's Fighters of WW2, the supercharger was at that time classified and so removed for overseas sales. Slightly contradictory to this, i've also read in various other sourcd that the superchargers simply required far too much maintenance for a front line rapid response fighter as required by the RAF at the time. Other problems were reputed for the P38's, including (not sure of the accuracy of this) leaking canopies, reliability problems, eamongst others. However, i'd better look these up before spouting contestible comments.

Anyway, my point is that there were pretty valid reasons for the changes and cancelling of order other than shear 'dumb smuck'ness.

Best regards,

rp<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

"Most P-39's were sent to the Russians - so I guess that was an American secret weapon against our Russian allies."

Stan Wood, P-38 pilot who also flew the P-39.

tfu_iain1
05-24-2004, 04:11 PM
hehe, sounds like the good old british civil service getting in the way, like the pencil moustached little S***e who cancelled our supersonic aircraft project weeks before the record attempt

rpkiller
05-24-2004, 04:13 PM
Good points Gibbage, the issue with classified weapons from the US is a little confused. As far as I am aware (depending on the accuracy of my books) the issue with classified weapons was solely between the outbreak of war, and the beginning of U.S. involvement.

However, I still question the suitability of the P38 as a rapid response aircraft as especially critical for the Battle of Britain, with or without the 37mm cannon.

greatest compliments

rp

Korolov
05-24-2004, 04:22 PM
The Brits could have used the P-38 well for a quick climbing interceptor or forward recon aircraft; it would have been interesting to see the early P-38s used in this fashion.

However, I think the case here is that the British were expecting something of a twin engined Spitfire, but instead got a double engined Tigermoth.

http://www.mechmodels.com/images/newsig1.jpg

rpkiller
05-24-2004, 04:25 PM
I guess for the sake of argument I should stick my neck out and make what i've been dying to say: I think the P38 would have been more of a liability than help in the BOB.http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

It was common during the thick of the action for pilots to land, refuel and rearm, and take of again to be back in action in no time at all. This was one of the great strengths of the tactics of Dowding's Fighter Command, with great numbers of airbases up and down the east and south coasts. Maintenance and repair could be undertaken in an amazingly short period of time, allowing a much battered RAF to remain active in their darkest hour. Aircraft like the hurricane and spit were renowned for their ease of repair and maintenance - these were the qualities which more which really counted during those times. Also, they could be manufactured quickly, replacing diminished stocks when vitally needed. I think a huge number of P38's (which would have resulted in a smaller number of other fighter aircraft) would have been massively detrimental.

Nevertheless, this is a moot point, and I am sure the P38 was a fine aircraft in its element.

I am off to bed now, but would love to keep this debate alive another time.

Kind regards

rp

Korolov
05-24-2004, 04:45 PM
Well the whole point would be to have a select few in rear areas, to take advantage of the P-38's extreme range and ability to fly high. The P-38 wasn't a front line fighter, even though it could fill those roles if necessary.

Ideally, you could have the P-38's up and flying for as long as possible, and to return only when more ammo or fuel was required. Experience with the plane in North Africa as of late 1942 and early 1943 shows that the plane worked well under harsh conditions of the desert, even when maintenance had to be done by the pilots themselves with little to no technical experience.

http://www.mechmodels.com/images/newsig1.jpg

Gibbage1
05-24-2004, 05:13 PM
From the start, the P-38 was designed to take off, climb fast, and intercept high flying bombers. Sounds EXACTLY like what the Brits needed in BoB. The Spits with 8 .303's were having a hard time taking down He-111's and later had trouble reaching the Ju-88's. Also, the P-38 could of taken off, and loiter around the coast for some time. Something the Spits could not do. They have to take off when the bombers were on the way over the coast. Also the P-38's could of escorted the Wellingtons into enemy teritory were the Spits could not. Or do coastal patroles Vs German U-boats or intercept Fw-200's that would fly out of range of the Spits.

The Spits and Hurricanes were GREAT fighters. Poor bomber intercepters, and there range limited there roal GREATLY to a defensive position. The P-38 could of given the Brits something to strike back with.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rpkiller:
Good points Gibbage, the issue with classified weapons from the US is a little confused. As far as I am aware (depending on the accuracy of my books) the issue with classified weapons was solely between the outbreak of war, and the beginning of U.S. involvement.

However, I still question the suitability of the P38 as a rapid response aircraft as especially critical for the Battle of Britain, with or without the 37mm cannon.

greatest compliments

rp<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

"Most P-39's were sent to the Russians - so I guess that was an American secret weapon against our Russian allies."

Stan Wood, P-38 pilot who also flew the P-39.

LeadSpitter_
05-24-2004, 06:07 PM
And did you read why they were canceled?

Cost of initial aircraft
Cost of maintenance
Ammount of time and work required to keep running eacg aircraft running

the p47 was an expensie aitcraft for wwii times as well and took a considerable amount of time for engine overhauls compaired to the mustang

http://img14.photobucket.com/albums/v43/leadspitter/LSIG1.gif

NegativeGee
05-24-2004, 07:30 PM
I think its a little one sided to say the abscence of superchargers was purely based upon the UK insisting they be removed.

Some sources state the US State department specifically prohibited the export of the superchargers to the RAF customer.

Gibbage, you also overplay the difficulties experienced in bringing down Luftwaffe medium bombers over the UK. While the 8x .303 armament was less than ideal against a bomber, it worked well enough for the Spitfire, and more significantly the Hurricane who accounted for most of the bomber kills. I don't think "poor" is a particularly objective term to describe the Spitfire I's and Hurricane I's abilities as bomber interceptors.

"As weaponry, both were good, but in far different ways from each other. In a nutshell, I describe it this way: if the FW 190 was a sabre, the 109 was a florett, or foil, like that used in the precision art of fencing." - Günther Rall

http://www.invoman.com/images/tali_with_hands.jpg

Look Noobie, we already told you, we don't have the Patch!

ImpStarDuece
05-24-2004, 09:01 PM
Have to respectfully disagree with you guys on a couple of points here.

First of all my information states that:

"In March 1940 the British Purchasing Commission had ordered 143 of this type (the P-38), with the 37mm replaced by a 20mm Hispano with far greater ammunition capacity. The State Department prohibited export of the F2 Allison engine and the RAF aircraft, called Lightening I, had early C15 engines without turbochargers, both having right handed rotation (P-38s having propellers turning outward). The result was poor and the RAF rejected these machines, which were later brought up to US standard."
B. Gunston The Illustrated Dictionary of Fighting Aircraft of World War II 1988, Salamander Books

"Britain ordered 250 aircraft in May 1940 (and took over a French contract for 417) but only three Lightening Is with no turbochargers and reduced armament were delivered. The USAAF took over the contracts of which the first 143 were completed a to the reduced standard as teh P-322 and used as fighter trainers" S.Wilson Aircraft of WWII 1998, Aerospace Publications.

So while there is some disagreement as to when the British aircraft were ordered (May vs March) it is clear they were not ordered for (or during) the BoB. They were never intended for service in the mid 1940 period at all. Secondly it was the P-38H which was the first of the type to crack 400MPH in level flight and it did it with 1325hp Allison V-1710-51s. The model-322 with reduced engine rating (about 1100hp) and no superchargers could only make 400mph in a dive, never in level flight.

As for the P-38 in the BoB:
Firstly the well known engine troubles, both in flight and for maintenence, that plauged the Allisons in the damp, cool climate if N/W europe meant that the P-38s availability would of been cut severly due to reliability and maintenence issues. Imagine the number of "HAnger Queens" destroyed by LW raids. In 1943 mission aborts due to mechanical fialures were up to 50% usually around 25-33%. This is with US personnel on the ground in the UK with years of experiance servicing these birds.

Secondly the issue of Pilot Training. Apart from the few Whirlwind prototypes flying at the time the Brits had little experiance with fighter type twins. USAAF commanders complained that in 1943-44 the P-38 was more than a handful for an 'average' pilot, even on the later improved J models, and that pilots with 150 hrs of stick time in the type just barely qualified as flight worthy, let alone combat ready. Imagine the training issues involved in getting crews sufficently ready for combat in the July to October period, just 5 or so months after the decision to purchase the type.

While the P-38 would of been useful in the BoB, particularly on CAPS with its high speed, good climb and long loiter, the type simply wasn't combat acceptable in 1940. In my opinion the P-38 wasn't really combat acceptable until late 1941 when the P-38F with the combat flaps and more powerful engines became available.

"There's no such thing as gravity, the earth sucks!"

wayno7777
05-24-2004, 09:30 PM
From Forked-tailed Devil: The P-38, the original order was placed in March of 1940 with deliveries scheduled to begin in December 1941. The Lightning Mark I was to be the export version of the P-38E, and the Mark II the export version of the turbo-supercharged P-38G-13 and P-38G-15...the Model 322's became known as the "castrated Lightnings," and none of the airplanes ever saw combat with the RAF. The Air Corps refused to give up its limited quantity of turbo-superchargers for export, and the Lightning I fighters rolled from the factory with the older V-1710-C15 engines.
The orginal armament was a 23mm Madsen cannon and 4 .50 cal. machine guns. Lockheed redesigned the nose to accomodate 1 37mm cannon 2 .50 cal. and 2 .30 cal. machine guns( it would be changed again, in fact twice ). P-38D would have 4 .50's and a 37mm cannon, the P-38E was a revision to a smaller cannon. A 20mm Hispano-type cannon replced the 37mm Oldsmobile weapon.

World War Two Weekend June 4-6, 2004 Reading, PA
Over 70 planes including a P-38 (hopin' for GG)
http://server5.uploadit.org/files/wayno77-topcover2.JPG
Gen. Carl Spaatz: "I'd rather have an airplane that goes like hell and has a few things wrong with it than one that won't go like hell and has a few things wrong with it."
Any landing you can walk away from is a good one!

rpkiller
05-25-2004, 11:49 AM
I'd like to bump up this thread just to give those not online last night a chance to read it. The information in here is a great example of just how good these forums can be.

regards

rp

Amagi
05-25-2004, 12:38 PM
I've also read that the superchargers were left off the engines on the original aircraft ordered by the British and French because of the prohibition of their export. They might then have continued to be left off because of a limited supply, though by 1942 the R.A.F. had less of an urgent need for both interceptors and long range fighters, since the invasion threat was over, the British bombers flew at night and Singapore had fallen.

Spitfire VIII's were sent to Darwin to challenge the Japanese air superiority in the region, and it would be possible to ask whether Lightnings might not have been better for that purpose. The Buffalo had been chosen for the defence of the base of Singapore because of its longer range, which should have allowed patrols to react to the attacks on HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse. The R.A.F. may have been put off by their experiences with the P-400 version of the P-40.

The same source claimed that the name Lightning was adopted because it was the R.A.F. name for the aircraft..!?!

p1ngu666
05-25-2004, 02:14 PM
i think average time in spit before frontline was 10-15hours
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ForkTailedDevil
05-25-2004, 02:47 PM
It took a great deal of experience to fly the P-38 properly. I don't think that the British would have been able to train pilots in time for a succesful campaign of the Lighting during BOB.

"You can teach monkey's to fly better than that"

NegativeGee
05-25-2004, 06:50 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Amagi:
The same source claimed that the name Lightning was adopted because it was the R.A.F. name for the aircraft..!?!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, the British Purchasing Commission designated the name to the P-38D's the RAF refered to as Model 332-61's/Lightening I.

Its quite surprising the number of well known WW2 American designed aircraft that acquired their names in early war RAF service.

Mustang, Liberator, Havoc are some examples of the top of my head.

"As weaponry, both were good, but in far different ways from each other. In a nutshell, I describe it this way: if the FW 190 was a sabre, the 109 was a florett, or foil, like that used in the precision art of fencing." - Günther Rall

http://www.invoman.com/images/tali_with_hands.jpg

Look Noobie, we already told you, we don't have the Patch!

ericson
05-29-2004, 09:32 AM
Delivery of P38 production models didn't start untill summer 1941. The British did order the aircraft in 1940. The RAF gave it the name Lightning. I understand the USAAF re possessed the order because of the urgent need for them in the PTO.

Groundbait
05-29-2004, 02:32 PM
From USAAF Fighters of WWII by Michael O'Leary

"When France fell during 1940 the French order for Model 322's was added to the British order. The French and British aircraft had several major differences when compared to their American counterparts which negated the Lightning's main virtues. First the model 322's had V1710-C15 engines without turbosuperchargers which had less horsepower (1090hp at 14,000ft)than the American variants and were geared to have the props rotate in the same direction. Apparently the thought behind this disastrous combination was that the engine and prop combination would be the same as the Allisons used in the RAF's Curtiss Kittyhawks, and therefore interchangeable. However the deletion of the General Electric turbosuperchargers was not solely due to a requirement of the British Specification; rather, it was the fact that production at General Electric could not keep up with the US Army's demands. The british were faced with accepting the aircraft without the units or having the fighters stored in the open until the turbosuperchargers became available."