P-38 Essay

“The harmonic vibration of the two Allison engines turning big black-and-yellow-tipped counter-rotating propellers in unison was the only sound I heard. I watched in awe as a factory fresh-looking, olive drab-colored Lockheed P-38 Lightning waddled over uneven grass to its parking spot.”1

The P-38 was a truly revolutionary plane, which played a key role in the skies of World War II. One of the planes most famous fights resulted in the shooting down of two Japanese bombers, one of which carried the infamous Admiral Yamamoto, the mastermind behind the attack on Pearl Harbor. Furthermore, the P-38 Lightning was used by the Allies during World War II for battles such as Guadacanal and New Britain, and it proved to be a key technological turning-point in the progression of the war. This plane provided a way for new types of planes to be created, allowing for the Allied victory in the war to be achieved. The P-38 Lighting was one of the first, yet most important planes in World War II. Other planes that the P-38 impacted were the P-51 Mustang, the Bell P-39, and the P-47 Thunderbolt.

P-38 Design and Technological Innovations

      In the year 1937 the United States Army Air Corps requested a plane to be created for their men to use to invade and strike enemy aircraft down. Lockheed, a popular plane designing business decided to accept the request from the US military for a fighter plane to be created that would attack enemy planes. The specifications of this new plane was for this plane to be able to fly up to 20,000 feet above sea level within six minutes after takeoff and for this plane to reach a minimum top speed of 360 miles per hour. Lockheed was determined to be the first company to submit a new plane to the Army Air Corps.

      Designers Clarence Johnson and Hall Hibbard needed for there to be enough power in this new aircraft from Lockheed to meet the Air Corps standard. They both agreed that no single engine plane would meet the Air Corps...