Talk:Lockheed P-38 Lightning

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Hispano-Suiza HS.404[edit]

As a layman in these topics it strikes me as contradiction what's written here and Hispano-Suiza_HS.404#US_production. According to that article, the autocannons manufactured in the US never worked good enough to be put into use. So where were the 20 mm's for the P-38 coming from? --Pjacobi (talk) 10:52, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

The Lightning experienced in-flight failures of the autocannon, but not as much as some other aircraft with the same gun. Perhaps it was the central placement, subject to less g-force during aerobatics. The autocannon worked good enough if the pilot attacked with a straight approach, not so good in a swirling dogfight. Binksternet (talk) 14:44, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
According to this 1943 Flight article; [1] the P-38 had built-in cocking of the guns, so any stoppages in flight due to misfires could have been cleared by simply re-cocking the 20mm. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:00, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Distance units in Lindbergh section[edit]

Under Charles Lindbergh are given stats on extending the range of the P-38.

I wonder about the use of "miles" --- indicated airspeed on an aircraft is calibrated in nautical miles per hour (knots), not statute miles per hour. Hence the mph figure cited is actually nm/h, or knots. The problem is compounded in calculating the equivalent speed in km/h. As presented here, it is based on ~1.60 km, which is per statute mile. If the miles are nautical, then the proper conversion is 1.85 km. In which case, the equivalent metric speed for 185 knots should be 342 km/h, not 298 km/h. In addition, the 2.6 mpg figure should be 2.6 nmpg, or 2.6 nm/gal. PhuDoi1 (talk) 15:37, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

The P-38, like all US Army airplanes of that time, did not show nautical miles on its speedometer. The mileage figures are fine as they stand. Binksternet (talk) 17:23, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
The use of the knot as a measure of speed in aviation did not become widespread on either side of the Atlantic until after WW II. Prior to this almost all non-metric air speed indicators would have been calibrated in miles-per-hour. The only exception I am aware of was the UK Fleet Air Arm which used knots, it making navigation easier over the sea as all nautical charts are marked using the nautical mile. IIRC, the knot entered western international aviation use in around 1946, possibly due to the ICAO.
So if you see speed figures for a wartime aircraft given in knots then someone would have needed to have converted them, as they would almost certainly have originally been quoted in miles-per-hour. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:03, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
"As the Crow Flies" - Aviation change to use of knots - a 1956 Flight article: [2] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:28, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

Plagiarized material[edit]

I just did a revert that I think needs explaining here. An anonymous editor ( removed a paragraph on the grounds that it is word-for-word identical with a paragraph in Petruscu and Petrescu's "The Aviation History." This book is listed at Amazon as a title from Books on Demand (which I believe is a self-publishing outfit) with a publication date of 15 February 2013. The Wikipedia history logs show this paragraph in substantially its present form in the Wikipedia article back to at least a year before this publication date.

In other words, it appears that it is the Petrescu book that is plagiarizing Wikipedia, not the other way around. I have therefore restored the paragraph here.

Wikipedia is, of course, rather freely licensed. Whether the Petrescu book has violated the license in any way I'll leave as an exercise for others. It certainly strikes me as shoddy scholarship, but that's a different issue. --Yaush (talk) 22:38, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

Wow. Good work. I didn't even catch that. Reading the article I thought the line "More Lightnings were lost due to severe weather and other conditions than enemy action, and there were cases where Lightning pilots, mesmerized by flying for hours over gray seas under gray skies, simply flew into the water." was fairly unsustainable without some facts to back it up. I Googled the line, you know what I found, and, well, Bob's your uncle. Except he isn't.

"Shoddy scholarship." ??? Its Plagiarism, pure and simple, and pretty damn stupid plagiarism at that. I mean ... ripping off wikipedia!

That will teach you (and me.) If I want verifiable facts, I'm sticking to the printed word on the paper page. Just like grad school. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:30, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

It happens. I actually went looking for the Wikipedia editor who "plagiarized" the paragraph, and then it occurred to me ... but then I've been at this a while.
You do raise another good point about the lines needing sourcing. You can flag this by inserting [citation needed] at the end of the suspect statement. --Yaush (talk) 00:52, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Amazon is chockfull of on demand printed books that are just Wikipedia articles repackaged, making traps for the unwary. GraemeLeggett (talk) 05:34, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Right. This one isn't the first and it will certainly not be the last. It's slightly more brazen than most in having a prominent copyright notice on the cover. --Yaush (talk) 13:16, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

Specifications (P-38L)[edit]

Maximum speed: 443 mph (713 km/h) (712 km/h)

Why are there two listings of the speed in km/h? Propose we remove the extra one. 313-matt (talk) 19:31, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done. Thanks for the note. Binksternet (talk) 19:45, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Japanese nicknames[edit]

""two planes, one pilot" (2飛行機、1パイロット Ni hikōki, ippairotto?) by the Japanese"

This sounds really unnatural in Japanese, so I googled it and of course it doesn't seem to exist in Japanese pages except adverts for a watch, which I think is referencing this page. The Japanese wiki page mentions its nickname was メザシ (mezashi), a type of skewered fish[3] and ペロハチ (perohachi), a pun on the name P-38 in Japanese. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:17, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. As far as I know, the more common nickname of P-38 in East Asia is "devil with double-body"(双胴の悪魔 in Japanese,双身恶魔 in Chinese). "2飛行機、1パイロット" sounds more like a description in Japanese text, instead of a nickname. Yogomove (talk) 13:09, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

Or is that from US propaganda that called it fork tailed devil (as they also claimed the F4U was called "whistling death"), being picked up and replacing any actual nicknames? While these may be used now, is there evidence it was used when the P-38 was in service? NiD.29 (talk) 17:07, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
The Walter Boyne book Silver Wings: A History of the United States Air Force says on page 148 that "the Japanese pictograph represented it as 'two planes, one pilot.'" Boyne does not show the "pictograph", or any kanji characters—his text is found underneath a photograph of the P-38. Boyne is a Smithsonian expert on the USAF and on fighter aircraft from World War II, but his fighter expertise is centered on the European Theatre where he himself flew and fought. He is less knowledgeable about Japan. Nevertheless, Wikipedia considers him a very reliable source for the statement. Naturally, any source that discusses the Japanese name for the P-38 in detail will be useful as a rebuttal. What we need are published sources rather than conjecture. Binksternet (talk) 15:50, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Variants need review and correction[edit]

The variants list is referenced to a USAF museum factsheet but at max 50% of the data presented is covered by this. Conversion versions should be clearly marked as such. The F-5C association to P-38H seems wrong, these are supposed to be conversions from P-38J whereas the former F-5B were P-38J built as recons on the production line. Both are wrong in text, too. --Denniss (talk) 01:34, 21 January 2015 (UTC)