LOCKHEED P-38 LIGHTNING

P-38 SERVICE

Manufacturer: The Lockheed Aircraft Corp., Burbank, California, USA
Models: Model 020, 022, 122, 222, 322, 422, 522, 622
Designations: P-38; F-4, F-5, F-38, FO, P-49, P-58, P-322
Names: Lightning; Chain Lightning (P-58), Night Lightning (P-38M)
First official flight: (XP-38) 27/01/1939
Factory production period: 1938 - 1945
Primary service period: 1941 - 1946
Last official flight: (ZF-38J / L) 1949

P-38 VARIANTS

1939 Model 022-64-01 XP-38 1  
1940 Model 122-62-02 YP-38 13 Total: 00014
         
1941 Model 222-62-02 P-38 30  
1941 Model 222-62-08 P-38D 36 Total: 00066
         
1941 Model 222-62-09 P-38E 210  
1941 Model 222-62-13 F-4 99  
1941 Model 322-61-04 Lightning Mk. I 143  
1942 Model 222-60-09/-12/-15
Model 322-60-19
P-38F 527  
1942 Model 222-60-13 F-4A 20  
1942 Model 222-68-12
Model 322-68-19
P-38G 1082  
1942 Model 222-62-16
Model 222-68-16
F-5A 181  
1942 Model 422-81-20 P-38H 601 Total: 02863
         
1943 Model 422-81-14/-22/-23 P-38J 2970  
1943 Model 422-81-21 F-5B 200  
1943 Model 422-85-14 P-38K 1  
1944 Model 422-87-23 P-38L 3923 Total: 07094
         
1942 Model 522-66-07 XP-49 1  
1944 Model 020-86-04 XP-58 1 Total: 00002

Grand Total: 10039

P-38 PRODUCTION

XP-38
Prototype twin-engine, long-range fighter.
4 nose guns / 1 nose cannon.
Produced 1938

Lockheed Burbank, California (LO)

37-457 022-2201 1 Total: 00001

YP-38
Service test version, engine / armament upgrade.
Produced 1940 - 1941

Lockheed Burbank, California (LO)

39-689 / 39-701 122-2202 / 2214 13 Total: 00013

P-38
As YP-38, armour protection, XP-38 armament.
Produced 1941

Lockheed Burbank, California (LO)

40-744 / 40-773
1 (40-762), built
as the XP-38A.
222-2215 / 2244 30 Total: 00030

P-38B - Reserved for projected development, cancelled.
P-38C
- Reserved for projected development, cancelled.

P-38D
As P-38, modified tailplane, minor changes.
Produced 1941

Lockheed Burbank, California (LO)

40-774 / 40-809 222-2245 / 2280 36 Total: 00036

P-38E
As P-38D, mechanical changes, cannon upgrade.
Produced 1941 - 1942

Lockheed Burbank, California (LO)

41-1983 / 41-2292
210 as P-38E-LO.
99 as F-4-LO.
1 as F-5A-LO.
3 to RAAF as
A55-1 / A55-3.
222-5201 / 5510 210 Total: 00210

F-4-1
Photo reconn. version of the P-38E, unarmed.
Produced 1941

Lockheed Burbank, California (LO)

99 mixed with P-38E-LO s/n.

Total: 00099

Lightning Mk. I
RAF version of the P-38E, minor changes.
Produced 1941 - 1942

Lockheed Burbank, California (LO)
Delivered as Lightning Mk. I to:

(RAF) AE978 / AE980 322-3001 / 3003

3

 

Retained by USAAF with non-standard designation P-322:

(RAF) AE981 / AE999 322-3004 / 3022    
(RAF) AF100 / AF220 322-3023 / 3143 140 Total: 00143
60 additional airframes cancelled.

P-38F
As P-38E, engine upgrade, external changes.
Produced 1942 - 1943

Lockheed Burbank, California (LO)

41-2293 / 41-2392
- 80 as P-38F-LO.
- 20 as F-4A-LO.
222-5511 / 5610    
41-7484 / 41-7680 222-5611 / 5807    
42-12567 / 42-12666 222-7001 / 7100    
43-2035 / 43-2184
- 150 ex. Lightning Mk. II
orders.
322-3144 / 3293 527 Total: 00527

F-4A-1
Photo reconn. version of the P-38F, unarmed.
Produced 1942

Lockheed Burbank, California (LO)

20 mixed with P-38F-LO s/n.

Total: 00020

P-38G
As P-38F, engine / radio upgrade.
Produced 1942 - 1943

Lockheed Burbank, California (LO)

42-12667 / 42-12866
- 160 as P-38G-LO.
- 40 as F-5A-LO.
222-7101 / 7300    
42-12870 / 42-13557
- 548 as P-38G-LO.
- 140 as F-5A-LO.
222-7304 / 7991    
43-2185 / 43-2558
- 374 ex. Lightning Mk. II
orders.
322-3294 / 3667 1082 Total: 01082

F-5A-1 / -2 / -3 / -10
Photo reconn. version of the P-38G, unarmed.
Produced 1942 - 1943

Lockheed Burbank, California (LO)

1 mixed with P-38E-LO s/n, was Model 222-62-16.  
180 mixed with P-38G-LO s/n.

Total: 00181

P-38H
As P-38G, engine / mechanical upgrade.
Produced 1942 - 1943

Lockheed Burbank, California (LO)

42-13559 422-1005    
42-66502 / 42-67101 422-1013 / 1612 601 Total: 00601

P-38I - Not used.

P-38J
As P-38G, chin radiators on nacelles, many block no. changes.
Some converted with glass nose for bombing duties.
Produced 1943 - 1944

Lockheed Burbank, California (LO)

42-12867 / 42-12869 422-1001 / 1003    
42-13560 / 42-13566 422-1006 / 1012    
42-67102 / 42-68301
- 1000 as P-38J-LO.
- 200 as F-5B-LO.
422-1613 / 2812    
42-103979 / 42-104428 422-2813 / 3262    
43-28248 / 43-29047 422-3263 / 4062    
44-23059 / 44-23768 422-4063 / 4772 2970 Total: 02970

F-5B-1
Photo reconn. version of the P-38J, unarmed.
Produced 1943

Lockheed Burbank, California (LO)

200 mixed with P-38J-LO s/n.

Total: 00200

P-38K
As P-38J, engine / prop upgrade, later cancelled.
Produced 1943

Lockheed Burbank, California (LO)

42-13558 422-1004 1 Total: 00001

P-38L
As P-38J, engine upgrade, landing light on port wing.
Some converted with glass nose for bombing duties.
Produced 1944 - 1945

Lockheed Burbank, California (LO)

44-23769 / 44-27258 422-4773 / 8262    
44-53008 / 44-53327 422-8263 / 8582

3810

 
1380 additional airframes cancelled.

Consolidated-Vultee Nashville, Tennessee (VN)

43-50226 / 43-50338 ? 113 Total: 03923
1887 additional airframes cancelled.

XP-49
As YP-38, engine / armament upgrade.
Second cockpit added for pressurization tests.
Produced 1942

Lockheed Burbank, California (LO)

40-3055 N/A 1 Total: 00001

XP-58 Chain Lightning
As P-38, 2-seater with provision for gun turrets,
engine upgrade.
Produced 1944

Lockheed Burbank, California (LO)

41-2670 020-1526 1 Total: 00001
1 additional prototype cancelled.

 

Grand Total: 10039

P-38 CONVERSIONS

USAAF

RP-38 30 P-38, 1942, redesignation as "restricted" from combat.
XP-38A 1 Model 622-62-10
P-38(40-762), 1942, conversion with a pressurized cockpit.
RP-38D 36 P-38D, 1942, redesignation as "restricted" from combat.
RP-38E 210 P-38E, 1943, redesignation as "restricted" from combat.
XP-38K 1 P-38E(41-1983), prototype with engine / prop upgrade.
TP-38L 2 P-38L, 1945, 2 seater operational trainers.
P-38M 75 Night Lightning
P-38L, 1945, 2 seater armed night-fighter with chin mounted radar.
P-38L(44-25237) was the prototype, some conversions not completed.
RF-4 99 F-4, 1943, redesignation as "restricted" from combat.
RF-4A 20 F-4A, 1943, redesignation as "restricted" from combat.
F-5C-1 128 P-38H, post-factory conversions to photo reconn. aircraft.
XF-5D 1 F-5A(42-12975), modified with glazed nose for observer, armed.
F-5E-2/3/4 705 P-38J / L, post-factory conversions to photo reconn. aircraft.
F-5F-3 1+ P-38L, post-factory conversions to photo reconn. aircraft.
F-5G-6 1+ P-38L, post-factory conversions to photo reconn. aircraft.
ZF-38J 1+ P-38J, 1948, redesignation as "obsolete".
ZF-38L 1+ P-38L, 1948, redesignation as "obsolete".
Droop Snoot 1+ P-38J, 1943, conversions as bomber with glass nose for bombardier.
Pathfinder 1+ P-38J / L, 1944, conversions with even larger nose section for bombing radar.
Swordfish 1 P-38E(41-2048), 1943, modified for flight testing.

US Navy

XFO-1

4

F-5B, temporarily loaned aircraft to the US Navy in North Africa.
Assigned BuNo. 01209 / 01212.

British RAF

Lightning Mk. II 

1

Model 322-60-04.
Single airframe completed, retained by USAAF for test duties.
Assigned RAF s/n: AF221, later redesignated as P-38F-LO
and assigned s/n: 43-2035.
149 orders became P-38F-LO, s/n: 43-2036 / 43-2184.
374 orders became P-38G-LO, s/n: 43-2185 / 43-2558.

FOREIGN MILITARY / CIVILIAN SERVICE
 - Some P-38's in service during and post WW2 with the foreign Air Forces of
   Australia, France, China, Honduras, Italy and Portugal.
 - Some P-38J / L's sold on the civil market as circuit racers and aerial surveyors.

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