TACTICAL SUITABILITY OF THE P-38F TYPE AIRPLANE 6 March 1943
This is the first type actually intended for combat! See the book; "The fork tailed Devil"
b. The allowable maximum diving speed is not as great as desired for combat operations.
c. At speeds above allowable diving speeds especially over twenty-thousand (20,000) feet, violent vibrations from tail buffeting are experienced.
d. The maintenance difficulties experienced were greater than with any other standard type of American fighter.
e. The subject aircraft is easy to fly. However, a longer period of time will be required for a pilot to become familiar with the operations and maximum performances of the aircraft than is required for a normal single engine fighter.
f. The cockpit installations are crowded and not arranged in a specific orderly fashion.
g. While the rate of climb is superior to all other types tested to date, this is not as great as required, especially below twenty-thousand (20,000) feet, and all excess weight in the structure and installations not vital to combat operations should be reduced or eliminated whenever possible.
h. Cooling capacity of the intercooler is not sufficient to allow maximum horsepower to be extracted from the engine at altitude.
i. The guns will not feed properly during maneuvers which create a pull of greater than 3-1/2 G’s.
b. Inasmuch as the general maneuverability of this aircraft is probably the lowest of any type of current fighter aircraft, and in view of the competition facing the P-38G in the European Theatre, all possible effort should be made to improve its rate of climb and high speed.
c. The P-38G turns much better than the P-38F (will close 180° in 360° circle) due to maneuver flaps.
d. Buffeting was noticeable but at higher speeds and accelerations than in the P-38F.
e. The P-38G will out zoom the P-38F.
f. The P-38G will hold its altitude in turns at thirty-five-thousand (35,000) feet, whereas the P-38F loses altitude.
g. The P-38G holds its advantages over the P-38F at all altitudes.
h. The lack of sufficient intercooling holds down the performance of the P-38G as well as the P-38F.
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