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RAF P-38 / Lightning Mk XIV (finished)


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1 minute ago, wingman777 said:

It's finally standing on its own three legs, but I still have to install the wheels and 20mm cannons.   Alright, to all you model-mates out there.  Seems I was getting a bit knackered with this British Lightning but it's starting to feel sorted out.  Blimey!  One could say I'm becoming bloody cheeky over it all.  Almost ready for a proper spin around the aerodrome.  

Well, I gotta tell ya, it looks decidedly unLockheedish.  The Mustang canopy is a vast improvement and probably much more practical.

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Hey guys, I'm getting very close to completing this project.  It's been lots of fun, but it came on the heels of that Revell / Tamiya kit bash and (whew) it's been a bunch of work.  There are plenty of things I could've done better by taking my time, but I just didn't have the steam.  I've realized that much of what drives us to perform these 3-D works of art is sharing the skills and efforts with each other.  I keep this going in many ways to entertain you and to be entertained and impressed with your work.  Many of our friends and family aren't really into it, they just endure or tolerate it as needed.  Thanks for being there.  Soon I'll post the last few images of this project.  Though it's not my best work, I'm glad I did it.  It took parts from four other kits to bring it to life that otherwise those kits would've probably died in the dungeon.

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Let's take a moment to recap the familiar story.  The British accepted the Allison V-12 powered P-51 Apache, that the British Purchasing Commission renamed the "Mustang".  It was a remarkable aircraft with great performance under 20,000 feet.  The British used it successfully in low-level missions, until an RAF test pilot suggested that it needed a Merlin engine.  Of course, the rest is a true story of "Cinderella-like" transformation.  Through many more improvements, the P-51 Mustang became one of the all-time greatest fighter planes to emerge from WWII. / The P-38 Atlanta, that the British also renamed as the "Lightning" used the same Allison V-12 engines but was lacking the turbo-superchargers when given to the Brits for flight evaluation.   It was a great disappointment, unfit for combat in its' current form but it had true potential as a replacement for the failed Westland Whirlwind.  Let's imagine that the RAF had accepted the Lightning Mk I and developed it in the same fashion as the Mustang.  It might've looked like this...

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The P-38 is a smaller and lighter aircraft then the Mosquito so you can only imagine the performance it would have by using the same engines.  The area where the turbo superchargers once were is now filled additional fuel tanks.  That gives it a greater range without the use of external tanks.  The bubble canopy gives it a much better field of vision and easier access for the pilot.  

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Very cool fantasy P-38. It looks like a factory kit!

 

As a real concept, though, it would have failed. The P-38 did not have the problems of the P-51A with its lack of anything but the single speed super charged V1710, and the V1710+Turbo install was better than a Merlin XX install would have been. Turbos beat superchargers most of the time. A Merlin with a Turbo is just an inferior v1710.

Bodie covered this in his book. They looked at the concept, and it would not have resulted in any improvements. All that would have resulted in a Merlin swap is a P-38 with less Horsepower at high alt and handling issues with non-contra rotating props.

 

If they had really needed to up the P-38s already excellent performance, they would have gone with the K Model.

Edited by JeepsGunsTanks
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