Lockheed's iconic P-38 was featured in Design Analysis articles in both Aviation [ HTML ] and Industrial Aviation [ HTML ] magazines. Both articles appeared in the August, 1944, issues. Air Tech had produced a slightly less detailed article [ HTML ] in June, 1943; it has considerably less text but is as well illustrated. Many of the illustrations are essentially the same in the three articles.
A draft PDF [ PDF, 33.5 MiB ] includes both of the Aviation and Industrial Aviation Design Analysis articles and a short article from the January, 1943, issue of Aviation, "Lockheed P-38 Has Wide Range of Tactical Uses."
A color phantom rendering from the Industrial Aviation Design Analysis article was used to develop some wallpapers. The drawing was by Reynold Brown.
The rendering, except for text inclusions, seems identical to one published in the April, 1945, issue of Flying.
The Lightning was an important player in the early years of the war, so it was subject of several articles.
- The "Air News: Defense" column for April, 1940, [ HTML ] mentions first delivery of P-38s to th USAAC.
- "The P-38 Interceptor" [ HTML ] introduces the new fighter plane at about the time the first examples were being delivered to the RAF.
- "Producing Struts For the P-38" [ HTML ] describes in considerable detail the construction and production of P-38 main landing gear struts.
- "Lockheed P-38 Has Wide Range of Tactical Uses" [ HTML ] (included in the Design Analysis PDF) is basically an introduction to the airplane.
- "Lightnings in Africa" [ HTML ] talks about the use of the P-38 over North Africa and the Mediterranean, with a focus on the single-engine survivability and the practicality (proven in the field) of bailing out both issues raised by P-38 naysayers.
- "How Lockheed Builds Steel Drop Tanks" [ HTML ] describes the development and production of the 165-gallon teardrop drop tanks used on the P-38.
- "Riding the Lightning" [ HTML ] describes a publicity ride by a journalist. In it he addresses a number of design considerations and operational reasons for them. He also mentions the polished aluminum spots in the camouflage paint on the nacelles that let the pilot see whether the nose gear is down.
- "Has Aviation Doomed the Tank?" [ HTML ] mentions the Lightning as being an effective anti-tank fighter, even though out of its high-altitude element.
- "Lightning Line Brews Triple Trouble for Axis" [ HTML ] describes the operation of the P-38 assembly line in considerable detail.
- "15 seconds to live" [ HTML ] tells the story of Lt Col Hough and his solution to the problem of compressibility in a power dive in the P-38.
This is another account of the "supersonic power dive."
- Air Tech's "Shop Talk" column for July, 1944, includes "Invincible" [ HTML ] describes battle damage to a P-38 that made it home to Italy from an incident over Albania.
- "The Fork-Tailed Devil" [ HTML ] gives a fairly deep history of the P-38 and its modification levels. The article includes a rather bulky table describing the various models.
- "The P-38 Interceptor" [ HTML ] includes 2 photos, a 3-view silhouette, and two detail drawings.
- A Sketchbook drawing from September, 1941, shows an engine mount minus engine.
- An Allison ad for October, 1941, "Shipshape for Pursuit!," features a photo of a P-38, seen from 11 o'clock high.
- A Vickers (hydraulic controls) ad from October, 1941, shows the prototype P-38 in flight, seen from 2 o'clock low.
- A Lockheed ad, "Design for Daring," from March, 1942, has a drawing of P-38s seen from below between the booms of a P-38 in the foreground.
- A Fafnir Ball Bearings ad, "Lightning strikes at 450 mph!," from April, 1942, shows a P-38 from 10 o'clock high.
- A Lockheed ad, "Lightning strikes," from April, 1942, has a painting of a P-38 shooting a stylized Dornier.
- A Lockheed ad, "End of Rehearsal
," from June, 1942, shows a drawing of a pilot climbing into the cockpit of a P-38, seen from directly above.
- A Norma Hoffman precision bearings ad, "A Thunderbolt Forged for Victory," from August, 1942, shows a P-38 in flight, seen from 2 o'clock.
- A Standair (Standard Aircraft Products lighting equipment) ad for August, 1942, features a photo of a P-38, apparently the prototype, seen from 2 o'clock low.
- A Lockheed ad for August, 1942, "So it's a fight they want
," has a drawing of a P-38 in close-up, seen from in front of the right inner wing.
- A Lockheed ad for October, 1942, "Tough Customer," features a drawing of a P-38 seen from 7 o'clock high.
- A BF Goodrich "Airplane of the Month" ad for January, 1943, featured a color painting of P-38s in formation, seen from 11 o'clock low.
- A Lockheed ad, "Call it Lightning say the pilots," from February, 1943, has a drawing of P-38s in a steep climb; foreground plane seen from 2 o'clock.
- Air Progress for March, 1943, had a color front cover of a ground-crew man talking with a pilot, seen from directly behind the left inner wing.
- A Curtiss Electric Propellers ad, "Campaigner," shows a color photo of a P-38 in OD over gray camo, seen from 1 o'clock close and photos of four campaign ribbons from various theaters.
- A Triplett & Barton (X-ray services) ad, "Lightning streaks across the waters," features a photo of a P-38 seen from 12 o'clock high, close, with others in vertical echelon behind.
- The Air Tech for June, 1943, had a color front cover photo showing the pilot entering the cockpit, seen from just in front of and to the left of the lefthand engine.
- A Lockheed ad, "The eyes of the Coral Sea battle," from June, 1943, tells the story of Captain Karl Polifka, who flew reconnaissance missions in conjunction with the Battle of the Coral Sea in an F-5.
- The Air Tech design analysis article [ HTML ] includes 3 photos and 11 drawings and diagrams:
- The Air Tech design analysis article was headed by a color front cover of a pilot mounting his plane, seen from below and in front of the left engine.
- A color Gallery photo, "Lockheed P-38," shows a P-38 in flight over water with a shoreline in the background. View is from 2 o'clock.
- A Lockheed ad, "Jap-hunting without a gun," for July, 1943, features a drawing of an F-5 taking enemy fire and with battle damage, seen from 2 o'clock high.
- A Pesco (fuel pumps) ad from July, 1944, "Performance Controls the Air," has a color painting of P-38s taking off from a jungle-surrounded air strip. Plane in foreground is seen from 12 o'clock.
- A Lockheed ad, "6,000 experts keep Lockheeds in trim!," from August, 1943, shows a photo of a ground crew of 6 working on a drop-tank-equipped P-38, seen from 11 o'clock.
- A Lockheed ad, "P-38 Team," from January, 1944, shows ground crew working in the right main wheel well of a P-38.
- A Presstite Engineering (sealing compounds) ad for August, 1943, shows a photo of a P-38 in flight, seen from 9 o'clock high.
- The front cover of Flying magazine for August, 1943, shows a color photo of details of the armament compartment, with ammunition belts, seen from the left side.
- "Lightning Line Brews Triple Trouble for Axis" [ HTML ] includes
- A Fafnir Ball Bearings ad for October, 1943, "Triple Trouble on the way!," shows a flight of three P-38s in echelon right, seen from 10 o'clock high.
- A color Gallery photo, "Lockheed Lightnings in Africa did excellent skip-bombing with bombs this size," shows ground crew with a bomb next to the nose of The Beantown Boys with mission and kill marks.
- A color Gallery photo, "Versatile Lockheed Lightning is fighter, bomber and camera plane," shows a P-38 in flight, seen from 2 o'clock high.
- A Duotone Gallery photo, "Lightning," shows a P-38 in flight, seen from just forward of 3 o'clock.
- A Lockheed ad, "Captain Hoelle's Somersault," from November, 1943, tells the story of Capt W J Hoelle, who struck a telephone pole while strafing German positions in Tunisia.
- A National Tube Company ad for December, 1943, "How to take a punch on the nose,"shows details of the nose landing gear and of an engine mount.
- A Lockheed ad for January, 1944, "P-38 Team," shows three men around the right main gear and wheel well. The subtitle, "Plane, pilot, ground crew it takes all three to win a fight!," implies that two of the men are ground crew and that the man in the foreground, wearing what looks like a Mae West life preserver, would be a pilot.
- A Hycon (hydraulic pump) ad, "Finger-tip control for speed faster than sound," from April, 1944, features a photo or really good drawing of P-38s; foreground plane seen from 10 o'clock.
This ad promotes one of several reports of planes exceeding the speed of sound during the war. They were probably all the result of instrument dysfunction at high air speeds. It is highly unlikely that any propeller-driven plane ever reached Mach 1. "Riding the Lightning" [ HTML ] addresses this issue in passing: "
airspeed indicators fail far below terminal velocity and record only a 'shock wave' of air which has no bearing on the true speed."
- A Lockheed ad, "End of the line change for Kiska," from May, 1944, shows a P-38 in the hangar door, seen from adjacent to the right outboard cooler scoop.
- A news clip with photo from May, 1944, "Lockheed F-5's 'firepower'," shows a camera installation in the nose of an F-5 photo-reconnaissance version of the P-38.
- A news clip, "Invincible" [ HTML ] includes a photo of a crash-landed battle-damaged P-38.
- A Lockheed ad, "Pickled Lightning," shows two workmen at the left nacelle of a P-38. Viewpoint is just to the right of the nose.
- A vectorized (SVG, 2.0 MiB) three-view drawing is derived from the three-view drawing in the Aviation Design Analysis article.
- Industrial Aviation color front cover for August, 1944, shows workers fitting out the right-hand engine on the assembly line.
- "Cool heads and hot lead" [ HTML ] includes a photo of a P-38 in flight over ocean, seen from 12 o'clock high.
- An Allegheny Metal ad for October, 1944, "Stroke of Lightning in the sky," shows a photo of a P-38 in flight, natural metal with anti-glare panels, seen from 10 o'clock high.
- A color Gallery photo, "Refueling one of a Lightning's two belly tanks," shows the nose and drop tanks of what appears to be an F-5, being refueled, with the back of a fuel truck in the foreground.
- A news clip with photo, "World's fastest ambulance," from March, 1945, shows a stretcher being loaded into a modified drop tank under the right inner wing of a P-38.
I read a modern article where the author inveighed mightily against this procedure. One would presume he was not faced with the alternatives of taking that ride (apparently very unnerving) or dieing in the field.
- A foldout montage of six images, "Other views of the Lightning," includes four views of the plane, P-38J 329019, a closeup of the gun nose and a view showing a camera installation in the F-5 nose.
- A Chevron Aviation Gasoline ad, "Stars in the sky
the Lockheed Lightning," includes a number of drawings, including a small cutaway revealing engine and armament details.
- Air News for September, 1945, has a blue Duotone print of four P-38Ls flying in formation, viewed from 8 o'clock.
- A color Gallery photo, "Test-firing a Lightning's cannon and four machine guns," shows a nighttime shot of a P-38 firing into a target bunker. Viewpoint is from just inboard of the right tail fin. Plane is in bare-metal finish.