Lockheed P38J Lightning

Plane: Lockheed P38J Lightning

Weight (Empty/Loaded/Max): / 17,400lb /

Wing Area: 327.5sq ft

Wing Loading: / 53.1 lb/sq ft/

Length: 37' 10"

Span: 52'

Wing Aspect Ratio: 8.3

Engine: 2x1,425hp Allison V-1710-89/91 Inline

Flaps: 5 settings


Control Feel:

Stall Speed 1k (No Flaps/Full Flaps) 95/75mph


  type/ammo ROF Duration WB Punch Muzzle Velocity Ammo/Gun
Primary: 4x.50 cal Browning MG 12.0/s 41.6s 6x.50cal/ping 2,810ft/s 500
Secondary: 1x20mm Hispano-Suiza Cannon 11.2/s 13.4s 1.4x20mm/ping 2,790ft/s 150

0: none
1: 6xRockets
2: 2x1,000lb bombs
2: 6xRockets + 2x500lb bombs

Fuel Time/Percent: 43 seconds/percent

Power/weight (Empty/Loaded/Max): / 6.1lb/hp/

Corner Velocity: 265mph

Durability: Good

WEP time: 5 minutes

Maximum Angle-of-Attack (no flaps/full flaps): 19.5/19.5

Wing Incidence Angle (no flaps/full flaps): 4.5/4.5


  1,000ft 5,000ft 10,000ft 15,000ft
Stall-200mph 16.0s 18.6s 20.4s 25.9s
150mph-200mph 9.4s 10.8s 12.6s 16.5s
200mph-250mph 13.3s 15.9s 18.7s 25.0s
250mph-300mph 26.4s 32.0s 41.8s 63.0s

1k-5k: 47s
5k-10k: 69s
10k-15k: 69s

Zoom Climb:
1k 400mph: +5,400ft
1k 300mph: +3,200ft


  Max Speed After 30s After 60s
15,000ft to 10,000ft 390mph 350mph 340mph
15,000ft to 5,000ft 495mph 390mph 355mph
10,000ft to 5,000ft 410mph 360mph 345mph
10,000ft to 1,000ft 500mph 395mph 355mph
5,000ft to 1,000ft 395mph 355mph 345mph

Max Speed

  1,000ft 5,000ft
Climbing before levelling 335mph 330mph
Diving before levelling 340mph 340mph

Turn Performance

300mph 1,000ft 5,000ft 10,000ft 15,000ft
One 360 12.1s 13.3s 14.8s 15.6s
Two 360s 26.9s 28.7s 32.9s 25.9s
One 360 12.7s 13.7s 15.5s 16.7s
Two 360s 27.7s 30.2s 33.7s 38.2s
No Flaps 15.8s 17.4s 19.3s 22.7s
Full Flaps 15.1s 16.2s 18.3s 21.1s
Best Flap full full full full
Speed/best 105mph 105mph 105mph 105mph

Corner Speed and Radii (1,000ft):

Speed: 265mph
Radius: 511ft
Sustained Turn Speed: 165mph
Sustained Turn Radius: 608ft
Full Flaps Speed: 130mph
Full Flaps Radius: 458ft

Corner Times 1,000ft 5,000ft 10,000ft 15,000ft
180 degrees 6.0s 6.3s 7.0s 7.6s
360 degrees 12.7s 13.4s 14.8s 16.9s

Roll Rate:
150mph: 5.3s
200mph: 4.1s
250mph: 4.3s
300mph: 6.4s
350mph: 12.9s
400mph: 23.6s

Minimum Full-Flaps Full-Power Split-S altitude:
150mph: 900ft
200mph: 1000ft
250mph: 1600ft
300mph: 2000ft

Hoof's Tips and Opinions:

The J version of the P38 has several improvements over the P38F, including an improved propeller to help with speed and climb, an improved and more powerful pair of engines, and other minor inter-generational tweaks. This allows the P38J to compete quite well in the Warbirds arena, making her performance sufficient to do well. Unfortunately, the P38's main weakness, high speed control is not solved until later versions of the P38J and the P38L, in the form of hydraulically assisted ailerons and dive flaps. Thus while this plane may be able to compete on even terms with a P38L, it cannot even come close to it's high speed and diving abilities.

The P38J has no problems competing with the P38F. Better vertical performance, higher speed tolerance before control problems set in, slightly improved roll rate, faster acceleration, and comparable turn rate allow the P38J pilot to gain an edge over the P38F. But against the P38L, one has to be very careful not to be drug into a dive, otherwise the P38L's superior high speed handling will give it a decisive advantage, if an outright win as you dive straight into the ground.

Most P38 drivers will take the P38L, as it has everything the P38J has *and* one of the best high-speed and diving characteristics in the game. The P38J is competitive, but the P38L becomes simply superior to most planes with her diving/high speed problems solved.

A word of caution: If you look at the sustained-turn rate comparison charts, you will see that the P38J turns with the A6M5 variant of the Zero. It is highly advisable not to put this to the test! The P38J only stay's *with* the Zero (and not beat it), and only if a) the zero has no E, b) the zero is the A6M5 variant, c) the P38L pilot uses full flaps and rides the extreme edge of the stall, and d) the zero pilot does not ride the stall (or uses flaps, as it is not advantageous for a Zero pilot to use flaps). If the Zero pilot has any E at all, he will gain 20-30 degrees real quick on you, and you will find out how durable the P38J is! And unlike its brother the P38L, a P38J can't just dive away from a Zero, as the Zero will have similar control abilities to the P38J, and the Zero A6M5 dives pretty good too.Back To Main Page