Lockheed P 38 Lightning / Great Planes history of wars

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Lockheed P 38 Lightning / Great Planes The P-38: When Lightning Strikes The pilot in a new American fighter, the P-38 Lightning, peeled down from the ...

Дата загрузки:2020-04-24T19:25:08+0300

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Lockheed P 38 Lightning / Great Planes
The P-38: When Lightning Strikes
The pilot in a new American fighter, the P-38 Lightning, peeled down from the skies over Iceland on August14, 1942. True to its name, the P-38 was akin to a force of nature: fast, unforeseen, and immensely powerful.

The aircraft’s target, was a German Focke-Wulf Fw-200 Condor patrol bomber. Its crew had never encountered anything quite like it before.

With its distinctive design, the P-38 was sleek but its twin tails gave the Lightning a radical new look. The pilot, pumping 409 rounds per minute from its nose-mounted machine guns, dispatched the Condor in seconds, marking the first successful American engagement of a German aircraft during World War II.

Within six months, as the P-38 showed its versatility in North Africa, a lone hysterical German pilot surrendered to soldiers at an Allied camp near Tunisia, pointing up to the sky and repeating one phrase—“der Gableschwanz Teufl”—over and over.

Once the phrase was translated, U.S. officials realized the focus of the pilot’s madness. The P-38 had been given a new nickname: the “fork-tailed devil.” history of wars
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