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Thread: P 38 Race limitations.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Australia
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    Default P 38 Race limitations.

    No gold racing Lightnings ..
    Is the P-38 speed problem a low Mach limit [~0.65 = 440mph @ Reno height]..
    Or an Allison issue [ any winning Allison powered Mustangs] ?
    Or that 'n' more?
    Last edited by J.A.W.; 08-17-2013 at 07:47 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Prairie, Idaho
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    Default Re: P 38 Race limitations.

    Simply never been tried at Reno.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: P 38 Race limitations.

    What was that Clint Eastwood 'Dirty Harry' quote?
    ..something about the ability to recognise limitations?

    Wonder if one of those long-nose [Allison powered] Fw 190 reps will get a run?

  4. #4
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    Utah
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    Default Re: P 38 Race limitations.

    too much intersection drag...
    Todd Smith

  5. #5
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    Pacific Palisades, CA
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    Default Re: P 38 Race limitations.

    I remember clocking Levitz at 340 at two of the 1000 mile races but they couldn't keep the pace. I never knew the reason but it probably was heat and fuel consumption.
    I seem to remember some 360 mph laps in the early 70's from Levitz, but I think that's all one can expect considering that was what LeVier was able to produce with much newer equipment. Just a thought.
    Chris...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: P 38 Race limitations.

    Thanks for the recall, man. Those speeds were 'bout it - for a new one - at those heights, back in the big show..

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Reno, Nevada
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    Default Re: P 38 Race limitations.

    For all it's advances and Gee Whiz at the time it was much older technology and design theory compared to the Mustang, Sea fury, Bearcat, etc. A lot was learned in the few years between the designs.
    I wonder, if you could actually get the power to go fast, would the Lightning get to compressibility at current course speeds? I know it hit the effects at relatively lower speeds than the later aircraft.

  8. #8

    Default Re: P 38 Race limitations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post
    For all it's advances and Gee Whiz at the time it was much older technology and design theory compared to the Mustang, Sea fury, Bearcat, etc. A lot was learned in the few years between the designs.
    I wonder, if you could actually get the power to go fast, would the Lightning get to compressibility at current course speeds? I know it hit the effects at relatively lower speeds than the later aircraft.
    So much for my Griffon-Powered Lightening idea......

  9. #9
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    Aug 2002
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    Reno, Nevada
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    Default Re: P 38 Race limitations.

    Don't know how much faster it would be, but sure would be a noisy SOB.
    Imagine the PM setupx2...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Default Re: P 38 Race limitations.

    Leo,
    Yes, probably would. It was aerodynamically a much older design than the Thunderbolt and Mustang. It was much more complex than the other fighters, too. Many complex systems cut their teeth on it, an early one compared to a later one is dramatic in itself.
    The airplane would've done well with a Janitrol heater running on gas and a waste gate system with electronic controls but they didn't have that stuff back then. It was the reason, in some ways, that those things come into being. It's tough being the first guy to go fast and high. It's all new and in the case of the P-38 had a thick wing with a forward high point, turbos with little to control them and constant speed props that were a new invention. One must consider the time period and all that development that went forward from '40 to '45.
    Chris...

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