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Posts: 152
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2004 12:10 am

P38 Engine Settings

Mon May 24, 2004 2:49 am

I once saw a fascinating programme about the Lockheed P38 Lightening. After describing how the design evolved, the programme showed how this plane was deployed, specifically in the Pacific. One of the problems faced by the pilots was a lack of range. Then Charles Lindberg visited the island bases as a consultant, and after some study, proposed a set of engine settings that he believed would increase the range of the P38. At first, he was ridiculed,as the settings seemed impossible/wrong - but he was proved right, and the range of the plane was hugely increased.
What the programme did not make clear was what Lindberg had suggested. Does anybody have anymore info on this? If so, I'd be grateful if you could explain (in layman's terms).
Thanks in advance.
Posts: 1978
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2001 2:12 pm

RE: P38 Engine Settings

Mon May 24, 2004 3:09 am

I am going to go out on a bit of a limb here...there was an article in Air and Space about him not long ago that touched on this. If I recall correctly it had to do with leaning out the mixture. It applied not only to the P-38 but to -51's and 47's as well.
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 10:42 am

RE: P38 Engine Settings

Thu May 27, 2004 5:38 am

I'm going off memory as well - but I do seem to remember something about Lindberg using higher octane fuel and leaning out the mixture. I also remember something about magnesium somewhere, possibly in connection to the cylinder heads on the P-38. I think it had to do with the mechanics thinking that Lindberg's procedure would harm the engine, the heads in particular. Whatever he did it worked, at least that's the one point I remember.
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