View Full Version : Battle Stations last night

Shaggy Sheep Driver
21st Feb 2003, 10:07
Did anyone see the Battle Stations programme on the Lockheed Lighning last night? The aeroplane came across as bit of a dog, I thought. Some nasty handling characteristics in the event of EFATO, and non too agile, either. Just bloody fast in a straight line.


21st Feb 2003, 10:32

I was trying to watch it but was also having a 'conversation' with me bird at the same time and she wasn't falling for the old 'nodding and saying 'uh-huh' occasionally' routine so I didn't catch most of the program. There was some impressive colour gun camera footage though.

What was the bit about Charles Lindbergh? They said something about Lindbergh working with the Lightning pilots to extend their range and make them more useful... was he teaching them some fancy leaning procedure or something?


Shaggy Sheep Driver
21st Feb 2003, 11:26
No, just worked out that they could pull the power back and coarsen the prop settings to run the engines at lower RPM - a bit like running a car in a very high gear. The pilots thought they'd damage the engines, but Lindberg said not, and to proove it he'd fly with them.

He did. It worked, vastly increasing range. Lindy potted a 'kill', then the big cheeses thought about the adverse publicity if he got shot down so that was the end of his combat career.


21st Feb 2003, 13:03
Got it on tape, so I'm looking forward to watching over the weekend - I am reminded of a tale recounted to me by an ex GF man, when he was in the Engineering manager's office one evening after a flight test on an L-1011. The manager was writing up what he called a 'boom sheet' which turned out, on being asked what he meant, to be Lockheed slang for a list of defects on a particular aircraft. The name goes back to the days when a P-38 would have its' defects listed on a sheet of paper, which was then fixed to the tail - hence the term.

So the P-38's legacy lives on in more ways than one!

21st Feb 2003, 14:14
Yep, enjoyed it. One thing though, is my Japanese fighter i/d up the spout or were quite a few of the "combat" shots actually Harvards? I'd heard about the XP-38's accident after that record-breaking dash, but never knew whether or not the pilot survived - glad to hear at last that he did!!!

Next week: the Corsair! Same time, same place...

23rd Feb 2003, 12:03
I think you're right as the Japs certainly looked like outtakes of the Harvards that were modified for the film "Tora,Tora,Tora".
I used to fly from Nuthampstead (site of the Barkway VOR) which was one of the early P-38 sites. Apparently the Allison engines couldn't cope with the cold, damp weather, a feeling I know well and they were soon withdrawn.