WWII Engineering: Designing the P-38 Lightning

Featuring Gen. Dan Leaf, Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum Board Member & Webinar Moderator

Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum invites you to join us and special guest speaker Brad Ball for a hangar talk about the P-38 Lightning of WWII.
WHEN: Saturday, November 5, 2022
TIME: 1:00 p.m. HST
WHERE: Live on Zoom

(Your Questions Will Be Submitted to the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum)

On Saturday Nov. 5 at 1:00 p.m. HST, Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum will host a live and virtual webinar on the P-38 Lightning. Some of us will gather at the Museum, while those who cannot join in person are welcome to tune in online via Zoom. This event will feature a living P-38 Ace, America’s most admired warbird restorer and pilot, expert historians, historical footage of Lockheed’s legendary P-38 test pilot and members of the 475th Fighter Group.

Sports fans love to debate the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) when it comes to teams or players. The same is true for military aircraft, especially fighters. World War II historians, aviators, pilots and collectors have debated the merits of P-51 vs. P-38; the sleek and sexy Mustang generally emerges as the Tom Brady-esque G.O.A.T. fighter. Lightning advocates have a chip on their shoulder like Aaron Rodgers fans, and this webinar will examine why.

Participants will examine the origins of the unique twin-tailed design and its early tests. They’ll compare the combat effectiveness of the Lightning in Europe and the Pacific, and how challenges like compressibility were overcome. Did Charles Lindbergh fly combat missions while helping USAAF pilots extend the P-38’s operational range? Join us to find out.

Could a Lightning pilot best a Mustang driver in a dogfight? Like pitting the twin-engine F-15 against a smaller, single-engine F-16, the answer is “it depends.” We do know that P-38 was good enough to make Richard Bong (40) and Thomas McGuire (38) America’s top leading aces – ever. Our discussants will also look at the evolution of the P-38 variants through the war, and even tell you how much it would cost to own a Lightning today.

Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum is honored to host experts as they share their knowledge, historical footage and first-hand accounts of those who brought the ‘38’ to life and still fly it today!

  • Featuring comments from America’s oldest living P-38 ace, Col. Perry Dahl; President of the 475th FG Historical Foundation and Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum board member, Brad Ball; and 475th board member and documentary producer, Joe Kentz. Moderated by Pearl Harbor aviation Board member, General Dan “Fig” Leaf.
  • Rare interviews and first-hand accounts from 475th Fighter Group pilots and ground crew
  • Joe Kentz – 475th documentarian, Board of Directors 475th FG Historical Foundation
  • Brad Ball – Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum Board of Directors, President 475th FG Historical Foundation

What are your questions about the P-38 Lightning?