Lockheed P-38H-5-LO Lightning

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Reposting and revising from my original suggestion in old forums.

Lockheed P-38H-5-LO Lightning

Heavy Fighter / Interceptor

   Hello! I’d like to re-introduce and suggest the Lockheed P-38H Lightning for War Thunder. The P-38H was pretty much like the late-block P-38G but with newer engines and a different 20mm cannon.

Key Characteristics

  • Allison V-1710-89/91 engines with 1,425 hp
  • New 20mm M2(c) cannon
  • New automatic cooling system
  • More underwing racks capable of carrying 3,200 lb of suspended armament


The P-38H Lightning was an improved variant of the P-38G. It featured a new 20mm M2(c) cannon instead of the old M1 cannon. It was capable of carrying 3,200 lb of underwing bombs. It was fitted and powered by 1425 hp Allison V-1710-89/91 engines with new coolant shutters, turbo superchargers, and automatic oil radiator flaps to solve overheating problems.

The P-38Hs’ intercooler system integral to the wing leading edges had restricted the P-38Hs from reaching their potential performance, the same problem found in P-38Gs. The cooling system designed for old engines of previous variants was inferior compared to P-38J and later variants. The P-38Hs’ engines were subjected to detonation if operated at high power for extended periods, so the P-38Hs were restricted to 1,240 hp, a total loss of 370 hp, which is 160 less than the P-38G. Although this was deemed to be the fact, the P-38H was reportedly to fly two mph faster than the P-38G.

The P-38H was the standard version of the Lightning during the second half of 1943. It is considered an intermediate design between P-38G and P-38J. A total of 601 P-38Hs were built with two production blocks: 226 H-1s and 375 H-5s.

The main difference between P-38H-1-LOs and P-38H-5-LOs was different turbo superchargers. The P-38H-5-LO was fitted with B-33 instead of B-13 turbo superchargers, which gave improved high-altitude performance.

The first of 226 P-38H-1-LOs went into service in May of 1943, and these P-38Hs debuted their first operational service in England in September 1943 to escort the B-17 Flying Fortresses of the Eighth Air Force. These P-38Hs belonged to the 55th Fighter Group and regularly performed escort missions with the B-17 raids over Europe. Sometimes, they flew on intruder missions where they could cruise much further into Germany enough to reach Berlin to intercept anything within their sight.

The restricted performance of P-38H did not allow the maneuvering flap to be used at high altitudes for dog-fighting battles. Those problems were resolved by a newly designed P-38J that would replace P-38Gs and P-38Hs in the 8th Air Force by August 1943 and afterward.


Lockheed P-38H-5-LO Lightning

General Characteristics

  • Crew: 1 (Pilot)
  • Length: 37 feet, 10 inches
  • Height: 12 feet, 10 inches
  • Span: 52 feet
  • Powerplant: 2x Engines, Allison V-1710-89 (on Right) and V-1710-91 (on Left)
    → 1,425 hp
  • Empty Weight: 12,380 lb (5,615 kilograms)
  • Gross Weight: 20,300 lb (9,207 kilograms)


  • Speed: 402 mph at 25,000 feet
  • Minutes to Climb at 20,000 feet: 6.5 minutes
  • Service Ceiling: 40,000 feet


  • Guns

    • 4 x .50 cal Heavy Machine Guns (2000 Rounds)
    • 1 x 20 mm M2(C) Cannon (150 Rounds)
  • Bombs

    • 2 x 1000 lb bombs
    • 2 x 500 lb bombs
    • 4 x 250 lb bombs
  • Rockets

    • 6 x M8 rockets
  • Fuel Tanks

    • 2 x 150 gal drop tanks


Conclusion | Why it should be in the game

   I made this suggestion to request more World War II-era vehicles for War Thunder. This P-38H would make a welcoming addition to the P-38 Lightning family in War Thunder. The P-38H could be a great addition to a folder with P-38G in the tech tree for anyone, and the P-38H would enjoy upgrades over the P-38G with an improved 20mm cannon, slightly better performance, and more bombs.





Thank you for taking the time to read my suggestion! 😃


Looks awesome!!! Would love this!! With that kind of bomb load I know where lighting will strike ;)

1 Like

Have a +1 from me, I’d definitely love to see more P-38s pop up