Very nice diecast metal 1/72 scale model of Lockheed P-38J Lightning Down Beat of 80th FS Headhunters, 8th FG USAAF, as flown by ace pilot Richard Ira Bong, April 1st 1944. The model comes with optional undercarriage positions and a stand. Although not quite up to Corgi or Hobbymaster standards the model looks great alongside other 1/72 scale diecast in a previously unused livery. Great price!
Length 6.25 inches Wingspan 8.75 inches
80th FS legend suggest that Dick Bong was flying this machine when he broke Eddie Rickenbacker’s 26-kill World War 1 ace record on 12 April 1944. Bong downed three Ki-43 ‘Oscars’ over Hollandia to boost his tally to 28. However, others, including the aircraft’s crew chief, Sam Scher, state that it was only ever flown by Bong once, on 1 April 1944. The ace complimented Scher on his maintenance of “Down Beat”.
Designed to meet a USAAC requirement for a high-performance fighter, the P-38 Lightning was first flown on January 27th, 1939. The easily recognizable P-38 had twin-booms, twin turbo-supercharged engines, a central pod for the pilot, contra-rotating propellers and tricycle landing gear. Its roles included dive bombing, level bombing, ground strafing and photo reconnaissance. When equipped with drop tanks it was also flown as a long-range escort fighter. The Lightning’s armament was clustered in the nose of the plane, which gave the pilot a direct line of site to the target and also gave the weapons a “buzz saw” effect that was useful for strafing.