Lockheed P-38J Lightning – Putt Putt Maru, Mahogany 1/32
1 in stock
1 in stock
Superb 1/32 scale carved mahogany model of P-38J Lightning – Putt Putt Maru, as flown by Col Charles “Mac” Mc Donald. McDonald commanded the 475th Fighter Squadron in New Guinea for 20 months where he shot down 27 enemy fighters, becoming the USAAFs third highest scoring ace in the Pacific theatre. He retired from the Air Force in 1961.
This collectable model P-38J Lightning represents one of the most innovative fighters of World War II the twin-boom Lockheed P-38J Lightning. Designed by famed aeronautical engineer Kelly Johnson the P-38J Putt Putt Maru was the P-38J flown by Col. Charles McDonald fighter ace and commander of the 475th Fighter Squadron. This 1/32-scale model P-38J Lightning makes a great pilot gift or a present for any veteran aviation enthusiast or history buff. The P-38 was developed in response to a 1937 request from the Army Air Corps for an twin0engine interceptor that could climb to 20000 feet in six minutes and have a top speed of 360 mph. The proposal also called for the aircraft to use turbosupercharged Allison V-1710 engines and to have tricycle landing gear. Lockeheeds proposal under the direction of Clarence Kelly Johnson – who would design the P-80 Shooting Star the F-104 Starfighter and the U-2 spyplane- and Hall Hibberd was an unusual aircraft with long booms housing each engine and the pilot and guns located in a central nacelle. Counter-rotating propellers eliminated torque problems and the cluster of guns allowed for accurate long-range shooting. The XP-38 first flew on Jan. 27 1939 and on Feb. 11 of that year set a transcontinental speed record by flying from California to New York in 7 hours 2 minutes. Following the record flight the Army ordered 13 YP-38 prototypes. With the P-38 capable of high speeds development was slowed by problems of compressibility and flutter since little was known at the time about flight with near-transonic airflow over parts of airframes. Top speed of the P-38 was 448 mph for the P-38L model. Armement included four .50-caliber machine guns a 20mm cannon and provisions for underwing rockets or bombs. Service deliveries of the P-38 began in 1941. The P-38 saw service in Europe where it gained the nickname fork-tailed devil by German pilots and soldiers. However it was in the Pacific where it found its greatest success. With its long-range and the redundancy provided by the two engines the Lightning proved deadly to the Japanese Zero and other aircraft. In April 1943 a flight of P-38s ambushed Admiral Isoroku Yamamotos plane killing the officer and depriving Japan of a gifted tactician.
A number of P-38 Lightnings are in flying condition – including a P-38 painted as Putt Putt Maru owned by the Friedkin family of Texas – and can be seen in exhibitions and air shows around the world.