Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014: Happy Anniversary Lockheed P-38 Lightning!

Fred Harl and Carmelo Turdo Aero Experience coverage of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 continues with a look back at the Lockheed P-38 Lightning warbirds on display during the week.  The XP-38 first flew on this day in 1939, and the production model set new standards of performance and aeronautical design.  The project team was led by Chief Engineer Hall Hibbard and included a young Clarence "Kelly" Johnson, who would go on to lead the design of legendary aircraft in the jet age following World War II.  The P-38 went on to serve in the USAAF valiantly throughout the war, gaining a sterling reputation as an escort fighter and claiming the honor of shooting down Admiral Yamamoto, Commander of the Imperial Japanese Navy Combined Fleet and architect of the attack on the U.S. Naval Forces at Pearl Harbor.  Very few of these aircraft remain out of the nearly 10,000 produced.        

Two Lockheed P-38s were on display at various times throughout EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 in the Warbirds Area.

The P-38 Lightning aircraft on display included the EAA's P-38L in polished aluminum with red trim representing the fighter flown by America's highest-scoring ace, Major Richard Bong. 

The other Lightning, the P-38F "Glacier Girl," was retrieved from under 268 feet of ice in 1992 after 50 years of entombment following a mass landing of fuel-starved aircraft on the Greenland glacier.  The expedition was led by Bob Cardin, who is pictured below giving his account of the recovery of the P-38 parked behind him. 

"Glacier Girl" also served as a backdrop for other activities that day, including a demonstration of World War II-era flight gear and, of course, posing models.

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