Author Topic: Loughead L-38: forefather of the P-38  (Read 18831 times)

Offline Tophe

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Re: Loughead L-38: forefather of the P-38
« Reply #50 on: September 03, 2014, 12:47:40 PM »
Thanks a lot, Brian!
Well, you know, far from Channel Wing and Asymmetric Aircraft revolutions, pilots of that time (and their generals, and their taxpayers) wanted very classical aircraft... And even the rather-classical L-38 and L-38B twin-engined ones were disliked, because... if one engine fails, there is a tremendous asymmetry to fight against... Loughead engineers of course found the solution: bringing the engines close to one another, removing the pilot's pod, and as it was refused laterally (because of asymmetric piloting), it was raised above on the upper wing.
"Safe in the sky" was the selling-word, alas the test pilot fell from the giant ladder (to climb into the cockpit up there) and broke his leg. Thus the prototype was scrapped, in November 1918.

Offline Tophe

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Re: Loughead L-38: forefather of the P-38
« Reply #51 on: September 03, 2014, 09:59:39 PM »
Of course the push-pull version here had even less asymmetry if one engine fails (and against the dangerous-ladder argument discussing why-oh-why having the pilot so high with the engines normal below, instead of opposite, the union of mechanicians claimed that preserving the health of mechanicians is not less important than pilots' health...).

Offline Tophe

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Re: Loughead L-38: forefather of the P-38
« Reply #52 on: September 04, 2014, 11:22:45 AM »
The argument mentionned above can be better understood if you know the triplane version of this push-pull, still with no asymmetry if ever some engine(s) fail(s):

Offline Tophe

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Re: Loughead L-38: forefather of the P-38
« Reply #53 on: September 04, 2014, 11:57:35 AM »
On the seaplane versions L-38SP1/2/3, the pilot above was more usual:

Offline Tophe

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Re: Loughead L-38: forefather of the P-38
« Reply #54 on: September 05, 2014, 01:19:46 AM »
Put this in 1920's Italian markings and say it's a Savoia-Marchetti and few would doubt it was real.
Yes, and the famous Savoia S-55 of 1924, itself, was "truly" a derivative of the Loughead L-38S-55 of 1918:

Offline Tophe

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Re: Loughead L-38: forefather of the P-38
« Reply #55 on: October 08, 2014, 01:46:05 AM »
a tandem wing L-38 with high fuselage:

Offline Tophe

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Re: Loughead L-38: forefather of the P-38
« Reply #56 on: October 20, 2014, 02:30:06 AM »
Already in 1918, the Lightning was tried with radial engines:

Offline Tophe

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Re: Loughead L-38: forefather of the P-38
« Reply #57 on: October 21, 2014, 11:43:22 AM »
A Lightning with radial engines?! What a heresy!

No, seriously: last night I took my time machine and went into 1918 to explain the many advantages of a turbojet. I was convincing and the Loughead designers worked on it (into the asymmetric L-38TJ project below):

Alas their conclusion was it cannot work, and I was sent to the psychiatric asylum. But fortunately the alarm clok rang and I came back here, safe!

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Loughead L-38: forefather of the P-38
« Reply #58 on: October 22, 2014, 03:01:56 AM »
You have such an excellent eye, Tophe and this one works for me because the jet engine is so well balanced by the three pods (fuel tanks?) on the left wing. I especially like that you kept the spats! Few things add to the fast look of a jet like the most streamlined landing gear ever developed!

Brian da Basher

Offline Tophe

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Re: Loughead L-38: forefather of the P-38
« Reply #59 on: October 25, 2014, 10:08:44 PM »
Thanks Brian!
Well, your insisting about spats seems to mean you know the Real source of WW1 end (without Germany being invaded), so I could show the Loughead involvement in it.
In August 1918, the German and Allied diplomats agreed on a better solution than war mutual mass murders: like the antic Greek cities finsished wars without many dead ones, by the match between the 2 champions (1 in each camp), "let us make a technologic beauty contest = the most beautiful spats will won the war". And the West-American SP-99SP (whose pictures are still top secret) won the contest in the USA then the international final, so the Allied won the war, accepted on November 11 by Germany, whose Fokker SP-XXI had failed. The SP-38SP was simply the Loughead entry in the US contest:

Offline Tophe

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Re: Loughead L-38: forefather of the P-38
« Reply #60 on: October 25, 2014, 10:39:10 PM »
Of course, the picture above was just art fantasy without technical details, and the top part of the spats showed clearly an asymmetry that was not there on the prototype (below):

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Loughead L-38: forefather of the P-38
« Reply #61 on: October 25, 2014, 11:06:14 PM »
Of course, the picture above was just art fantasy without technical details, and the top part of the spats showed clearly an asymmetry that was not there on the prototype (below):



This one is cute as a button, Tophe and the absolute apotheosis of a spatted sport plane!

I may have to try my hand at a 3D version one day, mon ami!

Thank you for sharing your wonderfully imaginative concepts!

Brian da Basher

Offline Tophe

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Re: Loughead L-38: forefather of the P-38
« Reply #62 on: October 26, 2014, 02:13:32 PM »
With 1/32 wheels/spats on a 1/72 airplane? hehehe... ;) Thanks for pardoning my delirium.

Offline Tophe

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Re: Loughead L-38: forefather of the P-38
« Reply #63 on: October 26, 2014, 08:02:33 PM »
Back to seriousness: the Loughead L-38RP featured remote propellers for a good technical reason: alas I don't know which one (but the Wright Flyer I was this way, there must be a good reason...).

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Loughead L-38: forefather of the P-38
« Reply #64 on: October 27, 2014, 07:53:43 AM »
Well, one reason for that design could be better streamlining. It might be a plus to put the drag-inducing engines in that aerodynamic fuselage. There was a German W.W. I bomber of similar design, but I can't recall the name.

I really like the thinking that went into this beauty, Tophe!

Brian da Basher

Offline Tophe

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Re: Loughead L-38: forefather of the P-38
« Reply #65 on: October 27, 2014, 10:25:48 AM »
Thanks for your help trying to understand this design.
I try also myself:
- this is a one-engine airplane (minimum weight, central weight for good maneuverability), thus there should be 2 normal ways: nose propeller and pusher propeller
- nose propeller is rejected because the front view would be bad (and it is complicated for military "sending-flowers-forward" through the rotating propeller);
- pusher propeller is rejected because bailing out would be lethal (and rear defense: impossible)
So the logical answer is: remote propeller(s)...
(But I still don't understand why the civilian Wright Flyer had lateral propellers from its central engine...)

Offline Tophe

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Re: Loughead L-38: forefather of the P-38
« Reply #66 on: October 28, 2014, 12:38:23 AM »
Still in 1918, the Loughead engineers found another way to answer the same requirements: putting the engine on top of a pylon: free nose, safe bailing out, no lateral engine(s)... Did other engineers think the same? I don't remember.

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Loughead L-38: forefather of the P-38
« Reply #67 on: October 28, 2014, 05:42:48 AM »
I always thought the Wright Flyer was designed that way to counter-act torque, but hopefully someone more knowledgeable will know.

I really like this new design, Tophe! I think it'd make a good amphibian.

Brian da Basher

Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: Loughead L-38: forefather of the P-38
« Reply #68 on: October 28, 2014, 06:43:39 AM »
Very unique
"They know you can do anything, So the question is, what don't you do?"

-David Fincher

Offline Tophe

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Re: Loughead L-38: forefather of the P-38
« Reply #69 on: November 08, 2014, 06:28:35 PM »
Thanks!
And as this GB is close to its end, let me add maybe the last L-38s of 1918: the rhomboidal-wing L-38RH-1 & 2, with the L-38CAN:

PS. CAN was standing for CANard but it was bought by CANada...

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Loughead L-38: forefather of the P-38
« Reply #70 on: November 09, 2014, 04:30:32 AM »
That rhomboidal wing is a mathematician's delight, Tophe!

Thank you for sharing so many wonderfully imaginative design concepts with us during this GB!

Brian da Basher