P-38 Variation : Nightfighter P-38M

The P-38 had several variations which made it all the more versatile for use in combat.

The Lightning was noted for its powerful firepower in the nose of the plane, but it could also be outfitted with rockets or bombs as part of its armament.

In addition to installing rockets under the wings or switching out the fuel tanks on the bottom for 500‑lb bombs, some P‑38s were designed and built for specific functions:

Photo Joes

were gigantic flying cameras, used to take pre-mission target and surveillance photos.

Night Fighters

(AKA "Night Lightning") guns had special blast shields on the muzzles to prevent blinding the pilots when they were fired.

Droop Snoots

were converted P‑38Js with a complete bombardier's station located in the nose


had special ground-mapping radar.


P‑38M Night Fighter
The P‑38M, known as the “Night Fighter,” (or Night Lightning) were modified P‑38Ls which were equipped with a state-of-the-art radar system, (an AN/APS-4 AI radar pod mounted under the nose on a modified bomb pylon).

This model of the P‑38 was painted jet black and had flash guards on the armament to better hide in the night sky.

The radar equipment was operated by a guy crammed in behind the pilot under the bubble canopy. Due to the limited quarters in the rear of the cockpit, really big guys were not the preferred operators for the radar.

DARON WORLDWIDE P-38M Night Lightning 1/32
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P-38M Night Lightning 1/32

To see a “Night Fighter” model, click here (or if you prefer to go all in, try this model instead — this model goes in and out of stock).

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Development of the P-38

Development of the P-38

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Mystery Plane

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