Up in the sky, it’s a man, It’s a plane, it’s a man in a plane, it’s Flash Fahey! Come along inside and outside the cockpit with Chris Fahey as he demonstrates the Lockheed P-38J “23 Skidoo”!
Because of the distinctive twin-boom design, the P-38 Lightning was one of the most recognizable fighters of its time and one of the most famous of the second world war. It was the plane of two of America’s top aces—Dick Bong, who scored 40 aerial victories, and Tommy McGuire, who was credited with 38 kills. Unfortunately, even though the Lockheed factories produced more than 10,000 P-38 Lightnings during the war, the big fighter was soon retired from service because it did not fit into the Air Corps’ post-war plans.
Today, there are probably fewer than 20 intact P-38 Lightning airframes left in the world. Around half a dozen of those are flyable or restorable to flying condition. One of the most recent Lightnings to be restored to flying condition is P-38J-20-LO flown in this video. It has serial 44-23314 which, after being grounded and inactive for 28 years, took to the skies once again at the Chino Airport in Southern California on July 22nd, 1988.
It now bears the civil registration N29Q and belongs to the Planes of Fame Air Museum’s collection. It took 13 months to restore by Steve Hinton’s Fighter Rebuilders crew at Chino and “Planes of Fame” volunteer workers.
Before restoration, Lightning 44-23314 had only 121 hours of flight time logged. It was flown for a brief period with training squadrons in Texas and Florida during the last year of the war before it was declared as surplus.
Now you can see her in this amazing video!