Manual Header


14. Taxi a few feet "straight" down the runway so that the nose wheel will be in line when take-off power is applied. Maximum performance take-offs require holding the airplane with brakes at the end of runway until power reaches the desired setting. Because of the tricycle landing gear, there is no tendency for the airplane to take-off by itself, and no feeling of lightness as take-off speed is reached. Start to ease the column back at about 70 mph, then at 90 or 100 lift the airplane in the air.

15. Hold brakes, open throttle to 46" hg. 3,000 RPM.

16. Release brakes, keep manifold pressure below 54" hg.


Be prepared to reduce power immediately to prevent uncontrollable in case of failure of one engine during take-off.

17. Landing gear UP as soon as practical after leaving ground.

NOTE: Retract the landing gear immediately after the airplane is off the ground so that flight may be safely continued in the event of one engine failure after take-off. 

18. Reduce manifold pressure to 43" Hg. at 2,600 RPM after clearing obstacles.


    1. If one engine fails during take-off and the aircraft has left the ground, but before the safe sing1e~engine airspeed (120 MPH) has been reached, close both throttles and LAND STRAIGHT AHEAD. Retract the landing if it is not possible on the runway.

b. If one engine fails after reaching the safe airspeed of 120 MPH, and after the landing gear has started up:

1. Reduce power enough to gain control, then apply power gradually, hold enough rudder to prevent the airplane from skidding and level the airplane.

2. Turn OFF electric fuel pump of dead engine.

3. Circle the field and land, DO NOT make turns into the dead engine unless trim and speed have been established.


a. Mixture AUTO RICH.

b. lntercooler flaps OPEN.

c. Refer to the take-off, climb and landing chart in Appendix II, for best climbing speed at sea level is 160 mph. 

d. On P-38H airplanes, carb. air critical in a high power climb between 15,000 and 25,000 feet. Above 25,000 feet turbo-supercharged overspeed is critical Excessive temps will cause detonation and very rough engine operation resulting loss of power and probable engine damage.

This material is courtesy of Stan Wood  WW2 P-38 Pilot in the Pacific.

More about Stan Wood and his P-38 experiances: Click Here