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c. (Cont’d)

no tendency to spin. Under these conditions, the nose drops slightly and as the speed increases, the wing will come up.

d. On airplanes equipped with rocket installation the stall characteristics are the same.


a. Spin Characteristics

The spin is fast, but recovery is prompt and easy if the proper technique is used.

b. Recovery

The airplane can be brought out of the spin any time by kicking full rudder against the spin for a minimum of half a turn then easing forward the control column. The procedure is as follows:

1. Close throttles.

2. If flaps are down pull them up.

3. KICK FULL RUDDER AGAINST THE SPIN AS BRISKLY AS POSSIBLE, WAIT AT LEAST HALF A TURN BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO PUSH THE WHEEL FORWARD. Recovery is slower by one turn with flaps down. If the flaps are down or on their way up the rudder should be held against the spin for at least one full turn before pushing the column forward.

4. After half a turn, with rudder full over the control wheel may be eased forward as the rotation stops. Recovery can be accomplished in one-and-a-half turns under any condition except with flaps down when two turns will be required. The airplane will come out of the spin in a vertical dive and recovery from the dive should be made slowly in order to avoid a highspeed stall which may cause a spin in the opposite direction. Any attempt to push the wheel forward before kicking full opposite rudder will immediately increase the speed rotation and the acceleration to which the pilot is subjected. If this is encountered pull the wheel full back and hold full rudder against the spin for a minimum of half a turn. Then push the control column forward.


The airplane without these flaps becomes very nose heavy and starts to buffet above diagram dive speeds (Dia.2.). The dive recovery flaps which are installed under the wings between the booms and tile ailerons restore the lift to this portion of the wing and thus cause the uncontrollable nose heaviness to occur at a higher speed. The flaps also add some drag to the airplane which in conjunction with the higher allowable dive speed permits safer dives at a much steeper diving angle. The dive recovery flaps should be extended before starting the dive or immediately after the dive is started before a buffeting speed has been reached. If the airplane is buffeting before the dive recovery flaps are extended the buffeting will momentarily increase and then diminish. With these flaps extended, the nose heaviness is definitely reduced but the diving speed should never be allowed to exceed the placard by more than 15 or 20 mph. With the dive recovery flaps extended before entering the dive, angles of dive up to 45 degrees may be safely accomplished. Without dive recovery flaps extended the maximum angle for extending dives is 15 degrees. Diving characteristics are better with power off than power on.

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