Lockheed F-4 Photo Lightning

The F-4 was a purpose built photographic reconnaissance version of the P-38 Lightning, built on the Lockheed production line at the same time as the P-38E and F. The P-38E featured a revised nose wheel, which provided more space for gun ammunition. The same space allowed


Ninety nine F-4-1s were built, based on the P-38E. They carried two K-17 fixed vertical cameras in place of the guns. Unlike the standard P-38E, the F-4-1 could carry external fuel tanks. The F-4-1 was the first version of the Lightning to see active service, with the 8th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron in Australia, beginning in April 1942.


Twenty F-4As were built, based on the P-38F airframe. They could carry a wider range of cameras than the F-4-1, including forward and side mounted oblique cameras. Different aircraft carried different combinations of cameras and had different camera windows built into the nose.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (pending), Lockheed F-4 Photo Lightning, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_F-4_lightning.html

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