Lockheed did some testing for a new Allison engine, the V-1710 F-15. This new engine was designed for improved performance at high altitudes. For the test, a P-38 E was modified for these new engines and was fitted with large (12' 6"), thick paddle-blade propellers. It was 14 mph faster at 29,000 ft. and 40 mph faster at 40,000 ft. than the P-38 J model. Propeller spinners were changed to accommodate new propellers and the interface at the oil cooler inlet. It was superior in high speed and climbing performance to all other fighters. However, due a lack of secondary production facilities, and lingering doubts as to whether Allison would be able to deliver the new engines in abundance, the 'K' model was never produced. Lockheed decided to focus on the 'L' production instead.
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