P 38L climb rate 20k in 7 min American Warplanes of WW2
P 51 climb rate 3475f/m (American Warplanes of WW2)
Checked various sites on the web specs varied widely depending on the site.
P38L wt; 17,500Lbs
P 51D 9200Lbs
P38L 2 x 1425Hp (production engine)
Probably the best example is in Osprey book P38 Lightning Aces of the Pacific and CBI. By John Stanaway. Page 45 tells of a mock combat between Capt. Joe Forster(P38) and a P51 pilot. "When the two fighters eventually flew combat against each other from an equal start at altitude, the superb Mustang easily prevailed,..."
Wrong again. Like I said, Captain Stan Richardson Jr. and Captain Art Heiden flew both planes, in combat. I know both of them, and corresponded with them directly, so did Widewing. Both said that the P-38 consistently climbed better than the P-51. We're talking about TWO pilots who flew BOTH planes, in the same time period, in combat.
The P-38L does not weigh 17,500 pounds, it is closer to 16,000. And the -30 Allison in the P-38L makes 1725HP, not 1450HP.
No, the best books on the subject of the P-38, especially for technical data, are "The Lockheed P-38 Lightning" by Warren Bodie, and "America's Hundred Thousand". For the P-38J, with less powerful engines than the P-38L, the rate of climb at sea level was 4000 FPM, the rate of climb at 23,400 feet was 2900FPM, and the time from take off to 23,400 feet was 6 minutes and 12 seconds. The P-38J engines at 1612HP had 112HP less than the P-38L engines. Take off weight was 16,597 pounds, over 900 pounds lighter than your incorrect numbers, but actually heavier than actual operating numbers.