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North American P-51 Mustang

 

Plane type: Single-seat fighter and fighter bomber

Manufacturer: North American

Crew: 1 (pilot)

Dimensions

Length: 32ft 3in (9.75 meters)

Height: 13ft 8in (4.16 meters)

Wingspan: 37ft  5/16in (33.5 meters)

Wing Area: 233.19 sq. ft (21.66 sq. m)

Powerplant

- P-51: 1 x Allison V-1710-F3R engine @ 1000 h.p. @ 12000 ft (3600 m) w/ 1150 hp available for take-off

- P-51A: 1 x Allison V-1710-81 (F20R) @ 1125 h.p. @ 15500 ft (4700 m) w/ 1200 hp available for take-off

- P-51B & P-51C: 1 x Packard V-1650-3 (Packard-built Merlin 68 with two-speed two stage supercharger and aftercooler) @ 1520 h.p. Side note: Before the addition of the Merlin 68 engine, the P-51 had just mediocre flight characteristics. Not was it until the HUGE success of the Merlin engine addition, was the fighter assigned to combat duty. As soon as tests were completed with the new engine, and modifications to the plane complete, the P-51B & P-51C's were delivered to the 8th Air Force in Great Britain in December 1, 1943. The P-51B first saw action on December 17 as a fighter, and on January 15, 1944, P-51B's were fitted with drop tanks and made their first long-range mission as a fighter escort to heavy bombers of the 8th AF over Germany.

- XP-51G: 1 x Packard Merlin V-1650-9 engine

- P-51H: 1 x Merlin V-1650-11 engine @ 2000 h.p. w/ water injection capability

**CLICK HERE to see a detailed page on the Packard V-1650 engine**

Weight

Empty: 7125 lbs (3230 kg)

Weight loaded: approx. 10000 lbs. (4540 kg)

Maximum loaded weight: 11600 lbs (5206 kg)

Armament (P-51D)

- 6 x 50 cal. machine-guns, three in each wing, Guns adjusted to converge at 300 yards range

- Removable, streamlined bomb-rack under each wing for bombs up to 1000 lbs

Performance (Merlin Engine)

Maximum speed: 445 mph (712 Km/h) @ 24000 ft (7320 m)

Combat range: 950 miles

Operation range with drop tanks: 1300 miles

Absolute range with tanks used until dry: 2080 miles

Ceiling: over 40000 ft (12200 m)

Notes:

    Overall the most famous US fighter of the war, the Mustang performed extremely well in combat. It was a formidable adversary to the German fighters that had been shooting down RAF and USAAF planes repeatedly. First fitted with the Allison engine, the Mustang performed less than satisfactory. When tests with the Rolls Royce Merlin engine were first done, the USAAF was so impressed that it went into large-scale production almost immediately. Versions were sent to Allied AF's across the globe. Fame was earned with the Mustang's ability to fly the bomber escort role successfully, despite the long distances across Germany and the Pacific. The P-51 Mustang remained in service with the USA until 1957, and use was continued around the globe into the early 80s.

RESOURCES:

Page #1 - The Flight Line

Page #2 - Warbirds Resource Group

Page #3 - USAF Museum page

Page #4 - Aircraft of the Second World War

Page #5 - Homepage of WW2 Aircraft

Page #6 - Fighter-Planes.com

Page #7 - Flight Journal Magazine  *A++*

A P-51D Mustang of the 478th Fighter Squadron 352nd Fighter Group US Army Air Force.

Pictures:

Gallery 1

Mustang013.JPG (39654 bytes)

Gallery 2

Mustang037.JPG (42233 bytes)

Gallery 3

Mustang093.JPG (40090 bytes)

Gallery 4

Mustang118.JPG (55616 bytes)

 

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