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North American Aviation P-51 Mustang

Discussion in 'P-51 Mustang' started by Spitfire XIV-E, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. Spitfire XIV-E

    Spitfire XIV-E New Member

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    The Mustang was born out of an RAF requirement for more Curtiss P-40's (Called Tomahawk in RAF service then Kittyhawk with various Commonwealth Airforces). North American were approached to License Build these Aircraft but instead tendered their own design - the XP-51. This had an unbelievably short design to 1st Flight period going from Drawing Board to Test Flight in just 117 days, the 1st Test Flight occurring on 26th October 1940. It incorporated all the latest aeronautical advances - Aerodynamics, Structural & Systems which gave it extremely Low Drag & High Fuel Efficiency. However the early Mustangs (Mk I - II) retained the Alison Engine of the P-40 which was something of a hinderance at Higher Altitudes. Nonetheless the RAF were encouraged by the performance of the new fighter which was 30 mph faster than the Spitfire and had nearly double the range. They had originally ordered 300 Mustangs but this order was now doubled to 600 Aircraft. The Aircraft entered service with the RAF in April 1942. It was far better than any earlier American Fighters but still lacked High Altitude performance. A suggestion was put forward to fit the Rolls Royce Merlin 60 Series engine to overcome the High Altitude issue. The first "Mustang X" flew on 13th October 1942. However only a few weeks later North American did a completely different conversion which was ordered in large numbers (2200) before the 1st XP-51B flew in December 1942. Largely redesigned, the P-51B had an additional intercooler radiator and augmented coolant & oil radiators, and a large-area 4 bladed propeller to absorb the power at High Altitiude, where it's all-round performance put it in the very front rank. By the Summer of 1943 large scale production was begun and the US 8th Air Force began to take delivery to it's Fighter Units in England, starting in December 1943. The key issue to Long-Range operations was more fuel capacity. This was resolved by fitting external drop tanks under each wing. The first drop tanks carried 75 US Gallons, later versions could hold 108 US Gallons. This enabled Mustangs to cover virtually the whole of Western Europe on Escort Missions up to 850 miles away !. It could out-perform any regular Bf 109 or Fw 190. The only unchanged feature was the cockpit canopy. This was replaced by the British "Macolm sliding Hood" used on the Spitfire with Aircraft being retrofitted at Airfields until the newer P-51D version was introduced in 1944 which had a Sliding "Tear Drop" Canopy. This was the look of all future Mustangs which were also given more Firepower and Rocket/Bomb Attachments for Ground Attack missions. The aircraft served with many allied Air Forces and was not retired in the US until 1957 with over 15500 machines of all variants produced.






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    Mustang varaints - A-36A Apache (Ground Attack), RAF Mustang I & III, P-51B, & P-51D
     
  2. Spitfire XIV-E

    Spitfire XIV-E New Member

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    The marriage of the British Rolls Royce "Merlin" Engine to the proven Airframe was one that worked extremely well. The Packard Company in Detroit Michigan was chosen to mass-produce the American version of the Merlin and thereafter Packard built Merlins powered many aircraft that used Merlin Engines including Lancaster Bombers and Mosquito Fighter/Bombers.
     
  3. Dave War44

    Dave War44 Member

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    I don't know where the hell it came from but yesterday I saw one of these. I was walking in the hills around Ambleside, Cumbrian Lakes when it flew in , very low and fast, and disappeared up the valley towards Langdale. I was actually looking DOWN on it it was so low! My eyes aren't what they were but I'm 90% sure it was a P51. Painted yellow and black, awesome sight and sound.
    Nice pics and info Spit :thumb:
     
  4. Kelly War44

    Kelly War44 New Member

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    I know this is off topic, but, I know exactly how you felt when you saw that P-51. A few weeks ago, I was driving my lorry back to Hull from Bridlington when something just caught my attention from the corner of my eye. When I turned my head to my right, no more than 500 metres away, in all its resplendent glory, was an Apache Helicopter:der:Just flying alongside me, so to speak, but WOW, what a sight and feeling. Just wish I had the nouse to get my phone out and photograph it:ahg:
     
  5. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    The moral of the story is: Wherever you travel take the Camera.. :lol:
     
  6. Spitfire XIV-E

    Spitfire XIV-E New Member

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    [YOUTUBE]Ihgz7opXci4[/YOUTUBE]


    Nice footage of a P-51D at Oppenheim, Germany.
     

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