YouTube – P-51 Mustang
32 ft. 10 in.
11 ft. 4 in.
6- 50 cal.
10- 5 inch
The P-51 Mustang from North American was originally produced in the U.S. for Great Britain. The first prototype was designated the NA-73X. With the addition of the Rolls Royce Merlin engine it became the Allies premier escort aircraft of World War Two.
The original Allison powered airplane was used for photo reconnaissance and ground support missions due to its poor high altitude performance. British models were designated as the NA-73 and were first flown in 1941.
In Dec. of 1943, the Rolls Royce Merlin powered airplane entered service over Europe as a high-altitude escort for bombers on long distance missions into Germany.
Mustangs accounted for nearly one half of all the enemy aircraft downed over Europe. They had victories over 4,950 Axis aircraft in air-to-air combat, more than any other aircraft in the European Theatre.
A large contributing factor in its high number of air victories was the K-14 computing gyro sight. The K-14 was especially useful in providing the correct lead for high deflection angles.
The aircraft served in the Pacific where they escorted bombers to Japan and performed photo recon operations.
During the Korean War, the planes were used primarily for the close support of ground troops and for reconnaissance through 1953 when they were retired from U.S. active service. They flew with the U.S. Air National Guard through 1957 and in the air forces of U.S. Allies until being retired in 1984.
Today, highly modified P-51 aircraft fly as air racers at speeds of over 500 mph around pylon courses. Numerous aircraft can be seen in exhibits and air shows. The highly modified P-51 Mustang named “Voodoo” piloted by Steven Hinton set the unofficial speed record for fastest piston engine powered aircraft on Sept. 2, 2017 with an average speed of 531.53 MPH over a 3 Km closed course. The official speed record of 528.31 MPH has been held by the F8F Bearcat named “Rare Bear” since Aug. 21, 1989. Although the P-51 Mustang Voodoo’s speed is slightly faster, FAI rules state that in order for a new record to be officially set, it must be at least one percent faster than the current speed record holder. Therefore, in order for a new speed record to be official, the speed must be 533.6 MPH or faster.
If there is a single word that can be used to describe flying the plane, it is probably “great”! It has few bad habits. Its flying is rock solid. Its controls don’t become overly heavy to the point of freezing with the increase of speed. That meant that it could be rolled quickly and with little trouble at high speeds.
A big help to pilots is the rudder and elevator trim controls within easy reach of the left hand. By keeping the plane properly trimmed, control forces necessary for high speed combat maneuvers could be keep to reasonable levels. For accurate shell groupings on target, it is important to keep the rudder trim centered.
One sore point with many pilots of the plane was the fuselage fuel tank behind the cockpit. While filling it was a necessity for long range missions, it positioned the center of gravity to the rear of the aircraft. This made the elevator extremely sensitive. If forced to do any radical maneuvers with a full fuselage tank, such as in combat, the aircraft would react in an unstable manner. This could necessitate the reversal of control, pushing down elevator while executing a sharp inside turn in order to maintain aircraft maneuverability. Once about half of the fuel was depleted from the tank, stability returned. During long range flights it was necessary to first use the fuel stored in the external tanks. However, on shorter flights, the fuel in the fuselage tank could be used first.
Landing approaches in the airplane can be made nose low, with touch down on the main wheels, rather than three point landings, in order to be able to see over the nose as long as possible.
A total of 14,855 of P-51 Mustang aircraft were produced.
That’s Jack Sallade with his P-51 Mustang built from a Top Flite Kit. It has a wingspan of 84 1/2 in. with a length of 73 1/2 in. Construction is all wood. Power can come from a 2.5 to 4.2 cu. in. gas engine. All up weight should be approximately 18 1/2 lbs.
The FMS P-51 Mustang PNP has a 57 in. wingspan and is 49 in long. Included is a 4250-540 kV motor turning a 14 in. four bladed prop, nav. lights, flaps, and retracts. Weight is about 83 oz.
Dynam has a P-51 Mustang that comes ready to fly. Its wingspan is 47 in. and length is 41 in. Included is a BM3715-890 kV motor turning a three bladed prop, nav. lights, flaps, retracts, gyro, flight battery and charger. Weight is around 39 oz.