Planes of Fame Air Museum
 
Planes of Fame Air Museum
 
Home »  Collection »  Flying & Static Aircraft »  North American P-51D 'Mustang'

HISTORY

  • The NA-73X was the prototype of the North American P-51 Mustang that first flew in October of 1940. The British had urgently requested a low-altitude fighter aircraft that could also be used for reconnaissance. So within 120 days, this remarkable fighter was designed and produced, employing the Allison V-1710 engine initially and using a highly effective laminar wing design. Manufacturing ensued to supply the U.S. Army Air Forces with their own P-51s.
  • Beginning with the B model, North American started putting the British Rolls-Royce Merlin engines in the P-51 to achieve high-performance and long-range capabilities. This model evolved into the C and famous D models, the latter incorporating the bubble canopy and using six .50 caliber machine guns. The P-51D escorted B-17s and B-29s on long-range bombing missions to Germany and Japan.
  • The P-51’s service in the U.S. Air Force came to an end in the 1950s, but it continued on for 2-3 more decades in many other countries.  More than 15,000 P-51 Mustangs were produced. It is a popular restoration aircraft with well over 100 today still airworthy, seen in air shows and as highly modified racing aircraft. It was the finest and most important aircraft of World War II.

 

DISTINCTION

  • The Museum’s P-51D was the 40th (of 200) P-51D-30 variant built in Dallas, Texas and delivered into service on July 26, 1945. It went immediately into storage at Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas. In late 1947 it was assigned to the 31st Fighter Group (Turner Air Force Base, Albany, GA), serving with the Strategic Air Command until that unit transitioned to jet aircraft. From March 1949 until December 1956, the aircraft served with Air National Guard units in Tennessee, Vermont, and West Virginia. The Museum acquired the aircraft in November 1957, making it the longest privately-held P-51D under the same owner.



SPECIFICATIONS

Status: Flyable
Manufacturer: North American Aviation
Year: 1945
Model: P-51D-30-NT Mustang
Registration Number: N5441V
Serial Number: 45-11582
Crew: 1
Max T/O Weight: 11,600 lb.
Span: 37 ft. 1 in.
Length: 32 ft. 3 in.
Height: 13 ft. 8 in.
Maximum Speed: 437 mph
Cruise Speed: 362 mph
Rate of Climb: 3,200 ft/min
Power Plant: 1-1,695hp V-12 Packard Merlin V1650-7 liquid-cooled engine
Range: 950 miles
Service Ceiling: 41,900 ft.
Armament: Six 0.50-cal machine guns & provisions for two 500 lb. bombs

 

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