Planes of Fame Air Museum
 
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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 manufactured in Dallas, Texas and delivered into service in late 1944. This aircraft has the soul of a racer. After serving with several Air National Guard units, in 1958 it went into private ownership. In 1964, the aircraft was converted into an air racer. It was a champion in a number of configurations, the last as “Red Baron” (where, in August 1979 it set the world speed record for piston-engines). A devastating crash in September 1979 destroyed the aircraft. But as testament to the interchangeability of Mustang parts, portions were salvaged and combined with parts from other Mustang variants to build this aircraft that still takes to the skies.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Status: Flyable
Manufacturer: North American Aviation
Year: 1944
Model: P-51D-25-NT Mustang
Registration Number: N7715C
Serial Number: 44-84961A (Tail Number # 413334)
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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