North American Mustang

North American Mustang


The North American Mustang was first flown in 1940 and eventually became one of the finest long-range fighters of the Second World War. Early versions, fitted with Allison engines, initially lacked high altitude performance and were therefore used by both the Royal Air Force (RAF) and RCAF for low-level reconnaissance and ground attack duties. Further modifications to the design resulted in the marriage of the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine to a re-designed airframe. This latter combination, known as the Mark IV in RAF and RCAF service proved to be outstanding. Three RCAF squadrons (400, 414 and 430) used early model Mustangs in the reconnaissance role and 441 and 442 Squadrons converted to the Mk IV variant in 1945 for long-range escort duties. In the post-war period, the RCAF acquired a further 88 Mustang IV aircraft for use by both regular and auxiliary squadrons. The aircraft survived in this latter role until 1961.

Designation P-51 or F-51
Model number P-51A, B, C, D
Marks Mk I, II, III, IV
Role Fighter, Fighter-Reconnaissance
Taken on strength 1947
Struck off strength 1961
Number 130
Service RCAF

Source: Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft: A Military Compendium by T.F.J. Leversedge ©2007. Translated and reproduced with the permission of the author.

Technical Specifications

Technical Specifications (for P-51D aircraft)

Manufacturer North American Aircraft
Crew / Passengers One pilot
Powerplant One 1,590 horsepower Packard (license-built) V-1650-7 Merlin piston engine
Maximum speed 448 MPH (721 km/h)
Cruising Speed 360 MPH (579 km/h)
Service ceiling 41,900 ft (12,771 m)
Range 1,300 mi (2,092 km)
Empty weight 7,125 lbs (3,232 kg)
Gross weight 11,600 lbs (5,262 kg)
Span 37 ft 1 in (11.29 ms)
Length 32 ft 3 in (9.83 m)
Height 13 ft 8 in (4.17 m)
Wing area 235 ft2 (21.83 m2)
Armament Six 0.5 in (12.7 mm) machine guns plus provisions for two 500 lbs (227 kg) bombs, eight rockets or two drop tanks
Cost $54,000 U.S.

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