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North American P-51 Mustang model

Catégories : World War II Models

North American P-51 Mustang1942

THE P-51 Mustang B first appeared in Europe in 1942, when the British, who came to be filled, used it as hunter and photographic reconnaissance aircraft. This device was the P-51 A motor 1,000 hp Allison, and made his first operational sortie over Dieppe in August 1942. A version of attack dive drift, known under the designation A-36 A, which was used by the U.S. Air Force in the Mediterranean and on landing in Sicily in 1943. The P-51 D differs externally previous models of the shape of its cockpit - in drop of water - sank in one piece, more aerodynamic and allowing better visibility. He was put into service by Americans as fighter escort to support diurnal raids bombers on Germany. More flexible than the Thunderbolt, the Mustang was pulled these missions with honor and remained until the end of hostilities a major fighter of the U.S. Air Force, taking the lead with success Focke-Wulf and Messerschmitt. Yet, as hunter, it does not equal the Spitfire and the British Tempest. It showed, however, a serious drawback: it lacked guns, its weaponry is made up of machine guns. Nevertheless, the Mustang was the most American fighter pilots felt yankees operating in Europe. The Americans experimented a version of P-51 equipped with 4 guns wings, but it seems that this type was used in very small numbers.

Considered one of the best fighters of the Second World War, the P-51 Mustang is actually a plane that was designed to "hurry". His story begins in 1940 when the English are beginning to have difficulty competing with the Luftwaffe more determined than ever to invade the island English. The English are therefore appealing to the United States for now, the recall does not enter the war (attack on Japan at Pearl Harbor in December 41) and therefore have all their energy. Needing a device able to compete with German hunters in the months that followed, the English them barely 120 days to make the plane, the North American manufacturer decides the challenge.


The aircraft took the air on 26 October 1940 after encountering problems in the development of the engine Allison 1100 ch. Known in its infancy NA-73, the Mustang, after undergoing the evaluation program it successfully, was commissioned and 320 copies were delivered in Britain in November 1941. At low altitude, the first version of the Mustang showed remarkable performance but they slowly in approaching 3650 meters caused by deficiencies of the engine at high altitude. As a result, the aircraft was poorly adapted to missions interception and was therefore used for missions at low altitude: reconnaissance and ground attack. The Mustang Mk1 enters service in Britain in April 42 and team 23 units.

In addition, the United States have realized the potential of the aircraft, 300 aircraft ordered from the manufacturer North American. Aware of the problem at high altitude, the U.S. Air Force crews thereafter a new version of the Mustang (XP-51B), a motor-Packard Merlin 1430ch. With its six 12.7-mm machine guns, he could smoothly engage German fighter.

The most successful versions of the Mustang is the D. Indeed, equipped with a glass "drop of water" that optimizes the vision, a modified rear fuselage and a very good autonomy, the P-51D escort bombers problem without allies in Germany. It was for years still used by many countries and in many conflicts.

It is found under the name of F-51 in Korea (The name was Continues P for abandoned and replaced by the F for Fighter). There are several changes to the Mustang as the A-36 Apache specializes in ground attack, developed at the beginning of the war by the U.S. Air Force, which was not really interested in the Mustang for English. The P-82 Twin Mustang developed by the Air Force towards the end of the war, was neither more nor less as its name indicates, two Mustang glued to one another by a central wing. It should be used to escort bombers and strike even further in Germany. But the war ended before its actual implementation.

The Mustang was not withdrawn from service after the Korean War (as exceeded all aircraft with propellers at the time, the jets), but many years later it was used for training, and the less wealthy could not buy jet airplanes. Today, nearly 150 Mustang fly again, maintained by hundreds of devotees who come to remember old fashioned parade in air shows.