North American Aircraft

North American
A-5C Vigilant

North American
F-100 Super Sabre

Fighter Aircraft

North American Aircraft

The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang is an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II and the Korean War

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North American
F-100 Super Sabre

The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang is an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II and the Korean War, among other conflicts. The Mustang was designed in April 1940 by a design team headed by James Kindelberger[5] of North American Aviation (NAA) in response to a requirement of the British Purchasing Commission. The Purchasing Commission approached North American Aviation to build Curtiss P-40 fighters under license for the Royal Air Force (RAF). Rather than build an old design from another company, North American Aviation proposed the design and production of a more modern fighter. The prototype NA-73X airframe was rolled out on 9 September 1940, 102 days after the contract was signed, and first flew on 26 October.[6][7]


In 1938, the British government established a purchasing commission in the United States, headed by Sir Henry Self.[13][14] Self was given overall responsibility for Royal Air Force (RAF) production, research and development, and also served with Sir Wilfrid Freeman, the Air Member for Development and Production. Self also sat on the British Air Council Sub-committee on Supply (or “Supply Committee”) and one of his tasks was to organize the manufacturing and supply of American fighter aircraft for the RAF. At the time, the choice was very limited, as no U.S. aircraft then in production or flying met European standards, with only the Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk coming close. The Curtiss-Wright plant was running at capacity, so P-40s were in short supply.[15]

North American

North American

National originUnited States
ManufacturerNorth American Aviation
First flight26 October 1940
IntroductionJanuary 1942 (RAF)
StatusRetired from military service 1984 (Dominican Air Force)[3]
Primary usersUnited States Army Air Forces
Royal Air Force
Royal New Zealand Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
Number builtMore than 15,000
VariantsNorth American A-36 Apache
Rolls-Royce Mustang Mk.X
Cavalier Mustang
Developed intoNorth American F-82 Twin Mustang
Piper PA-48 Enforcer


North American Aviation (NAA) was already supplying its Harvard trainer to the RAF, but was otherwise underused. NAA President “Dutch” Kindelberger approached Self to sell a new medium bomber, the North American B-25 Mitchell. Instead, Self asked if NAA could manufacture P-40s under license from Curtiss. Kindelberger said NAA could have a better aircraft with the same Allison V-1710 engine in the air sooner than establishing a production line for the P-40.

Specifications (F-86)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 32 ft 3 in (9.83 m)
  • Wingspan: 37 ft 0 in (11.28 m)
  • Height: 13 ft 4.5 in (4.08 m) tail wheel on ground, vertical propeller blade
  • Wing area: 235 sq ft (21.83 m2)
  • Airfoil: NAA/NACA 45–100 / NAA/NACA 45–100
  • Empty weight: 7,635 lb (3,465 kg)
  • Gross weight: 9,200 lb (4,175 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 12,100 lb (5,488 kg) 5,490
  • Fuel capacity: 269 US gal (224 imp gal; 1,020 l)
  • Zero-lift drag coefficient: 0.0163
  • Drag area: 3.80 sqft (0.35 m²)
  • Aspect ratio: 5.83
  • Powerplant: 1 × Packard (Rolls Royce) V-1650-7 Merlin 12-cylinder liquid cooled engine, 1,490 hp (1,111 kW) at 3,000 rpm;[143] 1,720 hp (1,280 kW) at WEP
  • Propellers: 4-bladed constant-speed, variable-pitch Hamilton Standard, 11 ft 2 in (3.40 m) diameter


  • Maximum speed: 440 mph (708 km/h, 383 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 362 mph (583 km/h, 315 kn)
  • Stall speed: 100 mph (160 km/h, 87 kn)
  • Range: 1,650 mi (2,656 km, 1,434 nmi) with external tanks
  • Service ceiling: 41,900 ft (12,800 m)
  • Rate of climb: 3,200 ft/min (16.3 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 39 lb/sq ft (192 kg/m2)
  • Power/mass: 0.18 hp/lb (300 W/kg)
  • Lift-to-drag ratio: 14.6
  • Recommended Mach limit 0.8


  • Each hardpoint: 1 × 100 pounds (45 kg) bomb, 1 × 250 pounds (110 kg) bomb or 1 × 500 pounds (230 kg) bomb)
    Rockets: 6 or 10 × 5.0 in (127 mm) T64 H.V.A.R rockets (P-51D-25, P-51K-10 on)