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

North American P-51D Mustang "1940"

Role Fighter
National origin United States
Manufacturer North American Aviation
First flight 26 October 1940
Introduction January 1942 (RAF)
Status Retired from military service 1984 (Dominican Air Force)
Primary users United States Army Air Forces / Royal Air Force / Royal New Zealand Air Force / Royal Canadian Air Force
Number built More than 15,000
Variants North American A-36 Apache / Rolls-Royce Mustang Mk.X
Cavalier Mustang
Developed into North American F-82 Twin Mustang
Piper PA-48 Enforcer



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
P-51 Mustang

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]

Design

 

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]

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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

Crew: 1
Length: 32 ft 3 in (9.83 m)
Wingspan: 37 ft (11 m)
Height: 13 ft 4.5 in (4.077 m) tail wheel on ground, vertical propeller blade
Empty weight: 7,635 lb (3,463 kg)
Gross weight: 9,200 lb (4,173 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 12,100 lb (5,488 kg) 5,490
Powerplant: 1 × Packard (Rolls Royce) V-1650-7 Merlin 12-cylinder liquid cooled engine, 1,490 hp (1,110 kW) at 3,000 rpm;[144] 1,720 hp (1,280 kW) at WEP

Performance

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)

Recommended Mach limit 0.8

Armament
Guns: 6 × 0.50 caliber (12.7mm) AN/M2 Browning machine guns with 1,840 total rounds (380 rounds for each on the inboard pair and 270 rounds for each of the outer two pair)
Bombs: 1,000 pounds (450 kg) total on two wing hardpoints
Each hardpoint: 1 × 100 pounds (45 kg) bomb, 1 × 250 pounds (110 kg) bomb
Rockets: 6 or 10 × 5.0 in (127 mm) T64 H.V.A.R 

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Many P-51s were sold as surplus after the war, often for as little as $1,500. Some were sold to former wartime fliers or other aficionados for personal use, while others were modified for air racing