The P51 Mustang

This page is dedicated to the P51 and its brave pilots. The P51 was one of the most important planes to fight in the European Theater. It entered the war at a crucial point. Without this plane and its long range capabilities the war may have drug out longer and more bombers and their crews may have been lost. The P51D is and was considered the ultimate fighter. With its bubble canapoy, giving the pilot a full 360 degree view and having six machine guns and a Rolls Royce engine this plane was fast and highly manueverable. It could take on any of the German's piston powered fighters with ease. The pilots of the P51 were very pleased with its manuverability. According to the Discovery Channel and their reseach, they stated that the P51D was not only the best fighter for the 1943- 1946 period, but the best fighter of all time. It had one of the highest kill-loss ratios at 19 to 1. The P-51 was designed as the NA-73 in 1940, at Britain's request. The design showed promise and Army Air Force (AAF) purchases of Allison powered Mustangs began in 1941, primarily for photo recon and ground support use due to its limited high-altitude performance. But in 1942, tests of P-51s using the British Rolls-Royce "Merlin" engine revealed much improved speed and service ceiling, and in December 1943, Merlin powered P-51Bs first entered combat over Europe. Providing high-altitude escort to B-17s and B-24s, they scored heavily over German interceptors and by war's end, P-51s had destroyed 4,950 enemy aircraft in the air, more than any other fighter in Europe.

Specifications

  • Span: 37 feet
  • Length: 32 ft. 3 in.
  • Height: 13 ft. 8 in.
  • Weight: 12,100 lbs.
  • Armament: Six .50-caliber machine guns and
  • 10, 5-inch rockets or 2,000 pounds of bombs.
  • Engine: Packard built Rolls-Royce "Merlin"
  • V-1650 of 1,695 horsepower
  • Cost: $54,000

    Performance

  • Maximum speed: 437 mph
  • Cruising speed: 275 mph.
  • Range: 1,000 miles
  • Service Ceiling: 41,900 ft

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