P-51D “Mustang”

News, Plane of the Week February 27, 2017

North American P-51D “Mustang”
S/N 44-13371

Crew:   One
Engine:   One Rolls Royce (Packard) Merlin V-1650-7; 1,720 hp
Wingspan:   37 ft 5/16 in
Length:   32 ft 3 5/16 in
Height:   8 ft 8 in
Weight:   empty 6,585 lbs; gross 11,054 lbs
Speed:   max 437 mph at 25,000 ft
Range:   combat: 1000 miles w/ 2 drop tanks; ferry: 1,600 miles
Ceiling:   42,000 ft
Armament:   Six .50 cal machine guns; up to 2000 lbs ordnance
Cost:   $51,572 (average P-51 unit cost as of 1944)

The P-51 located in the Hill Aerospace Museum was fabricated by Kal Aero, an aircraft restoration firm in California. The Restoration was completed in 1992. The aircraft was painted to reflect the exact coloring of Colonel Chelsey Peterson’s P-51 names the “Audrey” after Col. Peterson’s wife. Peterson flew with the 4th Fighter Group of the Eighth Air Force during World War II.

The P-51 was rolled out in September of 1940 and first flew in October of 1940. The P-51 was used by the United States Army Air Force, Royal Air Force, and Chinese National Air Force. The P-51 flew in combat in both World War II and the Korean War. During World War II Mustang pilots claimed they destroyed over 4,900 enemy aircraft.

The P-51 remained in service for some air forces until the early 1980s. There were over 15,000 P-51s built. Come see ours today!

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