The P-51 was created for the RAF to replace the P-40 Warhawk. It took 117 days for North American to design, build and fly the P-51, this was so quick, in fact, that the engine wasn’t ready.
The latest Laminar-flow wing reduced drag. The wheels from the AT-6 and an existing Allison engine were used to complete the P-51.
The poor high altitude performance of the P-51A was soon rectified with the arrival of the newly designed Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. The Mustang was flown by eleven allied air forces in addition to the USAAF. At a range of 750 miles the P-51 would often meet bombers near the Dutch/German border to relieve the shorter ranged P-38 and P-47. No combat airplane in the war could fly as far, go as high and fight as hard as the popular Mustang. This surplus P-51A was used as a civilian racing plane in Cleveland, Ohio. This “razorback” was restored to original condition, note the F.24 cameras behind the pilot’s seat. This is the only surviving F-6B of the 35 modified.
This aircraft came to Yanks incomplete until a belly scoop, landing gear door, windscreen and clam shell doors were found in an old barn. The entire restoration took 12 years.
|DISPLAY STATUS||COUNTRY OF ORIGIN||CURRENT LOCATION|
|Own||United States||Legends Hangar|
|PURPOSE & TYPE||MATERIALS||ERA & DATE RANGE|
|Bomber, Fighter||Steel||World War II
1939 – 1945
|MFG: North American Aviation
First Produced: 1939
Number Built: 15,686 total; (155) P-51A-10 Models; (35) F-6B Models
Armament: (4) .50 caliber machine guns in wings, (2) 500 lb bombs
Wing Area: 233 sq ft
Empty Weight: 6,430 lbs
Gross Weight: 8,000 lbs
Powerplant: Allison V1710-81
Cruise Speed: 307 mph
Maximum Speed: 290 mph
Range: 2,500 miles