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North American P-51 Mustang  

North American P-51D Mustang

In April 1940, Britain proposed to North American to construct some Curtiss P-40s for the RAF but the president of the company retorted that his company was capable of building a new aircraft in 120 days. The bet was won and the first aircraft named NA-73X was ready three days before the 120th day. The first flight took place October 26, 1940 and performances were far superior to those of the P-40. A contract of 320 aircraft was signed with the RAF and in 1942, England ordered 300 more aircraft. In September 1942, after numerous tests, led jointly by Britain and USA, aiming to equip the P-51 of a Merlin engine, the first prototype of the P-51B took flight. Displaying a speed far superior to the P-51A, it was put into production in the summer 1943. The P-51D appeared the following spring and solved its worst drawback: the visibility. The P-51H, the fastest version, had the time to participate in the last operations against Japan.

 Specifacations

Full Name

North American P-51D Mustang

Type

Fighter

Origin

USA

Manufacturer

North American

Wingspan

11.28 m

Length

9.96 m

Height

4.17 m

Weight

Empty: 3103kg

Maximum Speed

703 km/h

Range

3703 km

Engine

1 x 1720 hp Rolls-Royce/Packard Merlin V-1650-7

Armament

6 x machine gun, 907 kg of bombs.

Crew

1

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