North American P-51 Mustang

1st Flight 1940

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 North American Aviation 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.

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.

Variants

NA-73X – 1 Prototype

XP-51 – 2 Prototypes

Mustang I – 620 Built for RAF at Inglewood, California

A-36 Apache – 500 Dive-bomber variant of P-51; also known as “Invader” or “Mustang”

P-51 – 150 Built at Inglewood, California.

93 were Lend-Leased to the UK, operated by RAF as the “Mustang Ia”.

57 were retained by the USAAF and fitted with Allison V-1710-39 engines.

P-51A-NA – 310 Built at Inglewood, California.

50 Lend-Leased to the RAF as the “Mustang II”.

XP-51B – 2 Prototypes of P-51B

P-51B-NA – 1,987 Built at Inglewood, California.

First production version to be equipped with the Merlin engine.

308 supplied under Lend-Lease and operated by the RAF as “Mustang III”.

P-51C-NT – 1,750 First P-51 variant to be built at North American’s Dallas plant.

Identical to P-51B.

Mustangs built by North American in Dallas were suffixed “-NT”. 636 were supplied under Lend-Lease to the RAF as the “Mustang III”.

XP-51D – 3 Prototypes of P-51D

P-51D-NA/-NT – 8,200 6,600 built at Inglewood and 1,600 built at Dallas.

100 P-51D-1-NA were sent unassembled to Australia.

282 under Lend-Lease served in the RAF as the “Mustang IV”.

XP-51F – 3 Lightweight version

XP-51G – 2 Lightweight version; five-bladed propeller

P-51H-NA – 555 Built at Inglewood, California

XP-51J – 2 Allison-engined lightweight development.

P-51K-NT – 1,500 Built at Dallas, Texas.

Identical to the P-51D except fitted with a four-bladed Aeroproducts propeller.

600 Lend-Leased to the RAF as the “Mustang IVa”.

P-51M-NT – 1 Same as P-51D-25-NT and P-51D-30-NT, but with the non-water injected V-1650-9A engine for low-altitude operations and sharing the cuffless Hamilton Standard propeller.

It was intended to enter full production at Dallas, but the contract was later cancelled.

Total number built 15,588, Includes 100 sent unassembled to Australia

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

Wing area: 235 sq ft (21.8 m2)

Aspect ratio: 5.83

Airfoil: NAA/NACA 45–100 / NAA/NACA 45–100

Empty weight: 7,635 lb (3,463 kg)

Gross weight: 9,200 lb (4,173 kg)

Max take-off weight: 12,100 lb (5,488 kg) 5,490

Fuel capacity: 269 US gal (224 imp gal; 1,020 l)

Zero-lift drag coefficient: 0.0163

Drag area: 3.80 sqft (0.35 m²)

Powerplant: 1 × Packard (Rolls Royce) V-1650-7 Merlin 12-cylinder liquid cooled engine, 1,490 hp (1,110 kW) at 3,000 rpm;[143] 1,720 hp (1,280 kW) at WEP

Propellers: 4-bladed Hamilton Standard constant-speed, variable-pitch, 11 ft 2 in (3.40 m) diameter

Performance

Maximum speed: 440 mph (710 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 (2,660 km, 1,434 nmi) with external tanks

Service ceiling: 41,900 ft (12,800 m)

Rate of climb: 3,200 ft/min (16 m/s)

Lift-to-drag: 14.6

Wing loading: 39 lb/sq ft (190 kg/m2)

Power/mass: 0.18 hp/lb (300 W/kg)

Recommended Mach limit 0.8

Armament

Guns: 6 × 0.50 calibre (12.7mm) AN/M2 Browning machine guns with 1,840 total rounds.

Rockets: 6 or 10 × 5.0 in (127 mm) T64 HVAR rockets (P-51D-25, P-51K-10 on)

Bombs: 1 × 100 lb (45 kg) or 250 lb (110 kg) bomb or 500 lb (230 kg) bomb on hard point under each wing.

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