North American Aviation
/ North American P-82 / F-82 Twin Mustang
North American P-82 / F-82 Twin Mustang
Length: 42 ft 5 in (12.93 m)
Wingspan: 51 ft 3 in (15.62 m)
Height: 13 ft 10 in (4.22 m)
Wing area: 408 sq ft (37.9 m2)
Empty weight: 15,997 lb (7,256 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 25,591 lb (11,608 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × V-12 liquid-cooled piston engine Allison V-1710-143, 2,250 hp (1,680 kW) in War emergency rating, RH rotation fitted to port
Powerplant: 1 × V-12 liquid-cooled piston engine Allison V-1710-145, 2,250 hp (1,680 kW) in War emergency rating, LH rotation fitted to starboard
Propellers: 4-bladed Aeroproducts A-542F-D1 constant-speed fully-feathering propeller (LHS)
Aeroproducts AL-542F-D1 constant-speed fully-feathering propeller (RHS), 10 ft 11 in (3.33 m) diameter
Maximum speed: 461 mph (742 km/h, 401 kn) at 21,000 ft (6,400 m)
Cruise speed: 286 mph (460 km/h, 249 kn)
Range: 2,240 mi (3,600 km, 1,950 nmi)
Service ceiling: 38,900 ft (11,900 m)
Guns: 6 .5 in (12.7 mm) M3 Browning machine guns
Rockets: 25 5 in (130 mm) rockets
Bombs: 4 1,000 lb (450 kg) bombs
Basic Development design.
The NA-123 design was presented by North American Aircraft to the USAAF in February 1944.
The design for the new aircraft was for a long-range fighter to penetrate deep into enemy territory.
Its immediate role would be to escort the B-29 Superfortress bombers used in the Pacific Theater of Operations against Japan.
The USAAF endorsed it at once.
A letter contract to construct and test four experimental XP-82 aircraft (P-82 designation) gave way in the same month to an order for 500 production models.
XP-82 / XP-82A
Prototype. The USAAF accepted the first XP-82 in August 1945 and a second one in September.
Both were equipped with Packard Merlin V-1650-23 and −25 engines.
The third experimental aircraft, designated XP-82A, had two Allison V-1710-119 engines.
It was accepted in October 1945.
There is no evidence that the XP-82A was ever actually flown, due to problems with the Allison engines.
The fourth XP-82A prototype (44-83889) was cancelled.
Planned production version.
With the end of World War II, production plans were cut back significantly.
Against the 500 P-82Bs initially planned, overall procurement was finalized on 7 December 1945 at 270 P-82s.
Included were 20 P-82Bs already on firm order and later allocated to testing as P-82Z.
The USAAF accepted all P-82Zs in fiscal year 1947.
Two aircraft were accepted in January 1946, four in February 1947, and 13 in March 1947.
By December 1949, no P-82Bs (by then redesignated F-82Bs) remained in the Air Force inventory.
These P-82Bs were basically similar to the XP-82, but differed in having provisions for under wing racks.
Night fighter version.
A P-82B, (44-65169) modified in late 1946, for testing as a night interceptor.
The P-82C featured a new nacelle (under the center wing section) housing an SCR-720 radar.
The SCR-720 was the same radar installation which was carried aboard the Northrop P-61 Black Widow, a considerably larger aircraft.
The right-hand cockpit became the radar operator’s position. The production version was designated P-82G.
Night fighter version.
Another P-82B (44-65170) modified with a different radar, the APS-4.
The APS-4 was a much smaller set than the SCR-720, and operated in the 1.18 in (30 mm) waveband.
As like the P-82C, the right-hand cockpit became the radar operator’s position. The production version was designated P-82F.
Escort fighter version.
The F-82E followed the F-82B, which it so closely resembled.
They were equipped with two counter-rotating Allison liquid-cooled engines, V-1710-143 and V-1710-145.
The first four F-82Es were redesignated as F-82As and were allocated for engine testing.
After production delays by engine problems and additional testing, F-82Es entered operational service in May 1948.
The Air Force accepted 72 F-82Es in fiscal year 1948 (between January and June 1948), and 24 in fiscal year 1949 (22 in July 1948, one in October, and one in December).
North American F-82F Twin Mustang night fighter
Night fighter versions.
A nacelle beneath the center-wing that housed radar equipment (F-82F’s AN/APG28 and F-82G’s SCR-720C18); automatic pilot; and a radar operator replacing the second pilot.
When winterization was added to the F or G, it became an F-82H.
Entered operational service in September 1948.
One F-82G was accepted in fiscal year 1948 (February 1948), all other F-82s (F, G, and H models) in fiscal year 1949.
The last F-82G and six winterized F-82Hs were received in March 1949.
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