North American P-51 Mustang

Iconic fighter aircraft

North American P 51 Mustang Impatient Virgin
photo: Robert Sullivan

The North American P-51 Mustang was designed by the North American Aviation design team led by James Kindelberger in April 1940. It is a long-range single-seat fighter and fighter bomber in service during the Second World War and the Korean War.

Manufacturer:
North American Aviation NAA
Country:
United States
Manufactured:
1940 to: 1945
ICAO:
P51
Price:
US$0.59 million (2019)

Specifications

Avionics:
Engine:
1x Packard (Rolls Royce) V-1650-7 Merlin
Piston
Power:
1,720 horsepower
Max Cruise Speed:
383 knots
709 Km/h
Approach Speed (Vref):
87 knots
Travel range:
1,434 Nautical Miles
2,656 Kilometers
Fuel Economy:
Service Ceiling:
41,900 feet
Rate of Climb:
3200 feet / minute
16.26metre / second
Take Off Distance:
366 metre - 1,200.77 feet
Landing Distance:
457 metre - 1,499.33 feet
Max Take Off Weight:
5,490 Kg
12,103 lbs
Max Landing Weight:
5,490 Kg
12,103 lbs
Max Payload:
910 Kg
2,006 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity:
269 gallon
1,018 litre
Baggage Volume:
Seats - Economy / General:
1 seats
Seats - Business Class:
Seats - First Class:
Cabin Height:
Cabin Width:
Cabin Length:
Exterior Length:
9.8 metre - 32.15 feet
Tail height:
4.08 metre - 13.39 feet
Fuselage Diameter:
0.9 metre - 2.95 feet
Wing Span / Rotor Diameter:
11.28 metre - 37.01 feet
Wing Tips:
No Winglets
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Description

In April 1940, the Mustang was developed by the North American Aviation design group led by James Kindelberger as a response to a need from the British Purchasing Commission to build Curtiss P-40 fighters under license. Instead of building an aged design, the manufacturing company proposed a modern fighter. The resulting aircraft was a trim low-wing monoplane fitted with an Allison piston engine. On September 9, 1940, the prototype designated as NA-73X was rolled out and on October 26, 1940, it made its first flight.

The P-51D version has an external length of 9.83 meters, an external height of 3.2 meters, and a width of 0.9 meters. The tail height is 4.08 meters and the wheelbase is 5.2 meters. It has a wingspan of 11.28 meters and a wing area of 21.83 square meters. The empty weight is 3,465 kg, the gross weight is 4,175 kg, and the maximum payload is 910 kg. The maximum takeoff and landing weight is 5,490 kg and the fuel tank capacity is 269 US gal.

The P-51D is powered by a single Packard V-1650-7 Merlin engine, a version of the Rolls-Royce produced under license by the Packard Motor Car Company. It is a twelve-cylinder liquid-cooled piston with two intakes and two exhaust valves per cylinder, a two-speed two-stage supercharger, twin-choke updraft carburetor with automatic mixture control, dry sump oil system, and seventy percent water and thirty percent ethylene glycol cooling system. The engine produces a maximum thrust of 1,490 horsepower at 3,000 rpm and 1,720 horsepower at war emergency power (WEP) and drives a four-bladed constant-speed variable-pitch Hamilton Standard propeller.

The aircraft has a maximum speed of 383 knots, a cruise speed of 315 knots, and a stall speed of 87 knots. It has a travel range of 1,434 nautical miles with external tanks and a service ceiling of 41,900 feet. It can climb at a rate of 3,200 feet per minute. The P-51D can be loaded with six 12.7 mm AN/M2 Browning machine guns, 450 kg of bombs, and six or ten 127 mm T64 H.V.A.R rockets.

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