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P-51D "Mustang"


North American

The P-51 D 1-st lieutenant E.Drju from 375-th Sqn, 361-st  Group, AF USA, October, 1944 © Michael Bykov

The P-51 D 1-st lieutenant E.Drju from 375-th Sqn, 361-st Group, AF USA, October, 1944.

The P-51D Mustang was the most beautiful and greatest single seat fighter of World War II. The increase of speed above the base model was about 615 km/h at prototype, up to 783 km/h on last model P-51H, without any sweeping changes in a silhouette or a design.

The first P-51B went into service at second half 1944.

The P-51D had standard 12-cylinder liquid-cooled Merlin V-1650-3 engine (constructions "Packard") or the V-1650-7 developing 1400 hp on take-off. The first Mustangs had low-altitude Allison engines but when its capabilities as high-altitude fighter have been realized, have decided to establish Merlin engine. The weakness of Merlin engine was that it could stopped of a one bullet or a splinter that basically is inherent in all engines of liquid cooling.

The cost of P-51D Mustang with Packard Merlin engine was 50985 $, that it is not enough for such effective plane.

A total of 15,386 Mustangs were built in different modifications.

A few Mustangs are still flown today.

P-51D Specification
Crew 1
Wing span, m 11.28
Length, m 9.86
Height, m 4.17
PE Rolls-Royce (Packard) Merlin V-1650-3 (-7), hp 1400
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 3232
Maximum takeoff weight 5262
Maximum speed at sea level, km/h 703
Maximum speed at altitude, km/h 635
Maximum rate of climb, m/min 1060
Service ceiling, m 12770
Service range, km 3700
Range with the armament, km 1528
6 X 12.7-mm machine guns in wing, two underwing bombs, kg 454


  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering" /Aerospace Publising/
  • "American warplanes of World War II" /under cor. David Donald/