© 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.
|Wing span, m
|PE Rolls-Royce (Packard) Merlin V-1650-3 (-7), hp
|Maximum takeoff weight
|Maximum speed at sea level, km/h
|Maximum speed at altitude, km/h
|Maximum rate of climb, m/min
|Service ceiling, m
|Service range, km
|Range with the armament, km
|6 X 12.7-mm machine guns in wing, two underwing bombs, kg
- "Encyclopedia of military engineering" /Aerospace Publising/
- "American warplanes of World War II" /under cor. David Donald/