North American P-51 Mustang

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North American P-51 Mustang
North American P-51.jpg
North American P-51 2.jpg
Post WW2 CAC Mustangs in formation
Type long range fighter
Role Aerial combat and ground support
Designer RAAF / North American
Manufacturer North American Aviation
Produced 15,000+
Number built 8,956 D Models
Primary users US Army Air Force; RAF; RAAF; RNZAF; RCAF
In service January 1942 RAF
Out of service 1984 (Dominican Air Force)


In 1943, the Australian government arranged for the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) to manufacture the Mustang Mk IV (P-51D) under licence from North American Aviation. The first CAC Mustangs were built mainly from imported semi-finished parts, but none saw operational service prior to the conclussion of WW2 bu served in Japan and Korea.

After the P-51 was paired with the proven Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, the aircraft became an enormous success. The P-51D models became one of the finest Allied fighters of World War II, and was just as capable at long-range escort as short ground-attack sorties. Fitted with a bubble canopy in place of the earlier 'Razorback' fuselage, the P-51D was the most widely produced version of the Mustang, with 8,956 built. The aircraft operated by the RAAF were supplied under lend-lease arrangements, assembled in Australia.

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Length: 32 ft 3 in (9.83m)
  • Wingspan: 37 ft (11m)
  • Height: 13 ft 4.5 in (4.08m)
  • Empty weight: 7,635 lbs (3,464 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 12,000 lbs (5,488 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Packard (Rolls Royce) V-1650-7 Merlin
  • Maximum speed: 440 mph (710 km/h)
  • Range: 1,650 miles (2,660 km)
  • Service ceiling: 41,900 ft (12,800 m)
  • Armament
  • Guns: 6 x 0.50 caliber AN/M2 Browning machine guns
  • Bombs: 1 x 100lb (45kg) or 1 x 250 ln (110kg) or 500lb bomb on a hard point undereach wing

Crew members