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Photo: Drew Naylor

P-51D Mustang “Cincinnati Miss”

Restored to flying condition

Designed by North American Aviation of Inglewood, CA in 1940, the prototype Mustang took just 149 days to construct and fly. Initially powered by Allison V-12 engines, early Mustangs lacked the necessary speed and high altitude performance to be an effective interceptor and bomber escort.

In 1942 a 1,650 horsepower Rolls-Royce Merlin engine was installed in a Mustang which greatly improved speed and service ceiling, and in December 1943 Merlinpowered P-51Bs entered combat over Europe. Merlin-powered Mustangs proved to be a superior fighter and bomber escort, destroying over 4,950 enemy aircraft; more than any other fighter in Europe. Flying from air bases in England P-51s equipped with external fuel tanks were able to escort bombers on long range missions deep into Germany, marking the turning point in the air war in Europe.

14,855 Mustangs were produced between 1941 and 1945, including the A-36 dive bomber and F-6 photo reconnaissance versions. 7,956 of the Mustangs produced were P-51Ds. Mustangs served in every combat zone, including the Pacific Theater where they escorted B-29 bombers from Iwo Jima to Japan.



Military History

The P-51D on display was built in 1944 for use with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) where it served as A68-706. Built too late to see action in WWII, it was used primarily for training RAAF pilots. Upon retirement from the RAAF in 1953, 44-84410 had accumulated only 615 flying hours.

Civil History

Purchased from the RAAF in 1954 by American Aeronautics Corporation and imported back to the United States, 44-84410 passed through several American owners without being returned to flying condition. Restored to airworthy condition by the technicians of the Tri-State Warbird Museum in 2005, this P-51D is painted in the colors of the 353rd Fighter Group, 350th Fighter Squadron based in Raydon, England in 1944-45.

manufacturers north american

Serial Number: 44-84410  |  Tail: N83KD

Manufacturer:
North American Aviation

First Flight:
October 26, 1940

Retired:
1957

Specifications

Crew: Pilot

Engine: Packard V-1650-7 12 cylinder liquid cooled inline

Max Speed: 437 mph at 25,000 ft

Horsepower: 1,650

Armament: 6 wing mounted .50 caliber machine guns, 10 x 5-inch rockets or 6 x 5-inch rockets and 2 x 500 pound bombs

Wingspan: 37 ft

Length: 32 ft, 3 in

Height: 13 ft, 8 in

Max Weight: 12,100 lbs

Service Ceiling: 41,900 ft

Max Range: 2,055 miles with external drop tanks

Fuel Capacity: 269 gallons (internal), 489 with drop tanks