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North American P-51 Mustang

One of the greatest combat aircraft of World War II the Mustang holds a special place in history. The first prototype flew on October 26, 1940. It was the first time the RAF judged an American fighter to be exceptional in all aspects. The only draw back was the performance of the Allison engine at high altitudes.

The 857 kW. (1,150 hp.) Allison V-1710-F3R had a low altitude speed of 628 km/h. (390 mph.) The Mk IA had four 2mm. cannons and the Mk II had racks for two 500 lb. bombs.

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Late 1942 saw the Merlin engine being tested in the Mustang airframes. The top speed leapt to 710 km/h. (440 mph.) The P-51B was assembled in Los Angeles, the P-51C in Dallas. Both used the Packard 1,133 kW. (1,520 hp.) V-1650-3 a US variant of the Merlin.

Specifications; Engine (one) 857 kW. (1,150 hp.) Allison V-1710-F3R, Packard 1,133 kW. (1,520 hp.) V-1650-3, V-1650-7,  Wing Span; 11.29 m. (37' 1/2"), Length; 9.81 m. (32' 2 1/2"), Maximum take-off weight; 5,206 kg. (11,600 lbs.), Maximum level speed; 703 km/h. (437 mph.), Range; 1, 529 to 3,347 km. (950 to 2,080 miles)

The Mustang Mk IV entered Canadian service in 1947. They served with the RCAF from June 1947 to August 1961. Number 9298, was taken off strength in March 1951 (pictured above) now belongs to the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario.

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Wings Over The Pacific was updated November 09, 1998