Hide search form
Known as the Cadillac of the skies, the North American P-51 Mustang was originally designed in response to a British requirement for a new long-range fighter to supplement the Spitfire and Hurricane. The original P-51A was fitted with an Allison V-1710 engine that did not perform well at altitude. These issues were rectified by the installation of the Rolls Royce Merlin and later the more powerful Packard Merlin. At the end of the Second World War, Mustang pilots have claimed over 4,950 enemy aircraft and the type was well known for escorting bombers on daylight raids.
The P-51 Mustang saw heavy use during the Second World War however its service continued well into the second half of the 20th Century and later versions were designated as the F-51 in USAF service. The Mustang saw significant combat service in Korea in addition to a number of smaller regional conflicts in Asia and South America. The final Mustangs were retired from military use by the Dominican Air Force in 1984, 44 years after the types first flight.
P-51D Mustang 'Frances Dell' made its UK debut at RIAT last year and is returning on static display for RIAT 2023. Owned by Flying Legends GmbH, this ex-RCAF example carries the markings of 84th Fighter Squadron pilot Lt Clark Clemmons whilst he was based at RAF Duxford in Cambridgeshire.
Photo Credit: Uwe Glaser