P 51 mustang world war 2 aircraft
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North American P-51 Mustang Combat Aircraft
Skip to content. However, it became a long-range escort fighter for the U. The production process was efficient and quick; about 14, were built during WWII. Highlighted in this image is the cockpit of the the P Mustang. Highlighted in this image are the wing-mounted machine guns on the P Mustang. It was a powerful and fast aircraft with extensive range.
Few aircraft have ever had such a game-changing impact on a war as the American P Mustang. This ultra-maneuverable and long-range fighter was one of the first true multi-role combat aircraft in history. Whether running high-speed, hedgerow-height strafing runs or escorting bombers on long-endurance raids, the P tackled every mission it was given with unmatched performance.
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Rather than build an old design from another company, North American Aviation proposed the design and production of a more modern fighter. The prototype NAX airframe was rolled out on 9 September , days after the contract was signed, and first flew on 26 October.
Overseen by Sir Henry Self, who was charged with directing RAF aircraft production as well as research and development, this commission initially sought to acquire large numbers of the Curtiss P Warhawk for use in Europe. While not an ideal aircraft, it the P was the only American fighter then in production that came close to the performance standards required for combat over Europe. Contacting Curtiss, the commission's plan soon proved unworkable as the Curtiss-Wright plant was unable to take new orders. Kindelberger replied that rather than transition North American's assembly lines to the P, he could have a superior fighter designed and ready to fly in a shorter span of time. In response to this offer, Sir Wilfrid Freeman, the head of the British Ministry of Aircraft Production placed an order for aircraft in March As part of the contract, the RAF specified a minimum armament of four. Due to Britain's wartime needs, the project progressed rapidly and a prototype was ready for testing only days after the order was placed.
In , British officials approached North American Aviation in desperate need of additional aircraft for the war in Europe. Just days after the order was placed, the first P was rolled out of the factory. Equipped with an American-built copy of the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, the P quickly became one of the best-known and most feared fighters in the world—able to escort heavy bombers deep into enemy territory. A total of 15, Mustangs of all types were built for the Army and foreign nations. In combat, they destroyed nearly 6, enemy aircraft, making the Mustang the deadliest Allied fighter of World War II. Share this on. History of the Artifact.
The P is widely regarded as the finest all-around piston-engined fighter of World War II to be produced in significant numbers. The result was a trim low-wing monoplane powered by a liquid-cooled in-line Allison engine. Other fighters powered by non-turbo-supercharged Allisons, notably the P and P, had shown mediocre performance, and the U. War Department had reserved turbo-supercharger production for four-engined bombers the P Lightning being the only exception at that point. Nevertheless, by using experimental data obtained from the U. Their design, dubbed Mustang by the British, had a low-drag laminar-flow wing and an efficient low-drag engine cooling system that gave it exceptional speed and range.