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The P-51 was created for the RAF to replace the P-40 Warhawk. It took 117 days for North American to design, build and fly the P-51, this was so quick, in fact, that the engine wasn’t ready.
The latest Laminar-flow wing reduced drag. The wheels from the AT-6 and an existing Allison engine were used to complete the P-51.
The poor high altitude performance of the P-51A was soon rectified with the arrival of the newly designed Rolls-Royce Merlin engine.
The Mustang was flown by eleven allied air forces in addition to the USAAF. At a range of 750 miles the P-51 would often meet bombers near the Dutch/German border to relieve the shorter ranged P-38 and P-47.
No combat airplane in the war could fly as far, go as high and fight as hard as the popular Mustang.
This surplus P-51A was used as a civilian racing plane in Cleveland, Ohio.
This “razorback” was restored to original condition, note the F.24 cameras behind the pilot’s seat. This is the only surviving F-6B of the 35 modified.