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North American P-51  Mustang IV

Vintage Wings of Canada

North American P-51  Mustang IV

The Mustang IV (named P-51 in the USA) is arguably the finest fighter aircraft design of all time let alone the Second World War. The first prototype of the P-51 was originally designed and built by North American Aviation not for the United States Army Air Force (USAAF), but in response to an RAF requirement. Most of the following production aircraft were powered by Packard-built Rolls-Royce Merlin engines that were capable of superb performance at high altitude. Of the more than 16,000 Mustangs produced, the most common variant was the Mk IV (P-51 D-model in the USAAF) similar to our aircraft, introduced in May of 1944. Through the use of external long-range fuel tanks, the Mustang was capable of escorting daylight bomber formations all the way to Berlin and back, thus providing much needed protection against marauding German interceptors. This highly capable aircraft went on to fight in the Korean War and, incredibly, still equipped some South American air forces into the 1980s.

The VWC Mustang Mk IV is painted in period markings of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 442 Squadron, which flew the last Allied operational fighter mission of the entire European theatre of the Second World War – flying fighter cover for naval operations near the Channel Islands the day after VE Day.

Information

First Flight: 1940

Total Production (All Marks): 16,000+

Wingspan: 37 feet

Engine: Packard-Built Rolls-Royce Merlin

Maximum Speed: 400+ mph

Manufactured: 1944, North American Aviation, Inglewood, CA

Serial Number: 122-39922 Military Serial Numbers: USAAF 44-73463; RCAF 9575

Current Registration: CF-VPM

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