World War II in Colour - Legendary NA P51 Mustang fighter & Consolidated B24 Liberator bomber in Motion


The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang was an American long-range single-seat World War II fighter aircraft. Designed and built in just 117 days to a specification issued to NAA by the British Purchasing Commission, the Mustang first flew in Royal Air Force (RAF) service as a tactical-reconnaissance aircraft and fighter-bomber. In later versions it was also used as a bomber escort, employed in raids over Germany; in these roles the Mustang helped ensure Allied air superiority from early 1944.[2] The P-51 was in service with Allied air forces in Europe and also saw limited service against the Japanese in the Pacific War. At the start of Korean War the Mustang was the United Nations' main fighter but the role was quickly shouldered by jet fighters, including the F-86, after which the Mustang became a specialised ground-attack fighter-bomber. In spite of being superseded by jet fighters the Mustang remained in service with some air forces until the early 1980s.

The Mustang was first designed to use a low-altitude rated Allison V-1710 engine and was mainly used in the tactical-reconnaissance and fighter-bomber roles. The definitive version, the P-51D, was powered by the Packard V-1650-7, a licence-built version of the Rolls-Royce Merlin 60 series two-stage two-speed supercharged engine, and was able to be used as a long-range bomber escort. The P-51D was armed with six .50 caliber (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns.

After World War II and the Korean War, many Mustangs were converted for civilian use, especially air racing. The Mustang's reputation was such that, in the early-1960s, the Ford Motor Company designed a new youth-oriented coupe which was purportedly named after the fighter.

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