In 1940, at the request of the British, the P-51A ("Mustang") fighter plane was designed by North American Aviation. The design
showed promise and purchases of Allison-powered Mustangs began in
1941, primarily for photo reconnaissance and ground support use due to it's limited
high-altitude performance. But in 1942, tests of P-51B's using the British
Rolls-Royce "Merlin" engine revealed a much improved speed and service ceiling.
In late 1943, Merlin-powered P-51B's entered into air combat over Europe.
Providing high-altitude escort to B-17's and B-24's, the Mustang's scored heavily over
German interceptors. By the end of the war, P-51's had destroyed 4,950 enemy
aircraft in the air, more than any other fighter in Europe.
Mustangs served in nearly every combat zone, including the Pacific. Over 14,800 P-51's were
built by North American Aviation. During the Korean Conflict, P-51D's were used
primarily for close support of ground forces until withdrawn from combat in
Source and Links: U.S.A.F. Museum.
Joe Baugher's Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft
New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum
National Aviation Museum, Canada
Curtis Fowles, P-51 Mustang Links
Fully assembled, Handcrafted Model Airplane with Removable
length: 6 1/4", wingspan: 7 1/2"