North American P-51 Mustang. 1940

Warszawa 2023-09-02

North American P-51 Mustang. 1940.

The North American P-51 Mustang is a fighter aircraft used by North American Aviation. The prototype was first made on October 26, 1940. The aircraft was put into service in 1942. The aircraft was operated in many countries, and the service ended in 1984, when the Dominican Republic withdrew these aircraft from its military aviation. Over 15,000 of these deliveries were built.

North American P-51 Mustang. 2021 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
North American P-51 Mustang. 2021 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

North American P-51 Mustang. 2021 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
North American P-51 Mustang. 2021 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

The North American P-51 Mustang is an American single-seat long-range fighter and fighter-bomber used in the Second Civil and Military War. The Mustang was launched in 1940, by a management team by engineer James H. Kindelberger. The aircraft was specifically for the British Armaments Purchasing Commission. The contract with the British was signed in June 1940. The prototype was designated NA-73X. The aircraft was delivered for the Allison V-1710 engine, which was later fitted with the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine (from the Mustang Mk III version). Changing the intake engine for performance and slowing down to tie up equal fights with German aircraft. Previously, the British preferred their own Supermarine Spitfire aircraft.

The final source was the Mustang P-51D which was powered by a Packard V-1650-7 engine with a two-stage supercharger. The basic armament was 6 AN / M2 Browning machine guns, caliber 12.7 mm. In December 1943, Mustang aircraft in the P-51 B, C, D versions entered service with the USAAF and were used in Europe to escort bombing expeditions to Germany . From 1944, the planes were used in other parts of the world in the ongoing Second World War; North Africa, the Mediterranean, Italy and the Pacific.

During the Korean War, P-51 Mustangs were already designated F-51 and were the primary fighter in the first weeks of the war. They were replaced by F-86 fighters. After the Korean War, F-51s went to poorer countries and were also sold to private collectors. To date (2023), several aircraft are maintained for demonstration flights.


During the Second World War, P-51 Mustangs were used by five squadrons of the Polish Air Force in Great Britain. The first Polish unit equipped with P-51 Mustang Mk I aircraft was the "B" Squadron of the 309th "Ziemia Czerwieńska" Squadron. It was on June 7, 1942. In March, the P-51 aircraft were received by the "A" Squadron of the 309th Squadron. On March 13, 1944, the 316th "Warsaw" Squadron received the first Mk III Mustangs. The following units received the following units: 306. "Toruński" Squadron and 315. "Dębliński" Squadron. In 1945, 303. "Kościuszko" Squadron received 20 Mustang Mk IV/Mk IVA. After the war, between December 6, 1946 and January 6, 1947, all five Polish squadrons equipped with Mustangs were disbanded. Poland returned approximately 80 Mk III Mustangs and 20 Mk IV/IVA Mustangs to the RAF, which handed them over to the US government.

Drive unit:

One Packard (Rolls-Royce) V-1650-7 Merlin 12-cylinder twin-turbocharged piston engine, 1,720 hp (1,280 kW). Hamilton Standard 4-blade propeller, 11 ft 2 in (3.40 m) in diameter.

Data T-T P-51 Mustang:

Length 32 ft 3 in (9.83 m). Wingspan 37 ft 0 in (11.28 m). Height 13 ft 4.5 in (4.077 m). Bearing area 235 sq ft (21.8 sq m). Curb weight 7.635 lb (3.463 kg). Takeoff weight 7.635 lb (3.463 kg). Maximum weight 12,100 lb (5,488 kg). Fuel capacity 269 US gal (224 imp gal; 1,020 L). Top speed 440 mph (710 km/h, 383 kn). Cruise speed 362 mph (583 km/h, 315 kn). Maximum range 1,650 mi (2,660 km, 1,434 nmi). Usable ceiling 41,900 ft (12,800 m). Climb rate 3,200 ft/min (16 m/s).

Written by Karol Placha Hetman