The North American P-51D-5 Mustang is an American single-engine fighter which was in service with the U.S. Army Air Force notable for its role in long-range bomber escort missions. The P-51D-5 currently sits at Rank 4 in the American line with an upfront cost of 820,000 .
Design, Development & Operational HistoryEdit
The North-American P-51 Mustang was an American fighter designed in the early 1940's and is considered the best US fighter of WWII, however, initial versions failed and it was only a success due to the British Rolls Royce Merlin engine. It was widely exported to countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. The P-51 participated in the Korean War and other post-WWII conflicts.
The most famous Mustang version was the P-51D with teardrop (or bubble) canopy. The main problem for the pilots of the earlier variants was a huge blind spot at the rear of the aircraft due to the canopy design. An earlier attempt to address the issue was a British-designed Malcolm hood, installed on many P-51B's. It improved rearward visibility, but the search for a better solution continued. In January 1943 USAAF's Colonel Mark Bradley, while stationed in Britain, was introduced to the then-new «bubble» canopy, designed for use on Spitfires and Typhoons. The canopy had no framework and offered near 360-degree vision. To install the new canopy, the rear fuselage section of the Mustang had to lose some height. However this change required minimal redesign to the airframe. The inaugural flight of the new P-51D took place at Inglewood, California on 17th November 1943
The Mustang eventually spawned a variant, the F-82 Twin Mustang, with 2 P-51's merged to form a larger and superior ground attack aircraft.
In-game, the P-51D-5 is the second Mustang a player can research, after the P-51 (The equivalent of the British Mustang Mk1A). While not a turn fighter, it's high speed and amazing speed retention allows it to perform "boom-and-zoom" maneuvers, quickly damaging hostile aircraft with it's 6 Browning machine guns. Often hard to use in game, when mastered, becomes a deadly fighter. The tracer belt is recommended for this plane.