By Aviation Enthusiasts LLC
The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang flew for the first time seventy-three years ago today. One of the truly great fighters of World War II, the P-51 was designed from a British requirement which stipulated the construction of a prototype aircraft within 120 days, use of an inline engine and an unit cost of no more than $40,000. The Mustang fought superbly in all theaters as a fighter, fighter-bomber and reconnaissance platform. With underwing external fuel tanks, the P-51 possessed the range to escort bombers all the way to Berlin.
Over 15,000 Mustangs were manufactured and 281 Mustang pilots qualified as “Aces,” with Lieutenant Urban Drew managing the astonishing feat of downing two Messerschmitt Me 262 jet aircraft! Many Mustangs were converted for civilian use and modified for air racing. Here is a picture of Jimmy Leeward flying “Old Crow” during the 2010 Thunder Over Michigan Air Show. Blue Skies, Jimmy.
Accordingly to the website Mustangs Mustangs, there are 324 “survivors”: 166 in airworthy condition, 157 on Display, 66 being restored Restoration , 24 kept in storage in storage and 11 unknown. HERE is a list of the survivors.
Aviation Enthusiasts provides a historical archive of air shows and aviation events as well as a wide array of services to air show organizers, performers and media outlets to help publicize your event or act. Take flight at:www.aviation-enthusiasts.com