“Top Gun: Maverick” Movie Mustang on Display at Planes of Fame Air Museum

Aircorps Art Dec 2019

For a limited time, the North American Mustang which features in this summer’s blockbuster movie Top Gun: Maverick will be on display within the Maloney Hangar at the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, California. Visitors will be able to view this magnificent fighter from up close and take pictures.
Owned and flown by legendary actor Tom Cruise, the aircraft was built in 1944 at the North American Aviation plant in Dallas, Texas. It was built as F-6K 44-12840 – a photo-reconnaissance variant of the P-51. One of just 163 such examples ever built, it carried two Eastman Kodak K-24 cameras in fuselage mounts to overfly enemy territory and capture images of potential targets or battlefield damage.
K-model Mustangs were nearly identical to their D-model cousins, with the only major difference being the four-bladed, 11-foot diameter Aeroproducts propeller replacing the more traditional Hamilton Standard unit due to production shortages of the latter. While not an ideal solution (the prop had some balance issues), the availability of the Aeroproducts propeller nevertheless allowed the P-51K/F-6K aircraft to enter combat service.
While ‘840’s wartime service remains unknown, the Civil Air Patrol is known to have operated it in 1946. Soon after, the fighter ended up as government surplus, sold on to the civilian market. The aircraft passed through several owners and underwent a number of restorations before Tom Cruise acquired her in 2001.
The Mustang currently bears the markings of the 334th Fighter Squadron of the 65th Fighter Wing, 4th Fighter Group, a unit  based in England during World War II.
“Top-Gun: Maverick” is still breaking box office records since its Memorial Day release and has become a global phenomenon. The film, a sequel to the 1986 hit “Top Gun” once again finds U.S. Navy Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell back in the skies with thrilling aerial sequences, including several with this P-51 aircraft.
Don’t miss your chance to see this aircraft in person as it will only be on display for a limited time. Planes of Fame is thrilled to have the opportunity to display this aircraft and wishes to thank Tom Cruise for his generosity in allowing our visitors to see this magnificent fighter up close.

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