A former Uruguayan Air Force North American P-51 Mustang is reaching the end of an extensive restoration that will return it to flying condition performed by the award winning P-51 specialist firm, Midwest Aero of Danville, Illinois.
The machine, 44-63577 is one of 25 of its type that were supplied to the Fuerza Aerea Uruguaya in the early 1950s and was allocated the registration number FAU285 for its use as a fighter-bomber. By the end of the decade the Mustangs were replaced by Lockheed P-80 Shooting Stars and eight of the Mustangs were sold to Boliva in 1960 for the nominal price of $1 each. FAU285 was not sold to the Bolivians and was instead sent to the Miseo de Aeronautica in Uruguay’s capital city of Montevideo where it resided until 1985 when it was sold to a collector in the United States. The plane passed through the hands of several owners before being acquired by Jon Vesely of Inverness, Illinois who sent the plane for its restoration. It is expected that the plane will once again return to the skies sometime this year.