P51 Mustang – Brief History
The P51 Mustang was the first single engined long range fighter able to escort USAAF bombers all the way to Berlin and back. The first version was designed and built for the RAF in 120 days in 1940 but was not an instant success. Fitted with an Alison engine it was faster and more manoeuvrable than any other US fighter at low altitude. Unfortunately the power of the Allison engine decreased at higher altitudes leaving the Mustang under powered. To exploit their low-level performance Mk1 Mustangs were initially successfully used by the RAF and later the USAAF in tactical reconnaissance and ground attack roles
The Mustang was transformed in 1942 when a Rolls Royce Merlin engine used in the Spitfire was fitted. This near perfect marriage of engine and platform made the 1944 P-51D, with its bubble canopy and six-guns, one of the most iconic and potent fighters of the second world war. Its pilots used its performance and armament to tackle some of the most successful Luftwaffe fighters including the Focke Wulf FW190 and Me 262 jets.
Unfortunately P51D Janie crashed at Hardwick airfield south of Norwich on 2nd October 2016 killing the passenger John Marshall and seriously injuring Maurice Hammond, the owner and pilot