The P-51 Mustang was a fighter and bomber plane used in WW2 and the Korean War. It is one of the most iconic military planes in history. When you picture a plane from the Second World War, what comes to mind is likely a plane very similar to the Mustang. It’s so iconic it even lent it's name to one of America's favorite cars.
The Story of the P-51 Mustang
The British were heavily responsible for the design of this stellar plane. It came into the war in 1943, but its initial design goes back a few years earlier to 1940, just as the war was starting and before the US declared war on Japan. The British Royal Air Force needed a plane to combat the Germans. James H. "Dutch" Kendelberger, the president of North American Aviation, along with his team, developed a new style of fighter plane using the Allison V-1710 engine, the only American liquid-cooled engine to be used in the Second World War. In England, many Mustang planes were modified to use the engines of Rolls Royce Merlins.
There were several different versions of the P-51, a few of which being designated as the P-51A, the P-51B, and the P-51D, all of them having max speeds of around 400 MPH. The P-51D, the most common of the three models, had a top speed of 437 MPH and a max range of 2,300 miles. All three models had a wingspan of 37 feet. The P-51H was the final version which had a top speed of 487 mph.
The P-51’s offensive capabilities were a massive blow to the German Luftwaffe airforce. These nimble, strong planes were able to able to decimate the enemy and ensure an allied victory. During Operation Jackpot in April of 1944, the Mustangs took down the majority of the Luftwaffe air force and moved on to decimate their resources on the ground as well. To learn more about this stunning and highly effective plane, take a look at the National WW2 Museum's site.
Build Your Very Own Military Plane
Ready to zoom through the sky with one of the world’s most famous military planes? Look no further. Whether you’re a seasoned World War 2 history buff or you're ready to take on your first building toy, this plane is a great kit. While you’re at it take a look at our last blog about all the benefits of building toys for the whole family or take a look at other aircraft building toys!