The History and Uses of the P-51 Mustang

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The History and Uses of the P-51 Mustang

For as long as most of the world can remember aviation has played a major factor in how wars are fought. Starting in World War I the worlds fighting forces began using aircraft to conduct surveillance missions over enemy territory. While these aircraft were not the masters of stealth that todays aircraft are there was no technology to take down these planes at the time. Air-to-air combat was an event that rarely happened and was almost never effective.

By the end of World War I the world was beginning to realize the ability air combat presented. When World War II started planes became much more effective. Though still fabric covered, the aircraft were faster and more agile than the variants used in the Great War. In 1938, the first year of the Second World War, Curtiss unveiled their P-40 Warhawk. This aircraft was one of the best of its time and laid the foundation for modern aircraft engineering. But by 1940 the German Luftwaffe had begun to develop faster, long-ranged fighter-bombers. All current Allied aircraft could not keep up with the long range of the B-17 bombers who needed escort. In 1940, North American Aviation received an order from Britain requesting another shipment of

P-40’s. North American Aviation realized that the current aircraft were not adequate for the newer German fighters. Instead of providing less than capable aircraft to the war effort, North American presented a request to Britain, allow them to create a new, original aircraft that exceeds the Luftwaffe armament. The British decided to allow for the new program and thus the P-51 “Mustang” was born.

The P-51A model was an instant hit with the British. The new aircraft could fly faster and farther than any...

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...ccess of the P-51. From the early days of the A model all the way to the newly designated F-51D, the Mustang fought through swaths of enemies to allow victory for the Allies and the United States. The P-51 is a recognizable machine that embodies the entire war effort of the time and continues to inspire aviation enthusiasts. Today there are many people and companies that are dedicated to preserving and protecting these pieces of our nations history by reconditioning and donating to capable museums and collectors. Through the work of these individuals the P-51 Mustang will forever be a symbol of air power during the world toughest times.

Work Cited

Hatch, Gardner N. “P-51 Mustang”. Nashville. Turner Publishing, 1987. 25/05/14. Print.

“Jim Brooks Story”. 2010, Web. 25/05/14.

“North American P-51D Mustang”. Nationalmuseum. Web. 25/05/14.n
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