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FA_Razor
05-17-2005, 02:16 PM
I teach high school in the Detroit Area (Fordson High). Building has a lot of history. Came across this photo in a showcase today. Can anyone identify the specific model of Mustang this is? How about ANY information on it's use? I suspect that it is a war surplus bird that the high school "aviation" club worked on...but that is mere speculationhttp://home.comcast.net/~bayerl/Spirit.JPG http://home.comcast.net/~bayerl/Spirit.JPG[/IMG]

-HH-Dubbo
05-17-2005, 02:28 PM
Nice find. This should be an interesting story. (Maybe it's still owned by the school, sitting away in some hangar forgotten http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )

FA_Razor
05-17-2005, 03:25 PM
Originally posted by -HH-Dubbo:
Nice find. This should be an interesting story. (Maybe it's still owned by the school, sitting away in some hangar forgotten http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )

One can only hope.....

PlaneEater
05-17-2005, 04:55 PM
All I can tell you is that it's an early block D, without the fin fillet, that wasn't built in Dallas (it has the non-Dallas blown canopy).

Got a serial number?

FA_Razor
05-17-2005, 05:10 PM
Originally posted by PlaneEater:
Got a serial number?

Wish I did...just this picture and no explanation. I thought the airstrip might be the Willow Run Bomber Plant (Ypsilanti, MI) just down the road...see the planes in the background? However, I don't know if there was a gravel strip/apron there.

Another possibility is that it is sitting on Henry Ford's old airstrip in Dearborn (yes...remember the Ford Tri-Motor...the home of Ford Motor Company also used to boast an airstrip).

horseback
05-17-2005, 05:30 PM
Another possibility is that the high school's students raised the money for that particular aircraft to be built-hence the school's name on the nose. Lots of aircraft were 'donated' by groups who raised the money for them in Britain, the US, and the Soviet Union, and were marked especially for the group to make note of their public mindedness, or to memorialize a person or organization at their behest.

I seem to recall a trio of Hurricane MK IIcs flown in the Western desert named for one Lady's sons, lost early in the war...

Anyway, that's the most likely explanation. All surviving early build D models were retrofitted with the fin fillet by late 1944, and civilian aircraft had to have registration numbers or letters (and the national insignia is not normally retained on these) so that is probably not a postwar photo, and a public high school is unlikely to have operated a high performance fighter (and the Mustang remained such well into the fifties), even as a maintenance trainer.

I believe that it was most likely a 'subscription' aircraft.

cheers

horseback

Jungmann
05-17-2005, 05:56 PM
Believe Horseback has it right--a subscription aircraft or a publicity gimmick put together for the high school. And the shot is on the line at the NAA plant in Inglewood, late 44 or 45--note the line of new P-51s in the left background and the line of B-25s to the right. And the hills in the distance with the oil wells are the Baldwin Hills (still a few oil wells up there)

Interesting photo. No serial number, and the tires need inflating.

ronison
05-17-2005, 07:35 PM
And yet one other possibility is that a guaduate from the High School named the plane then sent a photo to the school during the war.

FA_Razor
05-17-2005, 07:40 PM
Cool stuff guys. It's great working at a place with such a connection to history. I know the students don't really care, but I walk by the 200 or so names "memorialized" on the wall and then look at the young kids in the halls...and realize how young most of those soldiers must have been. I don't think any movie captures that image....