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Zen--
10-07-2004, 07:37 AM
http://www.acepilots.com/planes/p51_mustang.html

From the site:

"Mustang Chronology
June '40 - British Request
In the Spring of 1940, the British Purchasing Commission, headed by Sir Henry Self, visiting the U.S. asked Dutch Kindelberger, head of North American Aviation, to build Curtiss-designed P-40's for them. While his company had never built a fighter, Kindelberger's designers, led by Edgar Schmued had started design work on a modern fighter. Already, in 1940, the Curtiss P-40 and the Bell P-39 were inferior to aircraft being flown by Germany and Britain. Kindelberger offered to design and build the first prototype of the new fighter in 120 days. They signed the contract for 300 of the aircraft in late May.
The new fighter incorporated many of the latest developments in aeronautics, notably the laminar flow wing, a wing that was relatively symmetrical and offered less drag at high speed. The wings were designed to be easy to manufacture, with only two spars. As specified by the British requirement, the new airplane, designated the NA-73X, employed an in-line engine; the Allison V-1710 fit the bill, although it lacked a turbosupercharger for high-altitude performance. The main wheels were set twelve feet apart, for good stability on landing.

In the original design, the British required eight machine guns: four .30 caliber and four .50 caliber. Ultimately, most Mustangs would carry the usual American weaponry of six .50 caliber Brownings. It carried twice as much internal fuel as a Spitfire, 180 gallons in self-sealing wing tanks.

102 days after contract signing, in Sept. 1940, the protoype NA-73X rolled out. Apparently no one quibbled over the fact that it didn't have an engine, nor brakes, nor paint, nor actual gun mounts.

Oct. '40 - Flight of NA-73X Prototype
Oct. '41 - Mustang Mark I Reaches Britain
While North American (NAA) had developed the prototype quickly, the first stage of production moved along more slowly. The first NA-73 production aircraft did not fly until April 23, 1941, six months after NA-73X. It carried no weapons and was kept by NAA for testing and development. The second production airplane (armed with four .30's and four .50's) arrived in Liverpool in October, 1941 - a year after the prototype's first flight.
Nonetheless, the Mustang was so promising that in late 1941 the RAF ordered another 300 and the USAAF 150. As the exigencies of war demanded, 93 of these 150 (factory designated NA-91) ended up in British service, as Mustang IA's, equipped with four 20mm cannon. The remaining 57, equipped with four .50 caliber machine guns, and known as P-51's, ended up in US service.

Feb. '42 - Tactical Recon: No. 26 Sqn Issued Mark I's
These early Allison-powered Mustangs were fast, strongly constructed, had a long range, and packed a wallop with their eight guns. But their poor high-altitude performance relegated them to the low-level tactical reconnaissance role with British Army Cooperation Command (ACC). Outfitted with a K24 camera behind the pilot, the Mark I Mustangs could photograph enemy dispositions, provide ground support, and fight their way out of a jam. And they could do so better than the ACC's existing Tomahawks and Lysanders. By summer 1942, 15 RAF squadrons were flying the Mark I, photographing invasion targets, shooting up trains, barge-busting, and probing German defenses.

July '42 - First Long Range Recon Mission
On July 27, sixteen RAF Mustangs undertook a long-range reconnaissance mission, photographing the Dortmund-Ems Canal.

Aug. '42 - Dieppe Raid
The "reconnaissance in force" on August 19 gained little for the Allies, except the expensive and bloody lesson in how tough the German defenses were, both on the ground and in the air. The raid, Operation Jubilee, introduced the Typhoon and the Spitfire Mk. IX, and marked the first Mustang aerial victory. Four Mustang squadrons, No. 26, 239, 400, and 414, provided tactical recon for the ground troops.
Flight Officer Hollis "Holly" Hills, an American serving with No. 414 Sqn of the RCAF, took off from Gatwick in the pre-dawn darkness, as "weaver" (wingman) to Flt. Lt. Freddie Clarke. Flying at wavetop level, the glow from the searchlights and AA fire at Dieppe permitted him to stay with his leader. Once over the target, they were promptly separated; both returned safely. On the second mission that morning, they saw a huge dogfight filling the sky over Dieppe, and Hills spotted four Fw 190s off to their right. With his radio out and unaware of the German fighters, Flt. Lt. Clarke left himself open and was hit. Then Hollis caught one of the FW's with a deflection burst. It started smoking and flaming, then the canopy popped off. Hollis fired again, and the plane fell to ground. He headed for home, shepherding Clarke as he went, dueling another Fw 190 for miles. In his fight with the Fw's, he lost sight of Clarke. After that, Hollis flew home uneventfully, to a dinner made rather somber by Clarke's apparent loss. But next morning, Clarke re-appeared over Hollis' bunk, smelling of seaweed; he had ditched off Dieppe and been rescued. He had witnessed and could officially confirm Hollis' victory over the Focke-Wulf, the first of many aerial victories for the Mustang. And Clarke had the dubious honor of being the first combat Mustang to be shot down in the war by the Germans."


Check it out, it's got plenty of interesting information on the P51 and other planes, as well as recommended books.

_Gadzilla_
10-07-2004, 08:05 AM
Great site, lots of good information.

Thanks for posting!

p1ngu666
10-07-2004, 03:25 PM
u found this by accidet right? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

blairgowrie
10-07-2004, 04:34 PM
Seems to me the Brits deserve a lot of credit for the development of the P51. They were the ones who originally asked that the aircraft be developed and recommend the use of Rolls Royce Merlins.

Still hard to believe the Brits didn't develop a long range escort fighter when it seems obvious now that they needed one then.

Zyzbot
10-07-2004, 04:44 PM
They didn't ask for the Mustang to be developed...thay asked for P-40's. The design proposal came from North American.

blairgowrie
10-07-2004, 05:48 PM
You are not American are you by any chance Zyzbot? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Zyzbot
10-07-2004, 06:28 PM
Doesn't matter where I'm from. Facts are facts. They asked for P-40's.

Engineers who came to the United States with Anthony Fokker after World War One remained in the Fokker organization as it merged into General Aviation and later into North American Aviation.

Ed Schmued, chief of North American designers, was an ex-Austrian.An American citizen, Schmued, along with project engineer Ken Bowen, who became assistant factory manager of North American's Dallas, Texas plant, were pivotal in the design of the Mustang. Bowen was a former British citizen.