BLUFThe P-51 Mustang was the perfect example of an American fighter aircraft in WW2—Pilots loved the plane for its responsiveness and agility.
The P-51 Mustang was a very effective WW2 fighter aircraft.This article makes the following points:
- Allied fighters could only escort bombers so far due to their limited range.
- The long-range P-51 were fitted with external tanks to escort bombers deep in Germany from bases in England and Italy.
- Other fighters were just as successful, but the Mustang facilitated a change in tactics that gave air superiority over Europe.
- That tactical deviation resulted in the near destruction of the Luftwaffe. Mustang pilots destroyed nearly 5,000 enemy aircraft in World War II.
- All told, some 14,000 Mustangs were manufactured.
- The Mustang was a formidable fighter due to its sleek design, manoeuvrability, and Rolls-Royce Merlin engine with 1,490-horsepower providing enhanced performance.
- Aerodynamically agile, acrobatic and with a top speed of 440 miles per hour, the Mustang was more than a match for any enemy aircraft.
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- AIR AND SPACE POWER: COLLECTIONS | The Runway (airforce.gov.au)
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- Jan 2019 Warfare History Network Long-Range Fighter Escort
- Jul 2019 Milwaukee journal sentinel P-51 Mustangs, the workhorse of World War II fighters, take center stage at EAA AirVenture
- May 2020 The National WW2 Museum The North American P-51 Mustang: A “Little Friend” with a Big Impact
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