BLUFThis article is about the Rolls Royce Merlin Engine and how placing this engine into the P-51 Mustang made the P-51 one of the best fighters in WW2.
This article makes the following points:
- The American daylight bombing campaign over Europe succeeded because U.S. fighters defeated the Luftwaffe with the Mustang, and the Mustang succeeded because of the Merlin.
- The Royal Air Force (RAF) re-engined five Mustangs using the U.K.'s Rolls Royce Merlin engines.
- The test pilot reported that the P-51s performance, especially at high altitude, was spectacular.
- However, the RAF needed all of Rolls-Royce's Merlin production for Spitfires, Lancasters, and Mosquitos.
- The Packard Motor Car Company was licensed to build Merlins, and the first Mustang powered by a Packard V-1650-3 Merlin flew on 30 Nov42.
- Colonel "Bud" Anderson wrote, "the Merlin had great gobs of power and was equally at home high or low altitudes, thanks to its two-stage, two-speed supercharger."
- Brig. Gen. Thomas Hayes stated the Merlin-powered P-51 "had the three qualities you need most to escort bombers to Berlin—range, range and range."
- The Merlin-powered P-51D became one of the best fighters built during WW2.