P-51 Mustang in Colour
By Larry Davis
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications Inc. 1982 32 Pages
PDF 23 MB
The Mustang aircraft series began as a replacement for the Curtis P-40 Tomahawk then in service with the Royal Air Force. The aircraft that evolved from the British specifications was the Allison-engined North American Mustang I. The US Army Air Corps bought its first Mustang in July 1941. It was designated P-51 and unofficially called the Apache. The P-51 was identical to the RAF Mustang Is except for 20mm cannons replacing the RAF armament of six machine guns. The addition of underwing pylons and dive brakes in both the upper and lower wing surfaces, created the A-36A dive bomber. Unofficially, it was called the Invader. Allison-engined Mustangs were very fast and maneuverable, but were not able to compete with Luftwaffe fighters at higher altitudes. The Allison engine had to go.