Birth of the P-51 Mustang

The P-51 Mustang is among the most famous of the fighter planes used during WWII. In its beginning, this aircraft was overlooked by the United States Air Force and did not join in the war until March of 1934.  As soon as the Mustang’s full potential had been actualized, the United States came to regret the neglect this plane had been shown. No piston aircraft in WWII could compete with the uniquely forged American airframe, coupled with the British Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. The British Royal Air Force was in a serious search for ways to strengthen their stack of fighters, considering the growing likelihood of war breaking out in Europe in late 1939. The British Air Purchasing Commission (BAPC) had decided to approach North American Aviation (NAA) in April of 1940, in hopes of getting them to manufacture P-40′s. The president of the NAA recognized that the P-40 had actually been available since 1933 and decided to construct an entirely new model that used the Allison V-1710-39 engine. With a variety of designs submitted, the British finally agreed to accept a new design called the NA-73x, however, they were only going to purchase this if it could be built in 120 days. With determination and talents of designers Raymond Rice and Edgar Schmued, the NAA managed to complete a prototype in only 117 days. It remains one of the most distinctive warbirds today, and is a popular model with a variety of trim schemes. After several adjustments and modifications, the P-51 Mustang was born and took to the skies on October 26, 1940. Hobby Lobby carries the R/C P-51D Mustang Marie ARF aircraft that is designed to fly like this amazing warbird.

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