10 Crazy Facts You Never Knew About the P-51 Mustang

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The Dominican Republic Air Force Used P-51 Mustangs Until 1984

P-51-P-51 Mustang flying at Dunsfold Wings and Wheels 2014

The last P-51 Mustang retired from US Air Force service in 1978. The last foreign P-51 Mustang retired from Dominican Republic Air Force service in 1984.

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P-51’s First Engine Was the V-1710 Allison

Its first engine was a V-1710 Allison engine, which didn’t provide it with the ability to be effective as a pursuit vehicle over 15,000 feet of altitude. The original P-51s with these engines were used for photo reconnaissance or dive-bombing.

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P-51 Mustang Cost $50,000 To Produce In 1944

P-51-civilian pilot and 355th Fighter Wing vice commander, prepare to fly

It cost $50,000 to produce a P-51 in 1944. Adjusted for inflation, that equals about $673,000 today. But for what was arguably the best all-around fighter in World War II, the price was worth the outcome. This combat aircraft was one of the last piston-engine fighters to be manufactured and will go down as one of the best United States aerial attack weapons ever. Here are 50 Incredible Facts About the P-51 Mustang.

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55 Nations Used P-51 Mustangs

55 nations utilized the P-51 Mustang over the course of its lifetime. The aircraft flew in the Pacific theater as well as the European theater, making it one of the only fighter planes versatile and long-lasting enough to do so.

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In 1943, Some P-51 Variants Used Rolls Royce Merlin Engines

By 1943, P-51 B and C versions were outfitted with Rolls Royce Merlin engines which allowed them to reach their full capabilities by performing at high-altitude while acting as long-range bomber escorts and attack aircraft. These engines increased range to a maximum of 1,600 miles.

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The U.S. Utilized The P-51 Mustang The Most

P-51-The P-51 Mustang “Fragile but Agile” sits on the flightline after the first day of the 2016 Heritage Flight Training and Certification Course-U.S. Air Force

The United States flew more P-51s than any other nation, but North American Aviation originally designed and engineered the P-51 for the Royal Air Force. It wasn’t until a year after the first ones were used in service that the United States began to fight with them.

If you like this information, also check out 50 Amazing Facts About The A-10 Thunderbolt!

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 George Preddy Jr. Became The Top P-51 Mustang Ace

P-51-North American P-51D-30-NT Mustang Cripes A Mighty 3rd Second Pass 10

Major George Preddy Jr., a U.S. Army Air Force officer and P-51 Mustang Ace, was the eighth highest scoring Ace of all time with 27.5 aerial victories.

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P-51 Mustangs Participated In The Operation ” Big Week”

In late-February, 1944, the USAAF planned a “Big Week” and the P-51D models being delivered to the European Theater was the last piece of the puzzle. The operation involved a direct attack on the German’s fighter force by bombing its airfields and manufacturing plants, as well as shooting its operational planes out of the sky.

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Dieppe Raid Survived A P-51 Mustang Crash

P-51-Jeff Linebaugh taxis out in the P-51 Mustang Gunfighter
Lance Cheung

Another legendary crash landing involved a Canadian pilot in the Dieppe Raid. He famously radioed to the air field, “Here I come. Get ready. No landing gear, no flaps, no nothing”, and landed without a scratch on him.

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The P-51 Carried Out 213, 837 Missions

P-51-A P-51 Mustang aircraft flies past spectators during the 2017 Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT)

213, 837 confirmed missions were carried out by P-51 aircraft in the USAAF alone – totaling more than 1.12 million flight hours.

Check out more incredible facts about this aircraft.