Designed and produced by North American Aviation in response to a British order for aircraft in 1940, the P-51 Mustang went on to become one of the most successful aircraft in the Second World War and beyond. In this fascinating book, aircraft expert David Oliver tells the story of this innovative and adaptable aircraft, from the early versions used by the RAF as low-level reconnaissance aircraft to the long-range USAAF fighters that accompanied US daylight bombers over Germany. The Mustang was also used by numerous other air forces.
The author shows how, from its inception, the Mustang included innovative features such as a low-drag laminar-flow wing and a low-drag engine-cooling system. Beginning with an Allison engine, early versions of the Mustang were used by the RAF for low-level reconnaissance missions. Later versions, fitted with the more powerful Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, were capable of high-level combat missions against the best German fighters. Mustangs were also employed in ground-attack and ‘tank-busting’ missions.
Accompanied by a wide variety of colour and black and white images, this highly readable and informed book is an essential briefing on a remarkable aircraft.