P-51 Mustang

P-51D Mustang   N151MC
One of the most iconic and recognized aircraft of WWII would be the P-51.     There is so much history on the development of this aircraft that it is recommended that you do a google search and spend some time reading about the Mustang story.    The prototype first flew on October 26, 1940.   Like all newly developed aircraft, improvements were continual and the “D” model was the premier model with 8156 being built.   A total of 15,586 P-51’s of all models were eventually produced.       There are approximately 155 flyable examples of the P-51 remaining in the world. 

Our Mustang has been restored as “Lou IV”    Flown by Sulphur Spring Texas native Col Thomas Christian Jr.  who was the commander of the 361st Fighter Group.   Col Christian was killed on Saturday December 8, 1944 while dive bombing Arras Marshalling Yards, France.     He was flying a P-51D Serial number 44-13410 “LOU IV” named after Col. Christian’s baby daughter. 
Because of some very early “color” photos taken and distributed of Lou IV, this P-51 became one of the most recognized P-51 of WWII.


P-51D Specifications
Length 32ft 3in
Wingspan 37ft 0 in
Height 13ft 4 ½ in
Wing Area 235 sq ft
Engine:  Packard V-1650-7 liquid-coolded V-12 1490 HP
Prop:  Hamilton Standard 11’2”
Fuel       Main Tanks 180 Gal / Aux Tanks 90 Gal / Drop Tanks 120 Gal for a total of 390 Gal

Book Performance:
Maximum Speed 437 MPH at 25,000 ft
Cruise Speed 362 MPH
Stall Speed 100 MPH
Range 1,650 Miles
Service Ceiling 41,900
Rate of Climb 3,200 fpm

Realistic Operations:
Speed of this clean aircraft is very dependent on throttle setting !     Throttle up, she goes really fast but range is decreased….…  Throttle back, she will slow down a bit, but range will be extended.       
Honest  Everyday Cruise Speed of 300 MPH burning about 65 GPH and can fly 900 miles in 3 hours with more than an hour of fuel left.   This without carrying the drop tanks.    

Scott Glover
Mid America Flight Museum