North American P-51D Mustang
North American P-51D Mustang American Aircraft Pencil Drawing by artist Graham Henderson GAvA
To many historians the P-51 is the greatest piston-engine fighter ever built. Incorporating many elements of ground-breaking aerodynamics from both the USA and Britain including the air intake and laminar flow wing designs the aircraft was initially handicapped at high altitude by its Allison engine.
Research at Rolls-Royce proved it was possible to fit the company's Merlin engine in the airframe and a re-design of the aircraft to incorporate a licence built Packard unit was put into action. The transformation was nothing short of miraculous.
Following on from the razorback B-Model, the P-51D incorporated further improvements such as 6-gun armament instead of four in the B-Model and a cut-down fuselage with tear-drop canopy for a much improved field of view. The P-51D started to enter the ETO in June 1944 and remains one of the most popular aircraft of WWII.
Graham Henderson's Aviation art Drawing shows
an aircraft of the 361st Fighter Group based at RAF Little Warden