The P51 Mustang was the first single engined long range fighter able to escort USAAF bombers all the way to Berlin and back. The first version was not an instant success. Fitted with an Alison engine its performance at low altitude was good but at higher altitudes it was under powered.
The Mustang was transformed in 1942 when a Rolls Royce Merlin engine used in the Spitfire was fitted. This near perfect marriage of engine and platform made the 1944 P-51D, with its bubble canopy and six-guns, one of the most iconic and potent fighters of all time.
© Simon Pocklington