North American Aviation P 51 mustang fighter. First flew in 1940 and was put into service 1942. The mustang was a very significant fighter because of several revolutionary concepts. One was the “laminar flow” wing design, which creates far less turbulence over the wings. Look up “laminar flow”, it is a bizarre concept and I wont attempt to explain it completely here! It also had a bizarre cooling system intake under the fuselage. It was controversial at the time because it looked un-aerodynamic, and was thought to cause drag, however, this was not the case. A concept, called the “merideth effect”, first used 4 years earlier by the Supermarine Spitfire, was also used here. It basically means that the hot air exiting the radiator acts as additional forward thrust, like a jet. Sounds impossible but It works somehow! As for general badass specifications all aluminum airframe, 41000ft ceiling, 6 Browning 50 cals with 1880 rounds, a Packard v-1650 liquid cooled 2 stage supercharged v12 making 2220 HP, an 11.5 ft 4 bladed prop, and 480 mph top speed (level). One thing I recently learned was that the famous Rolls-Royce “Merlin” engine, made in england, was not literally used. Instead, it was OK’d by Rolls-Royce to have Packard produce them for the mustang.
January 1, 2011
P 51 Mustang