Friday, May 29, 2009


This picture was taken in 1942, and shows a P-51 Mustang in flight. The picture was taken near Inglewood, California. The P-51 has to be one of the best examples of American Ingenuity in World War II.


  1. Is that an early variant? It looks more like a P-40 to me.

  2. Did you work on the picture? Some Photoshop? It looks a little too good to be a real one.

  3. wow.. that is an amazing picture. i know absolutely nothing about planes- except that they fly- at least they fly when everything is operating properly;) but i shore do love that photo... the colors are marvelous☺

  4. MBadragan
    I don't think there's any Photo-
    shop here, just good photography.

    I liked the colours too. It's a
    great photo.

  5. P-51, smaller air intake above the propeller line. P-40, large air intake below the propeller line, often painted with shark teeth.

    Great photo!

  6. Great plane, did good work at the start of Korea too.

    I don't know that I would put it as one of the most ingenious things to come out of the US in WWII. Thought what *would* be on that list is a good question.

    Amphibious landing craft?
    Tank mounted flamethrowers?
    Combined operation attacks?



  7. Beautiful photo.

    I love to see WWII photos in color.

    So many of the documentaries and other photos from that era are in black and white that we sort of forget what things really looked like.

    It gives one a new perspective on that era.

  8. This is an early variant of the plane. It is the P 51A or B model. The one everyone knows best is the P 51D model that had the bubble canopy to allow the pilot the opprotunity to see behind his plane. They even installed a small curved mirror in the top of the canopy so all he had to do was look up a little.

    The P 51 was among the best non- jet engined fighter fighters in WW II and was almost fast enough to fight effectively against the German Me 262 jet fighter. It is my opinion that the best overall fighter in WW II was the British Hawker Tempest first flown in 1942. It was not the fastest, but it was probably the most manueverable fighter and its 50 calibre guns could rip another fighter apart and inflict serious damage to German bombers.

    All the piston powered fighters disappeared rather quickly as the major countries converted to jets. Unfortunately, hunderdes of the fine p 51s were sent to smaller countries or retired to the military airplane graveyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona. A few still fly the air show circuits around the country, but even their lifespan is drawing to the end.

  9. Great plane. Would love to see one live at an air show.

  10. It may be interesting to note that the P-51 did not come into it's own until they replaced the original Allison engine with a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine (the same engine that powered the Brtish Spitfire). Until then it was underpowered and was used mainly for ground support as it was next to useless at high altitudes.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. In my community we have an event called "Pacific Coast Dream Machines". It's held at the local airport. The traffic and crowds are bad that I never attend, but someone would show up every year with a Mustang and fly home along the ocean, at low altitude. So on that particular Sunday about 4PM I'd go outside and wait for the Mustang to fly past. It was fantastic. I lived about 15 miles south of the event. 8-)

  13. Very nice photo. I love old warplanes.

  14. Beautiful shot of an A-36 Apache.

    A what?

    It was the early Mustang with the Allison engine. The scoop on the top of the nose seals it as an Apache.

    It was a fine dive bomber and ground attack fighter with sadly sluggish acceleration and high altitude performance.

    Then the British experimented with the Merlin engine on the airframe. The Allies never turned back.

  15. saw several P-51's at Rickenbacher air show 2 years ago. They were so cool to watch and to listen to, they had a very distinctive sound. No wonder they were called the cadillac of the skies

  16. Forgive me, but I must put my own 2 cents' in. The aircraft shown is a North American Aviation Mustang Mk I. It is the plane that was the ancestor of the P-51. It was developed by North American after the British purchasing commission approached them about building P-40's for Britain under license. The chief designer for N.A. said that he could build a better fighter, and the mustang resulted. The one in the picture is painted in RAF camouflage pattern, but is wearing US stars during it's flight testing before delivery to Britain. It was not designated the P-51 until the US ordered some to test. The P-51 and P-51A were Allison engined which made them very fast, but only at medium and low altitudes. The introduction of the Rolls Royce Merlin engine, starting with the P-51B, resulted in the fighter that became the ultimate piston engined fighter of WW-II.