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Flight Craft 19: North American Aviation P-51 Mustang (ePub)

Aviation > Royal Air Force Military > Modelling WWII

By Robert Jackson
Imprint: Air World
Series: Flight Craft
File Size: 15.6 MB (.epub)
Pages: 96
ISBN: 9781526759917
Published: 17th September 2020


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The North American P-51 Mustang was one of the most successful and effective fighter aircraft of all time. It was initially produced in response to a 1940 RAF requirement for a fast, heavily-armed fighter able to operate effectively at altitudes in excess of 20,000ft. North America built the prototype in 117 days, and the aircraft, designated NA-73X, flew on 26 October 1940. The first of 320 production Mustang Is for the RAF flew on 1 May 1941, powered by a 1,100hp Allison V-1710-39 engine. RAF test pilots soon found that with this powerplant the aircraft did not perform well at high altitude, but that its low-level performance was excellent.

It was when the Mustang airframe was married to a Packard-built Rolls-Royce Merlin engine that the aircraft’s true excellence became apparent. Possessing a greater combat radius than any other Allied single-engine fighter, it became synonymous with the Allied victory in the air.

During the last eighteen months of the war in Europe, escorting bomber formations, it hounded the Luftwaffe to destruction in the very heart of Germany. In the Pacific, operating from advance bases, it ranged over the Japanese Home Islands, joining carrier-borne fighters such as the Grumman Hellcat to bring the Allies massive air superiority.

Yet the Mustang came about almost by accident, a product of the Royal Air Force’s urgent need for new combat aircraft in the dark days of 1940, when Britain, fighting for survival, turned to the United States for help in the island nation’s darkest hour.

For the modeller this book has the obvious attraction of providing one hundred and forty-four pages of photographs to lean on for reference, however it would be churlish to overlook the human aspect that the images bring to the subject. The images of crews and their aircraft remind us that the Mustang was more than an aeroplane to these individuals.

Scale aircraft Modelling

"I asked myself: If I knew nothing about the Mustang, and bought a kit, would this book give me basic background information on the aeroplane and perhaps some helpful notes on the kit I have?" And the answer is that it does."


This book has tackled a subject that due to people’s love of the P-51 Mustang and the amount of information available is an immense task and done that job well.

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The visual section consists of 119 photographs in black and white and 115 in color, all of them of high quality.
Must-have Aeronautical Modeling Series in our library.

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Miniaturas JM

Enjoyed it.

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The Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

Highly Recommended.

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AMPS Indianapolis

The P-51 Mustang was first flown operationally not by the USAAF but by the Royal Air Force (RAF). This is reflected in this new book that should please both warbird buffs in general and especially modellers - here you will find sharp reviews of P-51 kits in all scales.

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Lars Gyllenhaal

Another good addition to the FlightCraft series and one of the most popular model subjects I can think of. A good historical background coupled with a valuable overview of the quality of models you can get and the best one for the particular variant you are interested in. Easy to recommend.

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Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

An exceptional history and examination of the P-51 Mustang.

Books Monthly

This is my first time reading this group of books from the Flight Craft Series, and it’s very similar to the Tank Craft series in that it is primarily aimed at model makers in their specific field. I felt after reading this book that there was a bit more history and background to the P-51 Mustang, than you get in the tank series. But this might not actually be the case as with planes they are generally in service for a shorter time than other weapons of war such as a tank. This book has full background information on the plane which is excellent and well worth a read and each photograph is supported by some great information. The pictures towards the back of the book are of Mustang models which look in great condition and the detail on various pictures looks fantastic. These books are fantastic for the beginner and the expert, and although the expert is going to know the knowledge the many photographs are great to follow or copy. A great book/series for aviation fans.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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UK Historian

As featured on Scale Modelling Now

Scale Modelling Now

Featured 'ON THE BOOK SHELF' by Neil Smith

Wargames Illustrated, October 2019

About Robert Jackson

ROBERT JACKSON is the author of over eighty books on military, aviation, naval and scientific subjects. He was defence and science correspondent for a major British newspaper publishing group. Among the other books he has compiled for Pen & Sword are on the Bf-109 in the FlightCraft series, whilst he has written extensively on the T-34, the Panzer I and II, the Centurion, and Chieftain main battle tanks, as well as the Russian T54/55, for TankCraft.

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