Profile Publications No. 100 The North American P-51B & C Mustang

Chinese coolies labour to im­prove a IOth Air Force infield 1944. (Photo: A. G.Simmons) until replaced by the bubble of the D model. If there was asingleweakness in the Band C,it was the canopy design. Not only was visibility restricted but considerable discom­fort was built indue to the low profile line which N.A.A. engineers felt was necessary to reduce drag and attain a high degree of performance. The pilots, even the small ones, were forced to fly with their head pressed against the top of the canopy glass so that adequate vision was available for takeolT, land­ing, and aerial combat. In all fairness it must be said that not a great deal was known in those days about the proper design of cockpits on the basis of pilot anthropometry. Some relief to this situation was afforded by the local installation of a semi-bubble canopy developed by Malcolm. The Malcolm Hood became a popular modification to Mustangs of the 8th and 9th A.F's. This basic deficiency was eventually to result in the demise of the Band inC favour of its bubble canopied younger brother, the P-5 ID. The P-51B-1, -5 and -10 airplanes were powered by the Rolls Royce Merlin V-1650-3 engine with the -15 blocks receiving the -7 engine. The P-51C-1 airplanes also used the V-1650-3 engine with the later model -5,-10 and -11 blocks equipped with the -7 engine. Top speed at 25,000 feet was quoted at 439 m.p.h. Armament consisted of four -50 calibre machine guns with approximately 1,300 rounds of ammunition. The 2 underwing bomb racks were equipped for 500 pound bombs or drop tanks of 75 to 150 gallons each. Range was in excess of 1,300 miles. © Atkins, 1966 August 1944: a shark-mouthed P-51 B-15NA o f the 51st Ftr. Grp. in China. (Photo: A.G. Simmons) PRINTED IN ENGLAND ©Profile Publications Ltd., P.O. Box 26, 1a North Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, England by George Falkner &Sons Ltd., forM cC orquodale City Printing Division, London. U.S. 2nd Class Mailing Rates applied for.
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