My favorite warbird...the one with the teeth....The P51 Mustang was a hottie...

Story for the flyboys I know...Martin Filiatrault, Kurt Tek, Pete Mercy, Deniz Tek, Pete Mercy and Michael McDaniel

A veteran of two wars -- World War II and the Korean War -- North American Aviation's P-51 Mustang was the first U.S. fighter airplane to push its nose over Europe after the fall of France. Then called the P-51, it scurried back and forth across the channel, taking on the best the Axis could put in the air. Mustangs met and conquered every German plane from the early Junkers to the sleek, twin-jet Messerschmitt 262s.

Although first designed for the British as a medium-altitude fighter, the Mustang excelled in hedge-hopping strafing runs and long-range escort duty. It made a name for itself by blasting trains, ships and enemy installations in western Europe and by devastating Axis defenses prior to the Allied invasion of Sicily and Italy.

An amazing array of firsts was piled up by the Mustang while carrying the war to the heart of the German fatherland. It was the first single-engined plane based in Britain to penetrate Germany, first to reach Berlin, first to go with the heavy bombers over the Ploesti oil fields and first to make a major-scale, all-fighter sweep specifically to hunt down the dwindling Luftwaffe.

One of the highest honors accorded to the Mustang was its rating in 1944 by the Truman Senate War Investigating Committee as "the most aerodynamically perfect pursuit plane in existence."

Martin Filiatrault: I can't BELIEVE you posted this pic... of this particular Mustang. I've flown in that very aircraft, back in the late '80s when it was owned by Bill Destefani. It's name back then was Mangia Pane, and it was his Reno racer before he got Strega and started his winning streak. This is what it looked like back then:

Martin Filiatrault I took that picture from the approach end of Madera's Runway 30 during the Gathering of Warbirds airshow in August 1984, after I had gotten my ride. We had done a simulated air race with the P-51 racer "Sumpthin Else" and the Sea Fury "Dreadnought", doing low level passes down the runway at over 400 mph.

I tried to post a link on the Mustangs/Mustangs page featuring this aircraft, but somehow it's not working. If you're really interested, you can got to MustangsMustangs.com and look up P-51D serial #44-74494, N72FT.

Samuel Fodale: After WW2 they had such a surplus, you could buy a P-51 Mustang for $1... $1!!!!!!!!!!

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