Tag Archives: fighter escort

North American P-51 Mustang Start and Takeoff

“Ain’t Misbehavin” is a North American P-51D Mustang. The Mustang, a long range escort fighter, was capable of flying 6-hour missions. During the air war in Europe, USAAF bombers were taking heavy losses due to the inability of fighter escorts to accompany the bomber formations deep into Nazi Germany. Once the fighters turned back, the bombers were vulnerable and German fighters would slice through the formations. The Mustang had the ability to accompany Allied bombers to Germany and back. With its arrival, the Luftwaffe had met its match over the skies of Germany. It was armed with six .50 caliber M2 Browning machine guns and powered by a 1,695 horsepower Packard Merlin V-1650-7 turbocharged liquid-cooled engine. Max speed was 437 mph and ceiling was 42,000 ft. During the war more than 15,000 Mustangs were built.