Accession Number : ADA330888

Title :   The P-51 Mustang As an Escort Fighter: Development Beyond Drop Tanks to an Independent Air Force.

Descriptive Note : Research rept.,

Corporate Author : AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL

Personal Author(s) : Daneu, Karen

PDF Url : ADA330888

Report Date : APR 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 40

Abstract : The P-5l Mustang was an outstanding fighter in World War II. Popular history gives the majority of the credit to the addition of drop tanks to this aircraft which extended its range and allowed it to be used as an escort fighter for bomber operations in World War II. This paper highlights the unique design characteristics of the P-51 Mustang with its Packard Merlin engine. The incorporation of innovative, laminar flow wings and aerodynamic "smoothing," along with a delivery oriented production system made the aircraft an outstanding escort fighter-the addition of the drop tanks just made it better. Because of this addition to the Allied fighting force, the doctrine of daylight, strategic, high altitude, precision bombing by United States bombers was successful in World War II and the United States Air Force was born.

Descriptors :   *FIGHTER AIRCRAFT, *AIRCRAFT ENGINES, MILITARY HISTORY, AIR FORCE, AERODYNAMIC CHARACTERISTICS, HIGH ALTITUDE, LAMINAR FLOW, AIRCRAFT GUNS, PRECISION BOMBING, SECOND WORLD WAR.

Subject Categories : Attack and Fighter Aircraft

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE