Day 7 of our Newcastle aircraft profile is the fantastic P51 Mustang coming to us from Hangar 11 and is making its first display in Newcastle since 2011!
The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang is an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II, the Korean War and other conflicts.
The Mustang was designed in 1940 by North American Aviation (NAA) in response to a requirement of the British Purchasing Commission for license-built Curtiss P-40 fighters. The prototype NA-73X airframe was rolled out on 9 September 1940 and first flew on 26 October 1940.
The Mustang was originally designed to use the Allison V-1710 engine, which, in its earlier variants, had limited high-altitude performance. It was first flown operationally by the Royal Air Force but moved to the Merlin engine which allowed for higher altitude
At the start of the Korean War, the Mustang was the main fighter of the United Nations until jet fighters such as the F-86 took over this role; the Mustang then became a specialized fighter-bomber. Despite the advent of jet fighters, the Mustang remained in service with some air forces until the early 1980s. After World War II and the Korean War, many Mustangs were converted for civilian use, especially air racing, and increasingly, preserved and flown as historic warbird aircraft at airshows.
Abouut Hangar 11
The Hangar 11 Collection based at North Weald comprises four superb airworthy examples of legendary World War 11 fighter aircraft, each with extensive wartime histories. All these special aircraft are regular participants on the UK and European Airshow scene under the Hangar 11 umbrella, operated by Peter Teichman and a selected few of the finest and most experienced display pilots in the UK.
Hangar 11 Collection are one of the most active Warbird operators in Europe having displayed our aircraft in 10 European countries over the last three years alone and averaging over 80 public displays per season.
The ethos of the company is “to fly” these beautiful planes and make them available to the public to see and hear, so running costs can be subsidized. As such hire costs may be surprisingly affordable for such rare Warbirds. Hangar 11 currently have a P51 Mustang, Spitfire, P40 Kittyhawk & a Hurricane aircraft
About the Hangar 11 P51
One of the most original P-51 Mustangs in existence, having served as one of the famous 332nd Fighter Group, the “Red Tails”, also known as the Tuskegee Airmen, in Italy during 1945. However, this Mustang has never undergone a major restoration and still retains her original patination and war scars. She flies today as the only known airworthy example of an original “Red Tail” P-51D
built at North American’s Inglewood facility in California. Accepted by the USAAF on December 21 1944 as 44-72035 she was originally earmarked for service with the Eighth Air Force in England but this was quickly changed to Project Number 91037R, indicating service in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations. Having spent the Christmas and New Year period at Inglewood 44-72035 began her journey overseas on January 4 1945 with a ferry flight across the mainland USA arriving at Newark, New Jersey, on January 10. She was prepared for shipment, by boat, overseas and finally left the US on January 24 1945, assigned to “Oham” the codeword for the 15th Air Force based in Italy.
After the wars’ end, the four Fighter Groups of the 15th Air Force remained in Italy until the summer of 1945. Between July and September, all returned to the USA where they were inactivated by November. The newer aircraft on their strength were retained and returned to the USA for continued service. Such was the case with 44-72035, which is recorded as having returned to the mainland USA on October 10 1945. The aircraft was placed into storage until January 1947, at which time she was turned over to the 4112 Base Unit at Olmstead AFB, Pennsylvania to undergo an overhaul in preparation for service with Air National Guard units.
Over the years “Jumpin Jacques” (former name) has appeared at many air shows throughout Europe, and was seen at Duxford’s Flying Legends air show on more than one occasion. With her gleaming polished exterior, “Jumpin Jacques” has become a favourite, much to the delight of all enthusiasts of this true thoroughbred. The fact that she has never had a major rebuild and is almost totally original as built in 1944 makes this a rare and special P-51 Mustang. She still carries evidence of her battle scars with repairs just behind the pilot’s position on both sides of the fuselage, and puncture repairs to the fin.
As an original “Tuskegee” fighter, the Hangar 11 Collection Mustang is a rare thoroughbred and much welcomed on the UK and European Air show scene. And in 2016 is debuting a new look with a red tail going by the name ‘Tail in the Saddle’ In honour of the “Tuskegee” fighters. Information from Hangar 11 website and Wikipedia, photo from Damian Burke via airshows.co.uk
Check back tomorrow for another Newcastle Aircraft profile, when we start with the RAF Displays that will be in Newcastle.