North American Aviation P-51B/C & F-6C Yellow Series #6143

Published: November 29th, 2019     
Product Image
Author: Robert Peczkowski
Reviewed by: Keith Pruitt - IPMS# 44770
Company: MMP Books
ISBN #: 9788365958396
Other Publication Information: Paperback, 160 pages, 65 color photographs, 127 black & white photographs, 27 color profiles, and 131 technical/line drawings
Price: $39.00
Product / Stock #: Yellow Series #6143
Product provided by: Casemate Publishing

The book opens with the developmental history of the P-51 Mustang. In early 1940, as World War II was developing in Europe, the British approached North American Aviation in about building P-40s for the Royal Air Force under license from the Curtiss-Wright Corporation. North American countered with an offer to design and build an improved fighter aircraft. The next phase of history is well known, as the NA-73 design was accepted by the British and eventually the US Army Air Forces took notice. The original design utilized the same twelve-cylinder Allison engine as the P-40, but the laminar-flow wing and other aerodynamic improvements allowed the new aircraft to fly faster and with great range. However, the Allison-engined P-51A version had weaknesses at higher altitudes so the airframe was modified to use the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine that had proven its value in the British Spitfire. This variant became the P-51B and P-51C models, differentiated only by the suffix based on whether they were built in factories in Inglewood, California or Dallas, Texas. After the US entered the war, production ramped up in 1942, and the needed Merlin engines were built under license in both the Packard and Continental factories in Michigan. Common with almost every aircraft manufactured, there were modification made post-production and the book listed these with photographs and descriptions in great depth.

The F-6C photographic reconnaissance version is covered in its own chapter regarding what modifications were made and to which airframes. Not mentioned in the title, the British Mustang III, the RAF designation for the P-51B/C also has its own chapter, detailing modifications for service with the most notable being the Malcom Hood sliding canopy that replaced the central hinged panels of the factory canopy. The Americans adapted many of the P-51B/C aircraft to also accept this canopy.

The technical and finish specifications fills another couple of chapters, detailing the wing, fuselage, tail, landing gear, powerplant and fuel systems, engine controls and propeller, cooling and oil systems, instrumentation and armament. There are fourteen pages of color profiles covering specific P-51B/C aircraft, including two captured by the Japanese and Germans respectively, as well as the Mustang III in British service camouflage. Another chart demonstrates the size comparisons with other contemporary fighters in US, British, German and Japanese service at the time.

The last half of the book is filled with detail photographs and technical drawings covering exterior and interior, control surfaces, closeup photos of the various components and parts, cockpit and instrumentation, landing gear, and pretty much anything and everything else. While many of the photographs are period photos, several are current photos of restored aircraft.

The book is nicely written, very clear in all photograph descriptions, and extremely detailed in explanations and historical facts. I would highly recommend it for aircraft aficionados and fans of historical aviation, but based on the exceptional amount of technical information and detailed photographs, I would give it my highest recommendation for scale aircraft modelers and fans of the P-51 Mustang.

I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to MMP Books and Casemate Publishing for the sample and to IPMS for the opportunity to review this book.

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