Book Author(s)
Robert Jackson and Lynn Ritger
Review Author(s)
Published on
January 27, 2021
ISBN
9781526759900
Other Publication Information
96 pages, Soft cover, 200 illustrations
MSRP
$26.95
Product / Stock #
Flight Craft
Provided by

Robert Jackson is the author of over eighty books on military, aviation, naval and scientific subjects. He was defense and science correspondent for a major British newspaper publishing group. Among the other books he has compiled for Pen & Sword are Bf-109 in the FlightCraft series and for TankCraft he has written extensively on the T-34, the Panzer I and II, the Centurion and Chieftain Main Battle Tanks as well as the Russian T54/55. 200 color and b/w illustrations

The North American P-51 Mustang was one of the most successful and effective fighter aircraft of all time. It was initially produced in response to a 1940 RAF requirement for a fast, heavily-armed fighter able to operate effectively at altitudes in excess of 20,000ft. North America built the prototype in 117 days, and the aircraft, designated NA-73X, flew on 26 October 1940. The first of 320 production Mustang Is for the RAF flew on 1 May 1941, powered by a 1,100hp Allison V-1710-39 engine. RAF test pilots soon found that with this powerplant the aircraft did not perform well at high altitude, but that its low-level performance was excellent. It was when the Mustang airframe was married to a Packard-built Rolls-Royce Merlin engine that the aircraft's true excellence became apparent.

Possessing a greater combat radius than any other Allied single-engine fighter, it became synonymous with the Allied victory in the air. During the last eighteen months of the war in Europe, escorting bomber formations, it hounded the Luftwaffe to destruction in the very heart of Germany. In the Pacific, operating from advance bases, it ranged over the Japanese Home Islands, joining carrier-borne fighters such as the Grumman Hellcat to bring the Allies massive air superiority. Yet the Mustang came about almost by accident, a product of the Royal Air Force's urgent need for new combat aircraft in the dark days of 1940, when Britain, fighting for survival, turned to the United States for help in the island nation's darkest hour.

Chapters:

  • Introduction
  • Design & Development
  • Tactical Fighter
  • RAF Army Co-operation Command
  • Tactical Air Force
  • Ground Attack: The North American A-36
  • China-Burma-India
  • Escort Fighter
  • The Merlin Mustang
  • By Daylight to Germany
  • Combat Over the Rhine
  • Mustang v. Me 262
  • Mustangs Over the Pacific
  • In the Skies of Japan
  • The Last Mustangs
  • Mustangs Post-1945
  • In Foreign Service
  • Mustangs Over Korea
  • Israel’s Mustangs
  • The P-51 Mustang in Color
  • The P-51 Mustang in Model Form

The scale model chapter covers most mainstream manufacturers’ releases in 1/72, 1/48, and 1/32 scales. Interestingly, there are no Eduard builds, nor the 1/24 scale Airfix kit. All of the models are built to a high standard, and although a few pictures have questionable depth of field, I enjoyed this chapter greatly.

  • Academy
  • Accurate Miniatures
  • Airfix
  • Arii
  • Hasegawa
  • Hobby Boss
  • Italeri/Testors
  • Meng
  • Monogram
  • Revell
  • Tamiya

This book is a tremendous reference for modelers, and is full of historic photographs of probably the most iconic fighter plane in history. The majority of photos presented I’ve not seen before. This should be on every modelers’ shelf, and I highly recommend it.

My thanks to Pen & Sword Books, Ltd., Casemate Publishers and IPMS/USA for the review sample.

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