>> Home >> Magazine >> This page

>> 500+ other articles are available in our archive

 

North American P-51D Mustang in Detail

(Revisited)

Part 2 - Wings and Tails

n text and photos by Martin Waligorski


 

Back to main article

 



Click to enlarge

A testimony to the quality of Hendon Mustang's restoration can bee seen in this view. Despite the once widely-spread urban myth, high-performance US aircraft such as P-51 or P-38 were never finished entirely in bare metal. Aerodynamically important elements such as Mustang's laminar-flow wing were puttied, sanded flush and then coated in aluminium lacquer. What you can see here is the faithful reproduction of this job on the fixed wing area, while flaps, ailerons and the wing root area remain unpainted.
 




Click to enlarge

View of the wing-to-fuselage joint. Note the curved line of its rear part where the wing root fairing goes
over the landing flap.
 




Click to enlarge

Port flap in the dropped position, showing clearly how it retracts under the wing root fairing.
 




Click to enlarge

Close-up of the upper wing area showing the red fuel filler cap and two-part hatch covering the gun compartment.
 




Click to enlarge

Detail of starboard aileron and trim tab.
 




Click to enlarge

Port wing tip with teardrop-shaped navigation light.
 




Click to enlarge

Close-up of the port aileron with visible two "fences" on the wing's upper surface.
 




Click to enlarge

Visible throughout in Mustang's design is the care which North American designers approached the drag problem. Any drag-inducing feature found was addressed in one way or another, such as these small fairing over the three gun barrels in the port wing.
 




Click to enlarge

Starboard universal rack. Almost all P-51D-25-NA and subsequent series aircraft had these underwing hardpoints not only for bombs and fuel tanks but also for various types of rocket launchers
 



Click to enlarge

Underwing drop tank. A number of different types of drop tanks was used on P-51s during the war. This is the most solidly built metal 75 gallon tank, and it was the one which prevailed also for post-war use.
 




Click to enlarge

Horizontal tail.
 




Click to enlarge

Another view of the horizontal tail and elevator.
 




Click to enlarge

Close examination of the rudder reveals unmistakably that the Mustang has its roots in 1930s technology. It was but one part of the P-51D airframe which was fabric-covered - note the rib tapes visible from this angle.
 



Back to main article

n


This page: 
Has been last updated:
The URL of the page is:
Downloaded at:


©  Copyright 1997-2006 by IPMS Stockholm and the Community Members. All Rights Reserved.
The layout and graphics of this site, HTML and program code are © Copyright 1997-2006 Martin Waligorski. Used by permission.

Terms of use: This site is an interactive community of enthusiasts interested in the art of scale modelling of aircraft, armor, figures, spacecraft and similar subjetcs. All material within this site is protected under copyright, and may only be reproduced for personal use. You must  contact the Author(s) and/or Editor for permission to use any material on this site for any purpose other than private use.