North American P-51M 'Mustang'

  Manufacturer:North American
  Base model:P-51
  Designation System:U.S. Air Force
  Designation Period:1925-1947
  Basic role:Pursuit
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Recent comments by our visitors
 P. Horn
 , CA
This model is a real mystery! Supposedly, the "M" was identical to the production lightweight, the P-51H, excepting for the engine, which was, rather than the 1,380 H.P. Rolls Royce V- 1650-9 (2,218 H.P. @ 10,200 ft. in W.E.P., using water injection), the "M" was fitted with a non-water injected version of the engine, the V-1650-9A! According to Mr. Robert Gruenhagen in his study on the P-51, the performance of this variant (of the engine) was similar to that of the V-1650-3 (the engine in the P-51B and C). Further, according to Mr. Ray Wagner, (in Mustang Designer), the one "M" actually built was the last "D" from the Dallas production line (45-111743) with the aforementioned V-1650-9A. With 1400 H.P. at takeoff and only 1675 H.P. in W.E.P. at 15,500 ft. (Wagner states 1,670 H.P.), why bother with either version?

Although the non-water injected motor might have been easier to build in quantity, the versions to concentrate on at this late stage of the war (1944-5) should have been the "H" and the even more powerful "L"; identical to the "H" save for the fitting of a more advanced version of the Merlin in the latter; the V-1650-11 with water injection (as in the -9) but also fitted with a Stromberg speed injection carburetor. W.E.P power at about 10,200 ft. was 2,270 H.P. Since No "L" was ever built, no specifications were issued. However, with an additional 52 H.P. I would estimate a maximum of about 491 M.P.H. at 25,000 ft. for this variant if it had been produced.
05/05/2002 @ 19:50 [ref: 4872]