P-51 Mustang

On static display at Kirtland AFB.

The North American P-51 Mustang was a successful long range fighter aircraft which entered service with Allied air forces in the middle years of World War II.

The P-51 was used mostly as a bomber escort, in raids over Germany; it was a key factor in the defeat of the German Luftwaffe and, by the middle of 1944, gave the Allies complete air superiority over Germany. It also saw significant service against Japanese air forces in the Pacific War, and was the main fighter for the United Nations in the early stages of the Korean War. The P-51 was replaced by jets in Korea but remained in service with some air forces until the early 1980's.

The definitive version of the single-seat fighter was powered by a single two-stage supercharged V-12 Merlin engine and armed with six .50 caliber (12.7 mm) M2 machine guns.
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