PART 4

MUSTANG VARIANTS OF THE US ARMY AIR FORCES

Successful airframe and powerplant combinations – especially within the sphere of combat aircraft – more often than not provide fodder for a healthy nursery in which there is rapid growth followed by numerous offspring. This proved very true for the Mustang programme. What had begun as a relatively simple fighter-type demonstration airplane for the RAF, the NA-73X spawned many types, sub-types and spin-off Mustang aircraft such as the Twin Mustang programme that is fully discussed in Part 12 of this reference. As far as US Army Air Forces derivatives go, no fewer than twenty-one variants of the Mustang were produced for the USAAF. These included: the XP-51, P-51, F-6A, A-36A, P-51A, F-6B, XP-51B, P-51B, P-51C, F-6C, prototype P-51D, P-51D, TP-51D, F-6D, XP-51F, XP-51G, P-51H, XP-51J, P-51K, F-6K and the P-51M. There were also several proposed Mustang variants offered that were not proceeded with for varying reasons. These included the P-51E, P-51L and even a navalised aircraft carrier-based Mustang. These USAAF Mustang variants are now explained:

XP-51 Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-73

Original Date: 29 May 1940

On 30 September 1940, the US War Department approved USAAC contract AC 15471 for the production of two prototype XP-51 airplanes (USAAC serial numbers 41-038 and 41-039) for evaluation at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio. These two airplanes were manufactured at the Inglewood facility off the NA-73 production line from which they were set aside for modifications to meet USAAC pursuit airplane requirements. These two airplanes were the fourth and tenth NA-73 airplanes built: NAA factory serial numbers 73-3101 and 73-3107. Their external appearance and measurements were identical to the RAF NA-73 Mustang Mark I airplanes but they featured numerous internal differences and, of course, USAAC markings. The first flight of the premier XP-51 out of Mines Field came on 20 May 1941 with Bob Chilton at the controls. Respectively, these two airplanes were ferried to Wright Field on 24 August and 16 December 1941.

Earlier on 4 May 1940, NAA signed a Foreign Release Agreement with the USAAC for the foreign sale of the NA-73 airplane that entitled the USAAC to acquire free of charge two examples of the airplane for sale to Great Britain – the purchaser. This release specifically set forth that the USAAC would receive the fourth and tenth articles from the NA-73 production line (NAA serial numbers 73-3101 and 73-3107). The engines, propellers and other normal items of regular government furnished equipment (GFE) specified for USAAC airplanes were specified as GFE for these two airplanes. There were no provisions made for mock-up or 689 engineering inspection of these two airplanes although arrangements were made for the inspection and flight testing of the first NA-73 airplane (NAA serial number 73-3098; RAF serial number AG345) by USAAC personnel. Following the completion of negotiations between NAA and the British Purchasing Commission, Authority for Purchase number 165265 for two XP-51 airplanes was initiated on 24 July 1940 and followed by a contract that was approved by the Assistant Secretary of War on 20 September 1940. The airplanes were built in accordance with the British Model Specification except that certain modifications were made to accommodate the aforementioned standard USAAC equipment.

Except for minor incidental changes, the project progressed at a normal rate. On 24 February 1941, an Engineering Order was issued to leave the original hydraulic gun chargers out of both airplanes and install in lieu thereof, fully automatic gun charger equipment which was being developed by the Bendix Corporation in the second XP-51 airplane. This was done so that the new charging equipment could be flight tested at an early date. Since the delivery date of the automatic hydraulic chargers was such that a delay in delivery of the airplane would result from the installation, it was decided that provision only would be made for the installation of this equipment.

Earlier, preliminary flight testing was conducted on the first airplane (the NA-73X) at the contractor’s facility by the contractor’s personnel and USAAC pilots in accordance with the terms of the contract. At one particular throttle setting the engine was found to be extremely rough, and in one instance, the engine completely cut out resulting in a forced landing in a ploughed field. This landing was made by the contractor’s pilot without damage to property or personal injury although considerable damage was done to the airplane.

The USAAC received two NA-73 XP-51 airplanes as represented in this NAA-drawn inboard profile. (Rockwell International via Chris Wamsley)

Although no mock-up or 689 Engineering Board inspection was made, a preliminary flutter and vibration survey was made by USAAC personnel prior to any flights by USAAC pilots. USAAC personnel were granted an opportunity to visit the plant to study design details and observe the manufacturing processes.

Under the terms of the contract, the USAAC were supposed to receive the fourth and tenth NA-73 production articles. These airplanes were scheduled for delivery in February and March 1941. The production of the NA-73 airplanes was delayed both by the crash-landing of the experimental NA-73X airplane and the delay of engine deliveries for the British NA-73 airplanes. To facilitate the delivery of the two XP-51 airplanes, it was decided to take the fourth and tenth articles from their places in the assembly line and install USAAC-owned engines in them for delivery to Wright Field. This procedure was followed and the first airplane was accepted and flown to Wright Field on 24 August 1941 for the purpose of conducting official performance tests. The second airplane was accepted and flown to Wright Field on 16 December 1941.

Preliminary performance tests were conducted at the contractor’s facility by NAA pilots on the first XP-51 during the month of March 1941. Final official performance flight tests on XP-51 number one were conducted at Wright Field between 8 October and 22 December 1941.

The second XP-51 airplane was thoroughly inspected by the Flying Branch of the Materiel Command after delivery and was then turned over to the Armament Laboratory for gun firing tests.

XP-51 Specifications

Length: 32 ft 2⅞ in. 

Height: 12 ft 6 in. (approximate) 

Wing span: 37 ft 5/16 in. 

Wing area: 233.19 sq ft 

Propulsive system: 1,150 hp Allison V-1710-39 (V-1710-F3R) water-cooled V-12 inline piston engine 

Propeller: three-bladed 10-ft-5-in.-diameter constant speed Curtiss Electric propeller 

Maximum speed: 386 mph at 15,500 ft 

Empty weight: 6,109 lb 

Gross weight: 7,724 lb 

Gunsight: Type N-3 

Armament: eight Browning machine guns – two M-2 .50 cal. in lower nose (400 rounds ammunition each); two M-2 .50 cal. in wings (400 rounds ammunition each); four M-2 .30 cal. (250 rounds ammunition each)

XP-51 Production

73-3101, XP-51-NA, 41-038 – 4th of 322 production NA-73 airplanes 

73-3107, XP-51-NA, 41-039 – 10th of 322 production NA-73 airplanes

Dallas-built NA-124 P-51D-25-NT (44-84394) posing at Hamilton Army Air Field, California on 6 April 1946. Its twin Uncle Dog/Brother Agate radio antennas are noteworthy. (Photo by William T. Larkins)

P-51 Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-91

Original Date: 7 July 1941

For defence aid to Great Britain under the Lend-Lease programme, the USAAF ordered 150 model P-51 Mustangs with a Letter of Intent on 7 July 1941. The Department of the Army contract number DA-140 was officially approved on 25 September 1941. As production of the P-51 airplanes ramped up in late 1941, it was decided that the USAAF retained fifty-eight of them for various reasons. The first example (41-37320) was delivered to the USAAF as the one-of-a-kind P-51-1-NA to serve as the prototype F-6 photographic reconnaissance and mapping variant and was re-designated F-6A-1-NA after the installation of two K-24 cameras behind the pilot’s seat. Another 54 were delivered as P-51-2-NA airplanes that were modified to serve as photo-recce planes without being re-designated as F-6A airplanes. One P-51 (41-37426) was acquired by the US Navy for aircraft carrier sea trials and was assigned US Navy Bureau Number 57987. The last of the keepers were two P-51s (41-37352 and 41-37421) which were retained to become the XP-51B airplanes. Therefore, the RAF only received 92 of these aircraft as Mustang Mark IA airplanes instead of the 150 it had requested.

P-51 Mustang Specifications

Length: 32 ft 3 in. 

Height: 12 ft 2 in. 

Wing span: 37 ft 

Wing area: 233 sq ft 

Propulsive system: one 1,150-hp Allison V-1710-39 (F3R) Vee engine 

Propeller: three bladed constant speed 10-ft-5-in.-Curtiss Electric propeller 

Maximum speed: 372 mph at 12,800 ft 

Empty weight: 6,500 lb 

Gross weight: 8,933 lb 

Gunsight: N3 

Armament: four Hispano-Suiza 20-mm Automatic Cannon (two in either wing) – 125 rounds per cannon

P-51, F-6A and Mustang Mark IA Production

91-11981 to 91-12130, 41-37320 to 41-37469, FD418 to FD567

A-36A Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-97

Original Date: 16 April 1942

By authority of the US War Department, USAAF contract number AC 27396 was approved on 7 August 1942 for the manufacture of 500 A-36A-1-NA airplanes at Inglewood; USAAF serial numbers 42-83663 to 42-84162; NAA factory serial numbers 97-15881 to 97-16380. The A-36A Mustang programme is fully discussed in Part 5 of this reference.

P-51A Mustang

NAA Charge Number: NA-99

Original Date: 23 June 1942

Up until 23 June 1942, only four distinct versions of the Mustang had been produced for the USAAF and RAF. These four versions were the Mustang Mark I and Mustang Mark IA to the RAF, and the P-51 and F-6A Mustang to the USAAF. A fifth version, the A-36A, was on order but none had been built or delivered as of this date. Thus, this version – the P-51A – created the sixth, seventh and eighth versions of the Mustang: the P-51A, F-6B, and Mustang Mark II. The premier P-51A (43-6003) made its first flight on 3 February 1943 out of Mines Field in Inglewood with Bob Chilton at the controls.

The US War department approved USAAF contract number AC 30479 on 24 August 1942 for the production of 310 P-51A airplanes in Inglewood to be delivered in three production blocks. The three production blocks were built with the following USAAF serial numbers: P-51A-1-NA, 43-6003 to 43-6102, 100 airplanes; P-51A-5-NA, 43-6103 to 43-6157, 55 airplanes; and P-51A-10-NA, 43-6158 to 43-6312, 155 airplanes.

The P-51A was the first pure pursuit version of the Mustang to be directly ordered by the USAAF for its own use. However, since the USAAF had retained a number of NA-91 P-51 airplanes (Mustang Mark IA) instead of those going to the RAF as originally planned, fifty P-51A airplanes were delivered to the RAF as replacement aircraft designated Mustang Mark II (RAF serial numbers FR890 to FR939). Another thirty-five had their guns removed and were fitted with two K-24 cameras and designated F-6B. Thus, only 225 P-51A airplanes were delivered to the USAAF. All 310 P-51A airplanes were completed by the end of May 1943, their production having begun some three months earlier in early March.

As a dedicated pursuit airplane, the P-51A was armed with four wing-mounted .50 calibre machine guns, two in either wing. The two inboard guns had 350 rounds of ammunition each, the two outboard guns 280 rounds each. Each wing had a single two-point attachment for either a seventy-five-US gallon drop tank or a general purpose high explosive bomb up to a maximum of 500 lb. Special 150-US-gallon drop tanks could also be fitted for long-range ferry flights which proved valuable later during the Mustang’s first long-range bomber escort mission discussed below.

The first operational P-51A group was the 54th Fighter Group of the 3rd Air Force, which was based stateside at Bartow Army Air Field in Florida to serve as a Mustang replacement pilot training unit.

Three 10th Air Force groups received P-51A airplanes in the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theatre of Operation, the 23rd, 311th and 1st Air Commando fighter groups. Other than the RAF Mustang Mark IIs and the USAAF F-6Bs serving in the ETO and the MTO, almost all of the remaining P-51A Mustang types served in the CBI.

The 311th Fighter-Bomber Group – its 530th Fighter-Bomber Squadron specifically – was the first unit to employ the Mustang as a long-range bomber escort, when on 25 November 1943, fitted with two 150-US-gallon drop tanks, a number of P-51As escorted B-24 Liberators during a bombardment on Rangoon in Burma. This was a round trip of around 900 miles from their base at Kurmitola, India.

The USAAF F-6B photographic reconnaissance Mustangs served primarily with the 107th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group of the 9th Air Force, based at RAF Middle Wallop in southern Great Britain, before transferring to an airbase in Deux-Jumeaux in northern France. These were temporarily re-designated P-51A-11-NA, then permanently designated F-6B-1-NA.

The first P-51A-1-NA (43-6003) was subsequently fitted with retractable skis for experimental snow-covered ground operations primarily at Ladd Field in Alaska and Grenier Field in New Hampshire and was nicknamed ‘Thumper’.

The second production P-51A-1-NA (43-6004) was ferried to Wright Field where it was nicknamed ‘Slick Chick’ and was thoroughly evaluated by USAAF Materiel Command test pilots. It was never fitted with armament.

The P-51A holds the distinction of being the last Allison-powered Mustang to be mass produced by NAA. Just two others, the two prototype XP-51J airplanes, came equipped with V-1710 engines. Therefore, there were 1,585 Allison-powered Mustangs built in all. The remaining 14,001 Mustangs built came equipped with the much improved V-1650 Merlin engine.

P-51A Specifications

Length: 32 ft 2½ in. 

Height: 8 ft 8 in. 

Wing span: 27 ft ¼ in. 

Wing area: 233 sq ft 

Propulsive system: one 1,200 hp Allison V-1710-81 (F20R) Vee engine 

Propeller: three-bladed constant speed electrically pitch actuated 10-ft-7¼-in.-diameter Curtiss Electric Propeller 

Armament: four .50 cal. Browning M2 heavy machine guns – two in either wing; two 500 lb bombs – one under either wing 

Maximum speed: 390 mph at 20,000 ft 

Maximum range: 2,350 miles with 75-US gallon drop tanks 

Empty weight: 6,433 lb 

Maximum take-off weight: 10,600 lb

XP-51B Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-101

Original Date: 25 July 1942

The old adage ‘an airframe is only as good as its powerplant’ was never as true as in the case of the ever-evolving Mustang. For when the Packard-built V-1650 Rolls-Royce Merlin engine was mated to the Mustang, it became a bona fide fighter in the truest sense of that word. As fighter aircraft go, this airframe to powerplant marriage truly was a match made in heaven.

Under US War Department contract number DA 140, approved on 25 September 1941, the USAAF ordered two experimental XP-51B prototypes to be created during the P-51/Mustang Mark IA production run. To build the two XP-51B airplanes, NAA set aside two airplanes from the P-51 production line. These two airplanes, NAA factory serial numbers 91-12013 and 91-12082, were modified with the installation of 1,300-hp Packard-built V-1650-3 Merlin engines in place of the 1,150-hp Allison V-1710-39 engine used by earlier P-51s and P-51As.

The ten-month lag between USAAF contract approval on 25 September 1941 and the original NAA start date on 25 July 1942 was due for the most part to the time it took the aircraft engine division of the Packard Motor Car Company to ramp up production of the V-1650-3 and subsequent dash-numbered engines. Simply stated, full-scale P-51B Mustang production could not fully ramp up until these engines were in the supply pipeline feeding NAA.

At first, since these two airplanes would have completely different propulsive systems, propellers and other changes unique to their design, they were awarded a completely new designation: XP-78. But even before the ink on the contract had dried, they were designated XP-51B as follow-on to the P-51A. In part, the following changes were made to the P-51/Mustang Mark IA to create the XP-51B airplane: 1) the installation of the V-1650-3 engine in a revised engine mount section; 2) the carburettor air inlet was moved from above to below the nose to feed air to the updraft carburettor employed by the Merlin engine; 3) the nose gun installation was eliminated; 4) the airframe was strengthened to accommodate the increased engine power; 5) the ailerons were revised and installed; 6) stronger under-wing attachment points were installed to accommodate bombs of up to 1,000 lb and/or higher capacity 110-US gallon drop tanks; 7) provision was made for four .50 calibre machine guns – two per wing; 8) an intercooler radiator was added to the existing radiator system located inside the air scoop duct under the fuselage in a deeper tunnel housing; 9) a revised and more rakish oil- and water-cooling air scoop was employed set about two inches below the fuselage; and 10) and the aft heat/thrust outlet was enlarged.

NAA produced the two XP-51B-NA prototypes at its Inglewood, California, facility and the first example (41-37352) was flight tested from out of Mines Field on 30 November 1942 by Bob Chilton who reported serious radiator cooling scoop ducting rumble. Modifications were soon made and Chilton performed a series of functional flight tests on the redesigned inlet and duct which proved to be satisfactory on 4 December 1942. The second XP-51B (41-37421) was initially flight tested by Chilton as well on 2 February 1943.

The Commanding General of the USAAF Henry H. ‘Hap’ Arnold visited Inglewood in late December 1942 and on the 30th, Arnold and a number of attending VIPs were treated to a special aerial show flown by Chilton to demonstrate the performance of the Merlin-powered XP-51B airplane. Just before Chilton landed, he made a low-level high-speed run over the Mines Field runway at more than 400 mph leaving the general and those guests in awe.

The success of the two XP-51B demonstration airplanes then, coupled with their much improved propulsive systems, led to the full-scale production of 1,988 P-51B airplanes in Inglewood, California, and 1,750 P-51C airplanes in Dallas, Texas. The P-51C was identical to the P-51B except for the manufacturing facilities.

XP-51B Specifications

Length: 32 ft 3 in. 

Height: 13 ft 8 in. 

Wing span: 37 ft 

Wing area: 233 sq ft 

Propulsive system: one 1,380-hp Packard-built V-1650-3 Merlin engine (closely based upon the Rolls-Royce Merlin 66 engine) 

Propeller: four-bladed constant speed variable pitch 11-ft-diameter Hamilton Standard Hydromatic Propeller 

Armament: none installed 

Maximum speed: 441 mph at 29,800 ft 

Empty weight: 7,030 lb 

Maximum weight: 8,880 lb

P-51B-1-NA Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-102

Original Date: 26 August 1942

Now powered by the magnificent Packard-built V-1650-3 Merlin engine, the B version of the P-51 was the first ‘real’ Mustang and NAA-Inglewood built 400 of these P-51B-1-NA airplanes. One of these, USAAF serial number 43-12102, was set for modification and became the prototype P-51D.

An extraordinary photograph of ‘XP-51D’ near the Sierra-Nevada mountain range on 11 November 1943. (Stan Piet)

P-51B-1-NA Production

400 P-51B-1-NA 43-12093 to 43-12492

P-51B Mustang Specifications

Length: 32 ft 3 in. 

Height: 13 ft 8 in. 

Wing span: 37 ft 

Wing area: 233 sq ft 

Propulsive system: one 1,380-hp Packard-built V-1650-3 Merlin engine (early); one 1,490 hp Packard-built V-1650-7 Merlin engine (late) 

Propeller: one electric constant speed 11-ft-diameter four-bladed propeller 

Maximum speed: 440 mph at 30,000 ft 

Empty weight: 6,985 lb 

Gross weight: 9,800 lb 

Gunsight: N3 

Armament: four .50 cal. Browning M2 machine guns – two in either wing

XP-51D Mustang

Original Date: 26 August 1942

The history of the so-called ‘XP-51D’ remains to be quite mysterious, for there is little historical documentation to even support its true designation, whether it was actually designated XP-51D or just called the prototype P-51D. Not even the official NAA contract record or USAAF contract record acknowledge its existence. Yet there was at least one prototype P-51D built and flown.

The prototype P-51D airplane was an experimental airplane in the truest sense of that word; however, it was not issued a new NAA Charge Number nor was it ever officially designated XP-51D. In fact, it was not ordered by the USAAF because it was a privately funded in-house programme throughout its tenure. It was used, however, to sell the concept to the USAAF that led to an order for two P-51D airplanes under NA-106 which is discussed below.

This experimental airplane was created from a modified Inglewood-built NA-102 P-51B-1-NA (43-12102), NAA factory serial number 102-24550. A second XP-51D was purported to have been built from the preceding P-51B-1-NA (43-12101 or 102-45549), but again, there is no official documentation available to support its existence. It is interesting to note that these were the ninth and tenth of 400 P-51B-1-NA airplanes built. In any event, the prototype P-51D was the first Mustang to be fitted with a full-blown bubble-type cockpit canopy that gave the Mustang its classic look and excellent all-around pilot visibility.

‘XP-51D’ on its first flight on 17 November 1943 with Bob Chilton at the controls. (National Museum of the USAF)

To create the P-51D prototype, P-51B-1-NA (43-12102) had its ‘bird cage’ cockpit canopy removed and upper fuselage ‘razorback’ area aft of the cockpit to the leading edge of its vertical tail removed to accommodate the new canopy and associated framework. It also featured a revised wing to accommodate six rather than four machine guns. The prototype P-51D, or the experimental XP-51D, made its first flight from out of Mines Field on 17 November 1943 with Bob Chilton in the pilot’s seat. Its ensuing flight-test success opened the door for the follow-on manufacturing programmes that created thousands of mass produced P-51D and P-51K airplanes that played such an important role in the Second World War and the Korean War.

XP-51D Specifications

Length: 32 ft 3 in. 

Height: 13 ft 8 in. 

Wing span: 37 ft 

Wing area: 233 sq ft 

Propulsive system: one 1,300-hp Packard-built V-1650-3 Merlin engine 

Propeller: four-bladed constant speed variable pitch 11-ft-diameter Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propeller 

Armament: six .50 cal. Browning M2 heavy machine guns – three in either wing 

Empty weight: 7,125 lb 

Maximum weight: 11,600 lb 

Maximum speed: 437 mph at 25,000 ft

P-51C-1-NT, P-51C-5-NT and P-51C-10-NT Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-103

Original Date: 8 October 1942

The NAA production plant in Texas sprang up quickly because of wartime urgency and was built for the exclusive production of AT-6 Texans, P-51, TP-51 and F-6 Mustangs. Its first priority, however, was the production of the P-51C variant of the Mustang. It was located alongside Hensley Field just south of Dallas, Texas.

P-51C-NT Production

350

P-51C-1-NT

42-102979 to 42-103328

450

P-51C-5-NT

42-103329 to 42-103778

200

P-51C-10-NT

42-103779 to 42-103978

350

P-51C-10-NT

43-24902 to 43-25251

The first of three experimental lightweight Mustang airplane types was the NA-105 XP-51F. This is the first of three XP-51F examples built (43-43332). The XP-51F used V-1650-3 Merlin engines. (San Diego Air & Space Museum via John Melson)

P-51B-5-NA, P-51B-10-NA and P-51B-15-NA Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-104

Original Date: 20 October 1942

These P-51B airplanes, according to an NAA succinct statement, were an ‘improvement over NA-102’. But there was much more involved with these P-51B airplanes than just a mere enhancement. For example, during the production run, the V-1650-3 was replaced by the uprated V-1650-7 that produced up to 1,450 hp at take-off and as much as 1,695 hp war emergency power (WEP) at 10,300 feet. Speed of the V-1650-7-powered B variant increased from 430 to 439 mph at 25,000 feet. The V-1650-7 powered all 398 P-51B-10-NAs and 390 P-51B-15-NA airplanes.

On 5 January 1943, the US War Department approved USAAF contract number AC 30479 for the production of 548 P-51B airplanes at the Inglewood plant. The breakdown for these airplanes was 110 P-51B-10-NA (42-106429 to 42-106538), 198 P-51B-10-NA (42-106541 to 42-106738) and 240 P-51B-15-NA (42-106739 to 42-106978).

Additionally, under NA-104, USAAF contract number AC 30479, approved earlier on 24 August 1942, the production of 800 P-51B-5-NA airplanes (43-6313 to 43-7112) and ninety P-51B-10-NA airplanes (43-7113 to 43-7202) was called for at Inglewood. However, the last ninety of the 800 P-51B-5-NA airplanes were built as P-51B-10-NA airplanes instead (43-7203 to 43-7112). Thus, only 710 P-51B-5-NA airplanes were built. Moreover, under USAAF contract number AC 30479, officially authorised on 11 February 1943, another 150 P-51B-15-NA airplanes were built at Inglewood (43-24752 to 43-24901).

This equals 1,588 NA-104 P-51B airplanes that were manufactured in the -5, -10 and -15 block numbers. Two of these airplanes, however, both P-51B-10-NA block numbers (42-106539 and 42-106540), the 111th and 112th P-51B-10-NA airplanes, were set aside to be built as two service test P-51D-1-NA airplanes under NA-106. Therefore, 1,586 P-51B-5-NA, P-51B-10-NA and P-51B-15-NA airplanes were built in Inglewood.

P-51B-NA Production

800

P-51B-5-NA

43-6313 to 43-7112

110

P-51B-10-NA

42-106429 to 42-106538

198

P-51B-10-NA

42-106541 to 42-106738

240

P-51B-15-NA

42-106739 to 42-106978

150

P-51B-15-NA

43-24752 to 43-24901

XP-51F, XP-51G and XP-51J Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-105

Original Date: 2 January 1943

These three experimental variants of the Mustang – the XP-51F (NA-105), XP-51G (NA-105A) and XP-51J (NA-105B) – led to the production of the lightweight NA-126 P-51H version. (See Part 8 for full details.)

A large number of NA-109 P-51D-5-NA/-10-NA/-15-NA Mustangs were built in Inglewood to get the D variant off the ground (44-13253 to 44-15752): 2,500 to be exact. One of these, a P-51D-10-NA (44-14214), is shown here during a contractor functional check flight. (Rockwell International via Chris Wamsley)

P-51D Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-106

Original Date: 27 December 1943

With the success of the prototype P-51D programme previously discussed, the USAAF showed great interest. So much so, it ordered two service test P-51D airplanes. Usually the Y for Service Test prefix was applied to service test airplanes, but not in this case. Thus, there were no YP-51D airplanes designated as such. The reason for this remains unclear but it stands to reason that any follow-on production P-51D-1-NA airplanes would be exactly the same as the service test P-51D-1-NA airplanes – that is, for the most part.

So with the official US War Department contract approval authorised on 5 January 1943 (AC 30479), two P-51B-10-NA airplanes were set aside for transformation into two P-51D-1-NA service test airplanes (42-106539 and 42-106540), NAA factory serial numbers 106-25341 and 106-25342. These were the 111th and 112th P-51B-10-NA airplanes taken from the NA-104 programme.

The first service test P-51D-1-NA (42-106539) was initially flight tested out of Mines field in late-1943 by Bob Chilton. It was accepted by the USAAF on 25 October 1943. Unfortunately, on 11 January 1944 during a USAAF Materiel Command evaluation flight being flown by Agustus W. Pitcarin, the airplane suffered from structural failure and crashed at Redondo Beach, California, southwest of Inglewood. Pitcarin was killed.

The second service test P-51D-1-NA (42-106540) was accepted by the USAAF on 31 December 1943 and was subsequently transferred to the 347th Army Air Forces Base Unit (AAFBU) Combat Crew Training Squadron (CCTS) located at Key Field just south of Meridian, Mississippi. The airplane crashed one mile south of Chunky, Mississippi, during a flight on 25 June 1945. Its pilot, Henry E. Crist, was killed.The date of its first flight remains unclear but it most likely occurred in early 1944.

P-51C-NT Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-107

Original Date: 12 April 1943

This was a cancelled production programme where 950 P-51C airplanes were to be built in Dallas, Texas, under NA-107. These airplanes were built, however, but under NA-103 in Dallas.

P-51D-5-NA, P-51D-10-NA and P-51D-15-NA Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-109

Original Date: 13 April 1943

As the last Inglewood-built NA-104 P-51B airplanes were coming off the assembly line, they were simultaneously being replaced with the newer and deadlier P-51D Mustang now equipped with a high-visibility bubble-top cockpit canopy and six wing-mounted .50 calibre machine guns. NAA documentation states that this variant was ‘same as NA-106’ but the improvements made throughout this particular production run speak for themselves.

Initially, on 13 April 1943, the USAAF issued a Letter of Intent to procure 2,000 NA-109 airplanes and this is when NAA set wheels in motion to mass produce the Mustang. More were needed, however, and the initial number of 2,000 was increased to 2,500.

This was one very large order indeed, the largest single order for Mustangs so far. The Letter of Intent was replaced by an official contract, approved by the US War Department and issued as USAAF contract number AC 40064 on 21 July 1943 for 2,000 P-51D airplanes as follows: 800 P-51D-5-NA airplanes (44-13253 to 44-14052); 800 P-51D-10-NA airplanes (44-14053 to 44-14852) and 400 P-51D-15-NA airplanes (44-14853 to 44-15252). Then, on 3 November 1943, as previously mentioned, the contract was modified to include a further 500 P-51D-15-NA airplanes (44-15253 to 44-15752). These 2,500 Mustangs were the first full-scale production P-51D airplanes delivered to the USAAF preceded only by the lone prototype P-51D and the two service test NA-106 P-51D-1-NA airplanes.

P-51D-1-NA Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-110

Original Date: 23 April 1943

Ten days after NAA initiated its NA-109 programme, it commenced its NA-110 programme at the behest of the Australian Government that wanted to procure 100 P-51D airplanes for its Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Under the Lend-Lease programme and USAAF contract number AC 389, the Inglewood, California, production facility produced 100 P-51D-1-NA airplane kits for delivery by sea to Australia where they were assembled by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation for delivery to the RAAF. No USAAF serial numbers were issued to these airplanes and NAA assigned the factory number 110-34386 to 110-34485. These 100 unassembled airplane kits were shipped onboard a freighter in special crates holding fuselage, wing, tail and engine assemblies.

P-51C-10-NT, P-51C-11-NT, P-51D-5-NT, P-51D-20-NT, P-51K-1-NT, P-51K-5-NT, P-51K-10-NT and P-51K-15-NT Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-111

Original Date: 3 May 1943

Under USAAF contract number AC 40063, approved on 21 July 1943 by the US War Department, NAA’s Dallas, Texas plant built 200 P-51D-5-NT airplanes. On 5 November 1943, the contract was amended to include another 369 P-51D-NT airplanes for a total of 569 built. 272 P-51C-10-NTs, 128 P-51C-11-NTs for a total of 400 built and 1,337 P-51K-NTs built. It also produced 31 F-6Ds and 163 F-6Ks (which see under F-6D and F-6K production elsewhere in appendices). These were the first factory-built photographic reconnaissance Mustangs built in Dallas. The NA-111 programme was a mishmash that produced 2,500 Mustangs in five variants all built in Dallas, Texas. Excluding the F-6D and F-6K variants discussed under F-6D and F-6K below, three of these variants are as follows:

30

P-51C-10-NT

(44-10753 to 44-10782)

35

P-51C-11-NT

(44-10783 to 44-10817)

35

P-51C-10-NT

(44-10818 to 44-10852)

6

P-51C-11-NT

(44-10853 to 44-10858)

177

P-51C-10-NT

(44-10859 to 44-11035)

87

P-51C-11-NT

(44-11036 to 44-11122)

30

P-51C-10-NT

(44-11123 to 44-11152)

200

P-51D-5-NT

(44-11153 to 44-11352)

167

P-51D-20-NT

(44-12853 to 44-13019)

91

P-51D-20-NT

(44-13040 to 44-13130)

40

P-51D-20-NT

(44-13141 to 44-13180)

71

P-51D-20-NT

(44-13182 to 44-13252)

200

P-51K-1-NT

(44-11353 to 44-11552)

1

P-51K-5-NT

(44-11553)

342

P-51K-5-NT

(44-11555 to 44-11896)

40

P-51K-10-NT

(44-11953 to 44-11992)

207

P-51K-10-NT

(44-12009 to 44-12215)

221

P-51K-10-NT

(44-12238 to 44-12458)

51

P-51K-10-NT

(44-12472 to 44-12522)

18

P-51K-10-NT

(44-12535 to 44-12552)

200

P-51K-15-NT

(44-12553 to 44-12752)

57

P-51K-15-NT

(44-12753 to 44-12809)

P-51D-NA Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-112

Original Date: 7 May 1943

This was a cancelled order for 2,000 P-51D airplanes to be built in Inglewood that was transferred to the NA-109 programme.

Ten NA-124 TP-51D-25-NT tandem-seat Mustangs were built in Dallas: 44-84610, 44-84611 and 45-11443 to 45-11450. These were used primarily for pilot training and transition flights, VIP trips and hack (taxi) duties. Shown here is the only known TEMCO-modified TF-51D (44-84658), ‘Friendly Ghost’, flown by the late John MacGuire, founder of the War Eagles Air Museum. (War Eagles Air Museum via Terry L. Sunday)

P-51H Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-117

Original Date: 10 August 1943

According to official NAA documentation, the NA-117 Charge Number was originally assigned to a production programme whereby 2,500 P-51H airplanes would have been manufactured in Inglewood, California. On 10 August 1943, however, according to NAA documentation, this production programme was cancelled. It was transferred to the P-51H (NA-126) production programme that is fully described in Part 8 of this reference.

P-51D-20-NA, P-51D-25-NA and P-51D-30-NA Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-122

Original Date: 11 March 1944

Under USAAF contract number AC 2378, approved on 7 June 1944 by the US War Department, NAA built 1,000 P-51D-20-NA (44-63160 to 44-64159) airplanes, 600 P-51D-20-NA airplanes (44-72027 to 44-72626), 1,600 P-51D-25-NA airplanes (44-72627 to 44-74226) and 800 P-51D-30-NA airplanes (44-74227 to 44-75026) for a total of 4,000 NA-122 P-51D airplanes at Inglewood. These were identical to the NA-109 P-51D airplanes but featured enhancements with new equipment installations such as improved radio and navigation systems. These were also the last Inglewood-built P-51D airplanes. It is interesting to note that another 1,000 Inglewood-built P-51D airplanes (44-75027 to 44-76026), most likely block 30s or 35s, were ordered but cancelled.

P-51D-25-NT Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-124

Original Date: 14 April 1944

On 30 June 1944, USAAF contract number AC 2400 was approved by the US War Department for the manufacture of 1,001 NA-124 airplanes at Dallas, Texas, in the order as follows:

119

P-51D-25-NT

(44-84390 to 44-84508)

25

P-51D-25-NA

(44-84541 to 44-84565)

43

P-51D-25-NT

(44-84567 to 44-84609)

161

P-51D-25-NT

(44-84612 to 44-84772)

46

P-51D-25-NT

(44-84789 to 44-84834)

134

P-51D-25-NT

(44-84856 to 44-84989)

From out of the NA-124 production programme then, seventy F-6D-25-NT and two TP-51D-25-NT airplanes were built (which see under F-6D and TP-51D production). Then, on 21 September 1944, this official contract (AC 2400) was amended to include additional NA-124 airplanes under Fiscal Year 1945 as follows:

100

P-51D-25-NT

(45-11343 to 45-11442)

92

P-51D-25-NT

(45-11451 to 45-11542)

112

P-51D-30-NT

(45-11543 to 45-11654)

53

P-51D-30-NT

(45-11690 to 45-11742)

An F-6D-30-NT (45-11660) at Patterson Field in Fairborn, Ohio, in November 1945. (Photograph by William T. Larkins)

From out of the foregoing production run, a further eight TP-51D-25-NT airplanes and 35 F-6D-30-NT airplanes were produced. Thus, 720 P-51D-25-NT and 165 P-51D-30-NT airplanes were built in Dallas. The remaining 116 airplanes were completed as F-6D-25-NT, F-6D-30-NT and TP-51D-25-NT aircraft. The 1,001st airplane was completed as the one-of-a-kind P-51M-1-NT (45-11743) (which see under P-51M production).

P-51E-NT Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-111

Original Date: 3 May 1943

The P-51E Mustang variant was to be the Dallas-built P-51D airplane, but these became NA-111 P-51K airplanes discussed below.

P-51K-NT Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-111

Original Date: 3 May 1943

Dallas built 1,337 P-51K airplanes and 163 F-6Ks under NA-111 for a total production run of 1,500 K-series airplanes. These were delivered as: one P-51K-1-NT, 343 P-51K-5-NT, 537 P-51K-10-NT and 257 P-51K-15-NT; one F-6K-1-NT, 56 F-6K-5-NT, 63 F-6K-10-NT and 43 F-6K-15-NT.

P-51H-1-NA, P-51H-5-NA and P-51H-10-NA Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-126

Original Date: 26 April 1944

When the USAAF contract for the Lightweight Mustang prototypes was officially approved on 20 July 1943 (contract number AC 37857), it called for the production of three XP-51F and two XP-51G airplanes. It also indicated that an additional two aircraft – 43-43337 and 43-43338 – were ordered but cancelled. And since the two XP-51J Lightweight Mustang prototypes were assigned USAAF serial numbers 44-76027 and 44-76028, it seems likely that serial numbers 43-43337 and 43-43338 could have been temporarily applied to two XP-51H airplanes. There is, however, no official documentation to support this author’s theory. Still, it seems odd that while the Lightweight Mustang prototype programme was in progress, the P-51H airplane programme suddenly appeared without ever having gone through a prototyping stage of development. Moreover, if one looks at the NAA programme start dates of 2 January 1943 for NA-105, 10 August 1943 for NA-117 and 26 April 1944 for NA-126, they imply that one of the Merlin engine-powered Lightweight Mustang prototypes – either the XP-51F or XP-51G – served as the prototype for the P-51H airplane. And since it was the XP-51G that featured the Rolls-Royce RM.14.SM Merlin engine that evolved into the Packard-built V-1650-9 Merlin engine (that powered the P-51H), it appears to this author that it was indeed the XP-51G that was the prototype P-51H.

In-flight comparison of a P-51H-5-NA (44-64191) and a P-51D-30-NA (44-75021) showing the very similar profiles they shared c. mid-1945. (USAF via Historian Dr. Stephanie M. Smith - Air Force Flight Test Center History Office)

In all, NAA produced 555 P-51H Mustangs out of an order for 1,000 airplanes (44-64160 to 44-64714) under USAAF contract number AC 1752. These included 20 P-51H-1-NA, 280 P-51H-5-NA and 255 P-51H-10-NA. The remaining 445 NA-126 airplanes (44-64715 to 44-65159) were cancelled. (See Part 8 for full details.)

P-51D-NA Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-127

Original Date: 22 August 1944

According to official NAA documentation, Charge Number NA-127 (dated 22 August 1944) was cancelled. It had been for the production of 1,400 P-51D airplanes and, under USAAF contract number AC 3449, was transferred to the NA-126 (P-51H) production programme.

P-51L-NT Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-129

Original Date: unknown

The USAAF ordered 900 P-51L Mustangs under NAA Charge Number NA-129 to be built in Dallas, Texas. These were assigned USAAF serial numbers 44-91104 to 44-92003, but this production programme was cancelled before any P-51L-NT airplanes were built.

P-51M-1-NT Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-124

Original Date: 14 April 1944

On 21 September 1944, the US War Department amended USAAF contract AC 2400 for the production of additional Dallas-built NA-124 Mustangs to total 1,001 as follows: 100 P-51D-25-NT, 45-11343 to 45-11442; eight TP-51D-25-NT, 45-11443 to 45-11450; 92 P-51D-25-NT, 45-11451 to 45-11542; 112 P-51D-30-NT, 45-11543 to 45-11654; 35 F-6D-30-NT, 45-11655 to 45-11689; 53 P-51D-30-NT, 45-11690 to 45-11742; and a single P-51M-1-NT, 45-11743. Subsequent to this order, 999 follow-on P-51M airplanes with the assigned USAAF serial numbers 45-11744 to 45-12742 were cancelled. This order was follow-on to the previous order for 600 Dallas-built NA-124 Mustangs (1,001 in all) on 30 June 1944 as previously described under P-51D (NA-124) above.

By 31 August 1945, all 1,001 of these Mustangs – including the one-of-a-kind P-51M – were to have been completed, accepted and delivered to the USAAF.

The unique P-51M, powered by a Packard-built Rolls-Royce Merlin engine designated V-1650-9A, was to be the 1,001st and last NA-124 built – to be created from the last P-51D-30-NT built to be exact. Or was it? There remains no documented evidence that the P-51M was ever completed or flown. Yet, officially, it was ordered and was to be built. Whether it actually was built remains a mystery. It also remains unclear as to why the P-51M carried the NA-124 classification instead of its own NA-number. There are a few photographs of the last Dallas-built P-51D-30-NA (45-11742) in existence, but none showing the one of P-51M (45-11743), NAA factory serial number 124-48496.

Supposedly, the mysterious P-51M was to be the Dallas-built version of the Inglewood-built P-51H Lightweight Mustang, but once more, documented proof of this is non-existent. Moreover, since it was to be created from the last P-51D-30-NT built, how could it be completed as a look-alike P-51H airplane? In any event, the V-1650-9A engine was to produce 1,380hp at take-off and a war emergency rating of around 2,000 hp. It was very similar to the V-1650-9 but did not have the water-methanol (methyl alcohol) injection system. This engine change would have given the elusive P-51M a lower altitude combat capability as well.

So, was the P-51M truly built and flown? If so, it will be most interesting to discover when it was completed, who the pilot was and the date of its first flight. And more importantly, its final place of rest.

The cancelled 999 P-51M-NT airplanes were assigned USAAF serial numbers 45-11744 to 45-12742, NAA factory serial numbers 124-48497 to 124-49495.

US Navy Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-133

Original Date: Autumn 1944

It is a rare occasion when an air force buys a front line navy combat airplane and vice versa. But this has indeed happened throughout their friendly rivalry. The US Navy had showed a great deal of interest in the development of the Mustang and evaluated several borrowed variants for possible use as an aircraft carrier-based fighter with appropriate modifications – six in all. These Mustangs were primarily evaluated at Naval Air Station Patuxent River (PAX River) in Maryland and several other air fields as well. These included:

P-51-2-NA, USAAF serial number 41-37426, USN BuAer serial number 57987

P-51C-1-NT, USAAF serial number 42-102987, USN BuAer serial number – none assigned

P-51D-5-NA, USAAF serial number 44-14017, USN BuAer serial number – none assigned; re-designated ETF-51D for Project Seahorse

P-51D-25-NT, USAAF serial number 44-84900, USN BuAer serial number – none assigned

P-51H-5-NA, USAAF serial number 44-64420, USN BuAer serial number – none assigned

P-51H-5-NA, USAAF serial number 44-64192, USN BuAer serial number 09064

Businesses are established for the sole purpose of generating money. To do this, they must continue to develop their bestselling products and improve upon them for continued sales. These businesses must also look continuously for new customers to sell their products. It was no different for NAA during its Mustang production programme. With this in mind, knowing its Mustang product was sound with several customers already on tap, it approached the US Navy (USN) Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer) early on to see if it had any interest in the procurement of a Mustang derivative suitable for operations aboard its fleet of aircraft carriers. However, the USN was already taking a hard look at the Mustang.

One of these P-51D airplanes, a P-51D-5-NA (44-14017) re-designated ETF-51D, was extensively tested during Project Seahorse. USN Lt. Robert M. ‘Bob’ Elder was in charge of the programme. The airplane was based at Mustin Field near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from where it underwent carrier qualifications or CARQUALS during September and October 1944. These tests, all flown by Elder, included 150 simulated launches and recoveries from a special runway at Mustin Field during September and October 1944. The ETF-51D was then transferred to the USS Shangri-La (CVA-38) off the coast of Virginia upon which it made its first carrier landing on 15 November. On that same day, Elder made three more launches and landings – all successful. Another twenty-one launches and recoveries were successfully accomplished during Project Seahorse.

One would think that the biggest problem with fielding carrier-based Mustangs would have been over-the-nose visibility. But according to Bob Elder, ‘...the forward visibility was good and never gave me any problems. In fact, fighters with radial engines such as the F4U and F6F were worse than the Mustang in that respect.’

NAA took its first production NA-91 P-51 (41-37320) and modified it to carry two Fairchild K-24 aerial cameras, one behind the pilot’s seat and the other inside the lower aft fuselage on the same side of the plane. This airplane was then re-designated P-51-1-NA and was essentially the prototype F-6A. (NAA via RetroMechanix.com)

Then, in late 1944, at the behest of the USN, NAA initiated its NA-133 programme to design and develop a navalised P-51H for operations aboard aircraft carriers. The NA-133 airplane featured beefier landing gear, an arresting hook, provision for wingtip-mounted auxiliary fuel tanks and folding wings. Its propulsive system was a Packard-built V-1650-11 Merlin engine spinning a four-bladed, 11-ft-diameter propeller and its armament was identical to that of a USAAF P-51H. It measured 33 ft 2 in. long, 12 ft 6½ in. high with a wing span of 37 ft 5/16 in.

The USN was already satisfied with its primary carrier-based fighter: the F6F Hellcat. But one of its more promising fighters, the upcoming F4U Corsair, was not available when NAA first approached the USN with its operational Mustang in late 1942. The USN knew the Mustang was fast becoming a fighter to be reckoned with and showed much interest in it.

If these trials had been 100 per cent successful, a proposed carrier-based version of the P-51H under NA-133 just might have been procured. Further, since the island of Iwo Jima had been captured and transformed into a launching pad for the VLR P-51D and P-51K Mustangs, a very large aircraft carrier if you will, there was no need to field carrier-based Mustangs.

In the end at least seven Mustangs had joined the US Navy, but these had been supplied by the USAAF and not NAA. Of course, NAA had hoped to produce its navalised P-51H in large numbers, but it was not be.

P-51D-NT and P-51E-NT Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-138

Original Date: 26 January 1945

On 26 January 1945, USAAF contract AC 8387 was terminated. It had originally called for the production of 629 P-51D and P-51E airplanes to be built in Dallas, Texas. It remains unclear as to how many of each type would have been built and what block numbers might have been assigned to them. It is known, however, that the P-51E designation was fleeting and was replaced by the P-51K designation. Therefore, though it was reserved by NAA, the P-51E designation was never officially assigned to the Mustang programme.

P-51H Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-139

Original Date: 26 January 1945

USAAF contract number AC 8389 called for the production of 2,500 P-51H airplanes that would have been built in Inglewood, California. On 26 January 1945, however, this contract was cancelled outright.

F-6A-1-NA and F-6A-2-NA Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-91

Original Date: 7 July 1941

Out of the 148 NA-91 P-51 airplanes built in Inglewood, one airplane (41-37327) was modified with the installation of two K-24 cameras, one behind the pilot’s seat pointed to the left rear of the airplane and one mounted in the tail section to be pointed by the pilot straight down or straight aft.

Another fifty-four of the P-51 airplanes were so modified but at modification centres rather than at the factory. These were originally designated as P-51-1-NA and P-51-2-NA airplanes, but were re-designated F-6A-1-NA and F-6A-2-NA.

Another view but also shows the details of the P-51 instrument panel. (NAA via RetroMechanix.com)

F-6B-1-NA Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-99

Original Date: 23 June 1942

Originally designated P-51A-11-NA, 35 F-6B-1-NA airplanes were created from P-51A-10-NA airplanes. Equipped with two K-24 cameras, the F-6Bs served primarily with the 107th and 109th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadrons of the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group of the 8th Air Force based at RAF Middle Wallop in Great Britain. This group was later deployed to France with the 9th Air Force at Le Molay in July of 1944.

F-6C-NA and F-6C-NT Mustang

NAA Charge Number

Original Date: TBC

The F-6C photo-recce Mustangs were created from modified P-51B-10-NA and P-51C-10-NT airplanes, ninety-one in all, from seventy-one P-51Bs and twenty P-51Cs.

F-6D-25-NT and F-6D-30-NT Mustang 

Charge Number NA-124

Original Date: 14 April 1944

Under the NA-124 P-51D production programme, USAAF contract number AC 2400, Dallas manufactured seventy F-6D-25-NT and thirty-five F-6D-30-NT airplanes in the order as follows:

32

F-6D-25-NT

(44-84509 to 44-84540)

1

F-6D-25-NT

(44-84566)

16

F-6D-25-NT

(44-84773 to 44-84788)

21

F-6D-25-NT

(44-84835 to 44-84855)

35

F-6D-30-NT

(45-11655 to 45-11689)

Total: 105 F-6D-25-NT and F-6D-30-NT airplanes

F-6D-20-NT Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-111

Original Date: 3 May 1943

NAA produced thirty-one factory-built F-6D-20-NT airplanes at its Dallas, Texas, facility as part of its NA-111 programme under USAAF contract number AC 40063, officially implemented on 5 November 1943. These were manufactured as follows:

20

F-6D-20-NT

(44-13020 to 44-13039)

10

F-6D-20-NT

(44-13131 to 44-13140)

1

F-6D-20-NT

(44-13181)

Total:

31 F-6D-20-NTs

 

F-6K-5-NT, F-6K-10-NT and F-6K-15-NT Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-111

Original Date: 3 May 1943

Under USAAF contract number AC 40063, approved on 21 July 1943, NAA built 163 F-6K airplanes on its Dallas, Texas, production line. These included:

1

F-6K-5-NT

(44-11554)

56

F-6K-5-NT

(44-11897 to 44-11952)

16

F-6K-10-NT

(44-11993 to 44-12008)

22

F-6K-10-NT

(44-12216 to 44-12237)

13

F-6K-10-NT

(44-12459 to 44-12471)

12

F-6K-10-NT

(44-12523 to 44-12534)

43

F-6K-15-NT

(44-12810 to 44-12852)

Total: 163 F-6K-5-NT, F-6K-10-NT and F-6K-15-NT airplanes

TP-51D-25-NT Mustang

NAA Charge Number NA-124

Original Date: 14 April 1944

Ten tandem-seat, two-place TP-51D airplanes were manufactured in Dallas, Texas, under the NA-124 P-51D production programme. Under USAAF contract number AC 2400, these included two TP-51D-25-NT airplanes (44-84610 and 44-84611) and an additional eight TP-51D-25-NT airplanes (45-11443 to 45-11450).

Post-War Mustang Variants

A large contingent of Mustangs remained in service after the Second World War initially as first-line fighters and their ranks were primarily filled with P-51D, TP-51D, F-6D, P-51H, TP-51H, P-51K and F-6K airplanes. These became second-line fighters, however, as new turbojet fighters began to enter service. And when the 11 June 1948 reclassification was put into effect where P for Pursuit became F for Fighter, these primary Mustang aircraft respectively became: F-51D, RF-51D, TF-51D, F-51H, TF-51H, F-51K and RF-51K. (Refer to Part 9: Post-War Mustangs.)

Summary

NAA produced a grand total of 15,586 Mustangs at both its Inglewood, California, and Dallas, Texas, facilities. These included the prototype NA-73X, the NA-73 and NA-83 Mustang Mark I, the P-51D for Australia, and the XP-51, P-51, Mustang Mark IA, A-36, P-51A, Mustang Mark II, XP-51B, P-51B, P-51C, Mustang Mark III, XP-51D, P-51D, F-6D, TP-51D, Mustang Mark IV, XP-51F, XP-51G, P-51H, XP-51J, P-51K, F-6K, Mustang Mark IVA and P-51M. Only the F-6D and F-6K photo-recce airplanes were factory built. The F-6A, F-6B and F-6C airplanes were not factory built but created within various modification centres. If the war had raged on, NAA was planning to build Mustangs at its Kansas City, Kansas, facility.

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