Allison-Engined P-51 Mustang
By Martyn Chorlton
This 64 page book is the first in the Air Vanguard Series of Books available from Osprey Publishing.
While the most popular and widely flown P-51’s were the Merlin engined Mustangs with the bubble-canopied, credit must be given to the Allison-engined variants that preceded it. From the beginning of the Mustangs development in early 1940 it was noted that a rapid design was needed for a fighter at that time. By early 1942 Allison-engined Mustangs were in service with the RAF flying low-level reconnaissance.
This book is divided into major sections beginning with the planes design and development through to a Conclusion which briefly discusses the planes impact. The sections of this book are:
- Design and Development
- The NA-73X – Birth of a Legend
- NAA designs and builds a fighter
- The RAF Order
- The USAAF shows interest
- Enter the P-51A (NA-99)
- Reconnaissance birds, the F-6A and F-6B
- Tech Specifications
- The NA-73X
- Aircraft technical data – Allison-powered Mustangs
- Operational History
- RAF service begins
- Dieppe and first blood
- “A” for Attack! – The A-36A into combat
- P-51 in combat
- Down and dirty with the 1st Air Command Group (ACG)
- Rhubarbs, Rangers and Populars
- D-Day, RAF Operations
- A host of units
- Further Reading
One of the really nice features that are included with this book is a pullout on the back cover pages. This pullout displays an exploded view of an RAF North American Mustang MK IA (P-51 (NA-91)). On this exploded view the various sections of the plane are defined which adds an even more definitive look at this extraordinary airplane.
This is an excellent way to begin a new series of books which will be called Air Vanguard. By devoting the book to one of the most popular airplanes of all time, they are assured of excellent sales. The book contains a large number of pictures and drawings illustrating this plane. A book on this subject can be useful to the wargamer, historian, anyone with a passing interest in the subject, but especially for the modeler because of the detailed information provided. The addition of the planes exploded view provides an interesting touch that increases the usefulness of Air Vanguard #1.