FYI September 26 & 27, 2016

The WASPs flew Mustangs
P-51 Mustang Pilot Report
by Dudley Henriques
Past President (1971-1985),
International Fighter Pilots Fellowship

The P-51D, which I flew, was a very straightforward airplane in every way. By that I mean it wasn’t difficult to fly or hard to handle, as long as you remembered a few basic things. First and foremost, you never forgot for a minute that it could bite hard if you got careless. There are lots of airplanes that will let you have another chance if you get ham-handed. The -51, in certain areas of her envelope, wasn’t one of them.  I remember telling everyone I ever checked out in the Mustang to take it up high, lower the gear and flaps, then back it off to about 15 inches with the prop up to 3 grand… slow it down easy to about 130 mph… then SLAM in 61 inches fast. The resulting torque roll might have helped save a few lives on full power go-arounds. None of my guys ever “torqued one in” anyway…

 

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