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New Review: North American Aviation P-51B/C & F-6C Yellow Series #6143

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The book opens with the developmental history of the P-51 Mustang. In early 1940, as World War II was developing in Europe, the British approached North American Aviation in about building P-40s for the Royal Air Force under license from the Curtiss-Wright Corporation. North American countered with an offer to design and build an improved fighter aircraft. The next phase of history is well known, as the NA-73 design was accepted by the British and eventually the US Army Air Forces took notice. The original design utilized the same twelve-cylinder Allison engine as the P-40, but the laminar-flow wing and other aerodynamic improvements allowed the new aircraft to fly faster and with great range. However, the Allison-engined P-51A version had weaknesses at higher altitudes so the airframe was modified to use the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine that had proven its value in the British Spitfire. This variant became the P-51B and P-51C models, differentiated only by the suffix based on whether they were built in factories in Inglewood, California or Dallas, Texas.

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