6
$\begingroup$

How many different versions of the P-51 Mustang DFF are there?

$\endgroup$
2
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This seems somewhat broad; any number of P-51 tail variations any of us have seen will of course not include any we haven't, but that still exist. The only correct answer will involve a thorough audit of every batch of P-51s North American ever produced, which is not only way more work than could reasonably be expected for this site, it may well be impossible if there are no present-day examples of any given production run that had a particular dorsal strake variation. $\endgroup$
    – KeithS
    Aug 27, 2015 at 15:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'll give it a shot though... :) $\endgroup$
    – KeithS
    Aug 27, 2015 at 15:48

2 Answers 2

7
$\begingroup$

A quick search of Google Images seems to show only three major variations on the tail for production P-51 variants:

Razorback (all P-51A, B, and C variants; no dorsal strake and a higher rear fuselage line):

enter image description here

Bubble canopy without the strake (seen on early D-variants)

enter image description here

With the strake (seen on later production D variants, integrated fully into K and H models and retrofitted to earlier Ds, sometimes to the Razorback B/Cs):

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

There is some difference in the prominence and exact shape of the fin fillet as the design continued to be developed; for all B/C/D variants it was a thin piece essentially bolted onto the strakeless frame. For the H variant in the bottom picture, it was integrated more fully into the fairing of the vertical stabilizer.

There's one more I've seen and I'm not sure if there's just the one example, but there is a P-51 "XR" variant, "Precious Metal", with dual counter-rotating props and further aerodynamic refinement, including a fairing behind the modified bubble canopy that narrows into a continuous strake along the aircraft's rear spine:

enter image description here

Other custom racing variants have existed over the years, all heavily modified from USAF production variants.

$\endgroup$
2
  • $\begingroup$ Notice that I answered my OWN question about 4 years after posting it...I've learned a lot since then! :) $\endgroup$ Jul 26, 2019 at 23:21
  • $\begingroup$ The H model has a larger, more prominent tail -- but keeps the dorsal fin. This site mustangsmustangs.net/p-51/variants does a nice job going through variants. The P-82 appears to have the biggest dorsal fin of them all! $\endgroup$ Oct 11, 2023 at 16:58
1
$\begingroup$

P-51D without tail fairing Pictured is the P-51D of my late father in law, Captain Richard W. Dunkin, 325th FG, "Checkertails". His P-51 "Thisizit" did not have the tail fillet as illustrated above in other P-51Ds.

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ The second photo in the other answer already shows a P-51D without the fillet. $\endgroup$
    – Eric S
    Oct 12, 2023 at 1:34

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .