Operation: Western, Central and Eastern
Model: CA-18 Mk.21
Wing Span: 37' 0"
Length: 32' 2"
Height: 13' 8"
Max Speed: 505 mph
Gross Weight: 10,500 lbs
Power Plant: Rolls-Royce Merlin V-1650-7
Fuel Capacity: 184 gallons
Armament: 6 x .50 caliber machine guns
American P51D Mustang "Flying Dutchman"
Steve Craig, of Lawrence, Kansas, is the owner and
operator of this beautifully restored North American P-51D (CAC-18 Mk.21
- 100th Commonwealth Aircraft of Australia built P-51)
Mustang that is available for airshows, flybys and film
throughout the USA.
The P-51 was designed and built by North American
Aviation after the British government approached them to
build P-40 Warhawks under license. North American
believed they could design a better fighter, and the
British government gave them 120 days to prove it. 102
days after the order was placed, the first Mustang was
completed, flying for the first time on October 26,
1940. The prototype and subsequent P-51A utilized the
Allison V-1710 liquid cooled engine. Lacking an
supercharger, the Allison provided insufficient power
for the high-altitude environment the P-51 was designed
to operate in. By replacing the Allison engine with a
Rolls-Royce V-1650 Merlin engine that had a two-stage
supercharger, the necessary power and performance was
gained. The Merlin engine, which was built in the U.S.
under license by the Packard Motor Car Company, was
installed in all further P-51 models from the “B”
through the “H” versions.
The P-51 was the United States supreme
air-superiority fighter in the European Theatre of
Operations (ETO) during WWII. It served as a
fighter-interceptor, Bomber-escort and fighter-bomber.
With the powerful Merlin engine and droppable fuel
tanks, the Mustang was able to penetrate deep into
German territory where no previous Allied fighter had
been able to go. The P-51 could escort bombers to all
but the deepest targets inside Germany. With a fighter
escort, fewer bombers were lost to the Luftwaffe’s
fighters. Reichmarschall Hermann Goering, Supreme
Commander of the Luftwaffe said “ When I saw Mustangs
over Berlin. I knew the war was lost.”
The P-51 was considered by many to be the finest
fighter that the U.S. produced and flew in WWII
accounted for almost half the enemy aircraft destroyed
in Europe by U.S. fighters. The Mustang was equipped
with six .50 caliber machine guns and incorporated the
advanced K-14 lead computing gun sight. The unmistakable
scoop on the underside of the Mustang is the air inlet
for the coolant radiator and oil cooler.
During WWII, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)
operated RAF Mustangs and in 1945 received their first
shipment of 215 D model and 84 K model RAAF P-51s.
Commonwealth Aircraft of Australia also built 200 P-51s
under license from NAA. The Mustang was used by RAAF
pilots in Korea until April 1951.
A combined total of over 15,500 Mustangs were
produced. The greatest number of Mustangs were built as
the “D” model, with over 8,000 built. Today less than
150 Mustangs remain flyable or restorable to flying
Steve's beautifully restored P-51D Mustang is in the
markings of Bob Goebel's "Flying Dutchman" of the 31st
Fighter Group. In September 1944, Bob Goebel made his
last Mustang flight having accumulated 303 hours of
combat flying in 61 missions. He shot down 11 enemy
aircraft and was awarded the Silver Star, the
Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster and
the Air Medal with 17 Oak Leaf Clusters. He had recently
been promoted to the rank of captain at the ripe old age
Bob returned to the U.S. before the war ended, and in
1948, he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in physics.
He also kept his hand on the fighter stick serving as
Commander of the 126th Fighter Squadron in the Wisconsin
Air national Guard; he flew the P-51D Mustang and the
Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star.
In 1950, Bob returned to active duty and served with
the Atomic Energy Commission. He was assigned to the
Gemini Launch Vehicle Directorate for which he oversaw
12 Titan II vehicles as they were being reconfigured
into booster rockets for the Gemini space program. Bob
retired from the Air Force in 1966 with the rank of
Retirement did not prevent Bob from aiming for the
stars: while employed at McDonnell-Douglas, he worked on
the Skylab program. He eventually retired for good and
moved with his family to California, and in 1991, he
wrote a book about his combat flying career titled
"Mustang Ace; Memoirs of a P-51 pilot".
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below if you are interested in contacting
the operator, or representative,
of this Warbird and you require more information for booking this
aircraft at your Airshow