P-51A

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VTOL | Rank 5 USA
AV-8A Harrier Pack
This page is about the American fighter P-51A. For other versions, see P-51 (Family).
P-51A
p-51a_tl.png
GarageImage P-51A.jpg
360://https://wiki.warthunder.com/images/8/8c/Cockpit_p-51a_tl.jpg
P-51A
AB RB SB
3.0 3.0 3.0
Show in game

Description

The P-51A Mustang is a premium gift rank II American fighter with a battle rating of 3.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was a special vehicle offered during the 2015 Thunder League as a reward for completing five Air challenges. The P-51A TL comes with a high-powered engine and with four 12.7 mm Browning machine guns.

A faster, but lesser armed successor to the P-51, best used as air-superiority fighter utilizing BnZ tactics. The A-36 is the up-gunned attacker variant featuring ground ordnance.

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 3 169 m668 km/h
Turn time20 s
Max altitude9 500 m
EngineAllison V-1710-81
TypeInline
Cooling systemWater
Take-off weight5 t

"The Need for Speed" is a worthy credo for all Mustangs. This initial iteration boasts a significant speed advantage over all Rank II aircraft, but sacrifices are obvious. On the upside, the good maximum velocity greatly benefits the energy retention coming out of dives and for staying out of trouble.

This version features the Allison V-1710-81 Engine with improved performance at altitude at a small cost to horsepower output on the ground. However it is also, by a small margin, the lightest variant and more aerodynamic, off-setting this loss.

Manoeuvrability is nothing to write home about (except roll-rate), especially without speed to burn. The control surfaces lock up at high speeds which makes the Mustang a comparatively agile fighter when initiating combat, but this is quickly lost. Fortunately the combat flaps have a very high speed tolerance and greatly benefit it in dogfights. Overall the P-51 likes to bleed speed in manoeuvres and the lost energy cannot be easily regained. For another downside is the sluggish acceleration which further causes a low rate of climb. Managing both disadvantage is the Ace's true skill for this elite Boom and Run fighter. However this is for an altitude range up to 4,000 m (13,000 ft). High altitude performance suffers which in combat, due the slow climb rate, is rarely reached anyway.

Thus all engagements, may they be Boom & Zoom or Boom & Run style, should be performed below said altitudes.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 3,170 m)
Max altitude
(metres)
Turn time
(seconds)
Rate of climb
(metres/second)
Take-off run
(metres)
AB RB AB RB AB RB
Stock 627 612 9500 21.2 22.0 11.3 11.3 370
Upgraded 712 668 19.1 20.0 26.0 15.7

Details

Features
Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
X X
Limits
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
855 287 652 520 279 ~12 ~6
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 550 < 230 < 550 > 360

Survivability and armour

Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural855 km/h
Gear287 km/h

While the Mustang looks quite defensive on first glance, it is a deceptive one. The fuel tanks are wing-mounted and prone to fires (the D-series has got an inline one). The very small engine cowl plate could just as well be absent. Both issues combined leave many pilots a gliding and/or burning example of why to avoid bomber's defensive fire. The P-51's prime form of defence is speed. As a Boom & Run fighter, avoiding air-drag inducing bullet holes by not getting hit is a far preferable option anyway. Whilst setting up another attack (a.k.a. retreating from combat) the very generous backseat armour will absorb any stray shots. In general the pilot's survivability is great.

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB2 100 Sl icon.png
RB7 100 Sl icon.png
SB2 800 Sl icon.png
Crew training8 100 Sl icon.png
Experts54 000 Sl icon.png
Aces250 Ge icon.png
Research Aces440 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 40 / 140 / 220 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 124 / 124 / 124 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Mods radiator.png
Radiator
Mods compressor.png
Compressor
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Mods new engine.png
Engine
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
Mods armor frame.png
Airframe
Mods armor cover.png
Cover
Mods ammo.png
bmg50_belt_pack
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods weapon.png
bmg50_new_gun

Armaments

Offensive armament

Weapon 14 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun
Ammunition1 260 rounds
Fire rate750 shots/min
Main article: M2 Browning (12.7 mm)

The P-51A is armed with:

  • 4 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, wing-mounted (350 rpg inner + 280 outer = 1,260 total)

In terms of weapons, there aren't many to speak of. Nearly all US fighters from this point on feature at least six M2 Brownings. Thus the burst mass is quite light. A detriment for quick attack passes. Use the tracer belt or the omnipurpose belts, as they contain the most incendiary bullets. For Realistic and Simulator battles the ammo count is quite miniscule, controlled bursts are in order.

Usage in battles

The start of each battle can be quite similar, thus in general proceed as follows: WEP and climb until you are higher than most enemy aircraft. Then proceed to destroy fighters. Do NOT turn fight with any aircraft except for bombers, though the latter is an ill-advised target with the lack of heavy firepower. If someone is on your tail, proceed in a shallow dive. The plane's exceptional top speed should allow it to outrun almost everything. Note that while this Mustang variant features improved high altitude ability, it is still not comparable to true altitude fighters like the MiG-3.

In Arcade Battles the option for in-air reloads may tempt the pilot to spray & pray and dump all the ammunition. However, a more deliberate and aimed approach is often more succesful. Waiting outside a furball or dogfight for the right moment to intercept is key. Due to the lack of climb rate and firepower bombers should not be sought out. In general the P-51 plays akin to the He-100.

In Realistic Battles the combat role is a tricky game. Lacking climb rate and good high altitude performance the Mustang pilot needs to wait for the combat to come down to about 4,000 m (13,000 ft). Climbing should be done away from the expected combat zone (a.k.a. side-climbing) . At this point initial combat should be Boom & Run, utilizing the superior top speed to avoid combat while the enemy is focused on other team mates. Once the hostiles have dropped to a lower altitude Boom & Zooming can be engaged in. With only four HMGs and 1260 rounds, ammo can run sparse after three kills. Keep to 30 min of fuel minimum and returning to base will be a rare occurrence. Overall this is a support fighter, as in the current climbing meta engagements against higher flying interceptor-fighters are often deadly, as the Mustang then lacks the critical ability to choose the time of engagement.

Simulator Battles is where the P-51A truly shines. Flying at top speed with military rated power (100%) keeps the engine cool and enemies usually far away at one's tail. Most of all combat happens slightly below the Mustang's preferred altitude and the cockpit view is great, albeit with limited rearward view. Only the lack of acceleration in prolonged dogfights is a trap that even experienced pilots still fall into. An emergency dive to top speed will however fix this, if the pilot remembered to keep some altitude. And one should, for the greatest advantage is the ability to disengage any unfavourable battle and like with many things, the early Mustangs do not disappoint.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Not controllable Controllable
Auto control available
Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Controllable
Auto control available
Combined Not controllable
1 gear
Not controllable

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Extremely fast in level flight or in a dive
  • Gets access to the late-war .50 cal belts
  • Awesome looking skin: Lightning strips and red (magenta) make it go faster
  • Little lock-up at highspeeds
  • Hard to wingrip

Cons:

  • Not very manoeuvrable
  • Only four Browning HMGs
  • Fast engine overheating
  • No payload options

History

Development

The US Army placed an order for 1,200 P-51A Mustangs (designated as NA-99 by North American) in August 1942. The P-51A was the highest performing fighter aircraft of the US Army Air Force (USAAF) at the time, when below 22,000 feet. The P-51A Mustang was an improved version of the P-51 Mustang.

Design

The P-51A was powered by the Allison V-1710-81 engine, rated at 1,200 hp. The V-1710-81 had increased power when compared to the V-1710-39 which was used by the earlier P-51. A 3-bladed Curtiss 10 feet 6 inch propeller. This gave the P-51A a top speed of 390 mph at 22,000 feet and a service ceiling of 31,500 feet.

Unlike the A-36 Apache variant of the Mustang, the P-51A was designed purely as a fighter rather than as a ground attack aircraft. As such, no dive brakes were fitted. Two under-wing pylons were mounted with the capability of carrying bombs or drop tanks. The maximum weight of the P-51A was an increased 10,600 lbs, while the average load was 8,600 lbs.

On internal fuel only, the P-51A had a range of 750 miles at 300 mph. With two 125 gallon drop tanks mounted the range was increased to 2,000 miles (while at reduced power).

Testing and Production

The P-51A first flew in February 1943, with deliveries beginning in March of the same year. They were delivered with olive drab paint on the upper portions and grey paint on the underside.

Because of the introduction of Merlin-powered Mustangs, the order of 1,200 P-51A was cancelled after only 310 were completed. Of the 310 P-51As, 50 were given to the RAF as the Mustang Mk II and 35 were converted to the F-6B unarmed reconnaissance variant. The combat variants spanned from the P-51A-1-NA to the P-51A-10-NA. The serials were 43-6003 through 43-6312.

Service

The P-51A was used heavily in the China/Burma/India theater (CBI), seeing service until 1945 - long after improved variants had entered service.

Media

Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links


North American Aviation
Fighters  P-51 · P-51A · P-51C-10 · P-51D-5 · P-51D-10 · P-51D-20-NA · P-51D-30 · P-51H-5-NA · F-82E
Attackers  A-36
  PBJ-1H · PBJ-1J
Bombers  B-25J-1 · B-25J-20
Jet Fighters  FJ-4B · FJ-4B VMF-232
  F-86A-5 · F-86F-2 · F-86F-25 · F-86F-35
  F-100D
Export / Licence  ␗B-25J-30 · ▂B-25J-30
  ▄Mustang Mk IA · ␗P-51D-20 · J26 · ␗P-51K
  ␗F-86F-30 · F-86F-30 ▅ · F-86F-40 ▅ · F-86F-40 JASDF▅ · ␗F-86F-40 · ▀F-86K · ▄F-86K (Italy) · ▄F-86K (France)
  ␗F-100A · ▄F-100D
  The North American Aviation allowed Canadair Limited to license-build the F-86 as the CL-13 for use in Canada and to export to Europe.
  The North American Aviation allowed Fiat to license-build the F-86K for the Italian Air Force though another 120 NAA built F-86Ks were also sold to the Italians.
See Also  Mitsubishi Heavy Industries · Canadair Limited · Fiat Aviation

USA fighters
P-26 Peashooter  P-26A-33 · P-26A-34 · P-26A-34 M2 · P-26B-35
P-36 Hawk  P-36A · Rasmussen's P-36A · P-36C · P-36G
P-39 Airacobra  P-400 · P-39N-0 · P-39Q-5
P-40  P-40C · P-40E-1 · P-40E-1 TD · P-40F-10
P-43 Lancer  P-43A-1
P-47 Thunderbolt  P-47D-22 RE · P-47D-25 · P-47D-28 · P-47M-1-RE · ⋠P-47M-1-RE · P-47N-15
P-51 Mustang  P-51 · P-51A (Thunder League) · P-51C-10 · P-51D-5 · P-51D-10 · P-51D-20-NA · P-51D-30 · P-51H-5-NA
P-63 Kingcobra  P-63A-5 · P-63A-10 · P-63C-5 · ␠Kingcobra
Prototypes  XP-55
F2A Buffalo  F2A-1 · Thach's F2A-1 · F2A-3
F3F  F3F-2 · Galer's F3F-2
F4F Wildcat  F4F-3 · F4F-4
F4U Corsair  F4U-1A · F4U-1A (USMC) · F4U-1D · F4U-1C · F4U-4 · F4U-4B · F4U-4B VMF-214 · F2G-1
F6F Hellcat  F6F-5 · F6F-5N
F8F Bearcat  F8F-1 · F8F-1B
Other countries  ▃Ki-43-II · ▃Ki-61-Ib · ▃A6M2 · ▃Bf 109 F-4 · ▃Fw 190 A-8 · ▃Spitfire LF Mk IXc

USA premium aircraft
Fighters  Thach's F2A-1 · Galer's F3F-2 · F2G-1 · F4U-4B VMF-214 · P-26A-34 · P-40C · P-43A-1
  P-47M-1-RE · ⋠P-47M-1-RE · P-51A · P-51D-10 · P-51D-20-NA · ␠Kingcobra · XP-55
  ▃A6M2 · ▃Ki-43-II · ▃Ki-61-Ib · ▃Bf 109 F-4 · ▃Fw 190 A-8 · ▃Spitfire LF Mk IXc
Twin-engine fighters  XP-38G · Bong's P-38J-15 · P-38K · YP-38 · P-61A-1 · XF5F · XP-50 · F7F-3
Jet fighters  P-59A · AV-8A · F-86F-35 · F-89B · F-89D
Attackers  A2D-1 · AU-1 · XA-38
Bombers  A-26C-45DT · B-10B · BTD-1 · PBM-3 "Mariner" · PV-2D