|This page is about the American fighter P-51A. For other versions, see P-51 (Family).|
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.
"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
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 550||< 230||< 550||> 360|
Survivability and armour
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.
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
|Not controllable|| Controllable
Auto control available
| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Auto control available
|Combined|| Not controllable
|I||Fuselage Repair||Radiator||Offensive 12 mm|
|III||Wings Repair||Engine||New 12 mm MGs|
|This is a premium vehicle: all modifications are unlocked on purchase|
Pros and cons
- 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 lockup at highspeeds
- Hard to wingrip
- Not very manoeuvrable
- Only four Browning HMGs
- Fast engine overheating
- No payload options
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|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|
|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|
|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|
|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-40F-10|
|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|
|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|
|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||F4U-4B VMF-214 · Thach's F2A-1 · Galer's F3F-2 · 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 · 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|