Difference between revisions of "P-51"

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(Flight Performance, Survivability, Armaments, Usage in Battle, Media, minor edits, Updated chart formatting)
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The '''{{Specs|name}}''' is a rank {{Specs|rank}} American fighter {{Battle-rating}}. It was introduced in [[Update 1.49 "Weapons of Victory"]].
 
The '''{{Specs|name}}''' is a rank {{Specs|rank}} American fighter {{Battle-rating}}. It was introduced in [[Update 1.49 "Weapons of Victory"]].
  
The P-51 Mustang retains a lot of the traits that may be found in its later variants. The main difference comes from the limited Allison power plant and its formidable armament of 4 x [[Hispano Mk.II (20 mm)|Hispano Mk.II]] 20 mm cannons. The plane may not climb very well but does retain the traits of an energy fighter. Even with is limited climb rate the aircraft's dive-speed is excellent. The aircraft's manoeuvrability is average at best. The armament is the true advantage of this aircraft. The best way to use the P-51 is for Boom & Zoom. The 20 mm cannons are powerful, but with only 500 rounds do not try to go for more than what the P-51 can handle.
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The P-51 Mustang retains a lot of the traits that may be found in its later variants. The main difference comes from the limited Allison power plant and its formidable armament of 4 x [[Hispano Mk.II (20 mm)|Hispano Mk.II]] 20 mm cannons. The plane may not climb very well but does retain the traits of an energy fighter. Even with is limited climb rate the aircraft's dive-speed is excellent. The aircraft's manoeuvrability is average at best. The armament is the true advantage of this aircraft. The best way to use the P-51 is for [[Boom & Zoom]]. The 20 mm cannons are powerful, but with only 500 rounds do not try to go for more than what the P-51 can handle.
  
The P-51, when fully upgraded, is an extremely deadly opponent, especially as a rank II. The engine will have a hard time hitting the "overheated" mark, even when using WEP. Use caution though, as the engine will retain its heat when constantly on 100% power, so it takes a bit to cool down. Also be sure to utilise the flaps: they are a major asset to the plane's overall turn-fighting ability and sometimes allow it to survive a Russian turn-fight. This is an awesome plane for those just starting out in Realistic Battles, as the 20 mm cannons are good at scoring quick victories.
+
The P-51, when fully upgraded, is an extremely deadly opponent, especially as a rank II. The engine will have a hard time hitting the "overheated" mark, even when using WEP. Use caution though, as the engine will retain its heat when constantly on 100% power, so it takes a bit to cool down. Also be sure to utilise the flaps: They are a major asset to the plane's overall turn-fighting ability and sometimes allow it to survive a Russian turn-fight. This is an awesome plane for those just starting out in Realistic Battles, as the 20 mm cannons are good at scoring quick victories.
  
 
== General info ==
 
== General info ==
=== Flight Performance ===
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=== Flight performance ===
''Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Speed, manoeuvrability, acceleration and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.''
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<!--''Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Speed, manoeuvrability, acceleration and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.''-->
 +
"The Need for Speed" is a worthy credo for all [[P-51 (Family)|Mustangs]]. This initial iteration boasts a significant speed advantage over many [[Category:Third rank aircraft|Rank III]] vehicles, but sacrifices are obvious. On the upside the good maximum velocity greatly benefits the energy retetion coming out of dives and for staying out of trouble.
  
 +
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 & Run|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.
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 +
! rowspan="2" | Characteristics
 +
! colspan="2" | Max Speed<br />(km/h at _,___ m)
 +
! rowspan="2" | Max altitude<br />(meters)
 +
! colspan="2" | Turn time<br />(seconds)
 +
! colspan="2" | Rate of climb<br />(meters/second)
 +
! rowspan="2" | Take-off run<br />(meters)
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="8" | Characteristics
+
! AB !! RB !! AB !! RB !! AB !! RB
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="8" | ''Stock''
+
! Stock
 +
| 591 || 578 || rowspan="2" | 8839 || 21.3 || 22.2 || 8.5 || 8.5 || rowspan="2" | 491
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="2" | Max Speed<br>(km/h at 5,200 m)
+
! Upgraded
! rowspan="2" | Max altitude<br>(meters)
+
| 679 || 631 || 19.6 || 20.0 || 19.9 || 13.1  
! colspan="2" | Turn time<br>(seconds)
 
! colspan="2" | Rate of climb<br>(meters/second)
 
! rowspan="2" | Take-off run<br>(meters)
 
|-
 
! AB
 
! RB
 
! AB
 
! RB
 
! AB
 
! RB
 
|-
 
| 591 || 578 || {{Specs|ceiling}} || 21.3 || 22.2 || 8.5 || 8.5 || 491
 
|-
 
! colspan="8" | ''Upgraded''
 
|-
 
! colspan="2" | Max Speed<br>(km/h at 5,200 m)
 
! rowspan="2" | Max altitude<br>(meters)
 
! colspan="2" | Turn time<br>(seconds)
 
! colspan="2" | Rate of climb<br>(meters/second)
 
! rowspan="2" | Take-off run<br>(meters)
 
|-
 
! AB
 
! RB
 
! AB
 
! RB
 
! AB
 
! RB
 
|-
 
| 679 || 631 || {{Specs|ceiling}} || 19.6 || 20.0 || 19.9 || 13.1 || 491
 
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
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{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="5" | Features
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! colspan="6" | Features
 
|-
 
|-
! Combat flaps
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! Combat flaps !! Take-off flaps !! Landing flaps !! Air brakes !! Arrestor gear !! Drogue chute
! Take-off flaps
 
! Landing flaps
 
! Air brakes
 
! Arrestor gear
 
 
|-
 
|-
| ✓ || ✓ || ✓ || X || X    <!-- ✓ -->
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| ✓ || ✓ || ✓ || X || X || X    <!-- ✓ -->
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
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{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="5" | Limits
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! colspan="7" | Limits
 
|-
 
|-
! rowspan="2" | Wing-break speed<br>(km/h)
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! rowspan="2" | Wings (km/h)
! rowspan="2" | Gear limit<br>(km/h)
+
! rowspan="2" | Gear (km/h)
! rowspan="2" | Combat flaps<br>(km/h)
+
! colspan="3" | Flaps (km/h)
 
! colspan="2" | Max Static G
 
! colspan="2" | Max Static G
 
|-
 
|-
! +
+
! Combat !! Take-off !! Landing !! + !! -
! -
 
 
|-
 
|-
| {{Specs|destruction|constructions}} || {{Specs|destruction|chassis}} || 652 || ~12 || ~6
+
| 845 || 310 || 652 || 565 || 285 || ~12 || ~6
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
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{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="4" | Optimal velocities
+
! colspan="4" | Optimal velocities (km/h)
 
|-
 
|-
! Ailerons<br>(km/h)
+
! Ailerons !! Rudder !! Elevators !! Radiator
! Rudder<br>(km/h)
 
! Elevators<br>(km/h)
 
! Radiator<br>(km/h)
 
 
|-
 
|-
 
| < 600 || < 425 || < 440 || > 325
 
| < 600 || < 425 || < 440 || > 325
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{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="3" | Compressor (RB/SB)
+
! Compressor
|-
 
! colspan="3" | Setting 1
 
|-
 
 
! Optimal altitude
 
! Optimal altitude
 
! 100% Engine power
 
! 100% Engine power
 
! WEP Engine power
 
! WEP Engine power
 
|-
 
|-
 +
! Setting 1
 
| 3,597 m || 1,150 hp || 1,598 hp
 
| 3,597 m || 1,150 hp || 1,598 hp
 
|-
 
|-
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=== Survivability and armour ===
 
=== Survivability and armour ===
 
<!-- ''Examine the survivability of the aircraft. Note how vulnerable the structure is and how secure the pilot is, whether the fuel tanks are armoured, etc. Describe the armour, if there is any, and also mention the vulnerability of other critical aircraft systems.'' -->
 
<!-- ''Examine the survivability of the aircraft. Note how vulnerable the structure is and how secure the pilot is, whether the fuel tanks are armoured, etc. Describe the armour, if there is any, and also mention the vulnerability of other critical aircraft systems.'' -->
* 6.35 mm Steel - Fore cockpit armor plate
+
* 19.5 mm Steel - Upper engine cowl armour plate
* 15.87 mm Steel - Armor plate behind pilot's seat
+
* 6.35 mm Steel - Fore cockpit armour plate
 +
* 15.87 mm Steel - Armour plate behind pilot's seat
 
* 38 mm Bulletproof glass - Armoured windscreen
 
* 38 mm Bulletproof glass - Armoured windscreen
  
 +
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 combine 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 ''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.
 
== Armaments ==
 
== Armaments ==
 
=== Offensive armament ===
 
=== Offensive armament ===
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* 4 x 20 mm Hispano Mk.II cannons, wing-mounted (125 rpg = 500 total)
 
* 4 x 20 mm Hispano Mk.II cannons, wing-mounted (125 rpg = 500 total)
  
 +
Quadrupple Hispanos are devastating: Pressing the trigger will significantly slow down the P-51. Now how is that for firepower? Although this is caused by the too light airframe which further causes vibrations and heavy shaking due the wing mounted position of all arms. Hence the accuracy is appalling after the first shots leave the barrels. Trigger control is important, even more so as the Hispanos like to overheat.
 
== Usage in battles ==
 
== Usage in battles ==
''Describe the tactics of playing in an aircraft, the features of using vehicles in a team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view, but instead, give the reader food for thought. Examine the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).''
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<!-- ''Describe the tactics of playing in an aircraft, the features of using vehicles in a team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view, but instead, give the reader food for thought. Examine the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).'' -->
 +
In an RPG the Mustang would be a rogue, the damage dealer. Quickly darting in and out of combat to deal devastating blows, the P-51 in War Thunder is a DPS main, too. Featured playstyles are [[Boom & Zoom]], repeatedly diving on enemies and returning up high, and [[Boom & Run]], flying into danger zone, picking of a target and retreating, all while running at top speed. Coupled with its manoeuvrability and acceleration deficits, the P-51 punishes any pilot who does not play to its strength, namely the top speed. Only late war or diving aircraft are able to catch a Mustang on the run and for the latter only with the correct timing and plenty of altitude to burn. Maintaining a cool head and areal observation are important. Retreating may look the cowardice choice, but with the speed to disengage many options open up for reversals. Note, do not perform flat turns, but rather slow, deliberate high Yo-Yos or Immelmanns for turning around. A careful approach when leading up for a shot helps in conserving precious momentum, too.
 +
 
 +
In [[Arcade Battles|Arcade mode]] the option for in air reloads may tempt the pilot to spray & pray and dump all the ammunition. However with the inaccuracy issues and the short fire windows a more deliberate approach is necessary. Waiting outside a furball or dogfight for the right moment to intercept is key, as the key role for the Mustang is heavy fire support.  This is especially helpful against armoured Attackers such as the [[Ju 87 (Family)|Stuka]] or [[IL-2 (Family)|IL-2]]. Due the lack of climb rate and poor altitude performance bombers should not be sought out. In general the P-51 plays akin to many [[:Category:Twin-engine fighters|heavy fighters]] in Arcade mode.
 +
 
 +
In [[Realistic Battles]] the combat role is a tricky game. Lacking climb rate and 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) and at 20° with or 14° without WEP. 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 125 rounds per gun the fighter has got plenty of ammo to kill about six vehicles and with 30 min of fuel minimum, 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-51 (NA-91) 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. Without the instructor the manoeuvrability markedly improves in comparison, for the P-51 has got generous stall characteristics and is an overall stable gun platform, as long as one does not pull the trigger. Only the lack of acceleration in prolonged dogfights is a trap many 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===
 
===Manual Engine Control===
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
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! rowspan="2" | Turbocharger
 
! rowspan="2" | Turbocharger
 
|-
 
|-
! Oil
+
! Oil !! Water !! Type
! Water
 
! Type
 
 
|-
 
|-
| Not controllable || rowspan="2" | Controllable<br>Not auto controlled || rowspan="2" | Not controllable<br>Not auto controlled || rowspan="2" | Controllable<br>Not auto controlled || rowspan="2" | Separate || rowspan="2" | Not controllable<br>1 gear || rowspan="2" | Not controllable
+
| Not controllable || Controllable<br>Not auto controlled || Not controllable<br>Not auto controlled || Controllable<br>Not auto controlled || Separate || Not controllable<br>1 gear || Not controllable
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
  
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<div style="position: absolute; left: 150px; top:525px; width: 10px;" align="left">0.34</div>
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<div style="position: absolute; left: 250px; top:525px; width: 10px;" align="left">0.68</div>
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<div style="position: absolute; left: 350px; top:525px; width: 10px;" align="left">1.02</div>
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<div style="position: absolute; left: 450px; top:525px; width: 10px;" align="left">1.36</div>
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<div style="position: absolute; left: 550px; top:525px; width: 10px;" align="left">1.7</div>
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</div>
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<div style="padding:0px; margin:0px; position: relative; width: 527px; height: 60px; background: #f0f0f0; border: solid 1px; font: sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; padding-left: 45px;">
 +
<div style="padding:0px; margin:0px; position: relative; width: 527px; height: 15px; background: #f0f0f0; border: none; font: sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">
 +
<p>Supercharger Stage #1: 100%
 +
</p>
 +
<div style="position: absolute; top:7px; left: 250px; height: 1px; width: 225px; border-bottom: solid 2px rgb(86,180,233);"></div>
 +
<div style="padding:0px; margin:0px; position: relative; width: 527px; height: 15px; background: #f0f0f0; border: none; font: sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">
 +
<p>Supercharger Stage #1: WEP
 +
</p>
 +
<div style="position: absolute; top:7px; left: 250px; height: 1px; width: 225px; border-bottom: dashed 2px rgb(86,180,233);"></div>
 +
</div>
 +
</div>
 +
</div>
 
===Modules===
 
===Modules===
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
! colspan="1" | Tier
+
! Tier
 
! colspan="2" | Flight performance
 
! colspan="2" | Flight performance
! colspan="1" | Survivability
+
! Survivability
! colspan="1" | Weaponry
+
! Weaponry
 
|-
 
|-
 
| I
 
| I
Line 190: Line 254:
 
|}
 
|}
  
* The P-51 Mustang can seem a very underwhelming aircraft at first. The primary module to focus on for early success is the 20 mm Ammo Belts. Ground attack belts will give a more consistent results as an attacker and the Air Target belts can be devastating against flying opponents. After improving the firepower on the aircraft, begin focusing on performance upgrades.
+
The P-51 Mustang can seem a very underwhelming aircraft at first. The primary module to focus on for early success is the 20 mm Ammo Belts. Ground attack belts will give a more consistent results as an attacker and the Air Target belts can be devastating against flying opponents. After improving the firepower on the aircraft, begin focusing on performance upgrades.
  
 
=== Pros and cons ===
 
=== Pros and cons ===
Line 196: Line 260:
  
 
'''Pros:'''
 
'''Pros:'''
 +
* Great performance
 +
** Great dive-speed and acceleration
 +
** High energy retention
 +
** Good performance at high speeds
 +
** Good roll rate
 
* Powerful armament
 
* Powerful armament
* Can easily tackle higher BR foes (AB)
+
** Gains access to British belt load-outs, incl. the devastating air-targets belt
* Great dive-speed and acceleration
+
** Very efficient at destroying bombers
* High energy retention- Good performance at high speeds
 
* Gains access to British belt load-outs, including the devastating air-targets belt
 
* Air target belts are stealth
 
* Very efficient at destroying bombers
 
* Good roll rate
 
* Can be very deadly in the hands of a skilled pilot, especially in AB
 
* Very good choice for beginners to practice the 20 mm Hispano ballistics
 
 
* 20 mm guns on the Mustang are mounted in close proximity, dealing a deadly double punch when hitting
 
* 20 mm guns on the Mustang are mounted in close proximity, dealing a deadly double punch when hitting
 +
* Can easily tackle higher BR foes
 +
* Can be very deadly in the hands of a skilled pilot
 +
  
 
'''Cons:'''
 
'''Cons:'''
* Air target belts are stealth
+
* Mediocre climb rate
 +
* Low maximum altitude
 
* No separate gun control
 
* No separate gun control
 
* No payload options available
 
* No payload options available
 
* Firing guns slows the plane down
 
* Firing guns slows the plane down
* Mediocre climb rate
 
* Low maximum altitude
 
 
* Poor visibility in simulator mode
 
* Poor visibility in simulator mode
 
* Hispano cannons overheat extremely quickly and are inaccurate unless upgraded
 
* Hispano cannons overheat extremely quickly and are inaccurate unless upgraded
 
* Low ammo capacity compared to machine gun-armed variants
 
* Low ammo capacity compared to machine gun-armed variants
* Air target belts will have difficulties when hitting armoured parts of enemy planes
 
 
* Priority target when in AB mode due to its reputation of destroying planes with relative ease, smart players will try to eliminate the P-51 first.
 
* Priority target when in AB mode due to its reputation of destroying planes with relative ease, smart players will try to eliminate the P-51 first.
 
* Minimal elevator authority without the engine producing net thrust as the plane relies heavily on streamline effect along the tail for elevator authority. Aircraft should not be landed with flaps down without an engine.
 
* Minimal elevator authority without the engine producing net thrust as the plane relies heavily on streamline effect along the tail for elevator authority. Aircraft should not be landed with flaps down without an engine.
Line 241: Line 304:
 
== Media ==
 
== Media ==
 
<!-- ''Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.'' -->
 
<!-- ''Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.'' -->
{{Youtube-gallery|MyG9jeV2cgA|'''WHA''' review}}
+
{{Youtube-gallery|qsWhqJrd4og|'''"War Thunder Realistic: P-51 Mustang [Speed is Vital]tCiqB569rTg"''' by ''Jengar''|aKgfzlJMxQU|'''"P-51: The Altitude Advantage (Lite New Player Tutorial)"''' by ''MagzTV''}}
 +
* [https://live.warthunder.com/post/393387/en/ <nowiki>[</nowiki>Skin<nowiki>]</nowiki> "Big Mac Junior" - by ''PROx'']
 +
* [https://live.warthunder.com/post/359448/en/ <nowiki>[</nowiki>Skin<nowiki>]</nowiki> Fictional; USAAF motto "Aim high... fly, fight, win" - by ''pathaber'']
 +
* [https://live.warthunder.com/post/508720/en/ <nowiki>[</nowiki>Skin<nowiki>]</nowiki> RAF experimental marking scheme - by ''JohnnyAlpha65'']
  
 
== See also ==
 
== See also ==
''Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:''
+
<!-- ''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;''
 
* ''reference to the series of the aircraft;''
* ''links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.''
+
* ''links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.'' -->
 +
* [[P-51 (Family)|North American P-51 all variants]]
 +
* [[Fw 190 A-5]]
 +
* [[Typhoon Mk Ib]]
  
 
== External links ==
 
== External links ==
''Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:''
+
<!-- ''Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:''
* ''topic on the official game forum;''
+
* ''topic on the official game forum; note: THIS IS LACKING SO FAR ON THE FORUM or needs to be necroed, I stopped searching after page 25''
 
* ''encyclopedia page on the aircraft;''
 
* ''encyclopedia page on the aircraft;''
* ''other literature.''
+
* ''other literature.'' -->
 +
* [[wikipedia:North_American_P-51_Mustang_variants#P-51/Mustang_IA_(NA-91)|<nowiki>[</nowiki>Wikipedia<nowiki>]</nowiki> P-51 (NA-91)]]
 +
* [http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/mustang/mustang-I.html <nowiki>[</nowiki>wwiiaircraftperformance.org<nowiki>]</nowiki> P-51 Mustang (Allison Engine) Performance Trials]
 +
 
  
 
{{USA fighters}}
 
{{USA fighters}}

Revision as of 21:55, 13 November 2019

P-51 Mustang
p-51_mk1a_usaaf.png
Cockpit
AB
RB
SB
General characteristics
Brief
Detailed
4.0/3.7/4.0BR
FighterClass
1 personCrew
4.8 tTake-off weight
Flight characteristics
Allison V-1710-39Engine
InlineType
waterCooling system
Speed of destruction
845 km/hStructural
295 km/hGear
Offensive armament
4 x 20 mm Hispano Mk.II cannonWeapon 1
500 roundsAmmunition
600 shots/minFire rate
Economy
18 000 Rp icon.pngResearch
77 000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png2 910 / 3 733/3 520 / 4 516/1 360 / 1 744Repair
22 000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
77 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
400 Ge icon.pngAces
× (136) % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
× 3.8 Sl icon.png× 3.2 Sl icon.png× 0.8 Sl icon.png
This page is about the American fighter P-51. For other uses, see P-51 (Family).

Description

GarageImage P-51.jpg


The P-51 Mustang is a rank III American fighter with a battle rating of 4.0 (AB/SB) and 3.7 (RB). It was introduced in Update 1.49 "Weapons of Victory".

The P-51 Mustang retains a lot of the traits that may be found in its later variants. The main difference comes from the limited Allison power plant and its formidable armament of 4 x Hispano Mk.II 20 mm cannons. The plane may not climb very well but does retain the traits of an energy fighter. Even with is limited climb rate the aircraft's dive-speed is excellent. The aircraft's manoeuvrability is average at best. The armament is the true advantage of this aircraft. The best way to use the P-51 is for Boom & Zoom. The 20 mm cannons are powerful, but with only 500 rounds do not try to go for more than what the P-51 can handle.

The P-51, when fully upgraded, is an extremely deadly opponent, especially as a rank II. The engine will have a hard time hitting the "overheated" mark, even when using WEP. Use caution though, as the engine will retain its heat when constantly on 100% power, so it takes a bit to cool down. Also be sure to utilise the flaps: They are a major asset to the plane's overall turn-fighting ability and sometimes allow it to survive a Russian turn-fight. This is an awesome plane for those just starting out in Realistic Battles, as the 20 mm cannons are good at scoring quick victories.

General info

Flight performance

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

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 _,___ m)
Max altitude
(meters)
Turn time
(seconds)
Rate of climb
(meters/second)
Take-off run
(meters)
AB RB AB RB AB RB
Stock 591 578 8839 21.3 22.2 8.5 8.5 491
Upgraded 679 631 19.6 20.0 19.9 13.1

Details

Features
Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear Drogue chute
X X X
Limits
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
845 310 652 565 285 ~12 ~6
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 600 < 425 < 440 > 325
Compressor Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
Setting 1 3,597 m 1,150 hp 1,598 hp

Survivability and armour

  • 19.5 mm Steel - Upper engine cowl armour plate
  • 6.35 mm Steel - Fore cockpit armour plate
  • 15.87 mm Steel - Armour plate behind pilot's seat
  • 38 mm Bulletproof glass - Armoured windscreen

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 combine 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 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.

Armaments

Offensive armament

Main article: Hispano Mk.II (20 mm)

The P-51 is armed with:

  • 4 x 20 mm Hispano Mk.II cannons, wing-mounted (125 rpg = 500 total)

Quadrupple Hispanos are devastating: Pressing the trigger will significantly slow down the P-51. Now how is that for firepower? Although this is caused by the too light airframe which further causes vibrations and heavy shaking due the wing mounted position of all arms. Hence the accuracy is appalling after the first shots leave the barrels. Trigger control is important, even more so as the Hispanos like to overheat.

Usage in battles

In an RPG the Mustang would be a rogue, the damage dealer. Quickly darting in and out of combat to deal devastating blows, the P-51 in War Thunder is a DPS main, too. Featured playstyles are Boom & Zoom, repeatedly diving on enemies and returning up high, and Boom & Run, flying into danger zone, picking of a target and retreating, all while running at top speed. Coupled with its manoeuvrability and acceleration deficits, the P-51 punishes any pilot who does not play to its strength, namely the top speed. Only late war or diving aircraft are able to catch a Mustang on the run and for the latter only with the correct timing and plenty of altitude to burn. Maintaining a cool head and areal observation are important. Retreating may look the cowardice choice, but with the speed to disengage many options open up for reversals. Note, do not perform flat turns, but rather slow, deliberate high Yo-Yos or Immelmanns for turning around. A careful approach when leading up for a shot helps in conserving precious momentum, too.

In Arcade mode the option for in air reloads may tempt the pilot to spray & pray and dump all the ammunition. However with the inaccuracy issues and the short fire windows a more deliberate approach is necessary. Waiting outside a furball or dogfight for the right moment to intercept is key, as the key role for the Mustang is heavy fire support. This is especially helpful against armoured Attackers such as the Stuka or IL-2. Due the lack of climb rate and poor altitude performance bombers should not be sought out. In general the P-51 plays akin to many heavy fighters in Arcade mode.

In Realistic Battles the combat role is a tricky game. Lacking climb rate and 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) and at 20° with or 14° without WEP. 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 125 rounds per gun the fighter has got plenty of ammo to kill about six vehicles and with 30 min of fuel minimum, 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-51 (NA-91) 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. Without the instructor the manoeuvrability markedly improves in comparison, for the P-51 has got generous stall characteristics and is an overall stable gun platform, as long as one does not pull the trigger. Only the lack of acceleration in prolonged dogfights is a trap many 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
Not auto controlled
Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Controllable
Not auto controlled
Separate Not controllable
1 gear
Not controllable



0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
0
0.34
0.68
1.02
1.36
1.7
Horsepower in 1000hp
Altitude in 1000m

Supercharger Stage #1: 100%

Supercharger Stage #1: WEP

Modules

Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Radiator Offensive 20 mm
II Compressor Airframe New 20 mm cannons
III Wings repair Engine Mk.II year 1942
IV Engine injection Cover Mk.II year 1943

The P-51 Mustang can seem a very underwhelming aircraft at first. The primary module to focus on for early success is the 20 mm Ammo Belts. Ground attack belts will give a more consistent results as an attacker and the Air Target belts can be devastating against flying opponents. After improving the firepower on the aircraft, begin focusing on performance upgrades.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Great performance
    • Great dive-speed and acceleration
    • High energy retention
    • Good performance at high speeds
    • Good roll rate
  • Powerful armament
    • Gains access to British belt load-outs, incl. the devastating air-targets belt
    • Very efficient at destroying bombers
  • 20 mm guns on the Mustang are mounted in close proximity, dealing a deadly double punch when hitting
  • Can easily tackle higher BR foes
  • Can be very deadly in the hands of a skilled pilot


Cons:

  • Mediocre climb rate
  • Low maximum altitude
  • No separate gun control
  • No payload options available
  • Firing guns slows the plane down
  • Poor visibility in simulator mode
  • Hispano cannons overheat extremely quickly and are inaccurate unless upgraded
  • Low ammo capacity compared to machine gun-armed variants
  • Priority target when in AB mode due to its reputation of destroying planes with relative ease, smart players will try to eliminate the P-51 first.
  • Minimal elevator authority without the engine producing net thrust as the plane relies heavily on streamline effect along the tail for elevator authority. Aircraft should not be landed with flaps down without an engine.

History

The North American P-51 was born when the British Government showed interest in purchasing the Curtiss P-40C. Curtiss was at max production capacity, so the British inquired to North American Aviation if they would build it under license for them. North American agreed, but they wanted to build a better aircraft. A condition of the sale from North American to the British was to supply the U.S. Army with two samples free of charge. The original prototypes were designated XP-51. The U.S. Army was given fourth and tenth aircraft. One of them can still be found at the EAA Museum in OshKosh, Wisconsin. Testing of the two prototypes started in October of 1941. The new aircraft received high marks and were clearly superior to other U.S. fighters at that time. Although, the U.S. Army decided to not immediately place orders.

The first order of Mustangs to the British were designated Mustang I. The RAF received these aircraft behind schedule in October of 1941. Problems showed up immediately including the Allison power-plant and other design flaws. It is also important to note the Mustang Mk I's armament consisting of four .30 Cal machine guns mounted in the wings, as well as a set of two .50 Cal mounted in the wings and two .50 Cal machine guns mounted in the nose.

The next evolution of this aircraft was designated Mustang Mk IA. Due to the recently signed Lend Lease Act the U.S. Army was able to place an order for 150 more Mustangs on behalf of the British. These aircraft were equipped with four 20 mm Hispano Mk.II cannons mounted in the wings. Only 93 of the new Mustangs made it to the RAF. The U.S. Army pulled 55 for themselves and they immediately saw service. Two were kept by North American Aviation for internal use.

These P-51 Mustangs first saw service in April 9th of 1943 and the first combat loss came shortly afterwards on April 23rd. Mustangs saw action against the Japanese in the Aleutian Islands but a majority of them found their way to the Mediterranean theatre. The Mustang saw combat early on in the country of Algeria. Over time these P-51 Mustangs were converted to Reconnaissance planes. A K-24 camera was placed in the left window behind the pilot. The camera faced towards the back and down and took pictures providing battlefield reconnaissance. These aircraft saw continued service until the later part of 1944 continuing to fill the Attacker and Recon role.

In-game description

The North American P-51 Mustang was a single seat fighter which was designed, developed and entered service all during the course of the Second World War. The origins of the aircraft came about in April 1940, when the British Purchasing Commission approached the North American aviation company to design a fighter to augment those already in service with RAF Fighter Command. The prototype first flew on October 26th 1940 and, after a highly successful test and evaluation period, 320 aircraft were ordered and the first production aircraft flew on May 1st 1941. Delivered to No.26 Squadron at Gatwick, the new American fighter was designated the Mustang Mk.I by the RAF. It was considered to be superior to any other American fighter at the time, particularly at low level. However, the 1100 hp Allison V-1710 engine had a poorer performance at high altitude, particularly above 15,000 feet which was above where the engine supercharger was optimized for.

For this reason, the Mustangs were used in support of ground operations rather than in their intended original role as a fighter. The Mustang was very successful in this role and an additional order for a further 300 aircraft was placed. The new batch was modified by fitting self sealing fuel tanks and replacing the earlier Mustang's eight machine guns with a new armament of four 20 mm cannon, to create the Mustang Mk.IA. The RAF's successes with the Mustang led to a good deal of attention from the United States Army Air Force; after highlighting the fighter's only serious shortcoming as its high altitude performance, inquiries were made into fitting the aircraft with a different engine. The British Rolls-Royce Merlin was selected for testing in five converted Mustangs, and the performance of the fighter increased dramatically. The airframe and wings were strengthened to harness the power of the Merlin engine, which also resulted in the fitting of under wing stores now being an option. Mustangs could now carry bombs, rockets or long range drop tanks. Now more than capable of competing across all altitude bands and boasting a particularly long range for a single engine fighter, the Mustang was rapidly evolving into one of the most capable air assets of the entire war. However, with British and American interest in the fighter still growing, future variants of the Mustang would show yet more improvements.

Generally regarded as the greatest American fighter of the Second World War, Mustang pilots were to claim nearly 5,000 air-to-air kills by the end of the conflict. The Mustang would go on to serve the USAF in the Korean War, and was exported to over 50 foreign air forces.

Media

"War Thunder Realistic: P-51 Mustang [Speed is Vital]tCiqB569rTg" by Jengar
"P-51: The Altitude Advantage (Lite New Player Tutorial)" by MagzTV

See also

External links


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