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Rolls-Royce Mustang Mk.X

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Rolls-Royce Mustang Mk.X

Mustang Mk.X
Mustang Mk X AM203 in the third configuration tested with a high-speed paint finish applied by Sanderson and Holmes, the coachbuilders in Derby, UK.
Role Experimental aircraft
Manufacturer Rolls-Royce
First flight 13 October 1942
Introduction experimental
Primary users Royal Air Force
United States Army Air Forces
Number built 5
Developed from P-51 Mustang
Early Allison-powered P-51, October 1942

The North American Mustang Mk.X (as in "Mark.10"; also known as the "Rolls-Royce Mustang") was a British variant of the US North American P-51 Mustang using a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine in an experimental program established by the Rolls-Royce company in 1942.

Contents

  • Design and development 1
  • Testing 2
  • Variants 3
  • Advanced developments 4
  • Operators 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
    • Notes 7.1
    • Bibliography 7.2
  • External links 8

Design and development

In April 1942, the Royal Air Force's Air Fighting Development Unit (AFDU) tested the Allison V-1710-engined Mustang at higher altitudes and found it wanting, but their Commanding Officer, Wing Commander Ian Campbell-Orde was so impressed with its maneuverability and low-altitude speed that he invited Ronald Harker from Rolls-Royce's Flight Test establishment to fly it.

It was quickly evident that performance, although exceptional up to 15,000 ft (4,572 m), was inadequate at higher altitudes. This deficiency was due largely to the single-stage supercharged Allison engine, which lacked power at higher altitudes. Still, the Mustang's advanced aerodynamics showed to advantage, as the Mustang Mk.I (P-51A) was about 30 mph (48 km/h) faster than contemporary Curtiss P-40 fighters using the same Allison powerplant. The Mustang Mk.I was 30 mph (48 km/h) faster than the Spitfire Mk VC at 5,000 ft (1,524 m) and 35 mph (56 km/h) faster at 15,000 ft (4,572 m), despite the latter having a significantly more powerful engine than the Mustang's Allison.[1]

Rolls-Royce engineers rapidly concluded that the Mustang powered by a two-stage Merlin 61 would result in a significant improvement in performance and started converting five Mustangs to Merlin power as the "Mustang Mk.X" (i.e., Mk.10) With a minimum of modification to the engine bay, the Merlin engine neatly fitted into the adapted engine formers. A smooth engine cowling with a "chin" radiator was tried out in various configurations. The Merlin 65 series engine was utilized in all the prototypes as it was identical to the Merlin 66 powering the Spitfire Mk IX, allowing for a closer comparison. Due to the speed of the conversions, engines were often swapped from aircraft to aircraft as well as being replaced by newer units.

Testing

The high-altitude performance was a major advance over the Mustang I, with the Mustang X serial AM208 reaching 433 mph (697 km/h) at 22,000 ft (6,506 m) and AL975 tested at an absolute ceiling of 40,600 ft (12,375 m). Air Ministry official, Air Chief Marshal Sir Wilfrid Freeman (Chief Executive at the Ministry of Aircraft Production) lobbied vociferously for Merlin-powered Mustangs, insisting two of the five experimental Mustang Mk Xs be handed over to Carl Spaatz for trials and evaluation by the U.S. Eighth Air Force in Britain. After sustained lobbying at the highest level, American production started in early 1943 of a North American-designed Mustang patterned after a P-51 Mustang prototype originally designated the XP-78 that utilized the Packard V-1650-3 Merlin engine replacing the Allison engine.

The pairing of the P-51 airframe and Merlin engine was later designated P-51B for the model NA-102 (manufactured at Inglewood, California) or P-51C for the model NA-103 (manufactured at a new plant in Dallas, Texas from summer 1943). The RAF named both these models Mustang Mk.III. In performance tests, the P-51B achieved 441 mph (710 km/h) at 25,000 ft (7,620 m) and subsequent extended range with the use of drop tanks enabled the Merlin-powered Mustang version to be introduced as a bomber escort.

Variants

Mustang Mk.X conversions:
  • AG518: Used for engine installation studies, but due to a lack of guns, armour and wireless equipment, it was deemed by Rolls-Royce to be "below" latest production standards and not converted.
  • AM121: This aircraft arrived at the Rolls-Royce Flight Test Establishment at Hucknall on 7 June 1942 and was the first to be delivered but the last to be converted. A broader chord fin was installed but the aircraft was not slated for testing at Hucknall and instead was sent to RAF Duxford before being loaned to the 8th Fighter Command USAAF at Bovington along with AL963.
  • AL963: First used for performance and handling trials of the Mustang I before conversion on 2 July 1942; its nose contours had a much "sleeker" appearance due to the intercooler radiator being relocated to the main radiator duct. Other changes included a small fin extension and the "blanking" of cowling louvres. This example was able to reach 422 mph (679 km/h) at 22,400 ft (6,828 m). It was sent to the USAAF Air Technical Section at Bovington for evaluation.
  • AL975/G: First used for performance and handling trials of the Mustang I before conversion on 2 July 1942; flying for the first time on 13 October 1942. The aircraft was identifiable by a bulged lower engine cowling and was also fitted with a four-blade Spitfire Mk IX propeller. In testing, it achieved a top speed of 425 mph (684 km/h) at 21,000 ft (6,401 m).
  • AM203: The third aircraft was fitted with a four-bladed, 11 ft 4 in wooden propeller and achieved 431 mph (694 km/h) at 21,000 ft (6,401 m).
  • AM208: The second conversion had the front radiator flap sealed permanently giving a 6-7 mph (10–11 km/h) boost. The same modification was subsequently made to all test aircraft.
Artist's concept drawing of the Rolls-Royce F.T.B.

Advanced developments

In June 1943, Rolls-Royce proposed to re-engine the Mustang with a Griffon 65, although the resultant "Flying Test Bed" (F.T.B.) would involve a dramatic redesign. Three surplus Mustang I airframes were allotted by the Ministry of Air Production and were dismantled in order to provide the major components for a mid-amidships installation of the more powerful Griffon engine, somewhat like the V-1710 Allison installation in both the American Bell P-39 Airacobra and Bell P-63 Kingcobra. The project culminated in a mock-up, albeit with a Merlin 61 temporarily installed, serialed as AL960, that was examined by representatives from the Ministry in 1944, but was not given priority status. Further studies involving more powerful engines or turboprops were not given approval and the development contract was cancelled in 1945 with the mock-up being destroyed.[2]

Operators

 United Kingdom

See also

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References

Notes


-- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p
  1. ^ Birch 1987, p. 11.
  2. ^ Birch 1987, pp. 96–98.

Bibliography

  • Birch, David. Rolls-Royce and the Mustang. Derby, UK: Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust, 1987. ISBN 0-9511710-0-3.
  • Delve, Ken. The Mustang Story. London: Cassell & Co., 1999. ISBN 1-85409-259-6.
  • Gruenhagen, Robert W. Mustang: The Story of the P-51 Mustang. New York: Arco Publishing Company, Inc., 1969. ISBN 0-668-03912-4.

External links

  • Ronnie Harker: "The Man Who Put the Merlin in the Mustang" Retrieved: 28 July 2014.
  • Rolls-Royce Merlin History and Development Retrieved: 28 July 2014.
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