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Thunder Mustang

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Subject: North American P-51 Mustang, Dan Denney
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Thunder Mustang

Thunder Mustang
Thunder Mustang flying at 2007 Wings over Wairarapa airshow
Role Replica
Manufacturer Thunder Mustang LLC
Status Renewed Production Stages.
Number built 37
Unit cost
$297,000 USD

The Thunder Mustang is a modern replica of the P-51 Mustang and has joined the ranks of the high performance P-51 kits alongside the all-aluminum Stewart S-51D and the full-scale, turbine powered Cameron and Sons P-51.

Design and development

The Thunder Mustang is currently in renewed production stages. Production ceased in the fall of 1999. The Thunder Builders Group LLC owned the assets required to manufacture the airplane in September 2010, when they sold the assets to Dean Holt of Mount Vernon, Washington.[1] Dean is currently in the process of manufacturing all the necessary components for complete kit offerings which will be available in late fall 2011.

Operational history

There were a total of 37 complete or partial kits produced including the prototype. Of these 37, 27 were delivered as complete kits including the Falconer engine. Two have Walter turbines installed and presently flying.

Four Thunder Mustangs have competed at the Reno Air Races. John Parker has recorded lap speeds of more than 355 mph on the racecourse using the normally aspirated Falconer engine. George Giboney posted lap speeds of 397 mph with his supercharged version of the Falconer engine during the 2010 races with level flight top speed of more than 415 mph.

Specifications Thunder Mustang North American P-51D Mustang
Powerplant Falconer V-12 640 horsepower (480 kW) Rolls-Royce Merlin V-1650-7 1,490 hp (1,110 kW)
Displacement 601 cubic inches (9,850 cm3) 1,649 cubic inches (27,020 cm3)
Propeller MT 94 in (2,400 mm) diameter 4-bladed constant speed Hamilton Standard 134 in (3,400 mm) diameter 4-bladed
Length 24.2 ft (7.4 m) 32.2 ft (9.8 m)
Frontal Area 8.1 sq ft (0.75 m2) 13.4 sq ft (1.24 m2)
Wing Span 23.8 ft (7.3 m) 37.0 ft (11.3 m)
Wing Area 104 sq ft (9.7 m2) 237.75 sq ft (22.088 m2)
Wing Loading 28.84 lb/sq ft (140.81 kg/m²) 49.2 lb/sq ft (240.22 kg/m²)
Power Loading 0.04 hp/lb (0.066kW/kg) 0.13 hp/lb (0.22kW/kg)
Gross Weight 3,200 lb (1,500 kg) 11,600 lb (5,300 kg)
Empty Weight 2,200 lb (1,000 kg) 7,635 lb (3,463 kg)
Useful Load 1,000 lb (450 kg) 3,965 lb (1,798 kg)
Payload w/full Fuel 400 lb (180 kg) 2,885 lb (1,309 kg)
Basic Fuel Capacity 102 imp gal (460 l) (in wings) 180 imp gal (820 l) (in wings)
Baggage Capacity 50 lb (23 kg) N/A
Rate of Climb @ gross 86.666 ft/s (26.416 m/s) 46.666 ft/s (14.224 m/s)
Maximum Level Speed @ Sea Level 326 kn (375 mph; 604 km/h) 326 kn (375 mph; 604 km/h) (380 kn (437 mph; 704 km/h) @ 25,000 ft (7,620 m))
Cruise Speed @ 75% Power 300 kn (345 mph; 556 km/h) 250 kn (288 mph; 463 km/h)
Fuel Consumption 22 to 25 imperial gallons (100 to 110 l) per hour 50 to 75 imperial gallons (230 to 340 l) per hour
Range 1,300 mi ([convert: unit mismatch]) 700 mi ([convert: unit mismatch])
Service Ceiling 25,000 ft (7,600 m) 46,000 ft (14,000 m)
Limiting and Recommended Airspeeds
Vx (best angle of climb) 87 kn (100 mph; 161 km/h) 87 kn (100 mph; 161 km/h)
Vy (best rate of climb) 156 kn (180 mph; 289 km/h) 148 kn (170 mph; 274 km/h)
Va (design maneuvering) 222 kn (255 mph; 411 km/h) 226 kn (260 mph; 419 km/h)
Vfe (max flaps extended) 165 kn (190 mph; 306 km/h) 143 kn (165 mph; 265 km/h)
Vle (max landing gear extended) 148 kn (170 mph; 274 km/h) 148 kn (170 mph; 274 km/h)
Vne (never exceed) 439 kn (505 mph; 813 km/h) 439 kn (505 mph; 813 km/h)
Vsl (stall, clean) 77 kn (89 mph; 143 km/h) 92 kn (106 mph; 170 km/h)
Vso (stall, in landing config.) 68 kn (78 mph; 126 km/h) 88 kn (101 mph; 163 km/h)
Best Glide 152 kn (175 mph; 282 km/h) 152 kn (175 mph; 282 km/h)


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