P-51 “Speedball Alice”
Dan Vance

Speedball Alice

The P-51 Mustang is a single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft designed and produced by North American Aviation. It was an invaluable part to the success of the Allies during World War II.

The P-51 provided the U.S. Air Force with a high-performance, high-altitude, long-range fighter escort. It enabled strategic bombing missions to resume, after heavy losses due to unescorted bombers in 1943.

This aircraft took its first flight in 1940 and by the time production ended over 15,000 P-51 Mustangs of all types had been built.


  • It allowed strategic bombing missions to resume.
  • The P-51 was built after the British Royal Air Force approached North American Aviation to license build Curtiss P-40 Fighters.
  • The final P-51 operating in the U.S. Military’s inventory was phased out in 1957 from the West Virigina ANG.


  • Engine: Packard-built Rolls-Royce Merlin V-1650 of 1,695 hp
  • Maximum speed: 437 mph
  • Cruising speed: 275 mph
  • Range: 1,000 miles
  • Ceiling: 41,900 ft.
  • Span: 37 ft.
  • Length: 32 ft. 3 in.
  • Height: 13 ft. 8 in.
  • Weight: 12,100 lbs. maximum

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