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Krakatoa
Post subject: P-51 Mustang, why was it never navalised?Posted: November 30th, 2014, 1:04 am
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Certainly one of the best piston engine fighters of ww2. If it was so good then why did it never get on board aircraft carriers. I have never seen anything in all the different books and manuals I have read on the P-51 that even hinted at this even being trialled. The P-51 with its wide undercarriage and excellent power to weight ratio would have been a better convert than the Seafire series.


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apdsmith
Post subject: Re: P-51 Mustang, why was it never navalised?Posted: November 30th, 2014, 1:19 am
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Hi Krakatoa
Wikipedia wrote:
In the United States, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) noted in 1920 that air-cooled radials could offer an increase in the power-to-weight ratio and reliability, and by 1921 the U.S. Navy had announced it would only order aircraft fitted with air-cooled radials while other naval air arms followed suit
I think that's why...

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Adam

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eswube
Post subject: Re: P-51 Mustang, why was it never navalised?Posted: November 30th, 2014, 9:03 am
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What Apdsmith quoted is one thing.
And another is "why?" (should it be navalized). Why bother with making "Sea Mustang" (with all related delay needed for design work and trials) when there were already excellent Hellcats and Corsairs already in mass production?
(And before they made it to mass production also relatively few people realized that Mustang is so awesome, so they wouldn't even think about navalizing it)


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Charybdis
Post subject: Re: P-51 Mustang, why was it never navalised?Posted: November 30th, 2014, 9:52 am
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Was the mustang that good? I thought it was just an excellent long range high alt escort for bombers.

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Blackbuck
Post subject: Re: P-51 Mustang, why was it never navalised?Posted: November 30th, 2014, 10:09 am
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A P-51 was indeed trialed for carrier use but the handling qualities in the recovery phase at the speeds required were inadequate to warrant further development when things such as the Bearcat and Tigercat where coming around. All in all I think it fell into the same boat (hah) as the Seafire, great land-based aircraft, not worth tinkering with for naval ops.

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apdsmith
Post subject: Re: P-51 Mustang, why was it never navalised?Posted: November 30th, 2014, 10:12 am
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Hi Eswube, Charybdis

There's also a question of whether a Mustang could take the pounding naval service would entail - I understand that repeating deck landings require much stronger landing gear and frame - it would have been inefficient to design a land-based fighter so heavily (and even the Seafire had some problems in this regard, I understand) - so, coming back to your point, why engage in so much effort to redesign the Mustang when you've already got enough capable fighters already.

Also, Charybdis, I understand that the Mustang was quite good but that it had the range to keep up with the bombers - contemporaries such as the P-47 appear to have had comparable or slightly better performance but, in the case of the P-47, were more expensive and shorter-ranged.

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Adam

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emperor_andreas
Post subject: Re: P-51 Mustang, why was it never navalised?Posted: December 1st, 2014, 12:08 am
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While the idea of Mustangs operating from carriers sends a shiver up my spine, the Navy already had the wonderful Corsair, so that was another reason the Mustang wasn't needed.

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Krakatoa
Post subject: Re: P-51 Mustang, why was it never navalised?Posted: December 1st, 2014, 1:11 am
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By 1944-45 Both the US and UK certainly had excellent aircraft in production or coming online. The Bearcat for the US and the Sea Fury for the UK were both wonderful aircraft, while the twin engine Sea Hornets and Tigercats were both powerful aircraft. All of these were as good as if not better than the P-51.

I agree with every one that there was really no place for the P-51 at sea, it served the purpose it was designed for - eventually. It was not till the airframe was mated to the Merlin that it became the aircraft we love, and as people pointed out to navalise it at that stage (1944?) would be a waste of resources.

I was more interested if anything had been done to trial the p-51 for sea duties. Blackbuck and APDSmith both gave answers to my query that have satisfied my interest. Thanks guys.


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BCRenown
Post subject: Re: P-51 Mustang, why was it never navalised?Posted: December 1st, 2014, 10:15 am
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From Wiki:

Concern over the USAAF's inability to escort B-29s all the way to mainland Japan resulted in the highly classified "Seahorse" project (NAA-133), an effort to "navalize" the P-51. On 15 November 1944, naval aviator (and later test pilot) Lieutenant Bob Elder, in a P-51D-5-NA 44-14017, started flight tests from the deck of the carrier Shangri-La. This Mustang had been fitted with an arrestor hook, which was attached to a reinforced bulkhead behind the tail wheel opening; the hook was housed in a streamlined position under the rudder fairing and could be released from the cockpit. The tests showed that the Mustang could be flown off the carrier deck without the aid of a catapult, using a flap setting of 20° down and 5° of up elevator. Landings were found to be easy, and, by allowing the tail wheel to contact the deck before the main gear, the aircraft could be stopped in a minimum distance. The project was canceled after U.S. Marines secured the Japanese island of Iwo Jima and its airfields, making it possible for standard P-51D models to accompany B-29s all the way to the Japanese home islands and back.

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CanisD
Post subject: Re: P-51 Mustang, why was it never navalised?Posted: December 2nd, 2014, 12:58 am
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