HISTORY"While the introduction of the Merlin engine did improve the Mustang’s performance and produce the bubble-canopied fighters with which we associate the name, credit must be given to the Allison-engined variants that preceded it. From its inception in early 1940, the Mustang’s development was extraordinarily rapid – such was the need for a fighter at the time, and the confidence in its design. By early January 1942, the Mustang was in service with the RAF, flying low-level armed reconnaissance operations over Northern France. Despite later Merlin variants arriving in-theater, this remained a hunting ground for the Allison Mustangs through to D-Day and beyond – a remarkable service length. In American hands the Allison-engined Mustangs performed as dive-bombers and fighters, serving with distinction in North Africa and the Far East."
*Quoted from the back cover of the book.
Osprey Publications Ltd has released Allison-Engined P-51 Mustang as Number 1 in their Air Vanguard series. It is a paperback book with 64 pages. Included with the text are black and white and color photographs, color illustrations, informational charts, a cut-away view and detailed captions. It has a 2012 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-78096-151-4. As the titles states the book examines and discusses the Allison-Engined P-51 Mustang.
Design And Development
- The NA-73X – birth of a legendary fighter
- NAA designs and builds a fighter
- The RAF order
- The USAAF shows interest
- Enter the P-51A (NA-99)
- Reconnaissance birds, the F-6Aand F-6B
- The NA-73X
- Aircraft technical data – Allison-powered Mustangs
- RAF service begins
- Dieppe and first blood
- ‘A’ for Attack! – The A-36A into combat
- P-51 in combat
- Down and dirty with the 1st Air Command Group (ACG)
- Rhubarbs, Rangers and Populars
- D-Day, RAF operations
- A host of units
The text in the book is well written and extremely detailed. Author Martyn Chorlton covers the Allison-Engined P-51 Mustang very well and goes into great detail. His book starts with the design development and testing of the Mustang, its introduction into the military and its use throughout World War II and continues on until the years immediately after World War II. Anyone interested in the Allison-Engined P-51 Mustang, World War Two aviation, Mustang pilots or the Mustang and other period aircraft in general will find this book very informative and interesting. I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors as I read through the text. Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the text for yourself.
There are a total of 40 black and white photographs and 2 color photographs featured in this volume. As the title of the book suggests the majority of the photographs are of the Allison-Engined P-51 Mustang and various pilots and ground crew personnel. One of my favorite pictures is of the F-82E (P-82E) Twin Mustang in service with the USAF. Other pictures that I found to be interesting and of use are those of ground crew mechanics working on a Mustang engine, the damage on a Mustang after it was forced to belly land, a clear picture of a Mustang’s dive brakes and a picture of a test Mustang that has wrecked and ended up upside down. The majority of the photographs are nice clear, centered and focused images, however there are some appear to be a little on the dark side. I have seen several military photographs that have this look to them so maybe that is just typical. With that said the quality of the photographs is of no fault of the author and do not take anything away from the book. The photographs will be of interest to the aviation and military aviation enthusiast as well as the military historian.
Other aircraft shown and discussed:
- NA-16 AT-6 Harvard/Texan
- Curtiss XP-46A
- Westland Lysander “Lizzie”
- F-82E (P-82E) Twin Mustang
Some of the pilots and key personnel shown and discussed are:
- James H. “Dutch” Kindelberger
- John Leland Atwood
- Larry White
- Raymond H. Rice
- Edgar Schmued
- Vance Breese
- Robert C. Chilton
- Charles “Smokey” Stover
- Hollis “Holly” Hills
- R. Bryant
- Dan Perry
- Philip Cochran
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the photographs for yourself.
There are 22 color aircraft illustrations featured in this volume and one of those is a two page fold out cut-away view of the Allison-powered Mustang with various features pointed out and described. The illustrations are by illustrators Richard Chasemore, Ian Palmer and Adam Tooby and they are all very well done. The scale aircraft modeler will find value in the color plates as they provide a visual reference to the various aircraft color schemes and markings that were used.
The color illustrations are of the following:
- NA-73X (the NA-73X prototype N19998)
- XP-51 (USAAC) Markings
- A-36A (27TH BG)
- Mustang 1 (26 SQN)
- P-51A (23RD FG)
- Mustang IA (414 SQN)
- Mustang I (2 SQN)
- F-6A (111TH TRS, 68TH TRG)
- F-6B (107TH TRS, 67TH TRG)
- North American P-51 Engine Installation
- A-36 Bombs
- A-36 Guns
- Long-Range Drop Tank
- Nose machine Guns
- RP Rockets
- Vickers Class S
- Wing Autocannon
- Wing Guns
- Dive-Bombing In An A-36
- Raid On Villacoublay Airfield, June 29, 1943
- North American Mustang MK IA (P-51 (NA-91))
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the illustrations for yourself.
There are no maps provided in this volume.
THE INFORMATIONAL CHARTS:
There are 7 informational charts provided in this volume. They are of the aircraft technical data for the Allison-powered Mustangs. The charts provide information on:
- Dimensions for all Allison variants
As with the text, the captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs and illustrations well. They provide information such as the aircrafts location, variations shown, aircraft markings, pilots and key individuals and other such valuable information. I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors I read through the captions. As I stated before, grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the captions for yourself.
This is a very nice reference book that contains many useful photographs and illustrations as well as detailed captions. It details the Allison-Engined P-51 Mustang very well and will benefit the military aviation enthusiast, historian and scale modeler. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others as it will be a welcome addition to one’s personal military reference library.
, Bill Gunston, Crescent Books
Great Weapons Of World War II
, John Kirk, Robert Young, Introduction by Bernard E. Trainor
Walker And Company
Take a look inside of the book on the Osprey Publishing website.
Osprey Publishing has Allison-Engined P-51 Mustang available as a PDF eBook and as an ePub eBook as well. Take a look inside of the book on the Amazon website.
A Kindle Edition is also available on the Amazon website.
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