N851D - Crazy Horse
352nd Fighter Group
487th Fighter Squadron
Florida, United States
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44-84745 was built as a D-model at NAA, Texas, in 1944, but did not see any action during WWII. It's history just after the War is unclear.
It first appeared back on the radar in 1963 when the airframe was acquired by Cline Cantarini of Lancaster, California, who had it registered N5439V.
After nearly 3 years, the Mustang was sold to Stanley M. Kurzet of Covina, California in 1966.
It wasn't until it came in the hands of David B. Lindsay of Lindair Inc that the airframe was dismantled and converted to a TF-51 full dual control Mustang in 1982. The team at Tri-State aviation helped restore the tailcone (enlarged version on a TF-51) and several other parts. The TF version doesn't differ all that much from a standard D-model Mustang. Obviously the 85-gallon fuselage fuel tank is removed to make place for the aft cockpit and full dual flight instrumentation and dual flight controls are installed. The cockpit bubble canopy is also considerably larger to add to the comfort of the backseat pilot.
The Mustang was passed on to Gordon W. Plaskett of King City, California in 1984 and flew as TF-662.
After short ownership by Bob Amyx and Bob Byrne, the aircraft found its way to Doug Schultz and Lee Lauderback, who founded Stallion 51 Corporation. The aircraft was repainted in the colors of the 352nd Fighter Group, 487th Fighter Squadron and dubbed “Crazy Horse”. She is now one of only an estimated total of sixteen fully dual controlled Mustangs in the world.
The Stallion 51 Corporation is, quite appropriately, located on Merlin Drive in Kissimmee, Florida, and is a FAA certified organization that conducts various flight operations in the P-51 Mustang. TF-51D Crazy Horse is one of the three Mustangs owned by the Corporation, the others being 44-74502 N351DT “Crazy Horse²” and 44-74497 N51LW “Little Witch”, both also full dual-control Mustangs.
The idea goes back to 1987 when the US Navy issued a requirement for a suitable propeller-driven aircraft that could be used by students to carry out qualitative evaluations at its Test Pilot School. To meet these needs, business partners Lee and Doug came up with the idea of providing a powerful, two-seat dual-control piston engine fighter, and so Crazy Horse came into play. At the time Stallion 51 was formed, Crazy Horse was one of only three dual-controlled Mustangs.
Post WWII, a lot of Mustangs became surplus and as a result fell into the hands of private owners. The accident rates for these types of aircraft also rose to a disturbing level at that time, mostly due to lack of experience on the type.
Stallion 51 offers a thorough training program in a safe environment and with an experienced instructor on board. Since their program has been on offer, the loss ratio has reduced considerably.
The facilities at Stallion 51 comprise of a purpose-built hangar and office facility with plush carpet in 352nd FG blue and Mustang memorabilia in glass-fronted wall cavities. The upstairs operations desk, viewing gallery, lounge area and shop have one of the greatest views of the world: a neatly polished hangar full of P-51 and TF-51 Mustangs.
Lee Lauderback began flying at the age of 15. For over sixteen years, he headed up Arnold. Palmer's flight operations as chief pilot and director of flight operations, piloting his Learjet, C-I, C-II, C-III series Citation Jets, and MD500E helicopter. Lee is also one of the pilots for the USAF Air Force Heritage Flight Program as well as a civilian instructor for the Navy Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, MD where test pilot students and instructors fly the Mustang.
He is a certified flight and ground instructor for airplane (single and multi-engine), instrument, helicopters and gliders, as well as being a FAA Pilot Proficiency Examiner and does acceptance flight-testing in various warbirds, helicopters, and turbojets.
He amassing in excess of 20,000 flight hours in all types of aircraft and helicopters, including well over 7,500 hours in Mustangs, Lee has also had a chance to fly the F-15 Eagle, F-16 Viper, and F/A-18 Hornet.
Along with Angela West, the General Manager of the Corporation, they also organized both Gatherings of Mustangs & Legends (they hosted the first one themselves in 1999 in Florida). Angela takes charge of merchandising, special events, airshow requests, …
The Stallion 51 Corporation offers the following types of flights in the TF-51:
Orientation flights: whether you have flight experience, or have never flown before, we promise a rare and exhilarating flying adventure.
The entire program takes approximately 2 ½ to 3 hours. The instructor will begin with a thorough preflight briefing where he will customize your flight profile, based on your input and experience.
Once in flight, you will be invited to do the majority of the flying yourself - from basic maneuvering to high performance aerobatics - you are in control. Following the flight, a debrief occurs where you will log your flight time and review video of your flight from our state-of-the-art, on-board camera system.
This high-resolution color video includes three different camera views (one mounted in the tail, one on the wing and one inside the cockpit), inner-cockpit communication and residual engine sounds. The video is yours to keep, along with a flight profile certificate and an autographed photo of the Mustang you piloted.
The Checkout Training program is a specialized course designed for the owner/pilot or potential owner/pilot of a P-51 Mustang or similar high performance warbird aircraft. The program is endorsed by the FAA, major aircraft insurers and is widely respected by members of the aviation community. It familiarizes the trainee with aircraft systems, normal and emergency procedures, basic flight maneuvers, slow flight, high performance maneuvering, loss of controlled flight, stalls, and an emphasis on takeoff and landing proficiency.
Military contracts: student test pilots are given the opportunity to fly the TF-51 Mustang and experience the unique characteristics of high performance piston powered aircraft, such as P-factor, torque, and gyroscopics. This aids in developing test pilot skills and operational expertise in actual flight-testing.
Unusual Attitude Training for pilots to learn advanced techniques and maneuvers that they would not normally experience in routine day-to-day flying.
During their early training, all pilots practice returning an airplane to level flight from what is termed an "unusual attitude". One shortcoming of this training is that it is normally done in a small low-performance aircraft with power and bank-angle limitations. Although this early training does address recovery from an "unexpected attitude", it generally does not address extreme pitch and roll excursions and thus does not prepare flight crews for flying in today's high performance environment.
The TF-51 has control pressures much like corporate and commercial airplanes and can be flown without pitch or bank restriction to replicate any aircraft's possible flight envelope.
Recurrent training is a part of every professional flight department. Polishing up skills, reviewing procedures and practicing maneuvers annually with an experienced instructor is a necessary part of being a high-performance aircraft pilot.
Stallion 51 offers P-51 Mustang and T-6 Texan recurrent training. The courses can be tailored to your individual requirements, but are typically structured around a one or two-day course consisting of ground school and flying.
Apart from the above, they also provide the following additional services:
Aircraft management: Stallion 51 Corporation's in-depth knowledge of the P-51 Mustang is utilized to enhance the safe and efficient operation of management aircraft. From initial aircraft acquisition through the day-to-day ground and flight operational requirements, the Stallion 51 team brings over 75 cumulative years of knowledge and operational experience to the table. The package can cover everything from the acquisition of a P-51, through restoration, maintenance, check-out training and safe storage.
Group 51 aircraft sales specializes in the buying and selling of vintage fighter aircraft. Simply stated, we connect owners, buyers and sellers who share the passion of preserving, restoring or flying historical aircraft.
In a nutshell, Stallion 51 is a great place for pilots to sharpen their skills and get familiar with flying P-51 Mustang.
As a result, no other P-51 Mustang probably has more flight time than the Mustangs operated by Stallion 51, and in particular Crazy Horse.
Lee Lauderback's Solo Mustang Demo routine
|Built at North American Aviation, Texas (as a D-model)
Cline Cantarini, Lancaster,
Stanley M. Kurzet, Covina, California
Lindsay Newspapers, Sarasota, Florida. Dismantled
David B. Lindsay/Lindair Inc, Sarasota, Florida in June
Rebuilt as a TF-51 with full dual controls
Gordon W. Plaskett, King City, California (rebuilt in Chino as TF-51 484662 “TF-662”??)
Bob Amyx, Oklahoma City, Oaklahoma
Bob Byrne Aviation, Bloomfield, Michigan
Doug Schultz/Stallion 51 Inc, Nashua, New Hampshire in April
Stallion 51 Corporation. Repainted as 484745 “Crazy Horse”
The TF-51D Crazy Horse is painted in the colors of the 8th Air Force, 352nd Fighter Group, also known as “The Bluenosed Bastards of Bodney”.
The paint scheme
The 352nd FG was assigned to the 8th AF on July 6th , 1943, and was stationed at Bodney in Norfolk, UK. They converted to the P-51 Mustang at the end of March, 1944. It was at that time that all units in the 8th AF were assigned different Group colours.
The 352nd FG applied a bright sky blue shade to the noses of their P-51s, which were B- and C-models at that time and which were all delivered in the two-colour camouflage paint scheme of Olive Drab and Neutral Grey. However, the light blue coloured spinner and 12-inch wide nose band provided insufficient contrast with the camouflage finish, so the blue paintwork was extended back to a point approximately halfway below the exhaust stacks and then swept up and back to the windshield.
The following month, the 328th and 487th FS began receiving their replacement Mustangs, all in a natural metal finish.
For a very brief period the 352nd FG attempted to identify its new aircraft by replacing the white QIM cowlings with a substitute application of a medium blue paint. This particular procedure was quickly abandoned when it was determined that there was insufficient contrast between either finish to be functional as a group marker.
In May of 1944 the 352nd FG selected an RAF Azure Blue shade of paint to replace the original Medium Blue Group colour. The distinct blue colour earned them the name “Blue Nosed Bastards of Bodney”.
On June 3rd , SHAEF issued an order for the application of the infamous D-Day stripes (aka Invasion Stripes). With the hastily application of the stripes on all operational aircraft, the second unit code letter was almost completely over painted, as was the unit call letter. The 328th FS and 487th FS elected to relocate the call letter to the tail fin, while the 486th FS chose to reposition it just above the wing root and slightly back from the exhaust cut-out. This was short lived however and by late June the 486th FS also repositioned the letter to the tail fin.
In October of 1944, the 8th AF issued an order for additional squadron identification by means of coloured rudders. The 328th FS (unit code “PE”) was assigned Insignia Red as a rudder colour, the 486th FS (unit code “PZ”) wore Identification Yellow and the 487th FS (unit code “HO”) adopted the same shade of blue as that used for the Group nose marker for their rudders.
As the war progressed some unit markings and colours changed slightly, some to offer better visibilty, others for a more esthetic reason. Starting in the summer of 1944, the 352nd applied a slightly darker shade of blue as they started receiving bare metal finished P-51Ds. The shade used was probably British Deep Sky Blue, which was similar to Insignia Blue.
The name “Sweet & Lovely” was white shadowed in yellow with black outlining and is displayed on both sides of the cowling. The crew names on the port cowling were black and the pilot's name on the port side of the canopy frame was painted in red. The 6.5 swastika kill markings are also applied in red.
For more information on the following general P-51 markings, please click their appropriate links:
US National Insignia markings
General P-51 markings
There was no aircraft during WWII in the 352nd FG (or in any FG whatsoever) that was dubbed Crazy Horse. This name was given to the Mustang by Lee and Doug as it mated with what they saw as a crazy adventure when they started their business at Stallion 51.
Crazy Horse is painted in the Squadron colors of the 487th Fighter Squadron, hence the blue colored rudder. She carries the 487th FS paint scheme which was found in the latter months of the war, with the D-Day half stripes on the fuselage.
The name Crazy Horse is painted in capital italic letters in black with white shadow outline on the bare metal part of the fuselage and in white with black shadow outline on the front blue part of the nose.
She carries the initials DS (port side) and LL (starboard side) which are the initals of both Doug and Lee.
Pictures of N851D Crazy Horse
Contributor pictures of N851D Crazy Horse
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352nd Fighter Group Association