Here you can find the tales and background information of todays airworthy P-51 Mustangs. Names such as Cripes A' Mighty 3rd, Big Beautifull Doll, Gentlemen Jim, Janie, etc. grace the side of immaculately restored P-51s. More and more companies are getting involved in warbird restoration and the P-51 Mustang remains one of the most popular airframes to rebuild. Approximately 157 Mustangs are airworthy to date, with more than 50 still undergoing restoration to airworthy status.
The North American P-51 Mustang was one of the most widely produced wartime fighter aircraft. After its operational service, a lot of airframes were dumped for sale to the surplus market. Several aircraft were reconditioned and sold to foreign air arms around the world. They provide the biggest share of today's surviving Mustangs. The Royal Canadian Air Force, the Royal New Zealand Air Force and Australia (which produced licence built Mustangs, known as Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation or CAC) account for the part of recovered and restored airframes. When the Royal Canadian Air Force put their Mustangs up for disposal, 87 aircraft were sold to civilian owners, 30 of which still fly today. Of the CAC, 12 aircraft are still airworthy today.
Another major factor in the availability of Mustang airframes was the civilian rebuild of several Mustangs in the late 1960s, early 1970s by the Cavalier Aircraft Corporation.
Several recoveries of Mustang airframes were made in countries such as Nicaragua (12 Mustangs), Guatemala (10 Mustangs), El Salvador (10 Mustangs), Israel (4 Mustangs), Brazil (4 Mustangs) and Indonesia (15 Mustangs). The Dominican Republic used P-51s in operational service for the longest time and was the last country to provide a great number of airframes. On May 19th, 1984, after months of negotiations and bidding, Brian O'Farrell and Armin Mattli acquired the entire Mustang stock of the Fuerza Aerea Dominicana (FAB), including several warehouses full of spare parts (some were even still in their original NAA boxes).
On the left you can find a list of surviving P-51 Mustang airframes still flying today (the list is continuously being updated as a lot of Mustangs are changing hands and several are still undergoing restoration). The list is divided into two sections: on the left they are sorted alphabetically by their civil registration under which they are flying today, together with their paint scheme name. On the right they are sorted by their original serial number.
For each Mustang I've tried to include the history of both the airframe and the paintscheme, pictures and close-ups, as well as serial number, construction number and the current operator.
Many reading and research has gone into these articles. There are a ton of books & resources available on the P-51 and going through all of those is nearly impossible. Some sources also contain inconsistency in their data and I have tried to provide you with the most accurate data possible.
All of the pictures used within the articles are regarded free of copyright or are published with permission from their author. If there should be a picture in one of the articles that is not, please notify me and it will be removed promptly.
- Aerial Reconnaissance - The 10th Photo Recon Group in WWII by Tom Ivie
- Air Battles 2: P-51 B/C - Mustangs over the Third Reich by Tomasz Szlagor
- Air Battles 5: P-51 D/K - Mustangs over the Third Reich by Tomasz Eslagor
- Air Force Combat Units of World War II - The concise official military record by Maurer Maurer
- American Eagles: P-51 Mustang Units of the Eight Air Force by Roger Freeman
- Battle Colors Volume I: Insignia and aircraft markings of the Eighth Air Force in World War II: VIII Bomber Command by Robert A. Watkins
- Battle Colors Volume II: Insignia and aircraft markings of the Eighth Air Force in World War II: VIII Fighter Command by Robert A. Watkins
- Battle Colors Volume III: Insignia and tactical markings of the Ninth Air Force in World War II by Robert A. Watkins
- Battle Colors Volume IV: Insignia and aircraft markings of the US Army Air Force in WWII: European-African-Middle Eastern Theatre by Robert A. Watkins
- Bluenoser Tales by Robert H. Powell, Jr.
- Development of the P-51 Mustang Long-Range Escort Fighter by Paul A. Ludwig
- Flight manual of the P-51A Mustang
- Flight manual of the P-51B/C Mustang
- Flight manual of the P-51D Mustang
- Flight manual of the P-82 Twin Mustang
- Flying Legends - P-51 Mustang by John Dibbs & Stephen Grey
- George Preddy, Top Mustang Ace by Joe Noah & Samuel L. Sox, Jr.
- Great Aircraft of WWII: P-51 Mustang and B-17 Flying Fortress by Mike Spick
- Happy Jack's Go Buggy - A Fighter Pilot's Story by Jack Ilfrey
- In Action No.45 - P-51 Mustang by Squadron/Signal Publications
- In Detail & Scale 50 - P-51 Mustang by Detail & Scale Inc, published by Squadron/Signal Publications
- Into the Blue - Uniforms of the United States Air Force 1947 - to the present by Lance P. Young
- Mustang Survivors by Paul Coggan
- Mustangs Worldwide - Special Edition by Motorbooks International
- North American P-51 Mustang by Bill Gunston & Robert F. Dorr (WINGS OF FAME, Volume 1)
- Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 1: Mustang Aces of the Eight Air Force by Jerry Scutts
- Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 7: Mustang Aces of the Ninth & Fifteenth Air Forces & the RAF by Jerry Scutts
- Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 26: Mustang and Thunderbolt Aces of the Pacific and CBI by John Stanaway
- Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 31: Long Reach - VIII Fighter Command at war by Michael O'Leary
- Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 51: Down to Earth: Strafing Aces of the Eight Air Force by William H. Ness
- Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 96: Mustang Aces of the 357th Fighter Group by Chris Bucholtz
- Osprey Aircraft - Aviation Elite Units 7: 354th Fighter Group by William N. Hess
- Osprey Aircraft - Aviation Elite Units 10: 359th Fighter Group by Jack H. Smith
- Osprey Aircraft - Aviation Elite Units 21: Very long range Mustang Units of the Pacific War by Carl Molesworth
- Osprey Aircraft - Aviation Elite Units 24: 332nd Fighter Group - Tuskegee Airmen by Chris Bucholtz
- Osprey Aircraft - Aviation Elite Units 30: 4th Fighter Group - Debden Eagles by Chris Bucholtz
- Osprey Aircraft - Aviation Elite Units 32: 479th Fighter Group - Riddle's Raiders by John Stanaway
- P-51 Mustang by Turner Publishing Company
- P-51 Mustang by Dibbs & Grey
- P-51 Mustang from the RAF to the mighty Eighth by Michael O'Leary
- P-51 Mustang: Development of the Long-Range Escort Fighter, Classic Publications
- P-51 Mustang Restored by Paul Coggan
- Production Line to Frontline - North American Aviation P-51 Mustang by Osprey Aviation
- Special Collectors' Edition: 352nd Fighter Group by Osprey Publishing
- Stars & Bars: A tribute to the American Fighter Ace 1920-1973 by Frank Olynyk
- The FlyPast Book of the P-51 Mustang by Key Publishing
- The Warlords - Volume 1 - The 4th, 20th & 55th Fighter Groups by Barry & Ann Money
- "To Fly and Fight" - Memoirs of a Triple Ace
- US Army Air Forces: Aircraft markings and camouflage 1941-1947 by Robert D. Archer
- Walk Around Number 7 - P-51D by Squadron/Signal Publications
- Warbirds Worldwide by Paul Coggan
- WWII Victories of the Army Air Force by Arthur Wyllie
With special thanks to
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