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A Few Mustang Mk.i Questions


phat trev
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With a number of members of the Britmodeller community currently working on models of early Mustangs as a part of the Group build, I thought it worthwhile to point out a couple of details regarding the early Allison engined Mustangs.

 

First and foremost, the cockpit floor on the early Allison Mustangs is curved and made of metal.  Why?  Because it is the top surface of the centre section of the wing.  So the cockpit floor is basically the top surface of the wing with various mounts, brackets, conduits and the like added to which are fitted those items of cockpit equipment that mount to the 'floor'.  Being metal, it is painted the same basic colour as the cockpit sidewalls.  It is definitely NOT wood!  Note: the Merlin engined Mustangs, they increased the depth of the fuselage from behind the cockpit forward, to accommodate the increased depth of the Merlin and also to route cooling lines from the engine to the radiators.  As such, they then added the FLAT wooden floor which sat above the curved wing surface below.  The wooden floor was also painted, the paint being mixed with a non-slip additive - basically fine sand - and to prevent water, oil or other fluid damage to the wooden floor it was noted in the maintenance manuals that it should be kept in a painted condition.  The woodgrained floors are a post war, shiney US P-51D warbirds affectation that is not correct for wartime service aircraft.  Something too that has become a bit of a modellers 'thing' to "add interest to the cockpit".

 

For those interested in detail of the cockpit of the RAF Mustang Mk.I, I provide the following photos and descriptions taken from the Mustang Mk.I Pilots Manual AP2025.

49261220933_d8761bccbd_h.jpgMustang Mk1 Cockpit Front by Colin Ford, on Flickr

 

49261690821_99daee026d_b.jpgMustang Mk1 Legend by Colin Ford, on Flickr

 

49261221113_6555a499e2_k.jpgMustang Mk.1 Cockpit Port by Colin Ford, on Flickr

 

49261691051_b00c0d5ba4_k.jpgMustang Mk1 Cockpit Stbd by Colin Ford, on Flickr

 

Note that in one of these photos the pilot's seat has been removed to give a clearer view of some of the cockpit controls and fittings and some items of equipment (eg IFF controller) have been removed for security purposes.  There are a number of detail differences in the cockpit layout of the Mustang Mk.IA, key amongst those is the deletion of the nose gun charging handles in the upper corners of the control panel and changes to the armament control switches.  Note how in the key they also mention changes relating to certain modifications across the Mustang Mk.I production groups and where certain RAF modifications were implemented - or not.

 

Hope the above helps those interested in the early Allison Mustangs.

 

Edited by ColFord
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Gingerbob,

 

Old question about air filter in the air intake for the Mustang Mk.I and Mk.IA.  Going through various versions of manuals for the Mustang Mk.I and Mk.IA today, found in a September 1943 edition of the RAF Pilot's Notes, updated and amended to November 1944 the following notation that was not in earlier versions of the Pilot's Notes for the type.

 

49263381226_578b1f09e0_c.jpgMustang Mk.I & Mk.IA Filter by Colin Ford, on Flickr

 

So that is for NA-83 and NA-91, Vokes filter fitted within the carburettor air intake trunking.  There is no indications of a bypass option in the Pilot's notes, so this would suggest that it is a full time - inline - air filter.  The fact that it applies to the late production Mk.Is and the Mk.IAs also ties in with the appearance of the clearance of the type for desert/tropical operations in documentation for those batches.  However, the timing of the inclusion of the information and naming of the filter by name/type in a late 1944 amended and updated version of the Pilot's notes may indicate that the addition of the filter may be, like that required for the Typhoon, a consequence of the dusty conditions on the ALGs in France after D-Day.  So provision to fit a filter on AL series onwards, but a filter not fitted until later.  That may help in narrowing down mod paperwork and associated technical information.  I'll keep digging.

 

 

 

 

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Excellent Col, Thank you so much for sharing that!  Yes, the early arrangement (through A-36, I believe?) was "Your choice- put in a filter or don't."  So it makes a lot of sense that they'd not actually use filters for the UK-based Mustangs.  I did (I think) see one comment that NAA would make enough new parts for the ones that were built without provision, but whether that actually happened is another question.

 

bob

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  • 6 months later...

Thanks for the High Planes advice. I have built a couple of their kits but there is soooooooooo much clean up needed.

 

I thought it would be easier to make my own nose on the front of an easy to build Mustang.Doesn`t the Academy kit have cannons in the leading edge of the wings?

 

regards Toby

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Yeah, but you would be doing major wing work anyway as you would have to get rid of the dive brakes on the Brengun A-36.

Up to you of course but if you're happy to scractchbuild an entire nose I would not have thought taking the cannon off an Academy kit or the cleanup on an HPM kit would be much of an obstacle.

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The catch using Brengun is that the fuselage is more accurately a Mustang III with regards to depth. It is taller between the wing upper surface and cockpit than the Mustang I. TBH though, that won’t stop me from building their A-36 kit, unless someone actually does an accurate Allison Mustang in the meantime

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Academy, although not an A-36, is immensely more accurate than anything else.  I think it more than acceptable.  You could always try putting the Brengun wing on an Academy fuselage, or at least the important bits for an A-36.

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FWIW, a few years ago I did a RCAF Mustang I of 414 Squadron using the Academy "P-51 Mustang "North Africa" (#12401) - a cannon-armed P-51A - mated with the Hawkeye resin replacement wing that was intended (I believe) for the Hasegawa P-51B/C - with the appropriate modifications to the wing armament (4x .50 & 2x .303) and the landing lights. as well as the addition of a gun camera.  I guess in loo of the resin wing, one could always use a P-51B/C wing from an expendable Academy P-51B/C.

 

Scott

 

Mustang-I-6.jpg    Mustang-I-4.jpg

 

Mustang-I-7.jpg

Edited by Scott Hemsley
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4 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

Academy, although not an A-36, is immensely more accurate than anything else.  I think it more than acceptable.  You could always try putting the Brengun wing on an Academy fuselage, or at least the important bits for an A-36.

true, I would use the Academy fuselage as a starting point in 1/72 in both cases, whether I wanted a 1/72 A-36 like Chuck does _or_ a Mustang X  like Planebuilder does

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A couple of points of a technical nature, the armament of the Mustang Mk.I was a mix of 0.50in HMGs and 0.300in MGs, the RAF did NOT replace the US supplied 0.300in MGs with UK manufactured 0.303in MGs.  You will also need to rescribe the wing armament access hatches to match the configuration for the Mk.I and redo the underwing case and link ejection ports to match the configurationand location for the Mustang Mk.I - illustrations from technical manuals earlier in this thread. Depending on the subject aircraft there will be detail differences if it is a NA-73 series (AG serial) Mustang Mk.I including location of gun camera window, the air scoop deflector under the wing centre section, etc, as distinct to those for later NA-83 (AL, AM, AP serials) Mustang Mk.I - covered earlier in this thread and other threads here on BM.  If you are going to use a wing from a P-51B/C/Mustang III to re-wing the Academy kit, don't forget to remove the stiffening strakes ahead of the ailerons and fill/putty over the three underwing recognition lights under the starboard wingtip as the RAF Mustang Mk.I, Mk.IA and Mk.II didn't have them. 

 

 

 

 

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  • 1 year later...

Good Day Everyone,

 

Reviving this thread (once again) as I am assisting in a build of a Mustang Mk.I and there's been a bit of contention surrounding the chin gun fairings on the mount being built (AP178 flown by 430 Squadron - "J" call letter)


My understanding is both productions (NA-73 and NA-83) of the Mustang Mk.Is (which include AP178) would have had the chin fairings in place as they left the factory.  Were these chin fairings ever "removed" in the field?  If so, how commonplace would that have been?   Lastly, was that even feasible and/or possible to do?  

My current reference is Franks' "The North American P-51 Early Mustang (including the A-36A, P-51 & P-51A to C)" by Valiant Wings (2013).   Another gentleman helping out on the build suggests that Freeman's book "Mustang At War" (1974) suggests AM/AL serial codes onwards did not, in fact, have the fairings installed initially (i.e. off of the production line). 

 

Any assistance would be helpful and appreciated!

 

Cheers,

Dave

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15 minutes ago, SteveBrooking said:

Hi Dave

The fairing appeared only on NA73 AG345 to AG423.

Thanks a ton Steve!!

So that would mean that Freeman's book was correct?  That is, nothing beyond AG423 (NA-73 production) and all of the NA-83 production did not have the chin gun fairings?

Lastly, I don't want to be a bother but is there some source link I can provide to the builder (I trust what you're saying but want to ensure the builder knows where the info is coming from - he's building the old 1/32 Hobbycraft kit as a commission build for the WWII vet that flew the aircraft)

 

Thanks kindly and muchly appreciated!

Cheers,
Dave

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20 minutes ago, Hornet133 said:

More correctly it means that the Valiant Wings book is incorrect. Again.

 

Be very wary of the Valiant Wings books, there are many errors in some of them.

Thanks.. I know that Franks does state that all he's done was to "give you as much data as possible, so that you can make your own decision as to the most likely scenario"  - mind you, that is in the small print at the very beginning before the Acknowledgements.  

 

Maybe the photos should be suffice in this case LOL  - I did find the photo of AG633 which obviously confirms Steve's comment - this makes my life (eventually will backdate the Academy 1/72) and the life of the modeller building the 1/32 Hobbycraft kit a LOT easier. 

 

Thanks again!!

Cheers,
Dave

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The fairing was there because of the design of the blast tube. In Freeman's book there is a photo on page 22 that shows the original design this was changed by from a square end to the to an oblique angle cut along the length of the tube (not sure of the proper engineering language). If you have a photo of the fuselage guns on a later Mustang without the fairing then the end of the blast tube loked like that aperture. The engineering order was issued on 6 May 1941 before AG346 had flown but manufactured parts for the first design already in hand were used up in production.

 

Steve

 

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5 minutes ago, SteveBrooking said:

The fairing was there because of the design of the blast tube. In Freeman's book there is a photo on page 22 that shows the original design this was changed by from a square end to the to an oblique angle cut along the length of the tube (not sure of the proper engineering language). If you have a photo of the fuselage guns on a later Mustang without the fairing then the end of the blast tube loked like that aperture. The engineering order was issued on 6 May 1941 before AG346 had flown but manufactured parts for the first design already in hand were used up in production.

 

Steve

 

Wow.. thanks for this Steve!! That explains a lot and I really appreciate the assistance on this.  Glad I found this thread and you guys have the right info I need for my own build as well as others!

Cheers,

Dave

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