The renowned P -51 Mustang takes center stage at this month’s Living Aviation History Days program, a series presented by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Dixie Wing Warbird Museum. Pilot Wes Stowers is the presenter, bringing his own P-51 for display. The program will begin at 11 a.m. Oct. 27 at the Museum hangar, 1200 Echo Ct., Peachtree City, Ga., adjacent to Atlanta Regional Airport – Falcon Field. Admission is $10, with veterans and active military members admitted free.
The P-51 Mustang became the premier Allied fighter during World War II. Originally developed by North American Aviation for the British, it underperformed with its Allison engine. The Brits substituted the Rolls Royce Merlin to create the P-51 B/C model, and a star was born. The definitive version, the P-51D, sported a bubble canopy and was powered by the Packard V-1650-7, a version of the Rolls-Royce Merlin 66.
The US Army Air Corps believed in 1942 that tightly packed formations of bombers would have enough firepower to fend off enemy fighters on their own, until the disastrous Schweinfurt and Regensburg raids in 1943. A long-range fighter escort became a top priority and the P-51 was the answer. Nazi Luftwaffe Chief Herman Göring said that when he saw the P-51 fighters over Berlin, he knew the war was over for Germany.
Dixie Wing member Stowers is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and has logged many hours in F-4 Phantoms. He owns “Ain’t Misbehavin’”, which he flies often. He brings many years of fighter experience to this presentation.
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