North American Mustang Mk.I: The Forgotten First Production Mustang

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North American Mustang Mk.I

Hello! and welcome to my suggestion for the First British (and first production) variant of the North American Mustang Fighter (Aka P-51), I feel this would be a good High performance fighter for the British tree to compliment the one in the Premium line and provide an alternate playstyle to the Spitfires at similar BRs.





shortly before the War broke out the British had been keenly interested in some American designs and had established a purchasing commision in the United States, one of this committees roles was the organisation of Production for US designed fighters for RAF service, at which time no US fighters met the standards needed for combat in Europe, with the Curtiss Tomahawk (aka P-40) being the closest but still falling short by a country mile. Whilst visiting North American Aviation to enquire about a potential licence production of Tomahawks the British were informed that NAA could have a better fighter in production sooner than any Tomahawk line could be started.

At the time the UK was wary as NAA had never designed and built a Fully functional fighter before, however took them up on the offer, leading to an intense back and forth of designs for this potential fighter, The British wanted an aircraft with the same armament as the Tomahawks in RAF service to be delivered by the start of 1941 and in March 1940 an order was placed with NAA for 320 aircraft to this specification. The first Prototype, the NA-37X took flight in October 1940, barely 150 days since the order was placed, an unusually quick time even in wartime environments, it was equipped with the desired armament of two 12.7mm and four 7.7mm machine guns and largely impressed the british with its good flight performance and long range.

something interesting to note is that the USAAC could have stopped this order from taking place as it could have been considered detrimental to US interests, however as the Mustang at the time was being developed purely for the British to British Specification with none of the US armed forces involved at all, it was not deemed worthwhile to stop this order. by this point an order had been made for another 300 aircraft bringing the total to 620 aircraft

The Production Mustangs featured some slight differences from the original design, the first was the addition of a Supercharged Allison V-1710-39 engine providing Increased power over the NA-37X, there was also the addition of two extra 12.7mm machine guns between the two 7.7s in the wing alongside several other changes including the addition of Bulletproof glass to the front of the windscreen, From this order the USAAC finally took an interest in the P-51 and retained two units of Mk.Is for evaluation.

When the first production Mustangs appeared in the UK in October 1941 they were the Best performing aircraft at low altitude the RAF had, however dropped off at altitudes above 4,500m making it unsuitable for the High altitude dogfights over britain, however the Mustangs range and armament proved useful in two main regards, Army Cooperation/ ground attack and Bomber escort, to this avail the Mustang Mk.I was the first RAF single engine fighter to operate over Germany after escorting 22 Wellington bombers on a daylight raid in October 1942.

Mustangs also gained fame in low altitude “Rhubarb” operations over Europe in which the Mustangs would fly at extremely low altitudes and unpredictable flight patterns to avoid detection and penetrate deep into Axis territory, leading to extensive damage to Axis logistics and grounded aircraft, due to the Mustangs ability to outrun all enemy aircraft at sea level during this stage of the war, over the first year and a half the Mustangs destroyed around 200 Trains, 200 Bridges and an unknown number of enemy aircraft to the loss of only 8 Mustangs.

The Mustang Mk.I served all the way until 1945 in which all of the early Mustangs were struck off the RAF register for scrapping after the war finished.




Image showing the positions of the 12.7mm (Red) and 7.7mm (Blue) machine guns


The second Mustang Mk.I shortly before delivery


A Mustang Mk.I in flight above the english country in 1942


An early production Mustang armed with RP-3 Rockets for testing

A Mustang Mk.I Alongside various other American Designed aircraft including a Curtiss Kittyhawk Mk.I, Douglas Boston and Lockheed Hudson


Another Mustang Mk.I with an experimental RP-3 Modification

Specs/ Armament



Crew: 1 (Pilot)
Engine: Allision V-1710-39, 1,220hp
Max Speed: * Max Speed: 382mph at 4200m
Length: 9.80 m (32.15 ft)
Width: 11.29 m (37.04 ft)
Height: 3.72 m (12.20 ft)
Weight: 2858 kg (6300 lbs)
Max. Combat Weight: 4808 kg (10600 lbs)
Ceiling: 9144 m (30,000 ft)
Max. Range: 2755 km (1712 Miles)



  • 4 x 12.7mm Machine guns (2 under engine, 1 in each wing) (400 Rpg)
  • 4 x 7.7mm Machine guns (2 in each wing) (500 Rpg)


  • up to 8 x RP-3 rockets


2 x bombs up to 500 lbs

Place in game


I feel this would be a good addition to the British Tech tree at Rank II or III, potentially following on from some other US designed aircraft like the Kittyhawk, It would provide an alternate playstyle to the Hurricanes and Spitfires, Trading manoeuvrability for higher top speed and armament.

in terms of BR i would put it at 3.0 or 3.3 as it is slightly worse than the US P-51C with a slightly better armament but worse Flight performance due to a worse engine and potentially a worse secondary weapon load.



North American P-51 Mustang - Wikipedia
North American P-51 Mustang variants - Wikipedia
North American P-51/ Mustang I from the left
North American P-51 Mustang
North American Mustang Mk I



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+1 for the first Mustang in service, in any country. Absolutely should be present, and should be Tech Tree.


Have you found about the armor changes from any documents? I noticed quite a big inconsistency in this. Some document dated 1942 says armor was 4/16 inch, but I’m not certain which exact model this was. Meanwhile in game the US “canonstang” has 10/16 inch, while the British one has 7/16 inch.

I havent found anything regarding that, as far as im aware both ‘cannonstangs’ should be roughly identical, but my research was mainly focused on the Mk.I instead of thr Mk.IA which did introduce more than just fuel tanks iircs

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+1, the British tech tree could certainly use this design, especially when one considers that this is an aircraft which had been built to a British requirement

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+1 - actually the best suggestion i saw for a very long time.

Nice to see at least somebody got the Mustang story somehow correct.

The story would be complete if you would have mentioned that the Military-Industrial Complex found ways to undermine the political will of US citizens to stay out of wars.

So the various Neutrality Acts based on these views:

The Nye Committee hearings between 1934 and 1936 and several best-selling books of the time, like H. C. Engelbrecht’s The Merchants of Death (1934), supported the conviction of many Americans that the US entry into World War I had been orchestrated by bankers and the arms industry for profit reasons. That strengthened the position of isolationists and non-interventionists in the country.[1]

…became useless with the “cash & carry” clause implemented by FDR & Democrats…

I found no sources for this claim:

It would be great if you could share a link to that. Thx in advance!

It was the first time i read “fame” and “Rhubarb” together in one sentence.

The whole outcome of various mission types (like “Ramrod”, “Circus”, “Rodeo”, etc.) as part of the “Leaning forward into France” strategy is commonly seen as a waste of experienced pilots and aircraft.

Just read the various JG 26 & JG 2 diaries and corresponding RAF losses to see that the main goal (attrition of the LW) was never achieved (before 1944) - with highly negative outcome for the RAF 1941-1943.

Regarding effects of bombing targets in France: If you read some statistics carefully, you find out that more French civilians were killed by allied bombing raids than UK civilians by Germans…


Thanks! making suggestions is a pretty big passion of mine (some may call it an addiction) and this has made my day, thank you very much

I was going to include that but I left it out for two reasons:

  1. I wanted to keep the suggestion from dragging on too far, in my experience nothing pushes me away more than a massive wall of text

  2. I have the writing capability of a dead carrier Pidgeon

for that My source is a book I found in my local library on aircraft from WW2, I’m not entirely sure of its name as I found it whilst I was researching the Tomahawks/Kittyhawks about a month ago and also read through many other books that day, I think it was called “Warbirds” or something but don’t quote me on that.

If it helps I believe it is also backed up by a wikipedia statement (although take of that what you will) saying something similar, sorry if I couldn’t help you with this

yeah… there wasn’t exactly a great success rate with these, especially since the only thing the Mustangs had was speed, which didn’t help if the enemy approached from the front, or from above, but you can’t deny it was at least a distraction and forced axis logistics to keep enemy aircraft in mind most of the time


Mustang I, Mustang IA and P-51 should most definitely have the same armor, but so far I haven’t found what it really was. During initial test in USA there was just 1/4 inch = 6.35mm seat back plate. Then a manual states firewall armor and bulletproof glass existed, but for seat back there was only provision. No thickness for any of those.

P-36, P-51A and all the following had the same armour, which was described as .30cal proof, so I would suggest it was the same for these ones as well, but no proper source so far.

Edit: I went through a lot of P-51 manuals. Some of them have a little bit lacking information, but conclusion is quite obvious: All variants had the same armor, except for addition of small plate under windscreen for D, K & H. No manual describes different thickness for the plates. I already reported the issues.

-coolant header plate in nose 6.35mm (1/4 inch)
-firewall 6.35mm (1/4 inch)
-windscreen 38.1mm (1 1/2 inch)
-tiny plate under windscreen in bubble canopy variants 6.35mm (1/4 inch)
-headrest plate 11.11mm (7/16 inch)
-seat back plate 7.94mm (5/16 inch)

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Np - i saw it from the actual historical relevance as somehow strange that this aircraft was missing.

And flying a Mustang has usually the massive downside of playing with US teams or “Knights of the Holy Order of Grind”, not my preferred option :-)

No - it was really good and regarding this comparison:
Lmao - u made my day :-)

I see wikipedia rather as an opinion than a fact platform, but imho daylight raids of the BC were so rare, that even they would have mentioned it…

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