North American Mustang Mk.III: Now With a Merlin!

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North American Mustang Mk.III

Hello! and welcome to my suggestion for the next installment of Mustangs in british Service (aka P-51), this time I bring to you another Unique variation of the Mustang, the Mk.III. I feel this could come to game as a potential 3.7 fighter to provide an alternative playstyle to the Spitfires at the same rank.

History

Spoiler

As the Mustangs gained popularity in the allied forces it became apparent that the engine of the older P-51s, the Allision V-1710-39, was not powerful enough to enable the Mustang to be competitive against newer Axis fighters, whilst it could outrun almost anything at sea level, at altitude it suffered immensely with performance dropping sharply above 4,500m. This lead to a few interesting designs such as the British Mustang Mk.X testing the Merlin engine.

After the Mk.X came the XP-51Bs which were a more concrete redesign over the conversions of the Mk.X, the inclusion of the larger Merlin engine required a total redesign of the Engine cowling and other aspects of the design. soon this new design was to be accepted into service with the US as the P-51B and C, the newer engine paired with the drop tanks introduced on the earlier Mustang Mk.IA made this new variant ideal for bomber escort due to its improved high altitude performance and extremely high range for a single engined fighter.

This new variant wasn’t without its flaws however, many pilots complained of poor visibility within the cockpit, especially for looking behind the aircraft, this was a rather serious issue as when in dogfights pilots needed to know exactly where an enemy was if they got behind the Mustang, Another issue was that the hinged canopy of the B and C models was almost impossible to open whilst flying at high speeds, making bailing out almost impossible. Whilst the Americans would solve these issues with the introduction of a bubble canopy on the P-51D, the British opted for a more direct approach.

Now a bit of backstory, the British Canopy manufacturer R Malcolm & Co had come up with the idea of a bulging cockpit canopy, allowing for greater all round visibility, First used on the Supermarine Spitfire, to rather high success rates, it allowed for both Pilots to both see what was around them more clearly and also as it slid back it allowed for Pilots to open the canopy with ease in the stressful situations of bailing out, something that was quite common over the skies of Europe.

This lead to the idea to mount these canopies (dubbed Malcolm Hoods) to the newly arrived Mustang Mk.IIIs, taking an already good aircraft and removing one of its main drawbacks in aerial combat gave it an edge over its American Counterparts and proved superior in both Dogfights and in reducing Pilot casualties. Many of these Malcolm hood fitted P-51s would also serve in the Polish Squadrons within the RAF such as 315 (Polish) Squadron with squadron leader Eugeniusz “Dziubek” Horbaczewski, scoring 1 1/2 kills of Axis fighters and several kills of V-1 Rocket bombs throughout the war

Images

Spoiler

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A Mustang Mk.III outfitted with two Wing fuel tanks

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An unpainted Mustang Mk.III at an airfield in the UK

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A Mustang Mk.III shortly after delivery to the UK, still with the standard canopy

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Ace pilot Eugeniusz “Dziubek” Horbaczewski beside his Mustang Mk.III

Several Ground crew members around Horbaczewski’s Mustang

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Mustang Mk.IIIs from Gravesend flying in formation in 1944

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A Bristol Beaufighter being escorted by a Mustang Mk.III from 315 (Polish) Sqn

Specs/ Armament (pretty much identical to the P-51C in game)

Spoiler

Performance

Crew: 1 (Pilot)
Engine Packard V-1650, 1,590 hp
Max Speed: 437 mph (703 kph)
Range 950 km (1 529 miles)
Length: 9.83m (32 ft 3 in)
Span: 11.29m (37 ft 1 in)
Height: 2.64 m (8 ft 10 in)
Empty Weight: 3,232 kg (7,125 lbs)
Max T/O Weight: 5,262 kg (11,600 lbs)

Armament

Guns:

  • 4 x 12.7mm (.50 calibre) Machine guns

Rockets:

  • up to 8 RP-3 rockets

Bombs:

  • up to 500lbs (possibly more) bomb under each wing

Fuel tanks:

  • 2 x 280L (62 imp gal) fuel tanks

OR

  • 2 x 320L (71 imp gal) Fuel tanks

Place in game

Spoiler

I feel this could come to the british tree to provide an alternative to the Spitfires at 3.7, it would provide a gameplay style currently quite empty at the lower ranks of the British tree which focuses more on Turn fighting and manoeuvrability over speed and armament, is 4 x 12.7mm would offer a change to the normal 8+ x 7.7mm machine guns or the mix of 7.7 and 20mms found on other aircraft at that rank.

This would also be unique in the sense that the Canopy would provide greater visibility in cockpit view, whilst this wouldn’t provide much in Arcade or Realistic battles, it would provide a welcome addition to any sim players, as it would make identifying and following targets much easier over the American P-51C.

Sources

Spoiler

North American P-51 Mustang - Wikipedia
North American P-51 Mustang variants - Wikipedia
North American P-51 Mustang
https://armahobbynews.pl/en/blog/2022/02/24/the-legendary-mustang-pk-g-of-s-ldr-dziubek-horbaczewski/
The South African Air Force
Noth American RAF Mustang Mk.III
Mustang III For RAF

5 Likes

A Mustang with RP-3s would be crazy! +1

2 Likes

Yes!!! Game needs more mustangs!!!

1 Like

There is also a North American Mustang with two 40mm Vickers guns that are on the Hurricane plane

BsvamgXNHdo

1 Like

That would be AWESOME!

I am wondering more specifically which Packard engine it would be using ingame. From what I can find, the Mustang III were the British designation of the P-51B & P-51C. The B-variant used the Packard V-1650-3 for most of its production run, where the C-variant used the Packard V-1650-7. In regards to the specs of the engines, they are as follows:

Type Takeoff Power Combat Power Information
V-1650-3 1.380bhp @ 3.000rpm 1.600bhp @ 3.000rpm Critical Altitude 11.800ft (3.597m) two-stage
V-1650-7 1.490bhp @ 3.000rpm 1.590bhp @ 3.000rpm Critical Altitude 8.500ft (2.591m) two-stage

Source of engine specs: The Merlin: The Engine that Won the Second World War - by Gordon A. A. Wilson (ISBN: 978 1 3981 0325 2)

1 Like

Yes, im working towards making a suggestion for that in the near future, just working on the Mk.IV and IVA first

Yeah, its ultimately up to gaijin how they implement it exactly as many British designations for lend lease are a bit hectic so i just put a generic stat there, personally id want it to be the same as the P-51C but gaijin might change that for balance

+1, the UK can do with some Lend Lease stuff, as it would give many different options for gameplay at various ranks

1 Like