British A-36 ?

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Aug 21, 2006
Here are some quick pictures I was able to dig up on the A-36 with 20mm cannons.



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Jun 16, 2009
10 RAF's Mustangs Mk.I were prepared for shipping to Russia in May 1942. But only 4 were accepted by VVS (AG348, 352 etc.). Anybody can make clear what had happened with the rest 6? Maybe lost at sea?


Senior Airman
Dec 27, 2006
Well who ever told you that is either dreaming or lying (maybe both) or perhaps mixed up in some anti-American delusional paranoia. The introduction of the Mustang with the Merlin lit up the production lines at Inglewood and Dallas and was also a boom for Packard - NA had a Merlin Powered Mustang in mind since mid 1942...

Who can you mean - 'delusional paranoia' - what - calm down!

"In the summer of 1942, Packard Motors was negotiating with Rolls Royce to license-build the Merlin engine at its Detroit plant. Learning of Rolls Royce' Merlin-Mustang plans, Major Thomas Hitchcock, the American military attache in London, and others, pushed for the development of a Mustang powered by the Packard-built Merlin. Authorized in July, 1942, North American began its Merlin Mustang development in August."

Bottom line, NA welcomed it with open arms - look at the dates. If there was real resistance to putting a Merlin in a P-51 NA could of really dragged it's feet. By November 1942 the XP-51B was flying...

You've only shown that RR, Packard, NA and Maj Tom Hitchock - were instrumental in getting th 'XP-51B' flying - what then? Who was responsible for ordering it for the USAAF for how many and when?

Source: Wilfred Freeman the genius behind allied survival and air supremacy 1939 to 1945, by Anthony Furse.
After testing the Mustang at higher atlitudes at the RAF's Air fighter Development Unit on 29 April '42, it was realised that this was the best US low medium altitude aircraft to arrive in Britain so far and that the installation of a Merlin engine would improve the high altitude performance.
Winnant, the US Ambassador, was brought into the process, together with his Assistant Air Attache - Tommy Hitchcock, he discussed the estimated figures with Portal, Douglas, and Linnell from the RAF, Llewellin from MAP, General Lyons of the USAAF in Britain and with senior staff from Rolls Royce and the North American Company.
Winnant cabled Arnold via Hopkins on 5 June '42.
... with the (single-stage) American Merlin 28 ... the performance of the Mustang would be ... far better than ... the Aircobra at all altitudes and 20 mph faster than the Spitfre V ... the plane the British suggested for (our) use in this theatre ...
Moreover, a performane engineer at RR - Witold Challier calculated that a Merlin 61 Mustang would have a top speed at 25,600 ft of 441 mph.
"For 1943, large numbers of republican P-47s and Lockheed P-38s had been ordered as standard day-fighters by the US Army Air Corps, and there were huge outstanding orders for other obsolete or underdeveloped fighters all to be powered by the V12 Allison. A decision to mass-produce the Merlin Mustang would therefore depend on the Americans being willing both to accept it as third component of their own fighter squadrons, and to make massive custs in orders for obsolete aircraft. Strong opposition to orders for the Mustang as a third fighter aircraft in the 1943 procurement plan was thus inevitable.2
"Freeman had been warned by Hopkins that extreme tact would be required if a major change was to be effected on British advice."
Slessor who was in Washington, was told that test had shown that the Mustang with a Merlin 61 would be far superior at all heights to the Spitfire IX. But he was warned that Arnold ... 'does not favour the continuation of Mustang orders because it is not built to USAF specification' ... 'you should discuss with Arnold and if possible arrange to put forward the proposition as his own' !
In August '42 General Oliver P. Echols, the head of Arnold's Materiel Division, visited Hucknall to see a Merlin Mustang for himself. On 26 August 1942 the Air Corps placed an order for 400 Merlin mustangs, and on 8 October another for 1,350.
But orders didn't mean much - capacity at Inglewood was inadequate, and output of two-stage Merlins at Packard would not begin until June '43, production of Merlin Mustangs reaching a maximum of only 200 a month a year later!
"Churchill accepted that his intervention would need the utmost tact. An exceptionally convincing case would be essential. Vested interests in the USA would be srongly opposedto the replacemnt of the Mustang's Allison by the Packard Merlin and even as late as March '43 Eaker, having allocated all the Allison -engined Mustang to the 9th Tactical AAF, claimed that the merlin was too heavy for performance at height."
"Despite opposition from supporters of other, obsolete or unproven American fighters, Lyttleton's information, the incontrovertible facts about the unique qualities of the Mustang, and the invaluable - and patient - help ofthe well briefed Roosevelt, convinced the US Chiefs of Staff and other authorities that there must be a massive increase in the capacity to make, and orders for, Packard Merlin engines and P-51 Merlin Mustangs. The capacity of the North American plant at Inglewood was greatly increased and part of their factory at Dallas was switched to Mustangs. Output of Allison-engined mustangs was to cease when production of the two-stage Packard Merlin 68 began, and all such engines would be installed in Mustans. By mid-1944, the monthly output of Mustangs would increas from 200 to 700, and of Packard Merlins from 14,400 to 2,400 - later 2,700.
Yet- "Eaker's prejudice against the Merlin mustang was proof at first against its remarkable qualities, and none of the first 145 aircraft to reach Britain for the 8th AAF came as long range fighters. As late as 30 October 1943, 493 of the 673 P-51Bs and P-51Cs due to be delivered to Britain in 1943 were for roles other than escort."
"Arnold now intervened decisively, insisting that the 8th Air Force got absolute priority for P-51s for the last three months of 1943. The Mustangs which eaker had sent to the 9th Air Force were transferred back to the 8th AAF Fighter Command: Spaatz was appointed head of the US Strategic Air Forces in Europe, and Doolittle and Kepner took over the command of the 8th AAF bomber and fighter forces.

Hope this is of interest.

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