Mustang III with 2, 4 rocket clusters?

N4521U

Lieutenant Colonel
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FX893 P-51B test AC.jpg
Shown here is Mustang Mk.III, (FX893) being used for armament trials.
Note that the plane is equipped with unusual rocket rails,
each carrying a 27 kg (60 lb) SAP rocket above and below
so that the single hardpoint on each wing could serve to launch two pairs of RPs.
Like all RAF Mustang Mk.IIIs it is fitted with the Malcolm hood.


So, I found this interesting P-51B in our Black and White photo section of this forum.
Does anyone have a source for the details of the 4 rocket cluster arrangement?
I have found a build on the www of this AC and it was painted with the underside Yellow.
Not unlike the German captured Allied aircraft flown with German markings for evaluation.
It looked pretty ugly with a Yellow belly! Any thoughts by anyone here?

I also found this in my searches.
North American P-51B-1-NA Mustang/43-12384
Model: NA-102
Construction #: 102-24832
Delivered to U.S. Army Air Force
Allocated to the Royal Air Force as Mustang III/FX895.
Broke up in air and crashed near Coolham, April 19, 1944
 

nuuumannn

Major
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Nelson
A bit of data. Mustang III FX893 did RP trials with the A&AEE in April 1944 with what was designated the RP Mk.V installation, general findings included increased weight and stall speed, but handling up to 450 mph was very good and the bulged Malcolm hood favourable. The Mk.V installation on the Mustang, as pictured, was two rockets above and two below the centrally located racks and was capable of being jettisoned, trials establishing that the Mustang was a good platform, but the automatic oil and radiator shutters under the aircraft's belly reacted by opening and closing at indeterminant intervals, which affected accuracy when firing the rockets. The cure was limiting the shutters' movement.
 

nuuumannn

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Oct 12, 2011
Nelson
IMHO .. not, it wasn't.

I kind'a agree, but without firm evidence it's just a guess based on looking at existing evidence. The prototype of a mark of aircraft got the yellow paint and the P in a circle marking, but regular production aircraft that rolled off the line were delivered to the A&AEE for trials in the schemes they were painted in production. FX893 wasn't the prototype Mustang III, it wasn't even the first Mustang III they received at Boscombe.
 

N4521U

Lieutenant Colonel
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Nov 1, 2009
Miranda, NSW
Agree nuuumannn! This P-51B was wayyyyyy down the production list going to the RAF as a test bed.

So I will assume the belly was Sky Grey with what colour camo upper?

My GB57 build..... I like to plan.
You guys are our blessing.
 

ColFord

Airman 1st Class
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Feb 18, 2010
Canberra
Like all RAF Mustang Mk.IIIs it is fitted with the Malcolm hood.
So I will assume the belly was Sky Grey with what colour camo upper?
Not all RAF Mustang Mk.III were fitted with a Malcolm Hood. It was a requirement in the ETO that as a part of the pre-operational RAF modifications to be conducted by a RAF Maintenance Unit or Contractor before acceptance for operational service, that a Mustang Mk.III must be modified with the fitting of a Malcolm Hood, along with a list of other RAF service specific modification, such as fitting a Sutton Harness, RAF style oxygen regulator, etc. That also included stripping and repainting the aircraft into a standardised c&m pattern using the standardised RAF paints to meet the description of the Day Fighter Scheme. That comprised Ocean Gray and RAF Dark Green upper surfaces in a disruptive pattern, over Medium Sea Grey under surfaces, Sky propellor spinner and rear fuselage id band, yellow wing leading edge id stripes and national marking of the correct style and size placed on wings, fuselage and tail. So for Mustang III in the UK the Malcolm Hood was 'standard', except for a couple very early on that did the early trials work before the Malcolm Hood modification was developed and mandated.

Mustang Mk.III in the MTO, the Malcolm Hood was not a required modification, in part due to the number of Mustang Mk.III being delivered direct to that theatre of operations from the USA by ship and assembled in theatre and demand for Malcolm Hoods for Mustangs in the ETO for both RAF and USAAF. So in MTO you are more likely to see a RAF Mustang Mk.III with the original NAA designed framed canopy section. If you do see a Mustang Mk.III in MTO with a Malcolm Hood it is a Mustang Mk.III that came via the UK and was ferried into the MTO from there. The camouflage colours in RAF Mustang Mk.III in the MTO can be a bit of a mine field, depending on where the aircraft came from, where it was assembled, which MU reassembled it after arrival from the USA, and if it had been back into a RAF MU for a major servicing or repairs. Accordingly it could be painted in a c&m scheme using US applied equivalent colours approximating the the earlier RAF Temperate Land Scheme or RAF Day Fighter Scheme ex the NAA factory - which version depends on when manufactured and serial number. It could also be repainted in theatre by a RAF MU on re-assembly or after major repairs or servicing to meet the RAF c&m requirements in place in that theatre at the time in question. So you need to identify your subject aircraft, which theatre of operations, and best of all, have photos of it if possible and its serial number to try and narrow down what c&m it should be carrying.

In terms of the dual RP rails, they did not gain much favour with the RAF operating in the ETO and most operational use of them was by RAF Squadrons in the MTO, primarily in the Italian and Balkans campaigns.

And no, the trials aircraft with A&AEE did not have yellow under surfaces, carried RAF UK/ETO standard c&m - see above.
 

N4521U

Lieutenant Colonel
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Nov 1, 2009
Miranda, NSW
Not all RAF Mustang Mk.III were fitted with a Malcolm Hood. It was a requirement in the ETO that as a part of the pre-operational RAF modifications to be conducted by a RAF Maintenance Unit or Contractor before acceptance for operational service, that a Mustang Mk.III must be modified with the fitting of a Malcolm Hood, along with a list of other RAF service specific modification, such as fitting a Sutton Harness, RAF style oxygen regulator, etc. That also included stripping and repainting the aircraft into a standardised c&m pattern using the standardised RAF paints to meet the description of the Day Fighter Scheme. That comprised Ocean Gray and RAF Dark Green upper surfaces in a disruptive pattern, over Medium Sea Grey under surfaces, Sky propellor spinner and rear fuselage id band, yellow wing leading edge id stripes and national marking of the correct style and size placed on wings, fuselage and tail. So for Mustang III in the UK the Malcolm Hood was 'standard', except for a couple very early on that did the early trials work before the Malcolm Hood modification was developed and mandated.

Mustang Mk.III in the MTO, the Malcolm Hood was not a required modification, in part due to the number of Mustang Mk.III being delivered direct to that theatre of operations from the USA by ship and assembled in theatre and demand for Malcolm Hoods for Mustangs in the ETO for both RAF and USAAF. So in MTO you are more likely to see a RAF Mustang Mk.III with the original NAA designed framed canopy section. If you do see a Mustang Mk.III in MTO with a Malcolm Hood it is a Mustang Mk.III that came via the UK and was ferried into the MTO from there. The camouflage colours in RAF Mustang Mk.III in the MTO can be a bit of a mine field, depending on where the aircraft came from, where it was assembled, which MU reassembled it after arrival from the USA, and if it had been back into a RAF MU for a major servicing or repairs. Accordingly it could be painted in a c&m scheme using US applied equivalent colours approximating the the earlier RAF Temperate Land Scheme or RAF Day Fighter Scheme ex the NAA factory - which version depends on when manufactured and serial number. It could also be repainted in theatre by a RAF MU on re-assembly or after major repairs or servicing to meet the RAF c&m requirements in place in that theatre at the time in question. So you need to identify your subject aircraft, which theatre of operations, and best of all, have photos of it if possible and its serial number to try and narrow down what c&m it should be carrying.

In terms of the dual RP rails, they did not gain much favour with the RAF operating in the ETO and most operational use of them was by RAF Squadrons in the MTO, primarily in the Italian and Balkans campaigns.

And no, the trials aircraft with A&AEE did not have yellow under surfaces, carried RAF UK/ETO standard c&m - see above.
This one, like many other of my builds are only built with success because of all of you.
This old man is baffled by the knowledge bank we have within the posts of this forum.
I'll cease gushing, but many thanks!
 

N4521U

Lieutenant Colonel
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Nov 1, 2009
Miranda, NSW
The only problem with all this.............................
I've got it all worked out and..............................
I wanna Start it NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dam
 

drgondog

Captain
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Jun 28, 2006
Scurry, Texas
I kind'a agree, but without firm evidence it's just a guess based on looking at existing evidence. The prototype of a mark of aircraft got the yellow paint and the P in a circle marking, but regular production aircraft that rolled off the line were delivered to the A&AEE for trials in the schemes they were painted in production. FX893 wasn't the prototype Mustang III, it wasn't even the first Mustang III they received at Boscombe.
IIRC 43-12384 was delivered in August 1943 for RAF but stayed at Inglewood for some period of time before sending to RAE. The Prototye Mustangs were P-51 (NA-91) airframes as XP-51B, There were no prototpe Mustang III, and I believe that FX893 was Mustang III #1 designated for RAF although not the first of FX series. To the latter, I am still trying to sort that one out. One possibility is that while 43-12384 was in Experimental Hanger with the prototype 85 gal fuse tank mods in July 1943 timeframe, it may not have received the 'FX' designation and other following P-51B-1s were delivered beginning with FX848?

I suspect Colin Ford will know.
 

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