XP-51F/G fuselage deepness and cockpit/seating height vs P-51D and P-51H

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BarnOwlLover

Staff Sergeant
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Nov 3, 2022
Mansfield, Ohio, USA
The XP-51F/G look like its got a deeper fuselage and taller seating position than the P-51D. I know for sure the H did vs the D to improve visibility. But how does the F/G stack up between the D and H? I did read that the transition to a taller seating position started with the F/G, and the H took it a step further.
 
Id be very interested in more info on this. Im currently building a P-51D Flight simulator and to have some more exact into as a starting point on seat height would save me a lot of trial and error
 
I think, based only on study of photographs, that the seat height was the same between F/G/H/J, but the H had a higher front and rear fuselage to cater for a smaller, more D-like, canopy. I recall seeing a quote from a British test report on 'their' XP-51F, which stated that whilst the view was fantastic, the canopy was unnecessarily large (whilst the Spitfire bubbles were deemed a bit too small). NAA might have acted on that feedback to adjust the bodywork on the definitive H.

Justin
 
From what I've read, the "taller" upper fuselage was to give better deflection shooting aiming for the pilot. I do think that compared to the D, the F and G already had the pilot seated a bit higher. Again, I don't have anything that definitively shows how much the D, F/G and H differed in this area other than photographic comparisons.
 
Looking at some HQ photos I got from SDASM the other day, it seems that the XP-51F/G and P-51H and F-82 seating position height is about the same. The difference is the engine cowling lines on the upper surface vs the instrument panel anti-glare fairing. On the F/G, the fairing is actually a bit above the cowl line, while on the H and the F-82 they match up.

I know that on the H and F-82 the higher seating position (compared to earlier Mustangs) was to help with deflection shooting and taxiing.
 
That's what I'm trying to figure out, though I don't have access to that info, aside from some rough photos of the cockpit. San Diego Air and Space Museum has a lot of good photos of the XP-51F/G/J, P-51H and the Merlin and Allison powered F-82s, though they're not technical photos, but rather NAA press photos, but they are in fairly high quality if you purchase them (on their Flickr page they have small low res versions).
 
We also have to be sure we're comparing like to like. The roundels are of course different. The star and bar was used from 1942-1947. The roundel with the red stripe was adopted in 1947.
 
I was actually referring to dimensions. The P-51H had 35" insignia, while the XP-51G illustration had 30". Granted, I'm sure that irrespective of design they could vary from aircraft type to aircraft type.
 
What you have to look for first is the WL reference to the cockpit floor. I haven't looked but doubt seat is 'taller'

Max cross section
P-51D = 11.54 sq ft
P-51H = 13.12 sq ft
P-51B = 12.20 sq ft (EDIT for comparison)
Max cross section - cockpit
P-51D 2.43 sq ft
P-51H 2.31 sq feet
 
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What governed the P-51H's higher cross section, even though it supposedly had better aero than the D model? Bigger radiator inlet (which was basically the same as the F/G models, though from looking at photos the F's inlet was maybe a bit smaller than the G/H and had a different boundary layer splitter (further back than on the G/H)?
 
What governed the P-51H's higher cross section, even though it supposedly had better aero than the D model? Bigger radiator inlet (which was basically the same as the F/G models, though from looking at photos the F's inlet was maybe a bit smaller than the G/H and had a different boundary layer splitter (further back than on the G/H)?
Larger Radiator/Intercooler for 80-90"MP
 
One thing that I've noticed (though I could be observing wrong) is that the P-51H's engine cowling at the front seems to be a bit more tightly wrapped around the front of the engine (reduction gear area behind the spinner) and/or the spinner seems to be smaller than on the F/G. This also seems to be true for the XP-82/P-82B. Am I seeing things wrong or is there something to this observation?
 
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Id be very interested in more info on this. Im currently building a P-51D Flight simulator and to have some more exact into as a starting point on seat height would save me a lot of trial and error
This might be what you're looking for:

 
Again I'm wondering if there's a seating position difference (height) due to the upper cowling shape on the P-51H and the F-82, Upper cowling on the XP-51F/G is more like the P-51D in line, but there's a fairing that comes up to meet the bottom of the windscreen on those models (F/G) while on the H/F-82 the whole cowling angles up to meet the bottom of the windscreen. Also, the dashboard/instrument panel shroud seems to be taller compared to the cowling on the F/G vs H (though the F/G and H did have different instrument panels).

Is this true, or am I seeing things (and what impact, if any, does this have on seating height)?
 
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