|Quello è il 41-37320, non il 42-37320. Non vorrei fare il conta rivetti, ma tutte le fonti che ho ed una veloce ricerca in internet riporta quanto segue (tutte le fonti - vedi sotto), magari sbaglio, visto che nel buzi primi due numeri indicasno gli anni del secolo di produzione, e c'è un anno di differenze, pare stano, ma è riportato così, forse è lo stesso, forse no, boh, del resto è una scelta di gusti, se ci hai lavorato tanto lascia tutto com'è. Magari dipingendolo lo hanno consumato, vedi l'operatore che dipinge sull'ala.
Mustang IA, P-51, Apache
On March 11, 1941, the Lend/Lease Act was passed by Congress, permitting the "lending" of American-built aircraft to nations deemed "vital to the security of the United States". On September 25, 1941, the US Army ordered 150 Mustangs under the provisions of Lend-Lease for delivery to Britain. All previous RAF Mustangs had been direct purchases by Britain.
These aircraft were designated Mustang Mark IA by the RAF and NA-91 by the factory. The RAF serial numbers assigned to this lot were FD418/FD567. For contractual purposes, these aircraft were assigned the US designation of P-51, and the Allison V-1710-F3R engine was given the US Army designation V-1710-39. The P-51s were assigned the USAAF serials 41-37320/37469. The Mustang IA differed from earlier versions in having the machine guns replaced by four 20-mm wing-mounted Hispano cannon, with long gun barrels protruding well ahead of the wing. Throughout 1941, the Army referred to these aircraft under the name Apache, but this was changed to Mustang at about the time the deliveries first began in mid-1942.
The British did not get all of these NA-91s. Since the RAF deliveries of the Mustang IA began after Pearl Harbor, many of them were repossessed by the Army before they ever got to Britain. FD418/FD437, FD450/FD464, FD466/FD469, and FD510/FD527 were diverted from the RAF order and delivered to the US Army. These were the first Mustangs to serve with the Army. The Army planes were fitted with two K-24 cameras in the fuselage. Some were fitted with four 0.50-inch machine guns, but most retained their quartet of 20-mm cannon. Most retained their RAF camouflage and serial numbers, although some were indeed painted with their equivalent USAAF serials. These were designated as tactical reconnaissance aircraft and were designated F-6A, but this designation was soon changed to P-51. One was converted as P-51-1 (42-37320), and the rest were converted as P-51-2. The serial numbers of the Mustang IAs that were diverted to the USAAF were 41-37320/47339, 41-37352/37366, 41-37368/37371, and 41-37412/37429.
In March of 1943, a batch of 25 F-6A/P-51s were assigned to the 154th Observation squadron at Oujda in French Morocco. This was the first US Mustang unit. The first mission was a photographic coverage of Kairouan airfield in Tunisia on April 10, 1943.
Two P-51 airframes were diverted to the XP-78 project, about which much more will be said later!
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