Mustang over Inglewood
NA Test Pilot North American P-51D Mustang Factory Fresh
Original Sold
Inglewood, California North American Aviation Plant Spring 1944
No Print Edition

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32cm x 12.5cm (12.6" x 4.9") 40cm x 21.5cm (15.75" x 8.5") Graphite on Pastelmat  Picture Code: AV016-P-51D-FF

This picture depicts North American Aviation P-51D-5-NA 44-13366 freshly rolled off the factory production line on a test flight near the North American plant at Inglewood, California in 1944. Aircraft 44-13366 represents one of the early production P-51D models from the first NA-109 batch and as a result, it lacks the dorsal fin fillet found on later versions of the D variant. This would be standardized in subsequent production blocks to overcome the directional stability problems that had come about as a result of the fitting of an additional 85gal fuselage fuel tank and the reduction in side area of the new rear fuselage when compared to the earlier B and C models. This particular Mustang is well known through the photographs that appeared of it in an article in LIFE magazine and it was subsequently assigned to the 358th Fighter Squadron of the 355th Fighter Group based at RAF Steeple Morden (Station 122) in the East of England. After its arrival, it was given the code YF-K and initially flown by Lt. Ward Douglass as 'Baby Buggy' before being transferred to Lt. W. Tolby and renamed 'Darling Jane' after his wife. The right side of the aircraft also displayed the words 'Darling Marion' which most likely referred to someone special to the aircraft's Crew Chief.

This drawing is based on an original photograph which can be found here on the IWM American Air Museum in Britain website.

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