Duxford Flying Legends 2002 P-51 Mustang Highlights

This P-51 Mustang in Swedish colours was at Duxford but didn't fly.   Ironically, it spent its wartime career flying at Duxford!   It's credited with three kills, a Bf109 and two Me262 jets.   After the war it was sold to the Swedish Air Force, which operated it until 1953.

Swedish P51 Mustang parked in the lineup

It's well known that the initial development of the Mustang was completed very quickly, in just 102 days.   However, the plane which came out of the hangar at that time had no engine or gun mounts, and the first production P-51A didn't reach Britain until about 18 months after development began.

For some reason, it always seems like some individual aircraft are easier to photograph than others.   I first learned this when manually focusing on planes, and it seems to hold true for auto-focus too.   This one, Miss Helen, is one of the planes I simply couldn't get a good shot of, though this view does nicely show off the six machine guns at the front edge of the wing.

Old Crow is another example of this phenomenon, though this shot isn't too bad.   This isn't the original "Old Crow", it hasn't survived to the present day, but this is one of two (the other is in America) which are painted up in its colours!

Other planes, like Damn Yankee here, turn out beautiful shot after beautiful shot - maybe the nicely contrasting black and white lines provide something the camera can easily focus on.

"Janie"is another example of an easy plane to photograph - again, perhaps the dark wings provide good contrast against the bright background.

Interestingly enough, at least for a New Zealander like myself, this particular aircraft used to belong to the Royal New Zealand Air Force!

Big Beautiful Doll was flown by John Landers during the war, and was credited with 14 kills.

click here to open a new window with this photo in computer wallpaper format

The black and white stripes you can see on Damn Yankee were applied to all allied aircraft just before the D-Day invasion of Europe.   It's said that it required the entire British paint supply to get the job done.

Nooky Booky, flown by Kit Carson, was the most successful plane in the 357th Fighter Group.   This Mustang is now owned by a French group.