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  Eagles International model 10003 - P-51C Mustang 332nd FG, 302nd FS -Buddy Archer, Ramitelli, Italy, August 1944 INA the Macon Belle

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Kyushu J7W


Posts : 192
Join date : 2017-02-18
Location : East Coast USA

PostSubject: Eagles International model 10003 - P-51C Mustang 332nd FG, 302nd FS -Buddy Archer, Ramitelli, Italy, August 1944 INA the Macon Belle   Thu Feb 23 2017, 19:13

Producer - Eagles International ( not in operation at this time but EI still has the molds )
Eagles International model 10003
North American P-51C Mustang      
1:48 Scale      
302nd FS -322 FG -Buddy Archer, Ramitelli, Italy, August 1944 INA the Macon Belle

Produced 600 units.  

Specification for the  P-51B & P-51C were identical  
Length             32 feet, 2.97 inches  
Wingspan         37 feet, 0.31-inch
Height             13 feet, 8 inches
Empty weight   6,985 pounds
Maximum weight 11,800 pounds  

P-51Bs and Cs were powered by a right-hand tractor, liquid-cooled, supercharged, 1,649-cubic-inch-displacement (27.04-liter) Packard V-1650-3 or -7 Merlin single overhead cam (SOHC) 60° V-12 engine which produced 1,380 horsepower  (V-1650-3) or 1,490 horsepower  (V-1650-7).   These were license-built versions of the Rolls-Royce Merlin 63 and 66. The engine drove a four-bladed Hamilton Standard Hydromatic constant-speed propeller with a diameter of 11 feet, 2 inches  

Cruise speed             362 miles per hour  
Maximum speed        439 miles per hour at 25,000 feet  
Ceiling                     41,900 feet  
Range                       755 miles with internal fuel

4  Browning AN/M2 .50-caliber machine guns, mounted two in each wing,  350 rounds per gun for the inboard guns and 280 rounds per gun for the outboard.
Up to a 1,000 lb. bomb load, or six 5-inch rockets

The P-51 was also used by Allied air forces in the North African, Mediterranean, Italian and Pacific theaters.  Mustang pilots claimed to have destroyed 4,950 enemy aircraft in the air and 4,131 destroyed on the ground. Losses were about 2,520 to combat .  During WWII a P-51 cost about $50k per plane by the time the D model was produced with 1/2 of that being in the Merlin engine.  A P-47 Thunderbolt cost $85k,  while the twin engine P-38 Lightning cost $97k.  The tax payer certainly got their moneys worth in a plane originating with a British order.  

At the start of the Korean War, the Mustang was the main fighter of the United Nations until jet fighters, including the F-86, took over this role; the Mustang then became a specialized fighter-bomber. Despite the advent of jet fighters, the Mustang remained in service with some air forces until the early 1980s. After the Korean War, Mustangs became popular civilian warbird and air racing aircraft. over 15000 of all models were built.

I have to say EI mustangs are simply gems. I wish I had a few others.  The natural metal finish vs the OD green shows off the details a bit better.   Working flaps, smoke staining on the gun ports and shell ejection slots under the wings, the shape of the props are excellent... lots of small touches and a pilot.   Unsurpassed accuracy.  About 8 inches long with a wing span of 9 1/4.   A few fiddly bits to attach, landing gear, fuel tanks etc.  They are unique in that the detailed engine with detachable cover and the radiator air scoop are both held in place by tiny magnets.

  Under the radiator are the screw mounting attachment points for the wings.  Sometime you need to fiddle a bit to improve the join but this is easily done.  These are getting hard to find.  Taking pictures helps me see I need to straighten out my gear and tail wheel and tighten the wing.   Ding Hao and Ina The Macon Belle were assaulted in the Great Catastrophe a few year back.   I was able to get spare props from EI to make needed repairs.  That was a big drop off the display table to the tile floor and only the props took damage.

When the pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group painted the tails of their P-47s and later, P-51s, red, the nickname "Red Tails" was coined. The red markings that distinguished the Tuskegee Airmen included red bands on the noses of P-51s as well as a red rudder, the P-51B and D Mustangs flew with similar color schemes, with red propeller spinners, yellow wing bands and all-red tail surfaces. The 99th was finally considered ready for combat duty by April 1943. It shipped out of Tuskegee on 2 April, bound for North Africa, where it would join the 33rd Fighter Group and its commander, Colonel William W. Momyer. Given little guidance from battle-experienced pilots, the 99th's first combat mission was to attack the small strategic volcanic island of Pantelleria in the Mediterranean Sea to clear the sea lanes for the Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943. The air assault on the island began 30 May 1943. The 99th flew its first combat mission on 2 June. The surrender of the garrison of 11,121 Italians and 78 Germans due to air attack was the first of its kind. The 99th then moved on to Sicily and received a Distinguished Unit Citation for its performance in combat

By the end of February 1944, more Tuskegee graduates were ready for combat, and the all-black 332nd Fighter Group had been sent overseas with three fighter squadrons: The 100th, 301st and 302nd.

Under the command of Colonel Davis, the squadrons were moved to mainland Italy, where the 99th Fighter Squadron, assigned to the group on May 1, 1944, joined them on June 6 at Ramitelli Airfield, in the small city of Campomarino, on the Adriatic coast. From Ramitelli, the 332nd Fighter Group escorted Fifteenth Air Force heavy strategic bombing raids into Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Poland and Germany

Lee Andrew Archer, Jr. (September 6, 1919 – January 27, 2010) was a black U.S. fighter pilot in the African-American unit which became known as the Tuskegee Airmen. He was one of the first African-American military aviators in the United States Army Air Corps, the U.S. Army Air Forces and later the U.S. Air Force, eventually earning the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Born in Yonkers, New York, Archer grew up in New York's Harlem district, later attending New York University. Upon graduation, he joined the Army in the hopes of becoming a pilot. At that time, the Army did not accept black pilots, so Archer was posted to a communications job as a telegrapher and field network-communications specialist in Georgia. When the Army's policy changed, he was accepted to the training program for black aviators at Tuskegee Army Airfield in Alabama, graduating first in his class, and one of only 994 black wartime pilots to graduate there. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on July 28, 1943.  There are several good books on this subject of the Tuskegee "experiment" .  These men had to fight for the right to fight and due to the wash out rate until the worst of the prejudiced check ride officers were weeded out, these men stayed in theater for quite a while.  Their bomber escort record was among the best in the ETO.  When finally "proven"  they flew missions all the way to Berlin and back.  

During World War II, Archer flew 169 combat missions, including bomber escort, reconnaissance and ground attack, and is officially credited with 4.5 enemy fighter aircraft shot down. Archer is considered by some as the first and only black U.S. pilot to earn an "ace" designation, for shooting down at least five enemy aircraft.  Archer was acknowledged to have shot down four planes, and he and another pilot both claimed victory for shooting down a fifth aircraft. An investigation revealed Archer had inflicted the damage that destroyed the aircraft, and the Air Force eventually proclaimed him an ace pilot.  He also destroyed six aircraft on the ground during a strafing mission in August 1944, as well as several locomotives, motor transports and barges.

While flying with the 302nd Fighter Squadron, as a combat pilot, nicknamed "Buddy", Archer flew 169 combat missions in the European Theatre of World War II, flying the Bell P-39 Airacobra, Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and North American P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft. Flying a P-51C fighter with the distinctive red tail of the 332nd Fighter Group, known collectively as the "Tuskegee Airmen", he scored his first victory, a Messerschmitt Bf 109 on July 18, 1944 over Memmingen, Germany.

Archer is best remembered for his exploits of October 12, 1944. In the midst of a furious series of dogfights over German-occupied Hungary, he shot down three Hungarian Bf 109s over Lake Balaton, Hungary, in engagements that spanned only 10 minutes.

His P51C was originally named the Macon Bell for his wife Ina Burdell Archer.  For some reason he did not want the other pilots to know his wife's name and was angry when the base mail censor let it slip.   His squadron mates more or less it was said, goaded him into adding the name.  

When Archer returned home in 1945, a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, he found that nothing seemed to have changed in American society. "I flew 169 combat missions when most pilots were flying 50," Archer told the Chicago Tribune in 2004. "When I came back to the U.S. and down that gangplank, there was a sign at the bottom: ′Colored Troops to the Right, White Troops to the Left′."

Archer remained in the armed forces for a career as the U.S. Army Air Forces transitioned into the present day U.S. Air Force in 1947. He later flew missions during the Korean War, became a diplomatic officer at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) and then became the headquarters chief of the U.S. Air Force Southern Command in Panama, eventually retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 1970.  His death came during the post-production work on the Lucas film Red Tails, and the film's final credits subsequently bore a tribute to the pilot

Already, in 1940, the Curtiss P-40 and the Bell P-39 were inferior to aircraft being flown by Germany and Britain. North American's Dutch Kindelberger offered to design and build the first prototype of the new fighter in 120 days. 102 days after contract signing, in Sept. 1940, the protoype NA-73X rolled out. Apparently no one quibbled over the fact that it didn't have an engine, nor brakes, nor paint, nor actual gun mounts. They had signed the contract for 300 of the aircraft in late May.   Designed to meet an RAF requirement for fighter-bomber and reconnaissance aircraft, the P-51 Mustang was first flown on October 26th, 1940. By the end of 1941 North American had delivered the second production airplane (armed with four .30's and four .50's) to the dock in  Liverpool on October, 1941 - a year after the prototype's first flight.  These first Mustangs were powered by the Allison V-1710 engine, a good engine, but one which didn't operate well at high altitudes.  In 1942, soon after the first  production Mustang Mk.I arrived in England, Rolls-Royce began experimenting with a borrowed airplane, AM121, in which they installed the Supermarine Spitfire’s Merlin 61 engine.  The results were impressive, to say the least. At 30,000 feet, the improved Mustang reached 440 MPH, almost 100 MPH faster than the Allison-equipped Mustang at that altitude. The new fighter incorporated many of the latest developments in aeronautics, notably the laminar flow wing, a wing that was relatively symmetrical and offered less drag at high speed. The wings were designed to be easy to manufacture, with only two spars.  

An agreement was reached between Rolls-Royce and the Packard Motor Car Company in September 1940 to manufacture the Merlin under license, with a $130,000,000 order being placed. The first Packard-built engine, designated V-1650-1, ran in August 1941.   The cost was $25,000 for a Packard built RR Merlin engine, compared to  $19,000 for the Allison V-1710 engine. and $16,500 Wright R-2600 engine.  North American modified two P-51s from the production line to install the Packard V-1650-3.  These were designated XP-51B. Testing revealed that the new variant was so good that the Army Air Corps limited its order for P-51As to 310 airplanes and production was changed to the P-51B.  The main wheels were set twelve feet apart, for good stability on landing.


In the original design, the British required eight machine guns: four .30 caliber and four .50 caliber. Ultimately, most Mustangs would carry the usual American weaponry of six .50 caliber Brownings. It carried twice as much internal fuel as a Spitfire, 180 gallons in self-sealing wing tanks. An 85 gallon fuel tank was installed behind the pilot, giving critically longer reach, but moving the center of gravity aft, thus reducing directional stability until most of the fuel was consumed.  The bulbous Malcolm hood, giving much better all-around visibility (a field modification), as shown below

This versatile aircraft was capable of escorting bombers on long-range missions, engaging in dogfights, and dropping down to destroy German targets on the ground. Without the P-51 daylight bombing of German and the subsequent grinding down of the Luftwaffe that came with it would never have been accomplished.  At least eight versions of the P-51 were produced, but it was the definitive P-51D that gave the Mustang its classic warbird appearance. Britain and the US both tested the airframe with the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, which gave the aircraft tremendous performance gains. The Truman Senate War Investigating Committee called the Mustang "the most aerodynamically perfect pursuit plane in existence.

Chief Naval Test Pilot and C.O. Captured Enemy Aircraft Flight Capt. Eric Brown, CBE, DSC, AFC, RN, tested the Mustang at RAE Farnborough in March 1944, and noted, "The Mustang was a good fighter and the best escort due to its incredible range, make no mistake about it. It was also the best American dogfighter. But the laminar flow wing fitted to the Mustang could be a little tricky. It could not by any means out-turn a Spitfire. No way. It had a good rate-of-roll, better than the Spitfire, so I would say the plusses to the Spitfire and the Mustang just about equate. If I were in a dogfight, I'd prefer to be flying the Spitfire. The problem was I wouldn't like to be in a dogfight near Berlin, because I could never get home to Britain in a Spitfire

The P-51B and P-51C are virtually identical. The P-51Bs were built by North American Aviation, Inc., at Inglewood, California. P-51Cs were built at North American’s Dallas, Texas plant were a major progression to the original Allison powered P-51A Mustang. The British designation for the B/C Mustang was Mustang III. While the P-51A was a fine low altitude fighter, it suffered from the lack of a two speed, two stage supercharger for its Allison engine. Most aerial combat in Europe took place above 15,000 feet, right where the P-51A was running out of steam. The Allison was early into its development and wouldn't display its full power until the P-82 twin Mustang, too late for the war. The P-51B/C would mate the Spitfire's well developed Merlin engine (racing since 1935), licensed for manufacture in the US by Packard, to its sleek airframe. A four bladed propeller and the new supercharger turned the P-51 into one of, if not the best fighters of WWII.  The P-51B/C was actually faster than the P-51D due to combat weight increases. The P-51B had problems with gun jamming and poor visibility to the rear. As with the C model, these problems were fixed at the factory and in the field.

The P-51 was a relative latecomer to the Pacific Theater. This was due largely to the need for the aircraft in Europe, although the P-38's twin-engine design was considered a safety advantage for long over-water flights. The first P-51s were deployed in the Far East later in 1944, operating in close-support and escort missions, as well as tactical photo reconnaissance.  The came up against the later generation of Japanese fighters.  The P-51 was often mistaken for the Japanese Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien in both China and Pacific because of its similar appearance.

As the war in Europe wound down, the P-51 became more common: eventually, with the capture of Iwo Jima, it was able to be used as a bomber escort during Boeing B-29 Superfortress missions against the Japanese homeland.

1,988 P-51B Mustangs were built at North American’s Inglewood, California plant and another 1,750 P-51Cs were produced at Dallas, Texas. This was nearly 23% of the total P-51 production built by North American Aviation (Later Rockwell International and today Boeing).


If you score a victory but lose your wingman, you lost the battle.
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Eagles International model 10003 - P-51C Mustang 332nd FG, 302nd FS -Buddy Archer, Ramitelli, Italy, August 1944 INA the Macon Belle
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