Ferocious Frankie

This video is of a P-51D Mustang Ferocious Frankie owned by the Old Flying Machine Company, who fly aerobatic displays with the plane (and duos with a Spitfire) at airshows all over the the US. Ferocious Frankie is a 1944 Mustang with a 1760 horsepower Merlin engine and a maximum speed of 505mph. Their website includes the aircraft history:

The P-51 was the most successful long-range fighter escort of World War II, but it was not an instant success. Designed for the British in only 120 days to meet their requirement to purchase more fighters, the first Mustangs were built with Allison engines; while remarkable at low altitudes, these variants were considered under-powered and disappointing at higher altitudes. Happily, in late 1942 the aircraft was transformed when, in the UK, Rolls Royce Merlin engines were tested in place of the Allison. The Merlin, as used in the Spitfire, was then license-built by Packard in the USA and in 1943 was installed in the P-51B & C models. This near perfect marriage of engine and platform made the 1944 P-51D, with its bubble canopy and six-guns, one of the most iconic and potent fighters of all time.

The P-51D’s range was an incredible 2,055m (3,327km), thanks to its huge fuel capacity of 1,000 litres internally and 815 litres in drop tanks. Equally impressive was a level maximum speed of 437mph (703kph) at 25,000 feet, a max diving speed of 505mph (818kph) and a service ceiling of 41,900 feet (12,800m).

The video is excellently shot but it was this comment by sjlanca that really touched me:

Imagine being twenty one years old and just off the farm from Central Illinois.

Your Dad just retired the horses from plowing the fields, because he just bought his first steel wheeled tractor. You leave home for the first time, having never traveled more than 45 miles from the farm, because the government hired, trained, and paid you to drive one of these. That was my Dad, and he is something special.

He later wrote that his father, 88 years old, piloted missions over Europe.

Dad doesn’t talk much about his experiences anymore, but I remember some of the stories from when I was younger. Mom says he still has nightmares. Thank you to all the veterans for their service.

It brought a personal touch to this video of a gorgeous old aircraft.

For more information on Ferocious Frankie, visit the website at http://www.ferociousfrankie.com

Category: History,

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