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Old 05-08-2018, 03:58 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by streakeagle View Post
Like many other aircraft, there were quite a few variants. There is no single "P-51B/C" or "P-51D". With a little study, you will find that there was a bit of a "blur" between the P-51B/C models and the P-51D. While there are no bubble canopy B/C models and no razorback D models, that is about the only feature that truly distinguishes the two.
The most important aspect of the B/C series is which engine it has. Some had the same setup as the P-51D, but others had engines optimized for different altitudes and many would claim to be a better setup that the D.
One myth is that the loss of the razorback necessitated the fin extension on the D's vertical stabilizer. But the fact is that the P-51 always had yaw stability problems. The early Ds didn't have the extension while some B/Cs had it retrofitted.
The B/C gun jam problem due to guns being angled rather than vertical was a significant problem. The vertical installation of the D was retrofitted to some B/Cs in the field.

From one of the best online sources for US aircraft history:
"However, many pilots regarded the Malcolm-hooded P-51B/C as the best Mustang of the entire series. It was lighter, faster, and had crisper handling than the later bubble-hooded P-51D and actually had a better all-round view. Its primary weakness, however, was in its armament--only four rather than six guns, which often proved prone to jamming. Some of the modifications applied to the P-51D to improve the ammunition feed were later retrofitted into P-51B/Cs, which made their guns less prone to jamming. With modified guns and a Malcolm hood, the P-51B/C was arguably a better fighter than the P-51D, with better visibility, lower weight, and without the structural problems which afflicted the D. Its departure characteristics were also more benign. "
Take a look here, maybe you change your mind a bit.


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