View Full Version : A jet P-51 Mustang?

08-21-2016, 06:22 AM
Look at this! Did You know this rare and unusual version of the P-51 Mustang? The link below has some photos and a question: this version entered service or combat? To see all the pictures and answer the question above, please visit the link below and leave your comment.


Best Regards!

08-21-2016, 02:22 PM
Not jet, rocket boosted - it was just an experiment...

08-22-2016, 07:33 AM
Looking at the first image I thought they were V1's Argus As 014 pulse jets, so did a bit of digging and they are Ford PJ-31 Pulsejet engine's, almost a direct copy.

They were used on the Ford JB/2 (pretty much a copy of the V1) and were fitted for tests on the P51D as an attempt to boost speed, the tests were unsuccessful and discontinued.

The next two images were an American designed ram jet

Roy Marquardt was an aeronautical engineering graduate from Caltech who had worked at Northrop during World War II on the YB-35 flying-wing bomber project. While working on problems cooling the engines, which were buried in the wings, he found that the heat generated by the engines produced useful thrust. This started his interest in the ramjet principle, and in November 1944 he started Marquardt Aircraft in Venice, California to develop and sell ramjet engines. In the late 1940s the company relocated to Van Nuys, California, adjacent to the Van Nuys Airport.

Marquardt's first products were wind tunnels, but by the end of their first year they had delivered an experimental 20 inch (0.51 m) ramjet to the United States Navy for testing. The United States Army Air Forces purchased two of the same design early in 1946, and fitted them to the wingtips of a P-51 Mustang fighter for in-flight testing. By this time the Navy had fitted theirs to a F7F Tigercat and started flight tests in late 1946. Later Navy tests fitted the same engine to a XP-83 and F-82 Twin Mustang.

The bottom one looks like this

Fighting past the the Platzschutzstaffel's combat air patrols wasn't the most ideal situation as American fighter pilots also had to deal with the AAA. With the first American jet fighters still a ways from operational employment, various methods were considered to deal with the Me 262 jet menace. One of the few concepts that did make it to the flight test stage was a rocket-boosed North American P-51D Mustang. With an approximately 100mph speed advantage over the Mustang, it was felt that a rocket booster of some sort could bring the P-51D a burst of speed that would allow it to battle the Me 262 at altitude instead of over the Luftwaffe's home fields. Tail number 44-73099 was pulled from the production line for modification with an Aerojet liquid rocket engine installed in the lower aft fuselage just behind the radiator and ahead of the tailwheel. The rocket engine used two hypergolic fuels- red fumaric acid and aniline with the fumaric acid acting as the oxidizer. Both were extremely toxic and corrosive and each was housed in a pressurized, 75-gallon tank, one under each wing and much smaller than the standard Mustang drop tank.

With the lower aft fuselage painted with a reflective material to prevent heat damage from the rocket engine, all the pilot had to do was flip a simple off/on switch on the left side of the cockpit to activate the rocket engine. North American test pilot Bob Chilton took the modified Mustang to the air for the first time on 23 April 1945 and at 21,000 feet, he fired the rocket engine and the Mustang surged forward another 100mph. The two 75-gallon tanks were sufficient for one minute of operation. Several test flight were made, but the underwing tanks, even though smaller than the standard fuel drop tank, induced a considerable amount of drag that prevented the rocket-boosted Mustang from really getting the most out of that one minute of rocket-boosted flight. By the time the USAAF took delivery of the 44-73099, the Germans had surrendered unconditionally and the operational need for the rocket boosted Mustang faded into aviation history.