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Photo ID: 1015041
click image to enlarge
Model: North American XP-82 Twin Mustang Registration: 483887 Tail Number
Year: 1945 Serial Number: 44-83887, c/n 120-43743
Engine(s): Packard Merlin V-1650-23/25 Owner: USAF
Location: Unknown Photographer: USAF, from the collection of Ken Stoltzfus
Date: Unknown Present Registration: Unknown Present Owner (FAA info): Walter Soplata, Newbury, Ohio
Notes: 6/29/04 - There is something extraordinary about the Twin Mustang. One P-51 is exciting, but put two of them together and it is almost surreal. XP-82, 44-83887 was the first of the spectacular P-82, F-82 series of aircraft to fly. The North American model NA-120, built in their Inglewood, CA plant, took to the air on April 15, 1945.

The fuselages of the XP-82 are nearly five feet longer than the P-51H. It is equipped with dual controls, but the cockpit on the right has basic instruments only. The XP-82s were powered by two 1860-HP, Packard Merlin V-1650-23 and 25, liquid cooled, counter-rotating engines with Aeroproducts propellers.

Quite a performer, the XP-82 had a service ceiling of 40,000' and a maximum speed of 468-MPH. In 1947, Robert Thacker and John Ard flew a P-82 nonstop without refueling from Hawaii to New York. They covered the 4968 miles in 14:31 for an average speed of 342-MPH.

The Twin Mustang did not see combat in WW-II. In 1948 their designation was changed from P-82 (Pursuit) to F-82 (Fighter), and it was an F-82G, a radar-equipped, night-fighter that made the first air-to-air kill in the Korean conflict. Fewer than 300 of the series were built and only several remain.

Wright Patterson Air Force Museum is a good site for more info on this series.

The back of this photo is stamped, "Official photograph. If published use the following credit line: Photograph by U.S. Air Force". On the front it has a photo number 32654 A.C.
 
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