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Steve Eagle

Mrs. Bonnie P-51

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I thought this aircraft looked familiar!  It's one of the decal options for the 32nd scale  Tamiya P-51D/K that I'm building.   The Tamiya kit instructions show her to have the Aeroproducts prop blades and also, a raised, oval fairing just aft of the radio antenna, looks like it would have been a mount for a D/F aerial that wasn't installed.  The Tamiya info also shows this aircraft to be equipped with the earlier N-9 gunsight and no tail warning radar.  

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1 hour ago, John1 said:

Correct but I believe it was also a field retro-fit since the IFF set was added to in-service aircraft almost universally.     Only way to know for sure if an earlier model had this mod is if you can find a pic of the left side of the nose to see if the battery cooling scoop is present. 

 

This is somewhat confusing but according to what I'm reading, the SCR-695-A IFF radio set was located behind the pilots seat armor on the floor (only on aircraft not equipped with fuselage fuel tank [it had to be removed]).  The E&R manual indicates that on later airplanes there was no provision for the SCR-695 or 515 and were equipped with the AN/APS-13 IFF instead.  A sure indicator that an aircraft has the SCR-695 (or 515) and lacking a view of the cockpit behind the armor plate, is a vertical pole antenna (it looks to be about 24 inches in length) underneath the right wing near the tip.  The AN/APS-13 has the familiar tail mounted antenna.  If the aircraft has neither the vertical antenna under the right wing, nor the tail mounted radar, it does not have an IFF system installed.

 

I'm thinking that the battery relocation was done to allow the installation of the SCR-695-A radio suite and retention of the fuselage fuel tank, prior to the availability of the AN/APS-13 but if true, why then would the battery relocation have been standardized on later production aircraft that used the AN/APS-13 IFF; it didn't need that area behind the pilot's seat (at least according to what the illustrations in the E&R manual are showing)?

Edited by Juggernut

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19 hours ago, Steve Eagle said:

Planning on doing this bird at some point and needed a few things clarified.

This image might help (the only known period, color photograph of Mrs. Bonnie):

QNALVGQ.jpg

Scanned from "War Eagles in Original Color" by Ethell & Bodie.

 

The photo was reportedly taken on Luzon, Philippines (which was never part of the CBI, so I don't know why that theater keeps coming up in this thread). 

 

HTH,

D

 

Edited by D Bellis

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20 hours ago, D Bellis said:

This image might help (the only known period, color photograph of Mrs. Bonnie):

QNALVGQ.jpg

Scanned from "War Eagles in Original Color" by Ethell & Bodie.

 

The photo was reportedly taken on Luzon, Philippines (which was never part of the CBI, so I don't know why that theater keeps coming up in this thread). 

 

HTH,

D

 

 

 Nice photograph.  That's one I haven't seen before.  I don't know why the CBI keeps being mentioned.  Mrs. Bonnie belonged to the 348th FG and operated, according to historyofwar.org, from New Guinea, the Dutch East Indies, and the Phillippines; definitely not part of the CBI.

 

Source: http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/348th_Fighter_Group.html

Edited by Juggernut
removed unnecessary words.

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9 hours ago, Juggernut said:

 

I have read that the prop suffered from vibration issues but haven't read that it was to the extent you mention.  Can you give me a source for that information ? I'd like to read more about it.

 

One former 3 ACG pilot and one former P-51 crew chief

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15 hours ago, Juggernut said:

 

I found it on the P-51 SIG Tech Forum:   The battery was relocated forward of the firewall beginning on 44-84390 (P-51D-25-NT) and 44-74227 (P-51D-30-NA). It does have to do with the installation of the SCR-695 radio set, which is the IFF radio.

Source:  North American Aviation "Weekly Service News", dated May 14, 1945, pages 8 and 9.

 

Yep, I think it may have started in the PTO field as I found this passage from the Carl Molesworth book "Very Long Range P-51 Mustang Units of the Pacific War".

 

EfkYUeL.png

Apparently December '44

 

 

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