P-51 Help Needed

I am totally confused and need some help from those knowledgeable of the
P-51. I received an Accurate Miniatures kit of the P-51C that has a four
piece fuselage, two halves for the forward 2/3 and two halves for the aft
part. The vertical stabilizer has a large fillet in front of the stab and
that is what confuses me. I always thought that this fillet was only on the
later models of the D variant and not on the B/C variants. I cannot find any
documentation showing this feature on the C. Please enlighten be before I
carve this bit of plastic off. BTW I am aware that the B and C models are
the same just manufactured in different places. Thanks for any help you can
give me. Pete
Reply to
thelaws
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What you might want to do it take a peek at the AM website and read the step by step build up of your kit. Many times you can find answers to your questions. Check some of the modeling websites for walk around pictures, you might find a photographic reference you need to solve the mystery as well. Given the popularity of the P-51, your local library might have a book on it.
Reply to
Hawkeye
I have been able to find two reputable sources with Drawings of P-51C's with dorsal fins, but no pictures yet. I also have the Academy P-51B kit and it does not have the dorsal fin. I have also found a reference to a dorsal fin retrofit kit for "earlier model" mustangs that could account for why a few C's have a dorsal fin; I will post more later. Jack G.
Reply to
Jack G
I have done some more searching - both in books and online and find several references to B and C Mustangs receiving the dorsal fin retrofit kit. Some sources say this was to correct a directional stability issue, but wikipedia has this entry:
"A common misconception is that cutting down the rear fuselage to mount the bubble canopy reduced stability, requiring a dorsal fin to be added to the forward base of the vertical tail. Actually, both the B/C and later D/K models had a low speed handling problem that could result in an involuntary "snap-roll" under certain conditions of air speed, angle of attack, gross weight and center of gravity. Several crash reports tell of P-51Bs and Cs crashing because horizontal stabilizers were torn off during maneuvering. The report says:"
"Unless a dorsal fin is installed on the P-51B, P-51C and P-51D airplanes, a snap roll may result when attempting a slow roll. The horizontal stabilizer will not withstand the effects of a snap roll. To prevent recurrence the stabilizer should be reinforced in accordance with T.O. 01-60J-18 dated 8 April 1944 and a dorsal fin should be installed. Dorsal fin kits are being made available to overseas activities" "While some existing aircraft do not have the dorsal extension fitted, many were equipped at some point in their service or refurbishment with a taller tail, which provided a similar increase in yaw stability. Also, civilian-owned examples often have newer, lighter radios, an absence of external munitions and drop tanks, removed guns and armor plate and an empty or removed fuselage tank - reducing the need for the dorsal fin."
I think what it comes down to, as in so many cases, is that you must research the specific prototype you are modeling to find the correct configuration. If you wanted to do a "C" without the dorsal fin use the Academy "B" kit. I believe the "C" kit in the markings provided is accurate.
Jack G.
Reply to
Jack G
Some Bs and Cs hand the dorsal fin added, most didn't.
Here's are photos showing both "flavors" of P-51B/Cs
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Best to work from photos of the actual prototype you're modeling.
Cheers,
Reply to
Bill Shatzer
You might want to look thru this site. Lots of good Mustang info including fillets.
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Curt
Reply to
Curt
The fin fillet was retro fitted to some B/C model Mustangs.
Stan Parker
Reply to
Stanley Parker
in article 45d5df29$0$27061$ snipped-for-privacy@roadrunner.com, thelaws at snipped-for-privacy@cfl.rr.com wrote on 2/16/07 11:43 AM:
FWIW, there are three photos in Squadron's "P-51 in Action" of B/C's with dorsal fins: "Lucky Leaky" (SX-M) of the 353rd FG (pg. 32), and two a/c from the 52nd FG (pg. 34). In the old Aircam book on the P-51B/C, there are photos of R4-E and WZ-S from the 78th FG, and two planes (one of them no. 72) from the 325th "Checkertails" FG. There are profiles showing CV-P from the 359th FG, MC-L from the 20th FG, 5Y-14 from the 364th FG, D7-H from the 503rd FG, and "Princess" (fuselage no. 1078) from the 311th FG, all with dorsal fins. All of the above a/c are in natural metal finish -- I haven't found any OD B/C's with the dorsal fin -- but my resources are far from comprehensive.
Just to muddy the waters a bit more, in the well known group photo of a/c from the 361st FG (the group around which the green/blue camo debate swirls), there is a clear view of one P-51D -- E2-C -- WITHOUT the dorsal fin.
Pip Moss
Reply to
Pip Moss
in article 45d5df29$0$27061$ snipped-for-privacy@roadrunner.com, thelaws at snipped-for-privacy@cfl.rr.com wrote on 2/16/07 11:43 AM:
Oops! There are several P-51D's without dorsal fins in the 361st group photo I mentioned in my previous post. Besides E2-C already mentioned, there's E2-A, B7-U, B7-H and B7-R. In fact, the only D in the photo with a dorsal fin is E2-S.
Pip Moss
Reply to
Pip Moss
The first production 'D's out the factory door came without the dorsal fin. It was added to the line later. IIRC, the original Airfix Mustang came without the fin and the Heller kit came with the option of using or not using the fin. I took the parts and added them to a 'B' I was building. Thus I had a D without the dorsal and a B with.
Bill Banaszak, MFE Sr.
Reply to
Mad-Modeller
Hi Troops:
I suspect AM got caught out by a commonly believed "urban legend" that the P-51B was without the fin extension and the C came with the fin extension. UNTRUE! The 51B designation was applied to aircraft built at North American's California facility and the 51C designation was applied to aircraft built at the Government owned plant in Dallas Texas. The fin extension could be applied to either B or C aircraft and a modified version was implemented on the 51D/K later production aircraft.
Bill Shuey
Reply to
Bill Shuey
From
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A common misconception is that cutting down the rear fuselage to mount the bubble canopy reduced stability, requiring the addition of a dorsal fin to the forward base of the vertical tail. Actually, both the B/C and later D/K models had a low speed handling problem that could result in an involuntary "snap-roll" under certain conditions of air speed, angle of attack, gross weight and center of gravity. Several crash reports tell of P-51Bs and Cs crashing because horizontal stabilizers were torn off during maneuvering. One report stated:
"Unless a dorsal fin is installed on the P-51B, P-51C and P-51D airplanes, a snap roll may result when attempting a slow roll. The horizontal stabilizer will not withstand the effects of a snap roll. To prevent recurrence the stabilizer should be reinforced in accordance with T.O. 01-60J-18 dated 8 April 1944 and a dorsal fin should be installed. Dorsal fin kits are being made available to overseas activities"
While some existing aircraft do not have the dorsal extension fitted, many were equipped at some point in their service or refurbishment with a taller tail, which provided a similar increase in yaw stability. Also, civilian-owned examples often have newer, lighter radios, an absence of external munitions and drop tanks, removed guns and armor plate and an empty or removed fuselage tank - reducing the need for the dorsal fin.
Reply to
Willshak
Bill, I think I read somewhere that the decision to have the P-51B kit without the dorsal fairing and the P-51C with the fairing was purely a marketing decision. If you wanted a Razorback without the fillet, you bought the P-51B kit, if you wanted it with the fillet you bought the P-51C kit. No confusion (theoretically) would occur in the buyer's mind as to what he was getting.
Reply to
Don McIntyre

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