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North American F82-E Twin Mustang Long Range Escort Fighter

ModelCraft kit #48-021
1/48 Scale
Start Build Date: 6/02/2003
Finished: 6/25/2003
Elapsed time to build=23 days
144 Pieces
Aircraft 46-297, named "Ole 97" flown by Colonel Cy Wilson. Commanding Officer of the 524th Sqn. of the 27th Fighter Escort Group in 1949
All Paints are Model Master: Acrylic Aluminum (2 coat), Future coat, Decals, Future coat . Moldel master True blue, flat red, Zinc chromate green and flat black


The North American P-82 Twin Mustang was the last version in the evolution of the Mustang design, and was developed to satisfy the requirement for a long range escort fighter to accompany bombers to targets in Japan. The design concept began with the idea of mating two Mustang fuselages to a constant chord wing center section housing the six 0.50 in. machine gun armament, and a one piece horizontal stabilizer, also of constant chord. The fuselages were from the lightweight XP-51F design, lengthened 57 in. for greater directional stability. The two XP-82 aircraft. were equipped with standard P-51H tail sections, but production aircraft. featured wider vertical stabilizer units and enlarged dorsal fin fillets. The outer wing panels, with armament removed, contained fuel tanks, as did the center section. The main landing gear, located under each fuselage, retracted inwards, and was housed in the center section. The tailwheels were standard P-51 units, retracting into the aft fuselage. The XP-82 was powered by updated Packard Merlin V-1650-11 and -21 engines driving opposite rotating inward turning propellers, to counter the torque. Both cock pits featured flight controls, but only the left cockpit had full instrumentation. The first flight of the XP-82 took place on 15 April 1945, and the flight tests revealed a performance equaling the P-51D variant, with a longer operational range An order, based on the proposal, had been placed in March 1944 for 500 P-82 aircraft., a year before the flight of the XP-82. When, with the end of WWII approaching, it became apparent that production would not begin before then, the order was cut to include two of the four prototypes, and 20 aircraft., 18 P-82B and one each of the XP-82C and XP-82D. The P-82E was the first variant to be powered by the Allison V-1710 engine which had been intended for the canceled P-82A. The Allison engine had been earmarked for future production in order to avoid purchasing Merlin engines from Rolls Royce in England when Packard stated its intentions to cease production of aircraft engines in favour of resuming production of automobiles. New contracts issued postwar for 250 P-82 aircraft. included 100 P-82E ordered on 12 December 1945. This version was projected as an extra long range escort fighter, and fighter bomber. A centrally mounted gun pod was proposed, but was never put in production. Nevertheless, various combinations of ordnance were carried as well as drop tanks to extend range. Due to problems with the Allison engines, production was delayed, setting back deliveries from a proposed start date of March 1946 to April 1947. By the end of 1947, only 4 aircraft. had been delivered, but by March 1948, the 27th Fighter Escort Group of the USAF began receiving aircraft., and by the end of 1948, the 522nd, 523rd, and 524th Squadrons had been equipped. Since the Cold War had by then begun, the 27th Fighter Escort Group directed its training toward the possibility of escorting B-29s, and later B-50 and B-36 bombers to potential targets in the Soviet Union. The service life of the F-82 was limited, for by 1950, the Strategic Air Command had no further use for the propeller driven long range fighter escort, and the F-82E was replaced by the F-84E Thunderjet in the 27th Fighter Escort Group. Aircraft 46-297, named "Ole 97", was flown by Col. Cy Wilson, Commanding Officer of the 524th Sqn. of the 27th Fighter Escort Group in 1949, and the markings provided in this kit depict that aircraft.
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