Long before the idea of building the Mustang was on the table there was already a plan to equip an aircraft with the Rolls Royce Merlin engine. Some of the most successful British aircraft of World War II (Hurricane, Spitfire or Avro Lancaster) carried this engine, seeing the fantastic performance that this engine was giving and taking into account that the development of a new one to equip the P-51 would take precious time, which the Allies did not have, it was decided that the Packard Motor Company will manufacture, under license, the V-1650-1 engine (modification of the Merlin engine) in Detroit, Michigan. The result of this was the construction of the P-51 Mustang, probably the most successful aircraft of all of World War II.
Some 3,700 P-51Bs were produced, which served as long-range escort fighters to provide cover for Allied bombers attacking over German territory.
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