Why Did the F-82 Twin Mustang Exist?

by FliteTest | March 12, 2019 | (5) Posted in Just Fun

Remember that twin FT Mustang Josh Bixler made? Here’s the story behind the real airplane. 

TheF-82 is, by all means, a strange looking aircraft. If you’d never seen or heard about one before, you’d probably be quite surprised to see two P-51 Mustangs mashed together in a somewhat experimental fashion. However, this Twin Mustang was a serious plane designed to take the P-51 concept to its very limits. 


What was it?

Purpose:

Long Range Escort Fighter

Introduced:

1946, after the conflict it was designed for had ended. 

Number Built: 

272 (including 22 prototypes)

Range (based on the F-82G):

2,240mi

Top Speed (based on the F-82G):

461mph at 21,000ft

Armament: 

6x .50 cal M3 Browning Machine Guns

25 x 5” Rockets

4x 1,000 lb Bombs 


Why was it built?

The USAF needed the best escort fighter it could get its hands on. To successfully protect its fleet of bombers both over Germany and the Pacific, they needed a plane with speed, deadly armament, and - most importantly - range. 


Especially in the Pacific Theater, aircraft were required to fly immense distances between islands. The fighter pilots needed to fly for several hours between islands, yet they also needed to stay alert for the entire time. Although the P-38 had the range, its pilot would have an extremely taxing experience, so the USAF came up with a new plan - have two pilots. 


North American’s solution was to create the XP-82 Twin Mustang. It was essentially two modified P-51H fuselages in a twin-boom layout. There were two cockpits that were occupied by two pilots who would share the tasks of flying and fighting. Whilst one rested, the other would fly. It would be used to escort the B-29 bombers.


However, the war came to an end and the F-82 was sidelined. Jets quickly came onto the scene which beat the F-82 in almost every regard - specifically in speed, range, and armament. However, the Twin Mustang still holds the record for the longest flight made by a propeller-driven fighter at 5,051 mi from Hawaii to New York. 


Check out the FT Twin Mustang we made:

Back in 2014, Josh built a Twin Fuselage FT Mustang to represent the F-82 in foam board. Here is the plane it's based on. You can order a speed build kit of the FT Mustang on the Flite Test Store




Here's a custom made F-82 constructed by a community member here on flitetest.com - it looks great!


If you want to have a go at building a Twin Mustang of your own, the FT Mustang kit is a great place to start!  


Check it out on the Flite Test Store.


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Article by James Whomsley

Editor of FliteTest.com

Contact: james@flitetest.com

YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/projectairaviation 

COMMENTS

Bradfnp on March 14, 2019
Just wanted to leave a few comments.
Although I built my own plane a few years ago, (see link below N969BC is mine) I was never able to get the hang of being an R/C pilot (I crashed the uncrashable parkzone Champ about a dozen times). But I live my R/C life vicariously through your YouTube posts.

I read your article about the twin Mustang and thought you might be interested to know that the only privately owned P-82 is near completion (the only other one I know of is in Air Force hands after taking it back from the Commemorative Air Force one they heard that the CAF was making it airworthy again.) Again, see link below for the December update.
Although called the twin Mustang, the only common parts between the two aircraft was supposedly the tailwheels.

The P-82 was supposed to go to the Oshkosh airshow last summer but didn't make it in time. I'm hoping they'll be at sun and fun in April. Will be a once in a lifetime event to see a flying P-82.

Keep up the great flying

Brad Cohen
Tampa

http://warbirdsnews.com/warbird-restorations/tom-reilly-and-the-xp-82-twin-mustang.html

https://newsline.kitplanes.com/tag/zodiac/
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AERODROME on March 20, 2019
I love the p82 . I have three now but have built 7. One is a sloper one is electric and one has two 70 fs. I have an original shoulder patch from the Okinawa group from 1952 and a few original brownie camera snaps from the base's fight line. There is a lot of history online about this remarkable plane. It saw combat in Korea and hunted hurricanes in Florida . As a twin model is it safer than most because it will
fly with an engine out without snapping in due to its large rudders and close in engines; not really a problem with electrics.


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naborsmt on May 13, 2019
The F-82 was an amazing plane. It's awesome to see a homebuilt version of it. Good job!
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Why Did the F-82 Twin Mustang Exist?