Heart-Warming Sights and Sounds for the Warbird Lover in All of Us
We brought you the EAA-produced video about the restoration and imminent first flight of the one-of-a-kind XP-82 Twin Mustang. We also did a Twin Mustang retrospective for the 70th anniversary of the P-82 Twin Mustang Betty Jo’s record-setting long distance flight from Hickam to LaGuardia in 1947. But since we published those stories that beautiful warbird has indeed flown. At EAA Airventure 2019 in Oshkosh the XP-51 flew, and we brought you the proof. Enjoy these three gorgeous videos, all uploaded to YouTube by AirshowStuffVideos.
First up: The XP-82 Twin Mustang flying during the Saturday Airshow
As it turns out, the XP-82 Twin Mustang flew for the first time after that ten-and-a-half-year restoration on 31 December 2018, but the flight didn’t go exactly as planned. In fact the flight wasn’t planned at all. The aircraft’s last flight had occurred on 14 December 1949. When test pilot Ray Fowler took the powerful aircraft out to the runway for some taxi tests (including a quick liftoff/setdown) that power got the better of him.
Next Up: a tailcam perspective of the same flight during the Saturday Airshow
After all…at comparable power settings the Twin Mustang has just shy of two and a half times the horsepower of a single P-51 Mustang but only weighs in at about a Mustang and a half. So the XP-82 took to the skies sooner than expected. Rather than try to stop the aircraft, Fowler just went ahead and flew it around the pattern and then landed it. With no gripes.
The first planned test flights commenced in late January of 2019. After four gear-down hops to check systems and expose the inevitable (minor) issues, the man who spent all that time (207,000 hours all-told over those ten-plus years) restoring the warbird, Tom Reilly, finally went flying in her.
Finally: Another XP-82 flight during the Tuesday Airshow