North American P-51D Mustang

We were asked by a Westen Australian client to source a P-51D, ship it to Australia and restore the aircraft to airworthiness in 18 months! This example never saw active service in the War but served with the USAF until 1966, then there is very little record of its whereabouts until we found it in 1999.
We based the colour scheme on the design adopted by Major William A. Shomo (above) who scored 7 Japanese victories in a single day in just over 10 minutes, on 11 January 1945 in his P-51D. He was assigned to the 82nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron at Mindoro Island in the Philippines. In recognition of this mission Major Shomo received the Medal of Honour.
Read the full WIKIPEDIA wartime story.

Rob Poynton (L) and Bill Willie (R) beside the fuselage of the P51D

The completed fuselage of the P51D

Nearly finished!

Painting the US insignia on the rear fuselage

The completed wing unit

She was delivered to the USAAF on 18 July 1945 and was never used in anger in any military conflict. The restoration project was completed in 18 months, from locating the aircraft in the US, to its first flight for over 40 years.

A story in Classic Wings Magazine. Click for a larger view


The P51D in formation with another North
American stablemate, also rebuilt by
Panama Jacks, an AT6-G Texan

All aerial photographs by Jon Davison/Eye
in the Sky unless otherwise stated.