Thunder Mustang. This almost head on shot shows the aircraft's sleek lines. The 12 exhaust pipes are fully functional.
The TM is a 3/4 scale replica of the P-51 Mustang. It is powered by a Ryan Falconer aluminium V-12 based on Chevrolet 350 and 400 automotive designs.
With a capacity of 601 cid (9.850 litres!) the racing-style engine delivers 640 BHP @ 4500 RPM with more than 700 ft/ft of torque. Despite the 10.9:1 compression ratio the use of 100 low lead aviation fuel is still permitted due to advanced combustion chamber configuration. An 8ft diameter, 4-bladed composite MT propellor converts the power into thrust at 1607 RPM and allows the use of spirited aerobatic manoeuvres due to its low moment of inertia.
The spacing of the exhaust ports is exactly 3/4 of the original Mustang's Rolls Royce Merlin's dimensions as befits an aircraft which, in itself, is a 75% scale replica.
The Thunder Mustang can carry two people at a top speed of 326 knots, a rate of climb of 5,200 ft/min and a service ceiling of 25,000 feet.
"Tiger's Blood", the only Thunder Mustang in New Zealand, is one of only 12 extant in the world and is a stunning example of this beautiful aircraft.
See pic 202 for another view.