The Thunder Mustang is a 3/4 scale, 2-seat kit-built replica of the iconic North American P-51 fighter from the World War 2 era. It looks identical in appearance to the P-51D version but thanks to a more modern engine it is the fastest kit plane built.
The Thunder Mustang was designed in the early 1990s by Dan Denney, who also designed the Kitfox homebuilt plane. Production ceased in 1999 and the rights, tooling, and plans were then sold to Dean Holt of Mt. Vernon, Washington. After 37 kits were built, Holt is working on some improvements and may re-start production in the near future. They sell for $297,000 and include all the parts needed to assemble the plane except the cockpit instruments.
While the original Mustang was built with the famous Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, this replica gets its power from a custom high performance aluminum V12 engine designed by Ryan Falconer, an experienced engine builder for Indianapolis 500 racing teams. The 600 cubic inch water-cooled Falconer V12 is normally aspirated with dual electronic control systems and puts out 640hp at 5,000ft to spin the huge 94 inch prop. The Thunder Mustang is made of lightweight carbon fiber and with an extraordinary power to weight ratio is well suited to racing and aerobatic competition; the fastest speed achieved in an air race is 397mph.
|Thunder Mustang Specifications|
|Number Built||37 (2015)|
|Powerplant||1 Falconer V12 (640hp at 4,800rpm)|
|Maximum Cruising Speed||340kts|
|Rate of Climb||5,500ft per minute|
|Aerobatic Design Load Limit||+9/-6 Gs|