Whilst highly manoeuvrable in the air with its two stage super turbo chargers and advanced wing control surfaces delivering high altitude performance, the P-51 required some care upon taxing and takeoff due to the lack of runway visibility with the Mustang's high nose.
Lack of ground visibility was a common issue with many fighters of the era including the British Supermarine Spitfire, so pilots compensated with a slight weaving side to side motion known as ’S'ing for runway line up.
To assist with this, the P-51 was equiped with a lockable tail wheel that provided 6 degrees of turn either side by applying light pressure to the rudder pedal brakes. Once lined up, the tail lock could be removed with on-ground steerage supplied by the tail rudder alone.
This was achieved by holding the control column slightly aft of neutral and simply moving the cast aluminium rudder pedals which automatically locked the tail wheel but still provided the 6 degree of steerage either side - enough for ’S'ing but not for sharp turns, which required the pilot to push the control column forward which unlocked the tail wheel giving it full 360 degree swivelling.
Mustang pilots were careful to apply as little braking pressure as possible when throttling up withe the stick in the forward position to prevent the aircraft ’nosing over’ due to the aircrafts powerful Rolls Royce engine’s additional weight which had shifted the centre of gravity further forward from North American Aviation's original airframe design.
This shift in the centre of gravity also require ground crews to securely anchor the aircraft's tail to the ground as it was liable to tip up in the propeller's slipstream.
Pilots loved the P-51’s widely spaced, reinforced landing gear and with the lockable tail wheel, the Mustang was able to take off and land from makeshift uneven fields which was something the narrowly spaced landing gear of the Spitfire struggled with.
Before switching off, the pilot would fully depress both rudder pedals to lock the wheel brakes. To release them, they simply pressed both rudder pedals forward past the lock position to release them.
These instructions were clearly visible on the casting surface of the rudder pedals.
Still sporting its original, thought worn and scratched paint work, this North American Aviation P-51 Mustang rudder pedal has been removed from an operational P-51 fighter and is an amazing artefact of this iconic WWII warbird.
Mounted in its 100 yr old Mango wooden display stand with engraved plaque and highly detailed custom built 1/72 or larger 1/48 or 1/32 scale model perched above on its removable magnetic arm together with its high quality printed and laminated Fact Sheet, this Recovery Curios Original WWII P-51 Mustang collectable would be an amazing and treasured gift for any aviation enthusiast.
This P-51 Mustang Rudder Pedal comes complete with detailed Scale Model, Mango Wood Stand & Plaque plus Printed Fact Sheet featuring photo of the rudder pedal in the aircraft cockpit.
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Your North American P-51 Mustang North American Aviation Rudder Pedal, Original Recovery Curios Warbird Collectable includes:
- Original Warbird instrument
- Highly detailed hand-built and airbrushed 1/72 plastic scale model of the aircraft,* - or 1/72 Die-cast scale model**
- Hand-crafted and beautifully finished 100yr, Far North Queensland Mango Wood display stand
- Detailed, 2-sided, printed and laminated Instrument Fact Sheet detailing aircraft and instrument
- Removable Magnetic Display Arm
*An upgrade to the larger and more detailed 1/48 scale model is also available in the hand-built and airbrushed plastic version for an additional $35 (Click on the 1/48 scale option)
** The Die-cast 1/72 model comes with a fixed colour scheme and closed cockpit but wheels can either be up or down.
Both the 1/72 & 1/48 scale hand-built and airbrushed plastic models are available with 'wheels & flaps up or down' and 'canopy open or closed' options with a choice of two Squadron markings and camouflage.
Upon order placement you will receive an email asking for your preferred configuration.
Your complete Recovery Curios Original Instrument Collectable is securely packed and delivery normally takes between 3 - 4 weeks approx.
Did you fly, crew or maintain a P-51 Mustang or have a friend, colleague or family member who did? Check out our PERSONALISED ORIGINAL INSTRUMENT COLLECTABLE OPTION here.