There were 15,586 North American built P-51 Mustangs of which only 169 are still in airworthy condition. Man O War was built in the Inglewood California plant as serial number 44-72739. This P-51 was completely restored in Chino, CA in 1970 and received its “Man O War” paint scheme in 1975.
Man O War is currently operated by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF), Southern California Wing, on a ride program. Yup, that’s correct, you can take a ride in Man O War. The interior of this P-51 was slightly modified, providing the room for a second seat. Make a tax deductible donation ($1,495 as of writing, contact SO CAL CAF for current pricing) to the CAF and you too can take a ride in an very rare piece of history.
The P-51 Mustang is probably the most recognizable WWII aircraft in the fleet. I’m sure the reason everyone knows the P-51 is because it is regarded as the baddest WWII fighter plane produced. Coupled with a skilled pilot, there was nothing in the sky that could touch it. This aircraft had a top speed of 437 Miles Per Hour, carried 6 X 50MM machine guns, 2 X 1000 pound bombs and 6 rockets. The Mustang has not been in military service for 30 years and it would still dominate the skies in many countries around the world.
The P-51 Mustang is an incredible airplane today, it was a phenomenal airplane when it was first rolled off the production line in the early 1940′s. If you only have the opportunity to fly in one WWII airplane in your life, I would strongly recommend that ride be in the Mustang, there is nothing else close to it in the fleet.
Thank you to the CAF for keeping these incredible aircraft in their flying museum, you can’t get a sense of what people felt when they saw this aircraft by only seeing it in a static display. To see and hear this airplane fly by in excess of 300 MPH, makes your insides smile.
Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA, 1955-1970.
– Used in movie Battle Hymn, 1957.
– Placed in open storage.
Ascher Ward, Van Nuys, CA, August 1970-1975.
– Recovered from Universal Studios, August 1970.
– Towed, complete, to Van Nuys.
– Registered as N44727, 1971.
Elmer F. Ward, Chino, CA, August 7, 1975-2004.
– Flown as 414292/QP-A/Man O’ War.
Serial #: 44-72739
Construction #: 122-39198
Civilian Registration: N44727
Model(s): P-51D Mustang
Name: Man O’ War