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Mustang: Thoroughbred Stallion of the Air

by Steve Pace, Fonthill, Gloucester, UK, 2012, $39.95

 Just when you think you know everything about the North American P-51, along comes Steve Pace’s fine new book, offering even more details as well as great photos of the iconic aircraft. A veteran author, Pace has managed the very difficult task of making an exhaustive study of an airplane exciting to read. By dividing his book into 16 distinct parts, he covers everything from the somewhat convoluted origins of the design to its current status as a highly prized personal airplane, record-setting racer and airshow staple.

As he chronicles the life of the Mustang, and the lives of those who designed and flew it, Pace keeps his narrative interesting by introducing new material, also interspersing an excellent selection of more than 200 photos and diagrams, including 64 images in brilliant color. For the benefit of dedicated devotees and modelers, he lays out the Mustang’s structure and systems in detail, revealing what a tremendous amount of design and planning went into the swift creation of this warbird. Perhaps as a challenge, Pace also covers the incredible work of a supreme model builder, Young C. Park.

The appendices list the factory serial numbers and the subsequent serial numbers of each example as it migrated through the U.S. Army Air Forces to foreign air forces and into private hands. A good bibliography and glossary are valuable additions.

Even a veteran Mustang expert will be delighted with Pace’s book, which presents in a fresh, authoritative manner virtually everything one could wish to know about this iconic aircraft.


Originally published in the January 2014 issue of Aviation History. To subscribe, click here.