Operation: Central and Eastern
Wing Span: 37' 0"
Length: 32' 2"
Height: 13' 8"
Max Speed: 505 mph
Gross Weight: 10,500 lbs
Power Plant: Rolls-Royce Merlin V-1650-7
Fuel Capacity: 269 gallons
Armament: 6 x .50 caliber machine guns
Ball's N.A. P-51D Mustang "Shangrila"
Tom Ball is the owner and operator of this
beautiful North American P-51D Mustang "Shangrila"
(S/N 45-11540), which is available for airshows,
flybys and film.
The P-51 was designed and built by North American
Aviation after the British government approached them to
build P-40 Warhawks under license. North American
believed they could design a better fighter, and the
British government gave them 120 days to prove it. 102
days after the order was placed, the first Mustang was
completed, flying for the first time on October 26,
1940. The prototype and subsequent P-51A utilized the
Allison V-1710 liquid cooled engine. Lacking an
supercharger, the Allison provided insufficient power
for the high-altitude environment the P-51 was designed
to operate in. By replacing the Allison engine with a
Rolls-Royce V-1650 Merlin engine that had a two-stage
supercharger, the necessary power and performance was
gained. The Merlin engine, which was built in the U.S.
under license by the Packard Motor Car Company, was
installed in all further P-51 models from the “B”
through the “H” versions.
The P-51 was the United States supreme
air-superiority fighter in the European Theatre of
Operations (ETO) during WWII. It served as a
fighter-interceptor, Bomber-escort and fighter-bomber.
With the powerful Merlin engine and droppable fuel
tanks, the Mustang was able to penetrate deep into
German territory where no previous Allied fighter had
been able to go. The P-51 could escort bombers to all
but the deepest targets inside Germany. With a fighter
escort, fewer bombers were lost to the Luftwaffe’s
fighters. Reichmarschall Hermann Goering, Supreme
Commander of the Luftwaffe said “ When I saw Mustangs
over Berlin. I knew the war was lost.”
The P-51 was considered by many to be the finest
fighter that the U.S. produced and flew in WWII
accounted for almost half the enemy aircraft destroyed
in Europe by U.S. fighters. The Mustang was equipped
with six .50 caliber machine guns and incorporated the
advanced K-14 lead computing gun sight. The unmistakable
scoop on the underside of the Mustang is the air inlet
for the coolant radiator and oil cooler.
A combined total of over 15,500 Mustangs were
produced. The greatest number of Mustangs were built as
the “D” model, with over 8,000 built. Today less than
150 Mustangs remain flyable or restorable to flying
Please fill out your contact information
below if you are interested in contacting
the operator, or representative, of this Warbird and you require more information for booking this
aircraft at your Airshow