For the first and possibly last time, the Australian National Aviation Museum has been offered a rare Australian-built P-51D Mustang aircraft. Being a volunteer, not-for-profit organisation, it is always a struggle to acquire aircraft, but this is the best chance they have ever had to fill one of the biggest gaps in their aircraft collection. The museum’s volunteers want to be able to finish the restoration and have it on display as a ground running example of the Australian-made variant. The aircraft is currently in storage and is complete, minus the engine and propeller, but the museum will put a ground-runnable Merlin in her and prop so that she can run up for visitors once the restoration is done.
It is the third oldest surviving CAC-built Mustang in the world and the oldest remaining in Australia. This aircraft served with 75 Squadron and then went to CSIRO for cloud seeding trials in the 1950s and 60s – through its acquisition, the museum would have one of the most complete collections of CAC built aircraft in the world. They have launched a crowd-funding campaign to help move the process along which achieved such success last year on a Beaufort project.