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A Twin Mustang Like This One Holds a Record for Longest Nonstop Flight

The Second World War was all the motivation the world needed to advance itself technologically. Fueled by the desire to end years of suffering, nations developed the tools needed for the task, tools that would shape the world we live in today.
1944 North American XP-82 7 photos
North American F-82 Twin MustangNorth American F-82 Twin MustangNorth American F-82 Twin MustangNorth American F-82 Twin MustangNorth American F-82 Twin MustangNorth American F-82 Twin Mustang
The North American P-51 fighter-bomber is one of the most famous such tools. Having made its first flight in 1940, the P-51 would go on to fight in the skies of the world, and was kept in production until the end of the 1950s. As usual when it comes to machines, it had its fair share of derivatives.

The F-82 Twin Mustang was one of them. It came into the world in 1945, the year the war ended, as a a quirky design with a double fuselage, the kind we presently see on the SpaceShipTwo used by Virgin Galactic to launch the VSS Unity spacecraft.

The airplane was envisioned as a long-range fighter escort, but didn’t get much use in this capacity. Also, the fact that jet engines were soon to become a thing (the P-51 and F-82 used piston engines), means that just a little under 300 of them were ever made.

Back in 1947, one of these P-82s went from Hawaii to New York (around 8,000 km/5,000 miles) without refueling. Given how piston-engined fighter aircraft are no longer being made (and those that are around will probably never attempt such a thing again), the 14.5 hours flight remains the record for the longest nonstop flight ever made by a propeller-driven fighter.

Before the P-82 came to be and went on its record flight, prototypes had to be made. They were called XP-82, and the one in the gallery above is one of them.

Having been restored a while back, the airplane won the 2019 EAA Airventure Grand Champion Warbird - Post WWII title, and is now awaiting a new buyer. The asking price for the plane is $12 million.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.


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