North American P-82B Twin Mustang
U.S. Long Range & Night Fighter

P-82.jpg (8772 bytes) The Ghost Squadron's P-82B.

Image source: The Confederate Air Force Ghost Squadron CD-ROM produced by Corel. Photos by Bill Crump.

By the later half of the Second World War, it became obvious to the USAAF that a new, longer range escort fighter would be needed to protect the B-29s and other bombers operating in the vast reaches of the Pacific, especially if and when an invasion of Japan was attempted. Requirements called for twin engines, a large amount of fuel and two pilots for the very long distance operations envisioned.

North American Aviation proposed the P-82 design as the joining of two P-51 fuselages with a new wing center section. The Air Force ordered 500 as P-82Bs, but only 20 were completed before the decision was made to also make a night fighter version. The resulting models mounted a large radar pod underneath the center wing section, with the starboard cockpit modified for the radar operator.

In 1946, 100 P-82E long-range fighters and 150 P-82F and G night fighters were ordered, serving primarily with the Air Defense Command. The radar-equipped Twin Mustangs equipped some of the first "all-weather" fighter squadrons in the Air Force. After 1947, the old P for Pursuit designation was replaced by F for Fighter, so the aircraft became known as the F-82.

At the beginning of the Korean War, three squadrons of F-82Gs were based in Japan, and on 27 June, 1950, one of the Twin Mustangs was credited with the first USAF victory of the conflict, a Russian-built Yak-9. The last F-82s were retired in mid-1953.

The CAF P-82 was acquired from the U.S. Air Force in 1966, and has been the only flying Twin Mustang in the world for many years. The aircraft is currently being restored after a landing accident, and will hopefully rejoin the Ghost Squadron’s flying fleet in the near future.


Two Pilots
(Pilot and Radar Operator in Night Fighter)

Two Packard Merlin V-1650-19/21 Engines
(in P-82B only, all other models used Allison V-1710s)
Liquid-cooled Supercharged V-12 Inline
1,860 hp @ 3,000 rpm

Six .50 caliber Machine Guns
Up to 4,000 lbs of Bombs

Max. Speed 482 mph @ 25,100 feet
Cruise Speed 227 mph
Landing Speed 130 mph

Climb to 20,000 ft in 7 minutes
Service Ceiling 41,600 ft

Length 39' 1"
Height 13' 10"
Wing Span 51' 3"

Max. Weight 22,000 lbs
Empty Weight 13,405 lbs

Normal Fuel 576 gallons
Max. Fuel 1,006 gallons

Normal Range 1,390 miles
Maximum Range 2,600 miles


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