Josh McArthur

Coming or Going? The North American P-82

23 Oct 2014

a North American XP-82 By United States Air Force [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This aircraft is literally two P-51 Mustangs banged together.

I entirely appreciate the thinking behind taking a very successful platform together and doubling the awesome, but I can’t help imagining a number of entertaining scenarios in which a pilot in each fuselage attempts to wrest control of the ‘plane off the other.

I’m also imagining a number of flights in which the pilots spend most of the cruising time in giggling fits as they make faces and thumb their noses at each other along with similar hijinks.

There’s good reasons why this type of combination of two fuselages would be successful, but at first glance it’s such a seemingly-odd thing to do that I can’t help and be amused.

For more technical information, see the Wikipedia page.


Sidenote: The first versions of these aircraft really did fly with two pilots - but not at the same time! The pilots would alternate on long journeys to provide relief for the other. Later versions replaced one pilot position with space for a radar operator.