For a second week in a row we’ve gotten a good look at a new aircraft for the in-development IL-2: Battle of Normandy for the IL-2: Great Battles Series. This week we’ve got our first look at the in progress P-51B/C Mustang which boasts some impressive customization options. Let’s have a look!
Lots of options
1CGS is showing off their latest work in progress Mustang model and it’s an impressive model indeed. We’re also learning what 1CGS plans to do with this aircraft and there’s some impressive modifications that will give us a pretty wide variety of options.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Two engine modifications:
- Packard-Merlin V-1650-3 (based on the Merlin 63)
- Packard-Merlin V-1650-7 (based on the Merlin 66)
- Three gunsights including a gyro gunsight
- Two canopy options including the standard and the Malcom hood
- 150 octane fuel option
Deciphering the earlier Mustang version
The P-51B was the first to have a serially produced Packard-Merlin engine and, just like the P-47D-22 with its “Razorback” configuration, had somewhat better handling attributes than the bubble canopy version. When appropriately configured, it was one of the fastest Mustang versions around.
Although the developer diary lists this version as having superior low altitude performance versus the Mustang, I believe that may have only been the case for RAF Mustang Mark III’s that were specially prepared for V-1 chasing. With meticulously polished surfaces and paint, running higher than normal boost and the 150 high octane fuel option, these Mustangs were among the fastest aircraft of the war at low level.
The earlier V-1650-3 boasts a slightly higher critical altitude for its supercharger configuration and did eke out a 2 mph top speed advantage over the P-51D and did so at a slightly higher altitude (in exchange for poorer low altitude performance).
In any case, getting this version of the Mustang is exciting and will help fill in the history of the type in the series. That it is getting so many modifications will ensure that it’s useful across a wide variety of scenarios and time periods which is great to see. A few RAF skins (at least one with famous Polish pilot please) and we’ll be good!