The F-82 Twin Mustang was an American two-seat
long-range fighter. It was the last piston type of attack airplane, used by the
USAF (United States Air Force).
The Twin Mustang was originally designed as an escort
longe-range fighter for B-29 strategic bombers during their WWII missions over
The "North American" company began
designing this airplane under designation NA-120 in the end of 1943. Designers
had a task to create an airplane, capable of traveling over 2000 mi (3200 km)
without refueling. They bring an original solution: a twin-fuselage design, incorporating two P-51H Mustang
fuselages lengthened by the addition of a fuselage plug located behind the
cockpit where additional fuel tanks and equipment were installed. The two
vertical tails were also from the P-51H, but incorporated large dorsal fillets
for added stability in case of an engine failure. The aircraft had a
conventional landing gear with both wheels retracting into bays under each
fuselage center section.
While the design and construction works of the
aircraft were in progress, almost a year and a half passed. The first prototype
under designation XP-82 took off only on April 15, 1945.
The XP-82 prototypes, and production P-82Bs and P-82Es, retained both
fully equipped cockpits so that pilots could fly the aircraft from either
position, alternating control on long flights, while later night fighter
versions kept the cockpit on the left side only, placing the radar operator in
the right position.
After aircraft flight tests were successfully passed,
the USAF put an order for 100 F-82E escort fighters and 100 F-82F night
interceptors equipped with an SCR-720 radar station. A little bit later, the USAF
put an additional order for the F-82G night fighter (with APS-4 radar) and the
F-82H (a special winter version for operations in Alaska). Externally, the
interceptors were distinguished between each other by a large radar fairing
installed between the fuselages.
1950, the F-82 almost everywhere had replaced the older P-61 “Black Widow”
interceptor fighters. In the period 1950-1951, the F-82 had a chance to
participate in the Korean War. By the way, the F-82s were the first to achieve
victory in aerial combat, destroying the North Korean Yak-9U.
|For modellers 14+
|Country of origin
Review by John Miller (English)
Wow—I’m smitten; this is a beautiful kit—period. The surface textures are sublime, details abound, and the parts layout and assembly sequence are quite conventional. For those that like super-detailing, both of the cockpits and the radar nose cone can be displayed open. The beautifully printed decals provide markings for 4 colorful airframes and whichever scheme is applied, the result will be a head-turner for sure.