|Fig.1 - Original Mustangs escorting bombers in European skies.|
Everyone knows the Mustang. An american icon from World War II, the fighter that defeated Hitler and an important CAS and atacker in Koreia. But if after the war many were sold across the world some of them were re-build or even new build by Cavalier in the 60's and 70's. We are talking about the Cavalier Mustang I, II, III and the Piper Enforcer.
|Fig.2 - Cavalier Munstang was a civil project. Few were build but lead to military Cavalier Mustangs.|
All started with the idea of the publisher David Lindsay to transform old P/F51 in executive bussiness aircraft. The Trans Florida Executive Mustang (renamed Cavalier Mustang) were build in 1958 and if is true that only a few were sold to public, it is undeniable that caught the attention. First between 1964/65 with the IRAN inspection of 30 F51D por Dominican Republic. Then with the contract that the US Department of Defense made with Trans Florida to improve the civilian Cavalier to a ground Attack Fighter. The Cavalier F51D Mustang I.
Fig. 3 - One of the Cavalier Mustang (F51D) sold to US Army. Is preserved in the Air Force Armament Museum in Englin,
Seven Single Control (F51D) and two Dual-Control (TF51D) were made and give to Bolivia under the program Peace Condor and two with Tip tanks were sold to Us Army for use as Chase Aircraft. They were used in the AH56 Comanche Program with original F51Ds (the last one was retired in 1978, and was the last Mustang operated by the United States Military) like this one: http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b400/EDWMatt/f5004.jpg
Fig.4- The TF-51D Cavalier Mustang. A Dual-Control Mustang give to Dominican Republic. Now back to USA.
In 1967 Cavalier developed the Cavalier Mustang II for Closer Air Support (CAS) and Counter Insurgency (CI). The main faitures were four aditional hardpoints in the wing, structural improvements in the wing, new avionics and a Merlin V1650 motor. Two batches were build: For El Salvador and Indonesia. Both had a difference: The group for El Salvador had the wingtip fuel tanks and the others make to Indonésia no, because US restrictions.
|Fig. 5 - Cavalier Mustang II from El Salvador. This one was used in the 1969 Soccer War.|
El Salvador used in war. Indonesian is not clear about the Cavalier Mustang II but (F51Ds here later upgraded to Cavalier Mustangs II locally) the F51Ds were used against CIA flights and in a coup attempt against Suharto president in the 60s.
In war Cavalier Mustangs II have lack of maneuverability and for that reason the wingtip fuel tanks were removed (http://crazyhorseap.be/Mustangs/Mustangs/SE-BIL%20It's%20About%20Time/SE-BIL.htm). It is true that FAS had some problems deal with the fleet, like lack of fuel, trained pilots and the eventuality of wire mercenarys, but Munstangs were never a very good CAS plane. In Koreia it was available in large number and it was a recent plane but the weight of bombs, fuel and rockets give him a performance quite different from the fighter of WWII.
|Fig.6 - Cavalier Mustang II from Indonésia. No wingtips fuel tanks because were not allowed by US (this plane was probably a upgraded Cavalier Mustang from original Mustan F-51D). The famous 338 maybe was after all the 361. The original 338 who shoot down a CIA A26 Invader it must have been lost in a acident http://www.swissmustangs.ch/40492/44592.html )|
Most likely the FAS experience with the Cavalier Mustang II conducted to the turboprop Cavalier Mustang III. The Rolls Royce Dart 510 radically encrease the Mustang performance in CAS/COIN missions. The result was good enough to the company purchased the Us military or foreign operators to buy the plane. Thinking that the correct path was continuing to develop the turboprop Mustang, they sold the prototype to the much bigger Piper. With that the Piper Enforcer was born. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piper_PA-48_Enforcer
|Fig.7 - Cavalier Mustang III with a turboprop R&R Dart 510. The good performance lead to Piper Enforcer|
The Enforcer were the last Mustang but also the best Mustang. With the Lycoming T55-y9, the first two planes in 1971 and the others two in 1984 performed well. It is true that only 10% of the last one build have something to do with original Mustangs, but the main reason for USAF not to purchase the aircraft is that was to late for Enforcer. I explain: If the turboprop Mustang was made when the Cavalier II and III were build, most likely were enter in service in USAF, because Vietnam War. But in 1971 lots of aircraft similar were in service with South Vietnamese Air Force and USAF. By 1984 USAF simply did not belive that a turboprop will survive in a moder war. By this days, with Super Tucano build in Florida for Afghanistan still do not belive (the A10 is a Jet, a veteran for more than 4 war and USAF want to send him to AMARC) .
|Fig.8 - Piper Enforcer from 1971.|
Video 1 - It is a little crazy that today Cavalier Mustangs were seen all around USA, in single or double seat models. After all the concept was righ, but maybe once again at the wrong time.
|Fig.12 - This is a Cavalier Mustang II not a World War Mustang. Today at least six of them are in fly conditions in USA. In air race and in particular, most likely there are more.|