North American P-51D-25NA Mustang, Serial# 44-73149, G-BTCD

Packard V1650-7 Merlin, 27 litre, Supercharged liquid-cooled V-12

An unusual inclusion for my Fighter Collection gallery, this one, in that this Mustang has not actually been a part of TFC since I have been visiting Duxford. It was however a founding member of the collection, one of Stephen Grey's first warbird acquisitions and until it's recent departure one of the longest Duxford residents.

North American P-51D-25-NA Mustang 44-73149 was built at Inglewood in early 1945 before being shipped to the 8th Air Force in the UK, seeing service at Leiston in Suffolk. Returning to the US early in 1946 it spent time in storage and with the Royal Canadian Air Force before being sold into private ownership in 1957. The Mustang passed through a number of owners, including a period in an all red "Candyman" scheme as a Reno racer from 1974-1976. Stephen Grey acquired the aircraft in early 1980 and after overhaul it was flown trans-Atlantic to Geneva by John Crocker. Repainted in military drab as "Candyman"/"Moose" the Mustang made it's UK display debut in the hands of Ray Hanna at Biggin Hill in May 1981. The Old Flying Machine Company (OFMC) acquired the aircraft in early 1999 and after complete overhaul it took on the now famous 374th Fighter Squadron "Ferocious Frankie" scheme. In OFMC hands the Mustang continued as a Duxford stalwart and was displayed throughout Europe as part of the OFMC Breitling Fighters quartet from 1999-2003. Later years saw Alister Kay become a regular pilot of "Frankie" and his dynamic displays captured much of the spirit and style of Ray Hanna's legendary flying. Having been sold to a new owner, "Frankie" left Duxford in January 2018 and was flown to the Eskişehir Aviation Museum in Turkey to become Turkey's first airworthy warbird.

My photographs only cover the period in OFMC ownership as "Ferocious Frankie", but there are many pictures of the TFC "Candyman"/"Moose" incarnation of this aeroplane available online. See here for a selection on images on the MustangsMustangs website.