Well, they say you can find out anything on the internet. They’re probably right, but every now and then I am stymied in looking up certain obscure curiosities either to verify a sea story, or to check facts on a suspected tall tale.
This one’s sort of neither. It is a piece of Naval Aviation history that I can’t seem to put my finger on. To wit, was the North American FJ-1 Fury a re-design of the famous and wonderful P-51 Mustang with the addition of a jet engine? I have been told that the original design employed the same wing and empennage of the P-51 Mustang, with a fuselage redesign to incorporate the Allison J-35 turbojet power plant.
It certainly looks in the accompanying images that this is possible. With slight modification of the tail surfaces to account for jet exhaust and a slight dihedral of the horizontal surfaces, the similarities are remarkable.
I have never read this anywhere official, but have been told this as fact on several occasions. With the design being a North American product, certainly the opportunity existed. And perhaps this is logical, as the Mustang was the last word in piston engine fighter technology when the XFJ-1 was being built. Of course, the design of the FJ-1 eventually became the F-86 Sabre of Korean War fame.
Well, what say we? I would love to hear from the Naval Aviation geeks out there regarding the above. URR