An HDR alteration of 57 Bel-Air photo. You can see the original photo in the Chrome and Steel Gallery.
The throaty, turbine-like roar of the P-51's 1750 HP engine must be the sweetest sound in aviation. In 2004 I flew this immaculate $2 million piece of history in one hour of acrobatic maneuvers reaching speeds of 370+MPH. It's a special-built two seater with dual flight controls. The instructor gave me control within seconds of takeoff. After fully checking me out at 8000 feet, he let me perform moves that included straight rolls, vertical figure 8's, loops, half loops, Immelmans, barrel rolls, a Split S, and high speed tight turns. In a high speed, low G, 20 second loop it seems to defy gravity, the engine RPM barely dropping as it climbs vertical. At my request, the instructor flew a tricky vertical corkscrew topped by an inverted recovery, a lengthy high speed dive straight down, and a 4.5 G pullout. Generally, more fun that I could adequately describe.