The P-51 Mustang is almost universally regarded as the best fighter to emerge from World War II. Talk to Bob Hoover, Chuck Yeager, Bud Anderson or any of a hundred other military test pilots, and they’ll tell you the airplane was nothing less than a stroke of genius when it was introduced in 1942.
As I learned three years ago (flying with Lee Lauderback in Kissimmee, Fla.), it’s a myth that the P-51 is an inherently dangerous airplane. Certainly, the powerful Mustang deserves special treatment, and it does have some quirks, but it flies pretty much like most other WWII fighters. Granted reasonable care and proper power management, the Mustang is an easy-flying airplane with few surprises inside the normal flight envelope.