43 Votes (4.60 Average) and 14,041 Views  

North American P-51 Mustang (N6WJ) - Precious Metal looks out over "The Valley of Speed".
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North American P-51 Mustang (N6WJ)


Precious Metal looks out over "The Valley of Speed".


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Very nice John.
Mark Thomas
First time I've ever seen counter-rotating props on a P-51. Were they produced like this or is this a modification? What's involved in a mod like that?
Roy Hunte
Maybe they modified it with parts from a Supermarine Seafire.
It definitely isn't a Seafire because the tail is the wrong shape.
"Precious Metal" has been around the racing circuit for many years. I don't have all of the facts about this plane, but I do know that it has been modified around '88 with the larger Rolls Royce Griffin engine instead of the measly Merlin and contra-rotating props. It also has the taller H model Mustang tail, obviously it has many other mods for racing.
They had an engine fire on the ground last year and it suffered some damage.
In all the years of racing, this is it's latest paint scheme.
Alan Brown
Besides the Griffin engine and the contra-rotating props, it looks like the bird has been modified again for dual occupants. Maybe they decided to take her out of the race circuit and on to the adventure circuit. I noticed that they also have a new sponsor which is good. I watched her race in 2010 and it was always interesting to watch the engine start. Great photo! She looks great in this livery!
greg presley
I have had the opportunity to sit inside PM (on the ground) in Kissimmee. So here are my cents take on this:

There is only one seat and that was in fact just a box of aluminium with a small cushion.
True that it had a fire last year on its way to Reno when it was refuelling. It is being rebuilt but probably not ready for this year Reno Air Races.
Thom Richard also races in Formula 1 (airplane) and is the current Champion. If you are around Orlando, be sure to visit the small museum he has built in his hangar as there are a lot of cool planes to see. If you have a few hundred bucks on the side, you can do a T-6 flight.
Miss Ashley II was anther P51 with counter rotating props. Crashed at the Reno Air Races in 1999 killing pilot Gary Levitz.
Leonard Shilton
Alan, I think it's actually a "Griffon," not "Griffin." Sorry, I'm just picky, I guess. Great engine! And, yes, great photo! We love "our" Mustangs, don't we!!!!
Greg Byington
The Red Baron, #5, that was based in my home town (KIDA) in the late '70s, was another very pretty P51 that had contra rotating props.
Mark Sacco
Dear Race Fans,
It’s with a heavy heart I am forced to announce the end of Precious Metal’s air racing career. She sustained heavy damage in a ground fire at a fuel stop this afternoon.
The aircraft was running fine and I was taxying out of the chocks after fueling up, a gentleman came running and signaled me to shut down. I had no idea I was on fire until he alerted me as it was under the airplane. By the time I came to a stop the flames were reaching the cockpit on the left side and I abandoned ship. There was no time to attempt fighting the fire as we feared an imminent explosion with 190 gallons of fuel onboard.
The fire department showed up after about 12 minutes and took 20 minutes to put the flames out with foam. But the damage was done. The aircraft is intact, but sustained heavy damage.
Thank you for all the support over the years, you are the best fans.
Thom Richard
That last statement is from Thom Richard the pilot, and was made right after the fire in September 2015, 9 months ago, making it old news.

Precious Metal is being rebuilt as we speak.
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