On July 4, 2016, the Collings Foundation was visiting Boeing Field with their B-24, B-25, B-17 and P-51C aircraft. Mike took 0.7 hours of flight training in the P-51C Mustang.
After a few mins getting the feel of the P-51, I was hit with this conundrum. Sure it has enough fire-breathing power and performance to kill you in a blink, and there's this foreboding sense of responsibility not wanting to screw up and destroy a magnificent 70-year-old piece of history despite having the CFI on board doing the real flying. Yet at the same time I expected the P-51 to be this beasty monster and instead found it so smooth and responsive and natural feeling, not just fast but also quick despite its weight, sensitive but not twitchy, just a really sweet flying airplane. I don't mean to imply it's easy to fly, at 0.7 hours I'm no judge of that, I don't even have the skill to fly it on my own - the CFI up front did all the hard work. Even so, it seemed much more well behaved than I expected which left me in even greater awe of the men who designed it, and admiration for the men who mastered this airplane and flew it into battle.