Pilot: Major changes done to P-51 that crashed

AP News
Posted: Sep 17, 2011 3:50 PM
Pilot: Major changes done to P-51 that crashed

The pilot of a P-51 Mustang killed in a Reno air race crash said major changes were made to the World War II-era fighter plane before this year's race.

A podcast uploaded to YouTube in June shows Jimmy Leeward discussing the plane called "The Galloping Ghost."

He said his crew cut five feet off each wing and shortened the ailerons _ the back edge of the main wings used to control balance. Leeward said the team also took the scoop off the bottom, changed the cooling system and put on a different canopy.

He said the goal was to make the plane more aerodynamic so it goes faster without a bigger engine.

Leeward said the systems weren't proven, but the team thought they would be OK.