Well, its actually a “Carbon Mustang”, the Scale Wings SW-51, a new kit from a German company, represented in America by an Arkansas group, and made from a kit manufactured in Poland. And if you forget all that, just think of one word – Awesome!
Introduced at Sun ‘n Fun this year, and shown extensively at AirVenture, and then flown again for the crowds at the Reno Races, we at Kitplanes were first in the media to get a chance to fly it for a complete review. A carbon fiber, 70% version of the famed P-51, the SW-51 looks the part, and flies wonderfully. Powered by a Rotax turbocharged 915is, this machine has a lot more guts than you might expect from a “small” engine because it gives you 141 horsepower all the way up to 17,000’. Demo pilot Trevor Aldridge reports that in his flight back from Reno, he was cruising at 14,500 feet doing 170 knots, burning about 7 gph—not bad performance for a two-seat airplane with the cockpit sized for two.
We’ll work through the thousand (or so) shots we’ve taken in two days of flying, and provide a detailed review of the airplane in an upcoming issue of Kitplanes, but for now, we can tell you that there is something special about looking out of the front seat at those Mustang-shaped wings and enjoying an airplane with light and harmonious controls. I flew it both two-up and solo, and either way, it was a blast and a ramp magnet beyond compare. There is no doubt that when the airplane taxiing in looks like a Mustang, the crowd at the airport is going to gather, and with thousands of meticulously-placed simulated rivets on its carbon fiber skin, this airplane generates double and triple takes from everyone that sees her.