Model Airplane News
November, 1964

Model Airplane News Cover for November, 1964

Model Airplane News Cover for November, 1964
Ride in a Mustang
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Here is what the blurb about the cover has to say:

"...On Sunday, July 26, this year, your editor experienced a new high in his varied career. Bill Fornoff, Naval Reserve officer of Houston, Texas and famous stunt and show pilot took us up in his magnificently finished F-51 Mustang shown on the cover and put us through the complete stunt program. Full details in the MAN at Work" column this issue. Cover photo by Harry Harps..."

About the Details

Here is what was inside the magazine:

"...The high spot for this old man was Bill Fornoff's F-51. When he asked us if we wanted to help him wring out this beautiful bird (look at cover photo and you will see what I mean), it took all of 0.005 seconds to say "Yeah, man!" And Sunday, we did just that -- wrung it out. By we, I mean Bill as I was along for the ride and to take some movies. You won't be able to decipher the movies that I took as they seem to show the horizon spinning in all directions

"...I am completely familiar with just how an R/C multi plane feels after it has completed a full contest stunt flight and then a few new ones were added such as an eight point roll, a barrell roll, a snap roll, a Chinese eight, which is a Cuban Roll squared and the topper was a tuck under break in the landing pattern<.P>

"...I am going to make an all-out effort to have this last one included in the stunt event. Let Bill Fornoff describe it for you: 'For a left traffic patter, a tuck under break is a 3/4 roll to the right stopping the aircraft's rotation at the 3/4 position [flying sideways...] and pulling into a left turn so as to be in position for a down-wind landing.'

"...If time and space permit, I will have Bill's sketch of the meneuver drawn for a better description. This was one of the more memorable experiences in a rather full and eventful life and I am forever indebted to Bill Fornoff, a Naval reserve officer and pilot, and one of the best acrobatic pilots that it has been my pleasure to know..."

-- Walter Schroder, Editor

This was neither the first nor the last time that Schroder put himself on the cover. The correct spelling of the name of the pilot to which he is so indebted is "J. William Fornof" [just one "F"]


Bill Fornof's Mustang
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In a sad note, the glorious Mustang was sold to R. Dunagan of Crawford & Co, Atlanta, Georgia on Mar. 14, 1972; It crashed and was destroyed by fire at Flowery Branch, Georgia, on December 20, 1972. Bill Fornof was killed in an accident while flying a Grumman Bearcat. His brother "Corky" is carrying on the legend, as shown in this video:

About the Full Size Airplane

Model Airplane News Cover for September, 1941 by Jo Kotula North American P-51 Mustang    Model Airplane News Cover for May, 1944 by Jo Kotula North American P-51 Mustang    Model Airplane News Cover for May, 1944 by Jo Kotula North American P-51 Mustang

North American P-51 "Mustang"
Model Airplane News Cover Art for September, 1941, May, 1944, and June, 1955
by Jo Kotula
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The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang was a long-range single-seat World War II fighter aircraft. It was designed, built and airborne in just 117 days. The Mustang first flew in RAF service as a fighter-bomber and reconnaissance aircraft. However, its most noted service was as a bomber escort, employed in raids over Germany to attain Allied air superiority. The P-51 was in service with Allied air forces in Europe and also saw limited service against the Japanese in the Pacific War. The Mustang began the Korean War as the United Nations' main fighter, but was relegated to a ground attack role when superseded by jet fighters early in the conflict. Nevertheless, it remained in service with some air forces until the early 1980s.

 The North American P-51 Mustang     The North American P-51 Mustang

 The North American P-51 Mustang

North American P-51 "Mustang"
Click to Enlarge

The Mustang was a fast, well-made, and highly durable aircraft -- and not only that, it was very economical to produce. The definitive version, the P-51D, was powered by a Packard supercharged engine, and was armed with six .50 caliber Browning machine guns. After World War II and the Korean War, many Mustangs were converted for civilian use, especially air racing. In the mid-1960s, Ford Motor Company's youth-oriented Mustang automobile was named after the fighter due to its awsom reputation for speed and grace.

Here is a video of the North American P-51 "Mustang" in action:

In addition to the cover of Model Airplane News, this airplane was also featured in the WINGS "Friend or Foe" trading card series of the early 1950s

 Card 005 of the Wings Friend or Foe series  The North American P-51 Mustang

Trading card representation of the North American P-51 "Mustang"
Click Here to see all 200 cards in the series
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Click Here for more information about the North American P-51 "Mustang".

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