How to Get Into a P-51

“Practice! Practice! Practice!”

No– seriously. How do you climb up into the cockpit of a P-51 Mustang of WWII fame and so on?

(This is important for “weathering” and All Good Boys Weather Fine in Internet Land).

Do you climb up on the wing from behind, at the root, and then into the cockpit, as in a Spitfire?


No you don’t. The official, genuine, WWII way to climb up into the bitch was to put one foot on the main landing gear tire and use it as a step to climb up onto the wing– from the FRONT.

So, this changes how those wing roots look, yes?

I can’t recall which video I watched pointed this out, but some old fart was jabbering away and he just happened to mention that during the war, they all climbing up on a Mustang in that way. It wasn’t a significant fact to him, just trivia, but to model builders it would be significant, I suppose.

I dunno. Whadda you think? Important or no??


Well look, I already told you! I deal with the customers so the engineers don't have to! I have people skills! I am good at dealing with people! Can't you understand that? What is wrong with you people?

  • I dunno, do P-51’s have those little mousetrap door step things? Did they use the tire to avoid slipping off the wing and abort the mission? Anybody know a current P-51 pilot? What the heck is a P-51 doing on a carrier deck even with a tailhook.?

  • I heard the same thing….

    I did find video of a vintage P-51 pilot climbing onto the beast. One step onto the tire, second step onto the oleo linkage and onto the wing, looks easy for a fit pilot.

  • Yep, climbing from the front was “the right way”: And modellers would be wise to take note of this fact. Actually the documentary from which this is taken contains also some footage showing which parts of the aircraft took the brunt of the wear.

    But to every rule there is an exception: 🙂

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