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on October 14, 2010
A unique and fascinating look at the actual production of the P-51 illustrated with mostly high quality photos taken by factory photographers. The photos are finely reproduced on high quality paper. There's enough detail that even small items in the pictues come to life with a magnifying glass. Very few of these photos have been published elsewhere.
The accompanying text highlights the complexity and difficulty of deciding what to build and then building this landmark aircraft. Portions of letters and reports are reproduced to augment the clearly written text.
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on September 18, 2010
Building the P-51 Mustang: The Story of Manufacturing North American's Legendary World War II Fighter in Original Photos is an extraordinary, detailed chronicle of the invention and manufacture of one of the most popularly fascinating World War II aircraft. More than 300 black-and-white vintage photographs chosen from the author's personal archive of official factory and USAAF images, many of which have never before been published, illustrate the meticulous recounting of engineering and technical details concerning each step of the P-51 Mustang's manufacture. An absolute "must-have" for anyone serious about researching the history of World War II aircraft, or modeling the P-51 Mustang, Building the P-51 Mustang is an exhaustively complete resource on its subject.
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on September 13, 2010
Well, here is just about everything you need to know about the P-51. Phew..so much information and many photos I'd never seen before. As the title says this is written from a manufacturing standpoint (rather than recounting the usual hero missions in wartime) You'll find yourself referring to this book over and over again. I often found myself saying "I never knew that" as I went through it. Not the usual rehash of P-51 books that we see which regurgitate the same old, same old. This is quite different and highly recommended.
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on September 8, 2012
I am not THE collector of Mustang books. I have a unique license plate: P-51 LVR. I do "love" the "cadillac" of the WWII fighters. I also have a collection of books about the Mustang. As the author writes that many good books exist (and some poor ones too), this is a MUST for any Mustang lover/aficionado/fan-atic. Every Mustang-lover has to have this book in the collection. More information than you will ever need about design and production. If you are looking for pictures, they are here. If you are looking for fighter group history and air battles, you must go elsewhere to collect information (like the Osprey series). But since 2010, the publication date of this work, much has been written and researched about the plane. Before 2010, only a few books existed that covered details now presented by Michael O'Leary. Do not pass up this opportunity to buy this book!
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on July 6, 2015
As of my writing this, I am still only about half finished reading this after receiving it, but can already tell that this is going to be a totally positive review. I am amazed at the amount of the detailed information from the inception of the first ideas of this aircraft, right up through the entire history of its production life with all the variables of design. It is a great honor to be able to put names and faces behind all the hard work that made the P-51 a possibility, and everyone is included in the managerial level, and had it been possible, I believe the author would have included the names of each and every North American Aviation employee that contributed to the making of the Mustang (there is even a picture of the 10,000th Mustang made that was signed by all of the production line workers, then sent overseas!!). An unbelievably detailed view at my most loved fighter plane.
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on May 8, 2014
Absolutely mind boggling! The question comes to the forefront, "could we accomplish these amazing feats today?" Tom Brokaw wrote "The Greatest Generation" about the American soldier, but he should have included the men and women who performed these manufacturing and engineering miracles.
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on June 21, 2011
Here's another book on the P-51, but this one is different. This looks like a greatly expanded landscape format (and hardbound) version of the author's previous book by Osprey on the same subject. But it contains a lot more material, text and photos. If you like the P-51 (and if you are interested in how North American built Mustangs in WW2) you need this book. Very highly recommended.

O'Leary also did an Osprey book in the same style on the P-38 production line, I wonder if he will do a larger rendition?
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on October 2, 2010
This is the kind of book you can keep reading. Everytime you look at the pictures, something new is discovered. Not only a tribute to the airplane but also to the quality of photography in the 1940's!
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on June 21, 2013
I bought this as a Fathers day gift. My dad had a summer job at North American Aviation during his college years in the early 50's. While he did not do any work on the P51 he did some engineering data plotting/graphing for the T38 jet. As a mechanical engineer he loves the book. He is very impressed with the photographic detail in this book.
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on December 29, 2013
Given to nephew who took a ride in a P-51 at an airshow several years ago. He has remained fascinated with the aircraft, reading, collecting models and artwork. This book will be one of the jewels in his ever growing collection.
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