Twin Mustang Might Make AirVenture


One of the most unusual and intriguing aircraft to fly for the Air Force might make an appearance at AirVenture 2018. Aircraft restorer Tom Reilly says he’s close to flying his XP-82, the so-called Twin Mustang that was built as a long-range bomber escort at the end of the war. It didn’t see any action in that war but was used as a night fighter in Korea. More than 300 were built and all but five were scrapped in the early 1950s. Reilly, who is based in Douglas, Georgia, found a complete airframe at an Ohio farm and has spent the last 10 years scouring the world for the parts necessary to restore it to flying condition.

“The interest and enthusiasm for this restoration has been wonderful and gratifying,” Reilly told EAA. “There is no better place than Oshkosh to make the first public flights of this aircraft, which is why it is our intent to complete the restoration and testing so we can be a part of AirVenture 2018.” The aircraft used two P-51 fuselages on a common wing and two specially designed Packard-built Merlin engines to create a long-range and high-speed fighter. “It has been decades since people have seen this aircraft type fly anywhere,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member programs, who coordinates AirVenture features and attractions. “The return of this historic aircraft to the sky is a tribute to the vision and perseverance of the restoration team, and it’s fitting that the group has AirVenture as a goal to fly this beauty before a huge, appreciative audience.”