The rebuilt prototype XP-82 celebrated its first official flight on Monday and by all accounts it went well. The Tom Reilly XP-82 Twin Mustang Restoration Project confirmed the flight, which was a lot longer than its first hop three weeks ago. As we reported in early January, the aircraft, which is actually based on the prototype test article, took a five-minute flight over the project’s home base of Douglas, Georgia, during what was supposed to be a high-speed taxi test on Dec. 31. On Monday, the flight was intentional and more organized.
The Merlin-powered co-joined twin lifted off smoothly and flew gear-down with a T-6 chase plane keeping an eye out. A small crowd of well-wishers was at the airport to witness the flight, which happened under crisp blue skies. The airframe was secured by Ohio aviation scrapyard operator Walter Soplata and obtained by Reilly about 15 years ago. Parts were found all over the world for the restoration. The aircraft was tentatively set for an appearance at AirVenture last year but there have been no announcements about public displays so far.