I’ve often wondered that if new, stronger metals and upgraded powerplants and electronic avionics and deadlier weapons if a P-51 wouldn’t suit our third world incursion wars much better.
Further, I submit that there are sometimes cases where inspiration of a higher order have influenced development of materiel for the good of mankind. Two come to mind: 1) the marvelous 120 design-build-fly of the P-51 and a similarly impressive feat for the Willy’s Jeep.
Because of the limitations of the Mustang’s liquid cooled Merlin, I’ve been partial to the Skyraider, P-47 Thunderbolt, or F4U Corsair.
Even if it wouldn’t, they should build them anyway. It is the finest looking aircraft ever built.
They would and thus the reason for the Tucano or something like it.
The A-26 was such an outstanding counter insurgency aircraft they were completely worn out in the early days of Vietnam. We need a moderate performance, survivable aircraft with a high end weapons delivery system for these crap wars we continue to fight.
We do instead is take what is out best remaining high performance aircraft and fly it around for thousands of hours to drop bombs on people armed with shoulder fired weapons. It is the equivalent of making your daily commute in an Formula One race car.
The only part of sitting in traffic that makes it remotely fun is to see the guys in very high end sedans and sports cars creeping forward one foot at a time. I marvel at the waste and vanity. They have converted something like a thoroughbred I prize and appreciate into a nag pulling a trash cart.
While not as pretty, the A10 Warthog probably fills that role very nicely.
The radiators on liquid cooled fighters like the P-51s are too vulnerable.
And the best part, the eight .50s on a P-47 can chew up anything.