The new model Mustang also had a redesigned wing; alterations to the undercarriage up-locks and inner-door retracting mechanisms meant that there was an additional fillet added forward of each of the wheel bays, increasing the wing area and creating a distinctive "kink" at the wing root's leading edges.
Other alterations to the wings included new navigation lights, mounted on the wingtips, rather than the smaller lights above and below the wings of the earlier Mustangs, and retractable landing lights which were mounted at the back of the wheel wells; these replaced the lights which had been formerly mounted in the wing leading edges.
The engine was the Packard V-1650-7, a licence-built version of the Rolls-Royce Merlin 60 series, fitted with a two-stage, two-speed supercharger.
The armament was increased with the addition of two more .50 in (12.7 mm) AN/M2 "light-barrel" M2 Browning machine guns, the standard heavy-calibre machine gun used throughout the American air services of World War II, bringing the total to six. The inner pair of machine guns had 400 rounds per gun, and the others had 270 rpg, for a total of 1,880.
The wing racks fitted to the P-51D/P-51K series were strengthened and were able to carry up to 1,000 lb (450 kg) of ordnance, although 500 lb (230 kg) bombs were the recommended maximum load. Apart from these changes, the P-51D and K series retained V-1650-7 engine used in the majority of the P-51B/C series.
The P-51D/P-51K started arriving in Europe in mid-1944 and quickly became the primary USAAF fighter in the theater. It was produced in larger numbers than any other Mustang variant. Nevertheless, by the end of the war, roughly half of all operational Mustangs were still P-51B or P-51C models.
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