The Dutch Stichting Vroege Vogels SVV (Foundation Early Birds) acquired already in 1993 the P-51D ‘Miss Ashley’ from the United States. Here, it was used for a number of years in the unlimited class of the famous air races at Reno. The Mustang originates from 1946 and flew at the U.S. Air Force until 1957.

New P-51D Mustang in the Netherlands

New P-51D Mustang in the Netherlands

In 2004 the restoration was started at Lelystad airport after it had been crated for a number of years. Under the supervision of mr. Ben Boddeman a group of twelve dedicated SVV volunteers spent some 10,000 working hours in making the Mustang airworthy again.

What makes this Mustang quite unique is that it has not only dual seats, but also dual control for flight instruction!

The P-51 D was sprayed in the colours of Mustang no. 44-13578 ‘Trusty Rusty’; as flown by 357th Fighter Group pilot Robert Winks. During 1944 and 1945 he must have flown regularly in Dutch airspace underway to Germany.

On 17 November 2010 ‘Trusty Rusty’ made a successful engine run and a year later it got its Certificate of Airworthiness. The first test flights are scheduled for early 2012.

Nico Braas

With special thanks to mr. Cees Smeulders