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V-12 Videos: The Best Way to Start Your Week

Need an aviation boost? Check out these two short vintage V-12 warbird clips.

First up is a North American P-51 Mustang doing one of the things it was made to do: strafing. Simulated in this case, of course, but the speed is high and altitude low. On two of the passes, the pilot loads up the wing quickly to produce the famous “gun port whistle,” a high-pitched resonance from the six 50-caliber machine gun ports that adorn the leading edge of each laminar-flow wing on the Mustang. It’ll give you chills in the good way. Online comments echo the sentiment, referencing the famous Mustang scene from the 1987 Spielberg movie Empire of the Sun, with some commenters quoting directly, “Cadillac of the sky!”

Next, and not to be outdone by any stretch, is a video posted with the title, “Listen to giant 28-liter V12 accelerate,” in which a Curtiss P-40 Warhawk does exactly that. From surprisingly low airspeed “over the top” at the conclusion of a rolling climb, the Warhawk pours on the coal and heads downhill. Like the Mustang pilot, the P-40 pilot shows superb familiarity with the ship and brings it down to the deck over the grass strip, making a perfectly level low pass as the conclusion to the maneuver. You’ve always read in pilot reports about how tightly the P-40 could turn among WWII-era warbirds, and this clip certainly bears that out. The first comment on Reddit says it all, “Amazing. Makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.”

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