P-51D (44-63528), built 20 Nov 1944, 341 flying hours, crashed 19 Aug 1948.
Modified in 1946 with 2 Marquardt XRJ-30-MA Ramjets. Fuel for the Ramjets was fed from the wing tanks with the pumps, solenoids, etc in the gunbays. The jets provided a 10-12% increase in top speed (40-50 mph).
On its final flight, 1st Lt Paul Chell was at the controls. Take-off was normal and the planned test points were being flown. Fifteen minutes into Ramjet operation the RH jet flamed out. A normal restart was carried out and 1-2 minutes later the engine flamed out again. During the second restart attempt, an explosion was heard and lateral control was lost. Flames were observed approx. 1 ft from the wing root. Fuel was turned off, power reduced, aircraft brought into a stall and canopy jettisoned. The pilot egressed when the aircraft was inverted. The suspected cause of the explosion/fire was fuel leak and electrical short.
Startup pics of the Hasegawa 1/48 P-51D with Ramjets to follow.