Profile Photo
Tom Cleaver
878 articles

“Princess Elizabeth” at Chino 2010

September 21, 2013 · in Show Reports · · 2 · 1.4K

Ran across these shots of "Princess Elizabeth" at back in 2010. This airplane was returned to The Fighter Collection this year and has been seen at the Duxford Flying Legends show.

This "P-51B" really isn't one. Originally, Pete Regina found a P-51B wing in Israel (go figure, never used there), and mated it with a P-51D fuselage (he took casts of the wing fairing parts from "Blaze of Noon," which was then on display at the California Arts and Sciences Museum here in Los Angeles), and built a "turtleback" and revised the cockpit to "B" configuration. It was originally painted in the markings of Don Gentile's "Shangri-La" and was one of the most accurate warbird schemes ever done anywhere. Then he sold it to a guy whose existence proved there is no connection between the brain and the billfold, who threw red paint over it, you could actually see the original markings through the paint ("I like red airplanes, and besides, I own it"). It was then re-restored in the early Oughts as Bill Whisner's "Princess Elizabeth" from the 487th FS, 352nd FG. The blue color was researched with a color photo of the original (the blue noses of the 352nd were almost all different individually).

Reader reactions:

10 additional images. Click to enlarge.

2 responses

  1. So what would the build plate read? A P-51D and a half. Other than experimental what category would it fall under? Given the loose standards for some restorations having the original build plate and a small percentage of original parts can constitute a restoration to the original standards, Which would make it a P-51. However, the parts certainly don't have to have been made during the photos.

Leave a Reply