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A classic photo of Murray Nash's new NMF CV*P KH716. This photo shows very well the different effects of different metals used
in the construction of the NMF fuselage. Photo via Dick Hourigan
The other common scheme used on the P-51Ks of 3 Sqn is of course the NMF (Natural Metal Finish) scheme. With this, the fuselage and tail planes were unpainted, showing variations between different panels as per the heading photo. The wings however had filler applied and after sanding smooth, were painted Silver giving a very even overall finish. This was done to ensure the smooth finish required for the laminar-flow effect. The anti-glare panels forward of the cockpit were painted Dark Olive Drab. And finally serials on these NMF aircraft were normally positioned under the tail planes (CV*P KH716, being an early machine, is an exception).
Many photos appear showing this airframe, which seems to have been the favourite to photograph (not surprising considering it was initially the only NMF airframe amongst all the camouflaged ones).
These four photos are all from Dick Hourigan. On the 1st photo, the wings still carry 'B' type roundels (being one of the January 1945 official shots). The dark area along the front edge of the fin seen in the later photos is a bit of a mystery, as these areas were NMF, not Silver painted like the wings.
Note that the 'P' on this machine is slightly different to that on the earlier KH677.
A couple of photos showing the two sides of CV*X KH819. This one has the Black variation of the codes which were seen on some NMF airframes.
Photo 'a' via D. Hourigan
Mustang Mk.IVa, 3 Sqn RAAF, CV-X, KH819, Pilot: unknown, Cervia May 1945.
NMF scheme. Black codes, Red Spinner & Black serials. Medium Blue rudder with White Southern Cross.
The upper wing roundels are of the 40" 'C' type. Rudder colour appears a bit darker on this airframe.
A couple of photos showing the two sides of CV*K KH853. This one also has the Black variation of the codes which were seen on some NMF airframes. Appears to have a NMF Spinner backplate in the series of in-flight shots available. Note the 'K' is non standard shape, being different both sides, and not even upright as shown clearly in the port side photo.
Photos Ken Richards
Mustang Mk.IVa, 3 Sqn RAAF, CV-K, KH853, Pilot: F/Lt Ken Richards, Cervia May 1945.
NMF scheme. Black codes, Red Spinner & Black serials. Medium Blue rudder with White Southern Cross. The upper wing
roundels are of the 40" 'C' type. Note the odd shape and orientation of the 'K'. Louvres over the intake grills.
These two photos seem to show either end of a post-war line-up. The airframe drawn (CV*B KH845) has a couple of unusual features. Firstly the Spinner is obviously not the standard Red as required by DAF orders. It appears to be White.
Secondly the canopy frame is a dark colour not NMF. It could be Olive Drab like the anti-glare panel but seems to match the Red of the roundel. Interestingly the aircraft at the other end of the line-up (CV*E KH772 in the 'firewall' scheme) also has a canopy frame which appears to match the Red of the roundel. I think that being taken post war, these photos show an attempt to add a bit of colour to the scheme (other RAF Mustang Sqns are known to have done this also in the same timeframe).
Photos via Dick Hourigan
Mustang Mk.IVa, 3 Sqn RAAF, CV-B, KH845, Pilot: unk, Cervia May 1945.
NMF scheme. Black codes, White Spinner & Black serials. Medium Blue rudder with White Southern Cross.
The upper wing roundels are of the 40" 'C' type. Red canopy frame. Louvres over the intake grills.
Drawing to show the correct position of the under-wing roundels (applicable to all the camo. schemes in these articles).
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