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Cavalier Mustang II
Another neat vintage picture of south of the border mustangs. I dont see the numbers on the tails too well but by the pairing and glossy condition I believe that the girls pictured are FAS 401 and 402 sometime around delivery to El Salvador, late September 1968. These Mustang II's were the first and delivered as a pair. This rebuild included tip tanks and other improvements with the extended vertical tail. The oldest D' model and the one that came with the tall fin from the NACA, 44-13257, became N4222A, the prototype II and was the demonstration aircraft in El Salvador. There were five production II's and they all went to the FAS. These tip tanks are not fixed and can be removed and replaced with the stock looking tip.
FAS 401 was completed 13 6 68 and was remanufactured from what was probably a FAD airframe taken in payment for work completed. She returned in 1974 to the US and eventually became North American Maid, N30FF. I believe she was then converted to a Temco 51! Her paperwork of 45-11559 is false as that airframe was registered to Levitz Furniture in 1969 while 401 was in the soccer war! Prior reg for 559 was 5469V and 6451D.
FAS 402 was also a mystery FAD in stock airframe and was to have a short life, being lost prior to the war 6 69. FAS 402 was replaced by an impressed civil Mustang YS-201P which became N33FF, 44-73350.
The other airframes...
403 a write off 10 68
404 returned as 36FF and is well known as N4151D 44-73458. Composite aircraft.
405 returned to be 31FF but I don't know where this one is now.
The tip tanked Mustang II is kinda cool in my opinion. I hope 4222A keeps that configuration.
This picture depicts two Cavalier F-51D Conversions to 'Mustang II' standard, prior to delivery to the Salvadoran AF in December 1968. The ship nearest to the camera is FAS-404 and, judging from the camouflage-pattern, the ship in the rear is FAS-405 [camouflage compared with photographs in Aerofax Datagraph 1 ('North American F-51 Mustangs In Latin American Air Forces Service', by John Dienst and Dan Hagedorn)].
FAS-404: the history of this a/c prior conversion is not known, although some sources claim it to be former P-51D-25-NA 44-73458, which served with the RCAF, serialled 9294, becoming N6525T after s.o.c.in August 1959, then N6347T and N554T before being refurbished by Cavalier. This most probably is the a/c which , after FAS-service, was sold to the U.S. in October, 1974, becoming N34FF and later N4151D. Today flying as TF-660 and carrying fake-serials 44-84660, owned by William Hane of Mesa AZ, in flying condition.
FAS-405: the history of this a/c prior conversion is entirely unknown. After FAS-service this ship was sold to the U.S. in October, 1974, adopting false serial '44-10753' to meet FAA-requirements. First civil registration was N31FF but this changed to N405HC when ownership changed to late Heber Costello (killed in crash of his C-185 15th November 2000).
The most apparent feature of the 'Mustang II' conversions besides the extended vertical tail were the distinctive tip-tanks.
the two ships in case #98 definitely are FAS-404 and FAS-405. I discovered another picture in a book from the 70's (will send a scan asap) showing these two a/c (tail-numbers plainly visible) in flight together with the Turbo Cavalier III prototype and the COIN-prototype N4222A. The camouflage pattern is identical and confirms my earlier comment. Therefore the picture definitely dates around October / November / December 1968, before delivery of the two Mustang II's to the Salvadoran AF.
Those are indeed two Mustang IIs over Sarasota prior to delivery to El Salvador. The Salvadorians bought 6 (not 5) one of which was in TF configuration. I took the photo in about 1968. If memory serves, price was $198k for the single and $249k for the TF.
Amado Aguiluz Ferrari
The true identity of FAS 404 has been a long-time mystery, although some sources claim it to be former USAAF 44-73458. Indeed, the wreckage of this airframe was acquired by a Jack W. Flaherty (Flaherty Factors Inc, Monterey, CA) on Oct. 28, 1974, however, the problem with this serial number is that FAS 404 was shot-down over Honduran territory on July 17, 1969 by Capt. Fernando Soto Henríquez. Only bits and pieces of this Salvadoran Cavalier were recovered from the crash site and I have several photos to prove it.
As you may know, a second Salvadoran Mustang was given serial 404, sometime after the July 1969 conflict with Honduras, which I suspect, could be airframe 44-73458.
Amado Aguiluz Ferrari
Is it possible to view the photo of FAS 404 that you mentioned? Re: "I discovered another picture in a book from the 70's (will send a scan asap) showing these two a/c (tail-numbers plainly visible) in flight together with the Turbo Cavalier III prototype and the COIN-prototype N4222A. The camouflage pattern is identical and confirms my earlier comment. Therefore the picture definitely dates around October / November / December 1968, before delivery of the two Mustang II's to the Salvadoran AF."