Loehle 5151 Mustang

Loehle 5151 Mustang (c/n –, OK-IUL 51), static display during Den ve vzduchu 2023 air show at Plasy airfield, April 2023.

In 1988, Loehle Aircraft Corporation introduced its new aeroplane kit, to the market. It was a ¾ scale replica of P-51 Mustang, a legendary fighter aircraft from the World War II.

As most of the Loehle company replicas, the aeroplane was offered in a form of plans provided for amateur builders. The 5151 wings and fuselage were made of wood with fabric covering, and the aircraft was powered by Rotax 503 engine, generating 50 hp.

The first version of the Mustang replica featured a fixed landing gear, only in 2011 the upgraded variant with retractable gear appeared, designated 5151 RG. That redeveloped aeroplane was powered by more powerful Rotax 582, generating 65 hp.

According to Wikipedia, more than one hundred of the 5151 Mustang replicas were built and are currently operated in twenty-six countries all over the world.

Loehle Aircraft Company was founded in 1977 in Wartrace, Tennessee, by Loehle family – entrepreneurs in the field of aircraft coating. The company developed plans of low cost scaled kits based on iconic aircraft, such as Messerschmitt Bf 109, Focke-Wulf 190, Curtiss P-40, Supermarine Spitfire, Spad XIII, Fokker D-VII, S.E. 5A and the aforementioned P-51 Mustang.

Sandra ´Sandy´ Loehle was the godmother of the replica business and, apart being a co-founder of Loehle Aircraft, took care of most of the new company´s activities. Although nominally she was the Vice-President of Operations, in fact she also handled sales, logistics, HR and marketing. Regrettably, Sandra Loehle died of cancer on 9th June 2017, at the age of sixty-one.

Shortly after, Loehle Aircraft Company ceased its operations and the Loehle family focused entirely on the coating business that they run until today. Nevertheless, the construction plans of the Loehle replica aircraft are still available to find on the secondary market.

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