XP-82 Twin Mustang makes accidental first flight

DOUGLAS | The world’s only airworthy XP-52 Twin Mustang made an accidental first flight in Georgia, USA, yesterday.

The aircraft, which last flew in 1942, accidentally took off during a high-speed taxi test on Monday 31st December 2018. The restoration crew said on Facebook that the aircraft was due to taxi down the runway, lift off for a few seconds, land, deploy full flaps and come to a stop.

On 31 December 2018, our XP-82 Twin Mustang flew for the first time since 14 December 1949. Although it wasn’t supposed…

Posted by Xp-82 Twin Mustang Prototype Project (44-83887) on Tuesday, 1 January 2019

However, they said that the aircraft accelerated so fast after lifting off that pilot Ray Fowler realized he may not have time to bring the plane to a halt before the end of the runway. Instead, he increased power and flew for about five minutes.

They said the aircraft performed well during the flight, with no airframe or engine problems and no trim required.

The restoration project has lasted more than ten years and required over 200,000 hours of work. The aircraft, which was cleared to fly in July, had been due to fly at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, but was not able to make the required check flights in time.