P-51 Mustang Survivors
P-51 Mustang Survivors
44-72483 N151DM "Ridge Runner III"
History / Previous Identities:
1945: Jan 23, Del. USAAF
WWII Vet: Served with the 9th AF, 354th FG, 356th Fighter Squadron coded AJ R.
1947: Swedish Air Force Fv26087 F16 coded rM, fH, rD, later F8 coded grD
1955: Nicaragua AF GN85
1963: Dec 7, N6160U, return USA, Maco Sales / Will Martin, on return ID quoted as 44-63769
USAF shows 44-63769 crashed during WWII
1963: Dec 19, sold, Texantiques Company / J.R. Almand Jr, Grand Prairie TX
1965: Feb 18, rear seat installation signed off by FAA
1965: Jun 26, N6160U, David Forrest, Avondale CA, as 44-63769
1965: Feb 06, Forrest requests N13410 and a SN change to 44-72483. Forrest had proof that this was Swedish AF 26087 and that 44-63769 was destroyed in Feb 1945 and used for registration on return to U.S. FAA did not approve initial request of Serial# change.
1966: Mar 24, N13410, FAA approved Serial# change to 44-72483, proof provided by David Forrest. N13410 flew as "Lou IV 413410 E2 C"
1966: Dec 15, N13410, Specialty Air Inc, Chamblee GA
1969: Jan 28, N13410, sold back, David Forrest
1969: sent to El Salvador as FAS 411 with no paperwork
Belly landing while in FAS service
1975: return USA as 44-13250
1975: Mar 06, N36DD, Jack Flaherty / Flaherty Factors, Monterey CA
1975: May 20, N151DM, Jack Flaherty / Flaherty Factors, Monterey CA
1975: Nov 15, N151DM, Dan Martin, San Jose CA, Aircraft was restored as "Ridge Runner III 472308 WD A" - flies regularly.
1982: engine failure and forced landing at Stead Field, Reno during air racing.
1984: repairs done, aircraft flying, seen at many airshows.
1997: began a return to the Reno Air Races with a very respectable performance. Qualified at 362 mph and finished 7th in the Gold race at 385 mph. To get into the Gold event, Dan won the Heat 3B qualifier on saturday at 407.094 mph.
1998: qualified at Reno with a speed of over 423 mph! A remarkable job.
1999: qualified at Reno with a speed of 438 mph! This year the engine ran very good and Dan was able to race strong the whole week. He finished 3rd in the unlimited Gold, out-performing some of the full-time racers! - an outstanding performance. Congratulations Dan.
2000: Ran strong all week, with fastest lap speeds in the 430's. During the gold race on Sunday, the engine blew from a burnt piston sending Dan out of the race with a "May Day" for an early landing. He landed safely on the main runway.
2001: races cancelled after 9-11-01 attacks.
2002: Dan raced Brian Adams' "Flying Dutchman", stock p-51
2003: Dan raced Brian Adams' "Flying Dutchman", stock p-51
2004: Dan qualified at 446 mph, but he had more to give later. Qualified in the top 5, Dan did not have to race until Friday's Gold heat race. He finished 6th at 417 mph, just cruising. On Saturday, he cut loose and turned a lap or two in the 460's! but then bad happened and the blower case on the merlin gave way and he pulled out and landed safely. The crew had to work all night and put in the stock merlin just to finish the week at 304 mph in Sunday's Gold Final. He was hoping to finish with the race motor pushing him past 460, but the race Gods said not this time and question is: is there a next time?... Good qualifying time kept him in the Gold all week.
2005: Dan is racing again with a vengeance. This is as fast as a stock airframe has raced. He qualified in third at 442.9 mph not under full power. The speeds stayed the same for Fri and Sat heats, but on Sunday ... Dan puts the hammer down and passes Dreadnought on the pace lap! He is gunning for Rare Bear who is a few seconds ahead of Ridge Runner. Dan keeps pace and maybe gains a bit of ground on lap 1. Timers in the pits showed lap speeds in the 470's for Ridge Runner. But, the power was too much for the merlin and Dan called a mayday while on the backside of the course and is out. He safely puts her down on runway 14 and is towed back to the pits.
2006: Dan sets his P-51 Ridge Runner aside and climbs in the record-holding P-51 Dago Red. They have engine trouble during qualifying and more trouble when the #2 merlin makes metal on Wed. night. Dan does not get to race in 2006 but looks forward to 2007.
2007: most likely will not race, but will be preparing for the trip to Ohio for the Gathering of Mustangs and Legends!
2009: Return to Reno! Ridge Runner III, Race #20 will race at the hands of long-time owner Dan Martin. Good Luck Dan!
2009: Incredible speeds were put up by Dan this week. I cannot think of a stock canopy P-51 ever reaching these speeds. Ridge Runner III hit speeds in the 480s and finished with an average speed of 477 mph in the Saturday race!!! They finished 4th on Sunday at 457 mph. What a performance! In some years, 477 is fast enough for first place. Ridge Runner was a crowd favorite.
2010: Reno - Ridge Runner Team was in action early and will be very prepared for the races this year, until ... the Merlin spun a bearing just before leaving for the races. Argh!! Crew worked hard to get the engine redone. Martin qualified at moderate speed of 422 mph. After Friday's gold heat, they found metal in the screens and decided to stand down and enjoy the rest of the week. Martin flew Sal Rubino's Grim Reaper, a stocker, in the bronze.
2011: SOLD - After 37 years of ownership, Ridge Runner III is sold!
2011: June 18, N151DM, Pat Harker, MN
2011: July 20, Left Hollister for Anoke County - Blaine Airport, KANE Minneapolis MN
Current paint scheme is a tribute to Maj. Pierce W. McKennon, WWII P-51 Ace.
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