Intended as a very long-range (VLR) escort fighter, the F-82 Twin Mustang was designed to escort Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombers on missions. Manufactured by the North American Aviation, the F-82 was developed from the P-51 Mustang and was the last American piston-engine fighter ordered into production by the United States Air Force.
The F-82 Twin Mustang appears to be two P-51 Mustang fuselages on one wing but in reality, it was totally a new design. The radar-equipped F-82s were used extensively by the Air Defense Command as replacements for the Northdrop P-61 Black Window night fighter. The Twin Mustang carried a pilot with a co-pilot or known as navigator to reduce fatigue on long-range bomber escort missions. During the Korean War, Japan-based F-82s were among the first USAF aircraft to operate over Korea. The first North Korean aircraft destroyed by U.S. Forces were made by the F-82s.
The Twin Mustang was developed at the end of the prop-driven fighter era and at the dawn of the jet age. Its designed role as a long-range fighter escort was eliminated by the atomic bombing of Japan and the sudden end of World War II.
The F-82 had a record setting for having the longest nonstop flight ever made by a propeller-driven fighter and the fastest such a distance has ever been covered in a piston-engined aircraft when it flew nonstop without refueling from Hawaii to New York on February 27, 1947.
Up to this day, there are five F-82s known to still exist. An F-82B Twin Mustang is displayed at the National Museum of United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, an F-82B “Betty Jo” Twin Mustang, an XP-82 Twin Mustang and two more F-82E Twin Mustangs.