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Steve Hinton jnr’s P-51 ‘Voodoo’ becomes fastest piston-engined plane in the world

PUBLISHED: 09:52 05 September 2017

P-51D Mustang 'Voodoo' (c) dsleeter_2000, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

P-51D Mustang 'Voodoo' (c) dsleeter_2000, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Copyright, © Don Sleeter, All Rights Reserved

After the weather and mechanical issues curtailed previous attempts, Hinton jnr flew his highly-modified P-51 Mustang ‘Voodoo’ at an average speed of 531.53mph on Saturday to become the fastest piston-engined aircraft in the world.

Following a period of mechanical work on ‘Voodoo’, Hinton jnr has achieved the fastest speed in the world for his weight class. He didn’t, however, exceed Lyle Shelton’s 28-year-old record by the required 1% threshold, meaning the speed set by Grumman Bearcat ‘Rare Bear’ is still the piston-engined record.

The ‘Voodoo’ team had worked hard since last Tuesday to get the aircraft ready for the attempt at Clarks Ranch in a remote part of Central Idaho – the location of the attempt was previously being kept secret.

The average speed of 531.53mph included a run which clocked in at 554.69mph, comfortably making this P-51 Mustang – owned by Bob Button – one of the most impressive aircraft of its type.

Pursuit Aviation, an aerial cinematography company who have previously worked on productions such as Thor and Lost, have been providing regular updates on their Facebook page.

They will soon post footage of the attempt taken via the Shotover F1 camera system which is eagerly anticipated by those who have been following Hinton jnr’s progress.

Well-wishers from around the world have been flooding Steve-O and his team with praise via Pursuit Aviation’s Facebook.

Eric D Swales wrote: “Congratulations. Awesomeness. The American spirit is alive and well in you folks!!!”

Dave Folland posted: “Good Lord that first pass! Fantastic.”

Seth Smith had a profound reaction to the footage: “This does something special to my heart and soul.”

With the Reno National Championship Air Races beginning on September 13, you can expect to see Hinton jnr and ‘Voodoo’ back in action very soon.

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