Ra­zor­back, Fast­back, What?

Flight Journal - - AIRDROP - Fred Johnsen

OK, ex­perts. Here’s a ques­tion that a cou­ple of folks have pre­cip­i­tated on YouTube: Is an early Mus­tang (P-51B, P-51C) rightly called a “ra­zor­back,” or is that nick­name re­served for early Thun­der­bolts? I’ve heard both called “ra­zor­backs,” but by whom and when? When did ei­ther air­craft first get called a “ra­zor­back”? Was it dur­ing the war, or is it a lat­ter-day moniker? Is Mus­tang ra­zor­back OK or only Thun­der­bolt ra­zor­back?

Good ques­tion, Fred. We’ve only ap­plied “ra­zor­back” to the Jug’s fuse­lage shape and “bird­cage” to the fast­back Mus­tang, but we know oth­ers don’t. We asked ace Bud An­der­son, and he said that was also the ter­mi­nol­ogy they used dur­ing the war.—BD

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