Fighter aircraft of World War II. A single seat, single-engine monoplane produced for Britain’s RAF, it went into service in 1941 and later was adopted by the U.S. Army Air Force. The original P-51 had four .50-caliber and four .30-caliber machine guns and a camera for photoreconnaissance; its maximum speed was 390 mph (630 kph). The P-51D, a later model, had six .50-caliber machine guns and a maximum speed of 440 mph (700 kph). A superb long-range fighter, it played a significant part in defeating the German Luftwaffe.