P-51 Mustang RB-51 'Red Baron' #5 Steve Hinton Speed Record Aircraft Relic Display by Ron Cole
The Red Baron was a North American P-51D Mustang NX7715C, original serial number 44-84961. In February 1974, it was purchased by Ed Browning of Red Baron Flying Service in Idaho Falls, Idaho and renamed the Red Baron.
. On August 14, 1979, pilot legend Steve Hinton set the piston-driven aircraft 3-kilometer world speed record at 499.018 mph at Tonopah, Nevada, making Hinton, age 27, the youngest person ever to capture the speed record. The record held for ten years. . On September 16, 1979, Hinton was racing the RB-51 in the Reno Air Races when a capacitor in the magneto failed, causing the engine to run on half its spark plugs. A bearing in the supercharger failed. Hinton finished the race in second place and moved to make an emergency landing. The supercharger failure resulted in a shaft failure, which in turn controlled the propeller pitch. The propellers went flat, acting as a huge air brake. The RB-51 crashed short of the runway. The wings were sheared off as the plane came down between two piles of rock and the fuel erupted in a fireball. The cockpit was thrown end-over-end away from the fire, yet Hinton survived with a broken back, leg, and ankle. The Red Baron was destroyed in the crash.
Ron Cole & Cole's Aircraft acquired a large fuselage section from the wreckage of Red Baron from a Florida collection in 2023. Recognizing that most of the panel, which includes hand-painted graphics regarding the aircraft's world speed record, should be preserved intact, only a small portion of the panel was cut for a limited number of relic displays. History like this should be shared, but not destroyed in the process.
Each display is signed and numbered, framed in a 11x17-inch Made-in-USA black frame, ready to hang.
A very requested display series that will not last long!