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Delphic P-51 Gear

Warbird Digest


WWII Bombers
P-51 Mustang Survivors
P-51 Mustang Survivors
44-73129 N151SE "Merlin's Magic"
44-73129     N151SE
Stu Eberhardt
Livermore Ca
P-51 Survivor 44-73129 N151SE
Flying
NAA Type:

Serial #:

Registry:
.. past:
P-51D-25NA

44-73129

N151SE
  N5480V
  N51SL

History / Previous Identities:


1958: N5480V, Tony Randozza, Oakland CA, All orange w/ black reg on side of fuselage, fixed tail wheel
1963: N5480V, J.M. Jackson, Long Beach Ca
1963: N5480V, Tom Winship, Corona Del Mar CA
1966: N5480V, Stans Aircraft Sales, Fresno CA
1969: N5480V, Frank Barrena, San Luis Obispo CA
1969: rep. Haiti FAH 15650 - unconfirmed
Might have been cover to go to El Salvador. FAS rep. 44-73129 in inventory, FAS # unknown.

1972: N51SL, recovered, Dixon Smith, Seattle WA
1978: N51SL, Rod Barnes, Oconomowoc WI
1982: restoration at Chino
1987: N151SE, Stuart Eberhardt, Danville CA
1994: "Merlin's Magic"
2000: Firewall forward restoration
2000: Reno Races - raced very fast 430+ mph! Had problems with the throttle linkage breaking twice, kept Stu from finishing the Gold race on Sunday. An excellent improvement from prior years.
2001: Reno - races canceled
2002: Reno - finish 5th in Gold at 413 mph - Bill Eberhardt flying
2003: Reno - finish 5th in Silver at 389 mph
2004: Reno - Bill qualified 1t 423 mph, engine problems during the week caused a Thursday night engine change. Got it done and back into the races. Stu finished the week at 375 mph in the Bronze.

2006: Monday during qualifying, the race motor gave up under moderate race power. Crew worked hard to get a stocker in. They qualified on Wed, last chance qualifier, in the middle of the pack. On Saturday, high pressure O2 was put in a low pressure bottle in the rear fuselage and it exploded! Damage is major as skins blew off, cable were broken, the tank was flattened and blown apart. Witness's said "it was like a bomb". Luckily, nobody was seriously hurt. Merlins Magic was broke down and put on a truck for a trip home and a rebuild. Good Luck to the crew of Merlins Magic! We hope to see her back in the skies as soon as possible.

2006: December - Merlin's Magic is airworthy once more! Gerry Beck's shop and the crew of Merlin's Magic with help from Jim Martinelli did a super job getting the repairs done so quickly.
2010: Stu Eberhardt is unlimited check pilot and looking very good chasing students around the course. If you want to race unlimiteds at Reno, you must pass through Stu. Eberhardt is fair and by the book.
2012: Stu Eberhardt is retiring Air Racing! 2011 was the end of many things at Reno. Merlins Magic and the Eberhardts are part of the Reno Air Races. You could always see the Race 22 flag flying in their favorite pit spot. The Eberhardts and the Merlins Magic crew have been extremely hospitable to me and I would like to thank them for all the great memories.

82 Images of   44-73129   N151SE   "Merlin's Magic" on file
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  Image Credits:

  Anthony Taylor   WarbirdFotos  
  Curtis Fowles   MustangsMustangs  
  Don Vance    

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