While waiting for Mrs. South to finish her shopping in a giant craft supplies store, we killed a little time in the surprisingly well-stocked plastic model kit department. It was there that we discovered the North American F-82 "Twin Mustang." The fighter plane looks like two P-51 Mustangs connected at the waist, but is actually a more-or-less original post-WW II design.
Fortunately, a real life example of the aircraft is undergoing a complete restoration.
Truth be told, the North American F-82 wasn't just two mated Mustangs. Most of us who have never gotten our hands greasy on one have assumed the very-long-range postwar twin was simply two P-51 fuselages riveted to a wing center section and horizontal stabilizer. "We've found that there are very few parts common to the World War II Mustang series," says restoration pro Tom Reilly of Douglas, Ga., who has spent three years totally rebuilding the rarest Twin Mustang to survive—the number-two XP-82 prototype—and who estimates he still has a year and a half to go before his airplane flies.
And fly it will, for Reilly is famous among warbirders for putting back into the air projects ranging from Stearmans to B-24s that had been consigned to scrapheaps. Indeed, Reilly's XP-82 came largely from two junkyards—one outside Fairbanks, Alaska, and the other from late Ohioan Walter Soplata's famous back-lot salvage yard of rare warbirds.
More Twin Mustang info here.