Get Your Picture on a P-51 Mustang

Precious Metal (Photo: Bruce Croft/

Last month one of the most popular Unlimited National Championship Air Races airplanes, Precious Metal, caught fire as pilot Thom Richard was on his way to the annual pilgrimage to the Nevada desert outside Reno for a week of hardcore pylon racing. While Richard escaped unharmed, Precious Metal suffered major damage as a result of the fire.

In an effort to bring the airplane back to flying condition and eventually to race in the iconic competition, Richard's team has put together a remarkable crowdfunding program. Anyone who contributes at least $50 to the cause at will essentially buy a one-inch square piece of real estate on Precious Metal's fuselage.

You can send in pretty much any picture to attach to the airplane. "A picture of you, you[r] friends, family, pet or anything else you'd like (within decency limits) to print on the aircraft in a fan based mosaic that we'll race around the course again in the World's Fastest Motor Sport," says the Gofundme request. If you want a bigger picture, simply donate more money.

The airplane just returned to its home base at Warbird Adventures in Kissimmee, Florida. So far the crowdfunding effort has raised more than $17,000, which barely puts a dent in the amount of money required to get this beautiful P-51 Mustang flying again.


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Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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