Five aircraft representing the Air Force’s 75 years as a service will conduct a first-of-its-kind flyover during the national anthem performance at Super Bowl LVI, Feb. 13, over SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The Air Force Heritage Flight represents the service’s ability to innovate, accelerate and thrive since its evolution from the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1947.
The Heritage Flight flyover will feature:
There will be a live pre-game stream from the formation while they get into position in the sky and will include special interviews and segments. Viewers can tune in to the Air Force Facebook page at 6 p.m. ET for the broadcast.
The U.S. Air Force performs close to 1,000 flyovers a year, which serve as a way to showcase the capabilities of its aircraft while also inspiring patriotism and future generations of aviation enthusiasts. These flyovers are done at no additional cost to the taxpayer and serve as time-over-target training for Air Force pilots, aircrew, and ground control teams.
If you have attended an air show in the USA any time in the past couple of decades, the chances are pretty high that you witnessed a formation flight featuring both civilian-owned warbirds and active duty examples of modern U.S. Air Force combat jets. These ‘Heritage Flights’ started taking place officially in the buildup to the USAF 50th Anniversary celebrations in 1997, and they proved to be extremely popular with the public. As a result, these performances continued in subsequent years, with literally hundreds of appearances having now taken place across the country. Despite the seemingly effortless manner in which these aircraft arc gracefully across the sky, it requires tremendous skill to place aircraft with such dramatically different performance characteristics in such tight formations; it also requires a lot of practice. Only a handful of pilots, both active military and civilian, are approved to take part in these formations, and each year they get together before the air show season begins to work up their routines and practice them in flight. The 2020 training clinic, officially known as the Heritage Flight Training and Certification Course, took place over this past weekend, hosted by Air Combat Command at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Indeed Davis-Monthan AFB has held these aerial demonstration training events every year since 2001. The Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation nonprofit organization helps to fund civilian participation in these air show collaborations. This year’s warbird participants included:
- NAA P-51D Mustang 44-73029 Bald Eagle – owner Jim Beasley
- NAA P-51D Mustang 44-73420 – Andrew McKenna
- NAA P-51D Mustang ‘44-84961′ Wee Willie II – Planes of Fame Air Museum
- NAA TF-51D Mustang 67-14866 Bum Steer – Comanche Fighters
- NAA P-51D Mustang 44-12852 Frenesi – Commanche Fighters
- Curtiss P-40N Warhawk 44-7369 – Cavanaugh Flight Museum
- Lockheed P-38M Lightning 44-53095 Thoughts of Midnite – Commanche Fighters
- Republic P-47G Thunderbolt 42-25068 Snafu – Commanche Fighters
- NAA F-86F Sabre 52-5012 Jolley Roger – Planes of Fame Air Museum
- Canadair Sabre 6 RCAF 23671 HELL-ER BUST X – Commanche Fighters