The Wings of the North Air Museum’s P-51D Mustang Sierra Sue II will lead the U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight over U.S. Bank Stadium at Super Bowl LII on February 4th, 2018. Sierra Sue II will be first in a diamond formation which will include two A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and an F-16 Fighting Falcon.
Wings of the North is proud to support the USAF Heritage Flight Program, which presents the evolution of USAF air power by flying today’s state-of-the-art fighter aircraft in close formation with vintage fighter aircraft. The legendary warbird pilot, Steve Hinton, will fly Sierra Sue II for the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation.
Hinton has flown more than 150 aircraft types, and in 1979, he became the youngest person to set a new 3-kilometer World Speed Record for piston powered aircraft, flying the highly modified P-51D Mustang Red Baron to an astonishing 499.018 mph. A founding member of the Motion Picture Pilots Association, Hinton has served as a pilot and/or aerial coordinator for more than 60 feature-length motion pictures and made-for-TV movies, series and commercials, including chief pilot for Pearl Harbor in 2001 and as himself in Iron Man (2008).
Sierra Sue II is one of a handful of flying Mustangs that actually saw combat in World War II. The U.S. Army Air Force assigned her to the 402nd Fighter Squadron in the 370th Fighter Group of the 9th Air Force in the European Theatre of Operations during 1945. 1st Lt. Robert Bohna was her regular pilot, and he named the plane for a girl in his high school. Sierra Sue II was fully restored in 2014 by AirCorps Aviation in Bemidji, Minnesota to a stunning level of detail, replicating her 1944 factory delivery specifications. Authentic details include working World War II era radios and full armor plating.
Wings of the North Air Museum, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based at Flying Cloud Airport, serves students of all ages by restoring and showcasing flying aircraft to bring history to life, honoring Minnesota’s aviation pathfinders and veterans through exhibits and events, and inspiring youth to meet 21st century challenges by using science, technology, engineering and mathematics. www.wotn.org
Curious as to why the combat armor was put back on.
Unlikely it will prove useful now, just added weight, even without the .50 cal machine guns.
You could say the same about all of the original radio equipment, de-milled armament, drop tanks etc. It may all add weight and/or drag, without any functional use, but it also adds to the air of authenticity, which is what most restorers strive for. That being said, original armor, in some cases, does at least provide the pilot with additional protection in the unfortunate event of a roll-over. I can think of at least three warbird pilots who died when their aircraft flipped over and crushed them, when they likely would have survived if the armor had still been in place.
For me it’s living history, especially with all of that equipment in place.
I’d love to see Sierra Sue II in person!! Keep up the great work. Looking forward to my new subscription with Warbird News!!
Great job in bringing back a historic airplane that did a lot of work in WW2 and it looks like all things are a go with this classic warbird and SUPERBOWL 52 will have the crowd in awe of the flyover when they see it.
Being Minneapolis based, I would love to see the fly over. Any information on which direction they will be approaching the stadium?
I suggest that everyone on here come to Thunder Over Michigan, August 25-26 and see some beautiful Warbirds.
Wow. That’s not a plane. That’s flying art. What a beauty.