The US Air Force staged a special Heritage Flight display at both the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford and the Flying Legends Air Show at IWM Duxford on 14-15 July. For the first time, a modern-day Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II, provided by the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, and flown by Capt Andrew ‘Dojo’ Olsen, was joined in formation by both a Supermarine Spitfire and a North American P-51 Mustang. This Anglo-American combination was mounted as part of this year’s RAF100 celebrations.
The two warbirds were both provided by Comanche Fighters, and were returning to Britain after several years’ absence. The Spitfire, flown by Steve Hinton, was LFVc JG891/G-LFVC, previously operated here by former owner Tom Blair. It wears the desert camouflage and markings of No 249 Squadron, operating from Malta in 1943. The Mustang, in the hands of Dan Friedkin, was P-51D N351MX The Hun Hunter\Texas, marked as the Steeple Morden, Hertfordshire-based 355th Fighter Group/354th Fighter Squadron mount of Capt Henry W. ‘Baby’ Brown. It visited the UK in 2011 to participate in the Horsemen formation team display at Flying Legends.
Reports on Flying Legends and RIAT will be run in the September Aeroplane, out in mid-August.