F-35A Lightning II Meets P-51 Val-Halla Mustang Over Tacoma in Rare Duet

There are air shows all over the world, but few of them are as spectacular as the ones taking place right here in the States. Not only do we have the best of planes taking to the skies, but we also get to see incredible pairings like the one we have here.
F-35A Lightning II vs P-51 Mustang 7 photos
Photo: USAF/Capt. Kip Sumner
F-35A Lightning IIF-35 LightningF-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning II
You see, people attending American air shows can enjoy a little something called heritage flights. That’s when a modern plane flies alongside an older one that made history one way or another for the enjoyment of all.

People taking part in the 4th of July weekend’s 2021 Tacoma Freedom Fair in Tacoma, Washington, got to see one of the newest and most advanced airplanes in the U.S. arsenal make a perfect aerial duet with a vintage P-51 Mustang.

The F-35A Lightning II is the same we’ve seen a number of times before being featured here, namely one with the plane’s Demonstration Team, flown by the group’s leader, Maj. Kristin Wolfe.

The P-51 Mustang, nicknamed Val-Halla, was flown during this show by an Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation pilot, retired Lt. Col. Greg Anders. According to the data on this particular plane, we’re talking about a Mustang that served in the Texas Air Guard and the Indonesian Air Force back during its active years.

Now properly restored, the airplane wears the colors of the 57th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, also known as the Black Knights, and delights Americans all over the country.

Just to give you a sense of what seeing these two together really means, imagine there’s a 75-year difference in age between the two, and, for instance, the F-35 can fly as fast as Mach 1.6 (1,227 mph/1,974 kph), while the Mustang barely reaches 440 mph (710 kph).

But that’s the whole point of heritage flights, to bring together airplanes one would normally have no chance of seeing together, and the pic (click main photo to enlarge) released by the Air Force last week is a perfect example of that.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)

Editor's note: Gallery shows other F-35s.

About the author: Daniel Patrascu
Daniel Patrascu profile photo

Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories