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.