All three were flown during the 2021 Thunder over Michigan Air Show at Willow Run Airport last week. The Mustang was piloted by Heritage Flight Foundation pilot Stuart Milson, the A-10 by Captain Haden Fullam, and the F-35 by Major Kristin Wolfe. All three incredibly skilled pilots who made this stacked formation flight both possible and safe.
Just to give you an idea of how hard pulling off such a stunt was, consider these differences between the three airplanes. The Mustang, getting its power from a single Merlin engine, generates 1,490 hp and can move thanks to the forward-mounted propeller at speeds of 362 mph (583 kph).
The Thunderbolt moves thanks to a couple of General Electric turbofan engines that can push it along a tad faster, at 420 mph (676 kph). The top predator, the F-35A, uses the most powerful Pratt & Whitney fighter engine presently available, capable of zipping the airplane through the air at speeds of Mach 1.6 (1,227 mph/1,974 kph).
So, three completely different airplanes, coming from three different ages, coming together at the same time alongside the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels – must have been an incredible show in Michigan, and you can experience snippets of what went on there in the videos attached below.