P-51D Mustang and F-22 Raptor Seen Flying High: It isn’t every day most people will have a chance to see a Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor in the skies overhead, and it would be even rarer to see one flying alongside a World War II-era North American P-51D Mustang.
However, late last year, the two iconic American warbirds participated in a “Heritage Flight” as part of the 2022 Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Air Show at MCAS Miramar, San Diego, California.
The theme for the 2022 MCAS Miramar Air Show, “Marines: Fight, Evolve and Win,” was to reflect the Marine Corps’ ongoing modernization efforts to prepare for future conflicts – even if the F-22 Raptor is actually the United States Air Force’s fifth-generation fighter.
The F-22 Raptor is widely regarded as the most dominant fighter in the world. The F-22 Raptor is especially respected for its dogfighting ability and air-to-air maneuverability attributes.
The aircraft’s dual engines produce more thrust than any current fighter engine. In contrast, the sophisticated F-22 aero design, advanced flight controls, thrust vectoring, and high thrust-to-weight ratio provide the capability to outmaneuver all other current and projected aircraft.
The Show Did Go On
Back in October marked the return of the popular airshow, which was also a direct reflection of the Commandant of the Marine Corps Force Design 2030 program and the technical innovations the service is undertaking to remain the 21st century’s force in readiness.
“It’s been almost three years since MCAS Miramar was able to open its doors to our neighbors and share in our love of aviation, and I am extremely excited to be able to do so once again,” said Col. Thomas M. Bedell, commanding officer of MCAS Miramar. “We are proud to call America’s Finest City home and bring back one of the world’s most anticipated aviation exhibitions.”
The Air Force’s Air Combat Command F-22 Demonstration Team, based at Langley Air Force Base (AFB), regularly performs precision aerial maneuvers to demonstrate the unique capabilities of the fifth-generation fighter aircraft. Demonstrations regularly include the power loop, split, and tail slide, as well as a high-speed pass and dedication pass. All of those maneuvers are based on those designed for combat operations but are performed in air shows at much lower altitudes than most pilots are certified to fly.
The U.S. Air Force approved the demonstration team in 2007, replacing Air Combat Command’s F-15C demonstration team.
Flying High F-22 and P-51D
The F-22 team participated in its debut airshow at Tyndall AFB in March 2007, and since then has performed in hundreds of demonstrations around the world. This past April, the fliers even performed in Santiago, Chile.
The team also takes part in Air Force Heritage flights that help exhibit the history of military aviation, and share the professional qualities the Air Force develops in the people who fly, maintain and support those aircraft.
At this recent 2022 MCAS Miramar Air Show, visitors were also able to take in demonstrations of the Air Force’s C-17 West Coast Demo Team, a Marine Corp’s F-35B Aerobatic demonstration, a flyover of the Air Force’s top-secret U2 “Dragon Lady” reconnaissance aircraft, and demonstrations from the USA Golden Knights and USN Leap Frogs.
Video highlights of the weekend’s demonstration are now available at the MCAS MIRAMAR VIDEO REEL website.
A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.