Air Superiority, 1945 meets 2017
Official caption: To celebrate 70 years of air dominance, the United States Air Force showcased an array of aircraft at the 2017 Royal International Air Tattoo, July 16, 2017, at RAF Fairford, United Kingdom!
This shot is great, showing a Lockheed-Martin F-22 Raptor keeping pace with a North American P-51 Mustang, the Cadillac of the sky.
The P-51 is made up to match Inglewood-made P-51D-5-NA, #44-13318, “Frenesi” flown by USAAF ace Lt. Col. Thomas L. Hayes, Jr. of the 357th Fighter Group, and is complete with 84 bomb marks, each indicating a completed ground attack mission rather than a bomb strike, as well as two Japanese kill marks and nine German ones.
In actuality, she is a late-production Dallas-made P-51/F-51K (P-51D with a different propeller, widely exported postwar) SN 44-12852, FAA N357FG, a former air racer and Dominican Air Force fighter recently very nicely restored by Dan Friedkin and the crew at Midwest Aero Restorations, Danville IL. She is one of only 1,500 or so Mustang-Ks made.
The F-22A is a late-model Block 35 bird, SN 09-4180, delivered in 2009, and active with the 27th FS/1st Fighter Wing, Langley AFB, and has no mission marks as of yet. She is one of only 195 made, though production only halted on her line in 2012.