One of WWII's most iconic fighter planes just took to the sky once more alongside Air Force F-16 fighter jets
Staff Sgt. Preston Cherry, 52nd Fighter Wing Public AffairsMay 30, 2019, 23:32 IST
SCAT VII, a P-51 Mustang, at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 28, 2019. The aircraft was the last flown by late US Air Force Brig. Gen. Robin Olds in World War II.US Air Force/Staff Sgt. Preston Cherry
A restored P-51 Mustang fighter flew alongside US Air Force F-16 fighters in Germany this week.
The Mustang was once flown by late Brig. Gen. Robin Olds, a triple-ace who shot down enemy planes in World War II and in Vietnam.
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany - A restored P-51 Mustang, once flown by the late Brig. Gen. Robin Olds, iconic US Air Force fighter pilot, flew with 480th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcons during an event at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 28, 2019.
The event included aerial maneuvers by the P-51, formation flight training with F-16s and a presentation about Robin's accomplishments by his daughter, Christina Olds.
Robin was a triple-ace fighter pilot who had 16 kills by the end of his career. The P-51 that arrived to Spangdahlem, named SCAT VII, was Robin's seventh airplane which he flew in the last days of World War II. It was restored and is still flying around Europe in the same color scheme it had nearly 75 years ago.
"The P-51 Mustang really helped win the war," said Lavaert Lieven, SCAT VII pilot.
"The bombers were finally protected when they flew to Berlin. It was the only plane that could do it. It also flew high, fast and could maneuver. It was an all-around good airplane," Lieven said.
The SCAT VII flew into Spangdahlem as F-16s were training. The training ended with a formation which gave Spangdahlem's pilots the opportunity to fly alongside the historic aircraft and gave the SCAT VII owner and pilot a day to remember.
"We flew with F-16s once, three years ago," said Lieven.
"We took Christina in the plane and we were joined by one F-16 from the Belgian air force, which was fun, but being joined by 10 F-16s was really great. I think Johan, the owner, it was one of his best flights," Lieven said.
Following the fly-in, Christina presented a slideshow of her family to base members and talked about their military history and her father's accomplishments and influence as a pilot, commander and father.
The presentation ended with Col. Jason Bailey, 52nd Fighter Wing commander, showing his appreciation to Christina and the SCAT VII pilot and owner for coming to Spangdahlem.
"Thank you for bringing all of this magic to this wing," said Bailey.