F-22 Raptor, P-51 Mustang flyover pays tribute to Virginians

May 08, 2020

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. – The Air Combat Command F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team and Air Force Heritage Flight will perform a formation flyover throughout the Virginia peninsula, May 12, 2020, beginning at 6:30 p.m., in salute to everyone on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19, as well as those staying at home to “flatten the curve” of the virus.

The formation will be led by Maj. Joshua “Cabo” Gunderson, F-22 Raptor Demo Team commander, along with two World War II P-51 Mustangs piloted by Jim Beasley Jr. and Andrew McKenna from the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation.

“I’m honored to represent JBLE, the 1st Fighter Wing and the Virginia Air National Guard with this flyover saluting those that are keeping our communities safe during this difficult time,” said Gunderson. “We hope they will accept this historic flyover as a small token of gratitude for all they’re doing to fight our common enemy. We can’t thank them enough for their sacrifice and service.”

The flyover is scheduled to takeoff from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, and will proceed north to Richmond before returning south through Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk and finishing in Virginia Beach. A flight map with city arrival times will be released via the F-22 Demo Team and Joint Base Langley-Eustis social media pages prior to the flyover. The flight path was coordinated with Virginia State officials as well as members of the Federal Aviation Administration. The flight time and duration are subject to change due to weather and maintenance.

Virginia residents should watch from the safety of their home-quarantine and should refrain from traveling to see the flyover. Citizens should also maintain social distancing and follow Governor Northam’s order to avoid large gatherings.

Inspired by the Air Force Salutes campaign, the flyover is intended to provide a salute to all the healthcare professionals, frontline responders, and essential personnel working to keep everyone safe and healthy during these unique times. It also provides essential currencies and training to the pilots, and demonstrates the readiness of the Air Force. Feel free to use #VAFlyBy and #AirForceSalutes in your social media posts.

The F-22A Raptor is a fifth-generation fighter incorporating fourth-generation stealth technology, radical maneuvering capabilities, the ability to fly at supersonic speed without afterburners and unprecedented pilot situational awareness, making it the most dominant and advanced air superiority fighter in the world.

The legendary P-51 Mustang dominated the skies over Western Europe after it was introduced in World War II. The single-seat aircraft had a maximum speed of 437 miles per hour and could escort heavy bombers deep into the heart of Germany. The P-51 and the pilots that flew them were crucial to turning the tide of war in the Allies' favor.
For more information about the F-22 Demonstration Team, visit www.jble.af.mil/F-22-Demo-Team/ or their social media accounts.

For media with additional questions regarding the flyover, contact 633d Air Base Wing Public Affairs at (757) 764-5701 or via e-mail at 633ABW.PA.Media@us.af.mil.