The Horsemen Aerobatic Team took off over a decade ago as the world’s only P-51 Mustang formation aerobatic team. Since that time, the team has grown into flying other platforms in formation, including F8F Bearcats, F4U Corsairs, and F-86 Sabres and most recently, the P-38 Lightning. The team will be honoring Selfridge’s aviation past by flying the three-ship P-51 formation at this year’s show.
The P-51 Mustang is one of the iconic aircraft from World War II. As a long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber, the Mustang was introduced in 1942 and saw action throughout WWII in all theaters. The Mustang was best known for providing bomber escort on raids over Germany with the 8th Air Force. The Mustang was used by the U.S. Air Force in the Korean War as a fighter and in a close air support role while it was supplanted by jet fighters like the F-86. The P-51 remained in service with some foreign air forces into the 1980’s.
The Horsemen’s philosophy of flight has always been; ESCAPE LIFE’S GRAVITY. They fly because they love it. They fly because it’s their getaway. They fly to honor the historic aircraft they are privileged to ride. There is an unspoken bond that connects all that they do. Academy Award winning composer James Horner’s original composition, written for their team, best captures their deep respect and passion for the vintage military fighters that they fly. The Horsemen for 2017 are Steve Hinton flying lead with Dan Friedkin and Ed Shipley sticking tight to his wing.