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Old and new warplanes train together over Tucson

It's Air Force Heritage Flight training
Posted at 3:28 PM, Mar 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-03 19:13:42-05

Kevin Eldridge flies P-51s and other old warbirds.  He says, “We're just at the top of our power limits when we're flying with the current jets.  Out airplanes are obviously so much slower than the current jets They're on the back side of their power curve.  Sometimes flying like this and we're flying a lot faster."

It takes expert maintenance to keep all these planes flying.  Staff Sergeant Andre Gonzales can look down the row at the newest planes like the F-35 but he still likes working on the A-10s

He says, "I feel like it's very blue collar.  You come out here.  You get your hands dirty and I enjoy working on it."

TUCSON, Ariz - Look up!
        
You will see some classic old warplanes in the air over Tucson this weekend. Old, and very modern planes and their pilots are preparing to fly together for air shows.

75 years ago, P-51 Mustangs fired up their engines and rolled out to help win World War Two.  They were designed to own the skies then.

But Friday at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base P-51s were flying in tight formation with an F-22 designed to own the skies now and well into the future.
        
For the past few years, Davis-Monthan has hosted Heritage Flight Training to prepare pilots and planes for a living show of Air Force history at airshows.
         
It does take special training to keep large, fast jets and small slower prop planes safe when they fly so close together.         

Military families and veterans could get on the base for a close up look at the practice.

Brad Lawrence is a veteran of the Army and Air Force.  He says, “This is a real treat.  My friend here is from Wisconsin visiting here and we saw the planes flying over and I said, Danny, we got to get over here.  This is like the Oshkosh Air Show in Wisconsin and here it is in Tucson."

People without base privileges can still get a good look at the flights. Just stay near the base but off base property and well back from the fence.  Flights will be most active Saturday between 9:30 and 11:30, and 1:30 and 4:30..