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Five ship formation flyover at Super Bowl LVI to celebrate US Air Force 75th anniversary

USAF 5 formation
Major Kristin "Beo" Wolfe
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Posted at 2:18 PM, Feb 13, 2022

LOS ANGELES — Ahead of today's Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles, the nation was treated to a rare "five-ship formation" to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the US Air Force.

The flyover above SoFi Stadium involved five different types of aircraft flying in formation, from Air Force bases in five different states.

The aircraft participating were:

  • F-35 Lightning from Hill Air Force Base in Utah
  • P-51 Mustang from the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation, Chino, California
  • A-10C Thunderbolt II from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona
  • F-16 Fighting Falcon from Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina
  • F-22A Raptor from Langley Air Force Base, Virginia

The Air Force says it performs about 1,000 flyovers each year. And while they "serve as a way to showcase the capabilities of our aircraft while also inspiring patriotism and future generations of aviation enthusiasts," the Air Force also says the flyovers do not incur any additional costs to taxpayers and serve as a valuable training experience for pilots, crew members and other personnel.

Major Kristin "Beo" Wolfe, who has been Commander of the F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team out of Hill Air Force Base in Utah, will pilot an F-35 as part of a Heritage Flight at the Super Bowl.

“It’ll be really exciting just for me as a pilot to see how it all comes together," said Maj. Wolfe. She'll be flying alongside other specialized, iconic aircraft

Major Wolfe has been serving in the Air Force for more than a decade and comes to the F-35 Demo Team after serving combat assignments with the F-35 and F-22 Raptor.

“It’s (F-35) the Air Forces’ newest fighter that we have. It’s the most advanced technologically. We’re still getting new airplanes at Hill Air Force Base as we speak so it's really cool to get the latest technology straight off the line from Fort Worth delivered to Hill,” she said

USAF 5 formation
In preparation for the 2022 Super Bowl LVI Heritage Flyover all aircraft rehearsed over SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. All Air Combat Command single ship demonstration teams scheduled to participate in the historic Super Bowl LVI flyover, and include the A-10C Thunderbolt II, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-35A Lightning II, F-22 Raptor, and a P-51 Mustang from the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation. The demonstration teams spent time with students from Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos, before taking off to rehearse.

“I’ve never flown the five-ship with all four of us plus a warbird in it so that will be entertaining and also challenging," said Maj. Wolfe, who will be flying her first official flyover event in an F-35.

“It’s much more complicated than say a four-ship of just F-35s doing a flyover for, you know, the Utah stadium. It's more complex because it is a five-ship of all dissimilar airplanes, so all five airplanes fly differently, as different airspeeds as well as they’re all a different wingspan, different length and that kind of stuff so to make a formation like that seem symmetrical and actually look good, that is challenging in itself and then to actually nail the timing for a flyover is really complex.”

Aircraft representing the Air Force’s 75 years as a service landed at Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos, California, in preparation for the 2022 Super Bowl LVI Heritage Flyover. All Air Combat Command single ship demonstration teams are scheduled to participate in the historic Super Bowl LVI flyover, and include the A-10C Thunderbolt II, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-35A Lightning II, F-22 Raptor, and a P-51 Mustang from the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation.

Brian Schnee on fox13now.com contributed to this story.