Once a year the Air Force conducts Heritage Flight practice sessions at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona. The purpose is to train private owners of WWII warbirds and current USAF fighter and attack aircraft pilots to fly formation together. During the rest of the year, pilots who have trained at Davis-Monthan fly at air shows around the country. You can search Google Images for “Heritage Flights” to see representative photos from past years.
The 2014 Heritage Flight practice session is going on now at Davis-Monthan, so I drove to the base to check out what was on the flight line in front of base operations. I think more aircraft were yet to arrive, but here are the ones that were there Friday morning (click on the thumbnails to see the larger originals on Flickr):
After all that excitement, I decided to stop at the display of static aircraft in Davis-Monthan’s Warrior Park, just inside the main gate. Most people can’t get on the air base, after all, and I thought you might like to see some of the aircraft on display there, like this U-2.
As you know I’m a volunteer tour guide at the Pima Air & Space Museum just south of the air base, and I frequently post photos of museum aircraft. There are some gaps in PASM’s collection, and the U-2 spy plane is one of them. U-2s based at DMAFB flew reconnaissance sorties over Cuba during the missile crisis of the early 1960s, and this may have been one of them.
Here are some of the other aircraft on display at DMAFB’s Warrior Park (thumbnails, click, etc):
That “F-4C,” I learn from Wikipedia, is actually a Navy or Marine Corps F-4N redone with a Vietnam-era USAF F-4C paint scheme and tail number. I certainly couldn’t tell from the outside … and I guess that means the MiG kill stars on the inlet ramp don’t belong to that particular aircraft, either.
By the way, I’ve recently added several new air museum photos to my Air-Minded Collection photoset on Flickr (scroll down to the bottom for the newest ones). Drop by and check it out!
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