It’s a beautiful spring day in Florida. Where getting away from the colder weather a bit farther north breathes a little fresh air into your soul, like a bud just emerging from the frost to bask in the sunlight. That’s me on this wonderfully warm day in Kissimmee, Florida, add a few incredible warbirds to the picture and talk about a warm front moving across your heart.
On site at Stallion 51 Flight Operations to spend a full day with their lovely stable of P-51 Mustangs for a photoshoot is like blowing air over the dying embers of a lifeless winter scene. It’s warm and inviting.
Five incredibly gorgeous beauties fill the hangar for your viewing pleasure. The floor of the hangar is spotless, and provides a wonderful reflection of each plane beneath it.
As I run my eyes along each one slowly, I marvel at the strong, sturdy lines, the rich history and the magnificent colors on them. The details of each has been remarkably captured and brought to life to roar again in the clouds above us.
So much strength is under the hood of these remarkable beasts, yet such lovely lines and curves to admire as well. One can’t help but be in awe of this many together in one place.
A new Mustang is among the group this year; Berlin Express has come to the stable in hopes of finding a new owner. She has an unusual paint scheme, unlike the others with their shiny mirror like exteriors, hers is military green. No less attractive than her peers, but an eye-catching standout in the crowd none the less. She’s a P-51B with the high-back, while the others are D models.
The Berlin Express is dressed exactly like the 357th FG Mustang that the legendary American ace, Bill Overstreet flew in under the Eiffel Tower while successfully shooting down a Messerschmitt Me-109 in 1944. The plane has his autograph inside one of the panels where he placed it during the restoration process. He didn’t survive long enough to see her finished but was able to observe her as she was being brought back to life.
It’s not often you have the privilege of seeing so many Mustangs gathered in one spot. It’s breathtaking to see. I love that they are wonderfully restored, beautifully reconstructed and fly like the beasts they were designed to be when created.
Spending the day with such magnificence is overwhelming at times, and this trip, they took to the air for a formation flight.
The sound of those Merlin engines purring is mesmerizing and heart pounding. The roar of this engine is like no other; it’s rich, and deep and thunderous when ignited.
They roll out to the taxiway with a presence that few planes garner. All eyes look up to capture a glimpse of the stars as they play in musical harmony making their way down to the runway.
The orchestra of three P51’s going through their run-ups at the end of the runway is a symphony to the ears of nearby admirers.
As the sun sets on an amazing day, we used the golden hour to let them glow in the warmth of the light. We photographed them with starry eyes that night remembering a time long ago when Mustangs flew wild in the skies, and the pilots were heroes that tamed these beauties over lands far from home.