P-51 “Bum Steer”
The legendary P-51 Mustang dominated the skies over Western Europe after it was introduced in World War II. The single-seat aircraft had a maximum speed of 437 miles per hour and could escort heavy bombers deep into the heart of Germany. Bum Steer is a unique aircraft because of its two seats and dual controls. It was used as a ‘Trainer Fighter’ during the war since the pilot in training could operate the aircraft from the back seat. The P-51 and the pilots that flew them were crucial to turning the tide of war in the Allies’ favor.
■ Served in the 78th Fighter Group (aka “The Eagles of Duxford”) and the 84th Fighter Squadron during World War II
■ Max Speed: 425 mph
■ Cruising Speed: 275 mph
Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation
The Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was formed on December 6, 2010 with the primary charitable mission of providing Heritage Flights to the public. These performances feature modern fighter and attack aircraft flying alongside World War II, Korea and Vietnam-era planes in a dramatic display of our nation’s air power history. Our formations serve as a living memorial to the men and women who have served – or are currently serving – in the U.S. Air Force, and we proudly fly in support of Air Force recruiting and retention efforts.
About the Pilot:
Charles “Tuna” Hainline was born in Medford, Oregon in 1964. He grew up on a small farm, where he learned to fly at 18 years old. After graduating from Oregon State University, Charles was accepted to the U.S. Air Force Officer Training School and was commissioned a second lieutenant in October 1986. After pilot training, Charles flew the A-10 in Korea and in Louisiana, where they started calling him “Tuna.” In 2006, after twenty years of service, “Tuna” retired as a Lieutenant Colonel and command pilot with over 5,000 total hours in the T-37, T-38, A-10, F-117A, F/A-18A/B/C/D, T-34C, F-4F, and QF-4E/G. His military decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Meda, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Air and Space Campaign Medal and Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon. He now flies a 737 for Southwest Airlines and spends his spare time restoring airplanes — he has restored a Stearman, T-6, J-3 Cub, DHC-2 Beaver, Beech 18 and Grumman Albatross.