Cadillac of the Skies!

Columbus, OH To Be Invaded By Mustangs
Largest P-51 Formation Since Korean War To Fly Next Year

In September 2007, the largest group of P-51 Mustangs ever assembled together since the end of the Korean War is scheduled to arrive at Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, OH.

“There will never again be as many P-51 Mustangs and their pilots together in one place” said Lee Lauderback of Stallion 51 Corporation, who spearheaded the last gathering in Kissimmee, FL in 1999.

He is again the lead wrangler for this, the Gathering of Mustangs – the Final Roundup. Famed airshow performer Bob Hoover, and multiple-ace Col. Bud Anderson appeared with Lauderback and promised they would attend and encourage their many comrades to make an appearance as Aces and Legends.

Hoover added that it would be inspirational for young people to see the old airplanes and the men who once flew them. In addition, since many of the pioneering Tuskegee Airmen were based here, there will be a number of events celebrating the famous “Red Tail Mustangs”.

Murdoc might have to mark his calendar on this one.


  1. >>>Murdoc is posting this for a reader who can’t seem to get his comments to publish. It’s too good to miss<<< Well, here's an unsolicited anecdote. One of my happiest memories is the day I got a wing dip from Chuck Yeager. While he was flying a Mustang! It was 1995-96, and I lived outside of Winston-Salem, NC. There was an air show at the airport one weekend, and part of the air show as a flyover, in formation, by 5 Mustangs. And one of the pilots was to be Chuck. I noticed on Friday, the day before the show, that during the air show loop, the Mustangs flew right over my house! They were up kind of high (guessing 4-5,000 feet). Damn, they were loud for a prop plane! I had never heard a military prop plane before. Visually, I could make out a lot of details too. At the time, I was about half way through a major backyard project. I was building a privacy fence to close in my half acre back yard. I was building the fence out of 1'X 6'X 16 ' foot long pieces of pressure treated pine. On Friday night, I had an idea--. Saturday morning, I got up early, and laid out a big sign in my back yard, using the pine planks. I laid some spares out on the ground, and spelled out ' HI CHUCK!'. My wife thought I was insane. I waited, and waited for the air show that evening. The Mustangs, with Chuck, were to be the grand finale. And it was extremely cool when the mustangs finally came buzzing over my house, in perfect triangular formation. Truly a sight to see. And hear! And on the third and final loop, one plane peeled off from formation, headed toward my house, and dropped down to about 1000 feet. I knew it was Chuck. He flew right over the roof of my house, looked out at me and the wife, sitting there by the sign. As he approached 90 degrees directly in front of us, he tipped his left wing toward us! Then he hit the throttle, very audibly, and jumped back up and into formation. Damn, what a day!

  2. What a great story. As I’ve previously mentioned here, I rather enjoyed reading his auto-biography, which I think is just called ‘Yeager’. In fact I think I have two copies…

  3. I saw Bob Hoover at the Reading Pennsylvania airshow back in the early 1970’s. He had his famous yellow P-51 and also flew a demo in a North American Rockwell Shrike-Commander. He made both them planes do things that defied the laws of physics. There ain’t no better pilot than Bob Hoover!!

  4. I think I might have to go see that. I’ve seen a couple air shows at Rickenbacker, from right after they decommissioned the base and turned it into an airport. Seeing a hundred Mustangs would be a sight. My grandmother told me how, during WWII, training squadrons of fighters used to buzz the ridge where her house was, at treetop level, a couple times a month. She always went on about how loud they were. Then I took her to the Cleveland air show, where they had some Tomcats. She turned to me and said, ‘Well, that’s louder.’

  5. All I can add at this point is, if you haven’t seen mustangs in person, GO! They’re a completely different animal than jets.

  6. I saw a B-29 wafting overhead once when I was in LA. Simply amazing. It was so quiet and slow compared to a jet or even a turboprop. Almost stately. I can see why AAA was such a problem for 1940s aircraft. Plenty of time to aim…