BZ Chino 2010 - P-51 Mustangs

Photo Gallery

The 2010 Chino Airshows' theme was a salute to the greatest generation. But the focus this year was obviously on the P-51 Mustang! I believe they brought in every flying P-51 they could from California and surrounding states. I have never seen so many Mustangs gathered in one place!

As a special treat, the Plane of Fames' newly restored A-36 Apache (which was derived from a P-51A) made its show debut. Also there were a couple of early model P-51A and P-51C Mustangs. The bulk of the Mustangs there though, were the more familiar P-51D models.

Not only did the Mustangs do mass formation fly-bys, but the Horsemen aerobatic demonstration team flew 3 P-51s in close formation doing loops and rolls to wow the crowd.

- Bernard Zee

'Mrs. Virginia' is an early model P-51A Mustang owned and operated by the Planes of Fame Museum.

Fire spitting out of the exhaust at startup, 'Princess Elizabeth' is an early model P-51C Mustang. It's pretty rare to catch such a pyro display, and I was quite happy to have been there when it happened! I believe this Mustang was visiting from Texas.

All sorts of Mustangs warming up on the hot ramp. The one with the yellow checkered cowling is 'Double Trouble Two'.

'February' is a P-51D Mustang.

Taxiing by is 'La Pistolera' - which had a pretty racy nose art!

Daryl Bond is owner and operator of 'Lady Jo', which is a TF-51D Mustang.

One of the harder things to do is to shoot the planes at relatively slow shutter speed at high Zoom. Here are a pair of Mustangs at take off with full prop disc!

The silver plane is the newly restored A-36 Apache, followed by a very similar looking P-51A.

Here's another pair of 'stangs just beginning to catch some air!
Click the play button below to hear the sounds of the P-51s taking off!

A closer look at the A-36 Apache. The A-36 was built as a dive bomber, and has dive brakes on the trailing portion of the wings. For me, the machine guns under the engine (below the spinner) is the easiest way to tell them apart from a P-51.

Here's the similar looking P-51C at takeoff. Note no machine guns below the spinner.

'Spam in a Can' and 'Princess Elizabeth' take off in formation.

'Buzzin Cuzzin' and 'Mrs Virginia' take to the sky.

'Double Trouble Two'

'Lady Go' in the foreground.

'La Pistolera' banking a bit as he lifts off.

'Lady Alice' with one wheel still on the ground.

Amazing to see so many Mustangs taking off one right after the other!

The show starts off with the singing of the National Anthem and the Missing Man formation flyby.
Here's the sound clip of the National Anthem. Towards the end of the song, you can hear the P-51 Mustangs fly by. The droning sound throughout the song are nearby P-51s idling on the hot ramp.

The Mustangs then formed up for a massed formation flyby!

They looped around the airfield and played 'follow the leader'!

If I recall correctly, that's Steve Hinton leading them with the beautifully restored A-36 Apache.

It was quite a treat, as they didn't do a standard left to right flyby, but snaked around high and low in different directions!
Hope you have a decent sound system (with a subwoofer) hooked up to the computer, so you can really appreciate the beautiful sounds of those planes!

A rare sight to see so many Mustangs flying so close!

P-51s were taking off and landing throughout the day.

Here's 'Wee Willy II'. A common sight around Chino Airport.

Another look at 'La Pistolera'.

'Happy Jack's Go Bugg' is a stunning looking P-51D.

I was there for both the Saturday and Sunday show. This takeoff shot was from the Sunday show.

An interesting shot of 'Lady Go' and 'Wee Willy II' banking in formation at takeoff.

Lighting seemed a big tougher on Sunday due to the fog/low clouds hanging around much longer.

'Happy Jack's Go Buggy' has more detailed markings on the other side.

This shot shows 11 Mustangs in formation on Sunday.

I didn't do an exact count, but I 'think' that there were around 19 P-51s there at the show.

As can be seen here, they flew by pretty low and close!

'Princess Elizabeth' in a profile shot.

I really liked this shot for some reason. shows lots of action I think!

Here they are back on the ground.

Steve Hinton in the A-36 Apache.

If interested, there's a closeup of 'La Pistolera' artwork in the 'Nose Art' section.

Sometimes, some ground display gets in the way! I still like it though!

'Hell-Er Bust' on takeoff.

Focus and tracking on take off is tough, as lots of parked planes in the way! That's the A-36 in the foreground as 'Hell-Er Bust' lifts off.

'Princess Elizabeth' with the Chino Hills in the background.

A nicely lit 'Hell-Er Bust' banking shot.

The Horsemen aerobatic demo flew 3 P-51s in close formation.

The Horsemen are known for being the only team which flies P-51s in an aerobatic display!

The lead plane is the P-51C 'Princess Elizabeth'. Nice close formation flying!

Starting their loop.

Great to see them flying those warbirds showing off a bit of the former glory!

You can see the other pilot looking at the lead plane to try and match the moves.

The Horsemen typically fly Mustangs for their routine, but they did fly in Bearcats as a special tribute to the Blues last year.

A nice photo pass for the crowd.

A final head-on shot of the 3 planes.

At the end of the show, they got even more Mustangs up in the air. There are 12 of them in this shot!

A rare sight nowadays indeed!

BZ's Chino 2010 home page