Flying Museum: Heritage Flight to bring historic air power to Shaw

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- In 1903, the Wright brothers achieved the first powered, sustained, and controlled airplane flight, heralding the age of heavier-than-air aviation. More than a century later, aviation has advanced tremendously and the U.S. Air Force has proven to be a dominant force in air superiority. From Kitty Hawk to Afghanistan, the trials and triumphs of air and space power emphasize a proud heritage of sacrifice, valor, and success.

To honor those who have served, or are currently serving in the U.S. Air Force, the Air Force Heritage Flight program was founded. Comprised of nine pilots, all aviation history enthusiasts, the team travels to approximately 40 air shows each year demonstrating the capabilities of the U.S. Air Force's past air frames and honoring the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“We want to inspire the American public, we want to inspire the future generation of the ‘long blue line,’” said Maj. Craig Baker, Air Combat Command Viper Demo Team pilot. “We want to inspire those currently serving in the Air Force, and to give thanks to those who have gone before us and fought for this great nation.”

The program serves as a flying museum proudly displaying air power history in the skies. Heritage Flight demonstrations showcase current fighter aircraft alongside World War II, Korean, and Vietnam-era fighters as a living memorial for the men and women who have served.

“When I watch the film after the flight I am reminded over and over again of how special Heritage Flight is,” said Baker. “There is a common link within the formation, and that link is the pilots. It is the pilots flying combat missions in undisclosed locations right now, linked to the World War II aviator that fought for the same freedoms we enjoy and continue to protect today.”