The NFL will honor the 75th anniversary of the United States Air Force before the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams take the field at SoF
The NFL will honor the 75th anniversary of the United States Air Force before the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams take the field at SoFi Stadium Sunday when five elite pilots take part in a pregame flyover during the closing notes of the national anthem.
Steve Hinton, who’s spent the last 25 years flying aircraft with the U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight team, spoke to Fox News Digital about the unique opportunity the Air Force will have to display its finest military equipment in front of one of the world’s largest stages.
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“It’s an honor to be a part of this elite group,” Hinton said. “The demonstration teams are made up of our finest aviators, not that they’re any better than the rest of them, but they represent our armed forces well, and in my experience with them for the last 25 years, I’m so proud to be a part of that.”
“This is one way to present taxpayers with what the Air Force has, their abilities. It, of course, only scratches the surface, but these are amazing pilots and amazing equipment that the United States Air Force has. Their capabilities are hard to even describe.”
Hinton, who began his flight career at 17 years old, will be flying a North American P-51D Mustang, which was first used during World Word II. The rare five-plane formation will also feature some of the Air Force’s latest innovations, including the F-22 Raptor and F-35A Lightning II.
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“To me that’s what’s so impressive being able to show the taxpayers, show the mom and dad and the kids growing up that they’d be proud of what we have in the United States,” Hinton said.
“Here’s your Air Force. We’re representing the past, present and future.”
Hinton, whose film credits include “Pearl Harbor,” “Die Hard 2,” “Dunkirk” and “Iron Man,” says training for these events began in March, and the thousands of hours of planning and training will be on display for a few seconds.
But the experience will be like nothing before.
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“It ranks way up there. One of the biggest things is that they asked me to do it. It’s a real honor to be involved in such an event. It’s going to be watched by billions of people. No pressure,” Hinton said with a laugh.
“I love my job, I love what I get to do and I love being available for these kinds of events. I still pinch myself all the time. It’s hard to believe that I still get to do this stuff.”
The Super Bowl kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET, but fans can go to the Air Force Heritage Flight team’s website at 6 p.m. ET for a Livestream.