Mustang Chief Designer Darrell Behmer, Design Manager Melvin Betancourt and Chief Nameplate Engineer Dave Pericak led the design and engineering teams that developed the “Red Tails” Mustang.
The Young Eagles Auction is part of the EAA Gathering of Eagles at the EAA AirVenture Museum. The Gathering of Eagles annually draws more than 1,000 aviation enthusiasts in support of Young Eagles and other EAA programs that inspire young people to become engineers, aviators, astronauts, scientists and innovators – the aviation pioneers of tomorrow.
“Ford is a longtime, committed partner of EAA and AirVenture, bringing value to those who make Oshkosh the pinnacle of their aviation year,” said Rod Hightower, EAA president and CEO. “These specialty vehicles allow EAA to provide support to its valuable programs and dedicated members in helping us grow the next generation of aviators.”
Other unique vehicles produced by Ford in support of EAA Young Eagles include the Mustang AV8R, with cues from the F-22 “Raptor,” which in 2008 helped introduce the glass-roof canopy and delivered a record auction contribution of $500,000. In 2009, Ford’s AV-X10 “Dearborn Doll” Mustang was crafted in honor of World War II aircraft. In 2010, two automotive icons – Carroll Shelby, formerly a U.S. Air Force flight instructor, and Jack Roush, a longtime P-51 pilot – collaborated for the first time to create the SR-71 “Blackbird” Mustang inspired by the legendary reconnaissance jet. Last year, the Ford “Blue Angels” Mustang paid tribute to 100 years of naval aviation, part of AirVenture 2011’s Tier 1 event status from the U.S. Navy tied to its yearlong Centennial of Naval Aviation festivities.