Warbird Radio LIVE! – Thunder Over Michigan Update & The Mystery Pilot Revealed – Ep527

WARBIRD RADIO – We’re on location for day one of the International Council of Air Shows annual convention at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Kevin Walsh from Thunder of Michigan stopped by to share some news about their upcoming show in 2014.

Kevin says the big event will be a tribute to WWII but “mums the word” on any jet team announcements at the time of the broadcast (but we’ll keep you updated).  WRL’s own also Matt Jolley caught up with Scott Yoak and Ashely Battles Josey who both shared some new details on the mystery P-51 pilot.  After several hours of searching and a less than eventful reveal (as promised) we caught up with the mystery pilot for a quick interview.  Take a listen…because you wouldn’t believe it if you don’t hear it with your own ears.  Stay tuned for more fun from the ICAS convention tomorrow.

MysteryPilot

Matt interviews mystery pilot Toncred Merd.

QUICK LINK:  Thunder Over Michigan

QUICK LINK:  ICAS Convention

 

UPDATE – Owner Says “Goodbye” To Historic Paint Scheme, “Hello” Unicorn

P-51UnicornUpd2WARBIRD RADIO – A popular P-51 owner says he’s repainting his airplane to “reflect a more peaceful and harmonious idea of life, not war and destruction”.  The owner, who wishes to remain anonymous until next week, tells Warbird Radio the decision comes after several months of self discovery and soul searching.

The new paint scheme will be unveiled at The International Council of Air Shows  annual convention next week in Las Vegas.  At this point, all we can say is the new design is purple and may or may not feature a unicorn and rainbow.  The mystery owner went on to say his new act will feature a “nearly” carbon neutral foot print (new modified Merlin engine runs on ethanol auto gas) as well as an environmentally friendly finale’ using compressed air, not pyro, to launch thousands of flower petals into the air like confetti.  The mystery owner says “the goal here is to really take it over the top” — as if the unicorn and rainbow wouldn’t be enough.

The current paint scheme has been prominently featured on calendars and magazines the world over and this new design will certainly draw some attention.  When asked whether he’s worried about the public’s reaction the mystery owner said “yes, I’m always worried what people on those web forums will think about my airplane…but they’re not paying for it and they’re probably not paying rent to live in their mother’s basement.”

Warbird Radio asked professional air show photographer and graphic artist Kevin Hong with Sector K Media to develop a rendering based on the mystery owner’s comments.  At first Kevin said there’s no way he’d desecrate a P-51 with a unicorn and rainbow, so we offered to pay him.  The rendering above is what he developed.  Believe it or not, crazier things have happened.  Air show evangelist and veteran announcer Hugh Oldham says he once saw a half naked man holding what looked like a giant flag with a peace sign on it, gallop down a runway on a white stallion.  Hugh says the man was nearly thrown from his horse as the A-10 finished it’s demo.  When asked specifically about this new paint design Oldham said:

I always welcome innovation…but this is a little crazy.  I mean come on…unicorns and rainbows? What am I going to say when he comes by the crowd line?  Here comes horny?

Following an air show season filled with sequestration and government shutdowns, 2014 may quickly become the year of unicorns and rainbows, at least for one P-51.  Stay tuned for more details as we continue to track this developing story.

STORY UPDATE:  Warbird Radio recently learned (from sources close to the mystery owner) the aircraft’s name was not correctly depicted.  The current rendition above is a better representation.  We’re told the name is actually a primitive French word for “promoter of peace and tranquility.”

Feel free to post your comments below.

QUICK LINK:  Sector K Media

QUICK LINK:  Hugh Oldham’s Website

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