For the fourth straight year, the Ford Motor Co. has created an aviation-themed vehicle for auction to benefit the EAA Young Eagles program. The one-of-a-kind 2011 “Blue Angels” Mustang GT will go to the highest bidder at the Young Eagles Auction during EAA AirVenture 2011, which will be held July 25-31 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.
The Ford “Blue Angels” Mustang pays tribute to 100 years of naval aviation, which will be celebrated all week at AirVenture 2011 as part of its Tier 1 event status from the U.S. Navy for the year-long Centennial of Naval Aviation festivities. It will be on display inside the Ford Hangar during EAA AirVenture.
Ford’s continued support for the EAA Young Eagles program has raised more than $1.3 million in recent years. Young Eagles, introduced in July 1992, has already flown more than 1.6 million young people at no charge, making it the largest youth aviation education program in history.
The exterior of the “Blue Angels” Mustang GT, which was inspired by the acclaimed naval aviation demonstration team, features a blue chrome finish with a yellow gloss accent and “Blue Angels” scripted along with its iconic crest. The Blue Angels’ crest is also stitched into its leather Recaro seats. Under the skin, the “Blue Angels” Mustang is all performance with a super-charged 5.0L V8 engine producing more than 500 horsepower and Ford Racing handling pack, performance exhaust and race track brake components.
“Ford is a long-time supporter of EAA and our mission to showcase the finest innovation and technology in flight,” said Tom Poberezny, EAA chairman/president and AirVenture chairman. “The high interest among aviators in the U.S. Navy and the ‘Blue Angels’ Mustang team will make this a very sought-after item and ensure EAA’s ability to do some amazing things for our future aviation enthusiasts.”
The Young Eagles Auction is part of the EAA Gathering of Eagles on Thursday, July 28, 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 the engineers, aviators, astronauts, scientists, and innovators – the aviation pioneers of tomorrow.
The “Blue Angels” edition joins the three other one-of-a-kind Mustangs created by the Ford Design and Engineering teams for the EAA Young Eagles Auction in recent years, each desired by both aviation and automotive enthusiasts alike. In 2008, the Mustang AV8R, with cues from the F-22 “Raptor,” introduced the glass-roof canopy and delivered a record auction contribution of $500,000. In 2009, the AV-X10 “Dearborn Doll” auctioned was crafted in honor of World War II aircraft. In 2010, Carroll Shelby, a former U.S. Air Force flight instructor, and Jack Roush, a long-time P-51 pilot, collaborated for the first time to create the SR-71 “Blackbird” inspired by the legendary reconnaissance jet.
“The Ford Design and Engineering team members have really embraced the opportunity to build these one-off projects,” said Kevin Keling, Ford corporate events manager. “We develop the theme early and then marvel at the creativity and ingenuity of the team. This blue chrome paint is fantastic and unlike any thing you’ll see in production anywhere. The small details such as puddle lamps projecting jets are amazing!”