The fly-over at Super Bowl LII will be unlike those of the past. This year’s flyover will consist of historic planes from the U.S Air Force Heritage Flight. One of those planes, a World War II P-51 Mustang named Sierra Sue II, will lead the Heritage Flight.
Eric Trueblood, North Dakota ’06 knows a great deal about Sierra Sue II. Trueblood is the Co-Owner of AirCorps Aviation, which specialize in the finding of, restoration of, maintenance, and at times, complete re-build of historic aircraft worldwide. They completed the factory restoration of Sierra Sue II in 2014, a process that typically takes 20,000 – 40,000 hours to complete.
For Trueblood, the flight will mean great exposure for the Bemidji, Minnesota company. The biggest one-day sporting event in the world has reached a TV audience of more than 110 million viewers the past few years. U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, which has a transparent roof, seats 66,200 people.
“In terms of worldwide exposure, this is probably the largest audience that an airplane that AirCorps Aviation restored has been exposed to,” Trueblood said. “It’s nice to get an airplane with a storied history like that out to a mass of people who aren’t normally following our industry or work.
“I think it’s also a perfect thing to have happening over the national anthem,” Trueblood said. “It’s acknowledging those who’ve served so we can enjoy the freedoms that we have. I know that’s what drives our customers to want to do something like this.”
This past October 2017, Trueblood was awarded the Young Alumni Achievement Award by the University of North Dakota’s Alumni Association.