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Saturday, June 30, 2012

"Red Tails": The Automotive Sequel by Ford!

I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed when I saw some red-color-schemed Mustang show up. The first thing I thought was, “Oh what oh what oh what oh what now. What sameness is Ford doing with the Mustang again?” Oh God, please tell me (lol)!”. But then I realized that they’re doing a Red Tails Mustang edition. I then picked up my phone and pushed my fingertips outward, you know, the iphone-popularized gesture of zooming in on a picture (hahaha). I saw a broad red stripe on the rear of the Mustang and I’m like, “Hmm, I like that! The red stripe is slanted at the exact angle of the spoiler on the trunk lid. In my book, that is perfection! Furthermore, the spoiler is red also, so it lends the appearance of a red tail indeed. Now even further, the spoiler with its shape adds supplementary cred to a red tail, as in my mind I’m visualizing an aircraft tail or rudder.
Moving forward, to the front of the car, the grille and hood area in particular, I totally enjoy how the grille is encased by a red painted surround, in addition to a red and yellow checkered gradient painted into it on the right and left sides. The red paint that is closest to the top of the grille streams up onto the hood and parts around a gray-painted section of the hood - which is nearly all associated with a slight bulge in the hood. The effect of the streaming red paint is like the air that would be ripping over the hood of the aircraft while in its flight! Likewise, the area of the hood that is painted gray is akin to the gray-black exhaust that would be burgeoning out of the aircraft’s propeller engine. Completing this dynamic imagery are the fake exhaust pipes positioned below the front quarter panel and to the rear of the front tires. Whole-istically, this is automotive customization as art work! No wait, say it this way, this is automotive artistic customization. It is almost equivalent to a great painting. Infact, I believe this car customization is indeed worthy of a painting - think oil painting. I can really see myself doing one. Also, what would really be great is if Ford could put this "Red Tail" Mustang in a limited production run. I think there'll definitely be buyers! 
       Kudos to Ford Motor Company for their effort to honor the Tuskegee Airmen! It is a fantastic tribute to a great American combat group. I would love to have a large toy model version of this Mustang car on my desk, not even with remote control, just a big toy model!

Now observe the comparison below!

This is the fifth year running that the Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture celebration will auction a customized Ford Mustang. This year, however, the auction which will be on Thursday, July 26, will feature a car dubbed the Red Tails edition that pays homage to the infamous Tuskegee Airmen. 
For those who are unfamiliar, the Tuskagee airmen were the U.S. Army's first group of African American pilots; they fought segregated from white forces. Formally, the Tuskegee Airmen formed the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Corps after June 20, 1941. They are credited with significant enemy losses while suffering very few themselves. The accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen according to combat records is as follows:
  • 112 aircraft destroyed in air
  • 150 aircraft destroyed on land
  • 148 aircraft damaged
  • 15,533 sorties
  • 311 missions for the Fifteenth Air Force
  • 179 bomber escort missions
  • 66 KIA
  • 32 men captured
  • 84 killed in training and non-combat missions
  • 96 Distinguished Flying Crosses awarded
  • 450 pilots sent overseas
What even makes Ford specially worthy of creating a tribute car to the Tuskegee Airmen, is the fact that one of the combat aircraft flown by the Tuskegee Airmen was carried the name Mustang, the North American P-51 Mustang. Out of the all the aircraft models that they were equipped with (the Curtiss P-40 WarhawksBell P-39 Airacobras, and Republic P-47 Thunderbolts) the Tuskegee Airmen became most commonly associated with the North American P-51 Mustang. Now the Tuskegee Airmen’s P-51 Mustang fighter planes had unique red paint on the tails, which inspired not only the name of the movie, but also the paint scheme on this special Ford Mustang. The red paint was applied to the aircraft by the pilots themselves as a way oft distinguishing themselves from their white counterparts. The Allies nicknamed these airmen "Red Tails" or "Red-Tail Angels," because of the distinctive red paint predominantly applied on the tail section of the unit's aircraft.

- Gebre Mesquitta

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