TAMPA, Fla. - The flyover for Super Bowl LV in Tampa will be a loud one. The U.S. Air Force’s three primary bombers will fly low and slow over Raymond James Stadium as the national anthem wraps up.
The Air Force calls the plan a "first-of-its-kind trifecta" that will feature a B-52 Stratofortress, a B-1B Lancer, and a B-2 Spirit – more commonly known as the ‘stealth’ bomber.
"Supporting this event is a tremendous honor for our command and the U.S. Air Force," said Gen. Tim Ray, commander of the Air Force Global Strike Command. "We look forward to this opportunity to showcase the reliability, flexibility and precision of our bomber fleet to the nation during this exciting event."
Each aircraft will take off for the Super Bowl flyover from their respective bases: The B-52 from Minot AFB in North Dakota, the B-1B from Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota, and the B-2 from Whiteman AFB in Missouri. They’ll meet up for the flyover, then head back to their respective bases after Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan sing the Star Spangled Banner.
The flyovers are done at no additional cost to the taxpayer, the Air Force pointed out, and serve as "time-over-target training" for the pilots, aircrew, and ground control teams.
A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress, B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit fly over Guam after launching from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, for an integrated bomber operation, Aug.17, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Richard P. Ebensberger)
Flyovers at Buccaneers games during the regular season sometime showcase the KC-135s from MacDill Air Force Base’s 6th Air Mobility Wing – just down the street from Raymond James Stadium – and the Coast Guard from nearby Air Station Clearwater.
The Air Force’s Thunderbirds provided the flyover for Tampa’s last Super Bowl in 2009, which featured Jennifer Hudson singing the national anthem.
Super Bowl LV is scheduled to kick off at 6:05 p.m. on February 7. The Kansas City Chiefs will try to defend their title against the hometown Tampa Bay Buccaneers.