The new Breitling Super AVI watch collection
To mark Breitling’s launch of the new Super AVI collection, a new watch series dedicated to four legendary vintage aircraft, Breitling brought the four planes together for an epic campaign photo shoot. The highly technical flight did more than just result in spectacular footage, it was history-making.
The planes are the North American Aviation P-51 Mustang, the best all-around fighter of the WWII era; the Vought F4U Corsair, a record-breaking naval aircraft; the extremely rare de Havilland Mosquito, known as the “Wooden Wonder”, and the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, a master of agility whose signature shark-mouth nose art has made it a poster child for the daredevil days of early aviation.
To carry out the photo shoot, the pilots took to the sky above Virginia Beach, flying in a tight formation that at times put them less than 10 feet apart at speeds of over 200 mph. It was the first time all four pilots had flown together and a first for these aircraft in this formation. The flight was a thrill ride.
Commandeering a vintage aircraft in a group requires a long list of qualifications, including a commercial pilot’s license, formation card, tail-wheel certification, aerobatics credentials, and hundreds of hours of flight time. The pilots drafted a complex flight plan in advance of the Breitling shoot to ensure the four aircraft not only worked as team, but also showed off their best angles to a fifth aircraft taking the air-to-air photographs.
The four planes took off from Virginia’s Military Aviation Museum (MAM), home to three of the four aircraft (the Warhawk flew in from the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison, Texas). Even when optimally restored, these 75-to-80-year-old aircraft need up to 100 hours of preparation time for flight-readiness.
At the MAM, mechanical teams adhere to original manuals, becoming, as museum director Keegan Chetwynd puts it, “a historian, researcher, and custodian of the aircraft. You have to feel a strong connection to the equipment to keep it flying.”
It’s monumental when even one of these aircraft leaves the ground, let alone all four!.
Explore Breitling’s new Super AVI collection, based on these four phenomenal aircraft here .
FOUR PLANES, FOUR TRIBUTE TIMEPIECES
The Super AVI tribute to the P-51 Mustang
The Super AVI tribute to the Vought F4U Corsair
The Super AVI tribute to the Mosquito
The Super AVI tribute to the Curtiss Warhawk