The Pentagon on April 1st announced that it has initiated a program to buy up vintage warbirds as part of its effort to comply with mandatory budget cuts imposed by the Obama administration.
The military has set aside an undisclosed sum for the purchase of as many P-51 Mustangs, P-38 Lightnings, and F4-U Corsairs as it can find, and bring them back to military standards. “Even with the cost of purchasing and upgrading the aircraft, the cost is significantly lower than the development of a new airplane,” said Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. “We can operate squadrons of these airplanes for the cost of a single F-35. In most places in the world, they still would be the most capable fighters in the air, and the reduction in maintenance costs will save the U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars.”