Why Super Bowl LVII's Flyover Team Will Make History

In this day and age, the Super Bowl is practically a national holiday in America and around the world as millions of fans gather to watch the big game, and thousands more look-on from the stadium. Part of the Super Bowl experience is a number of traditions, like the funny and innovative TV commercials that thousands of viewers tune in to see and the annual star-studded halftime performance. Similar to other sporting events, there's also the thrilling military jet flyover of the stadium to kick off the competition.

As NBC Sports explains, the flyover has been a consistent part of the Super Bowl festivities since the second Super Bowl, Super Bowl II, in 1968 between the Green Bay Packers and the Raiders, then based in Oakland. Like in years past, in Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, a flyover will mark the start of the competition. But as Good Morning America writes, the pilots in the cockpits for this Super Bowl flyover will in their own way make NFL history.

The Super Bowl LVII flyover will include an F-35C

As Good Morning America goes on to note, the planes in the Super Bowl LVII flyover will include an F-35C Lightning II, among the newest planes in the U.S. arsenal, capable of reaching supersonic speeds of up to 1.6 Mach, or around 1,200 mph, according to the plane's manufacturer, Lockheed Martin. The F-35C and other aircraft in the Super Bowl LVII flyover over State Farm Stadium were expected to reach speeds of roughly 345 mph, as GMA explains.

As remarkable as the planes are themselves, also notable about the Super Bowl LVII flyover is that each pilot in the cockpit will be a woman to commemorate the 50th anniversary of women flying in the U.S. Navy — ground broken in part by Captain Rosemary Mariner. Mariner (pictured), who died in 2019, was among the first female naval pilots in history and the first female to command a naval squadron. She also helped lobby the American congress to lift the ban on women serving in combat, based on The New York Times reporting.

The planes will also be kept going by women

As Good Morning America also points out, the groundbreaking nature of the Super Bowl LVII flyover in terms of women in Naval aviation extends beyond the cockpit. The mechanical aspects of the four F-35Cs used in the Super Bowl LVII were also reportedly looked after by an all-female team of mechanics (via the Navy). In total, all four pilots in the flyover will be either naval pilots or naval officers, according to Good Morning america. In addition to the F-35C (pictured), two F/A-18F Super Hornets were expected to take part in the flyover along with an EA-18G Growler.

On participating in the Super Bowl LVII flyover, Navy Lt. Catie Perkowski told Good Morning America, "[A]s a football fan, when I got the call to do the Super Bowl flyover, it's almost like a dream initially for someone who loves the NFL." My dad did ask me to call him from the sideline," Perkowski added elsewhere. The all-female Super Bowl flyover comes after Sarah Thomas became the first female ref in the NFL in 2021, according to NBC Sports. Based on 2022 Sportsnet reporting, more women worked in front office or coaching positions than at any other time in league history.