Vucano Market - US Navy Blue Angels Towels (Officially Licensed)
Vucano Market - US Navy Blue Angels Towels (Officially Licensed)

CONFIRMED: A-10 Warthog Aerobatic Demonstrations Returning In 2018!

posted in: Airshows, Military | 0

A-10 Thunderbolt II

Get ready Warthog fans! The wait is over. A-10 Warthog single-ship demonstrations will return to the skies at airshows across the nation in 2018.

In a statement released by Air Combat Command this week, we learned an A-10 demonstration team will be based at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ. They will perform at approximately 14 airshows during the 2018 show season. This follows a Twitter post by the current A-10 Heritage Flight team, which we reported on last week, that hinted at a coming announcement. There is no word on what will happen to the current East Coast A-10 Heritage Flight Team, based at Moody AFB in GA.

You may remember due to budget restrictions and sequestration, single ship demos were restricted after the 2011 season. Heritage Flights were performed in 2012 and 2017, but no aerobatic demonstrations were allowed.

Here is the text of the announcement shared by ICAS and ACC:

The United States Air Force A-10 demonstration team will once again display the capabilities of the Thunderbolt II at approximately 14 shows throughout the 2018 air show season.

The A-10 demonstration team last flew in 2011. Since then, when it has participated in air shows, the A-10 has been either a static display aircraft or flown exclusively with the Air Force Heritage Flight program (in 2012 and 2017). In 2018, the Warthog will fly a full aerobatic demonstration and also perform in Heritage Flight demonstrations.

Specifically designed for close air support, the A-10’s combination of high and low speed maneuverability has made it a popular air show demonstration aircraft for many years. Beginning next year, the A-10 demo team – based at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona – will be flown by Captain Cody Wilton.

Are you excited to see the return of Warthog demos? What shows do you think may get an A-10 demonstration in 2018?

Visit our forums to discuss this exciting news!

Historic Warbirds Return To Service, Transport Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Harvey

posted in: Popular Posts, Warbirds | 1

On Friday, August 25th, the eye of Hurricane Harvey, a strong category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 mph, made landfall near Rockport, TX. Over the next week, the center of Harvey would sit and spin over Texas, dropping 40-50 inches of rain! This amount of rain resulted in catastrophic and life threatening flooding across southeast Texas, including the Beaumont, TX area.

Beaumont sits about 1 hour and 15 minutes to the east of the Houston Metro. When Harvey’s rains hit, the town’s 118,000+ people were devastated. While most of the national media’s attention was on the Houston Metro, other areas in Texas were also struggling.

In Georgetown, TX, located outside of Austin, citizens started gathering supplies. A call went out for general aviation aircraft and pilots in the area to help take supplies down to Beaumont. The Commemorative Air Forces’s Highland Lakes Squadron, with their Douglas C-47 “Bluebonnet Belle”, answered that call.

The C-47 has a history of transporting important cargo. During World War II, the platform was used to carry jeeps, troops, or up to 6,000 pounds of other cargo. It was used by every branch of the US military and all of the major allied powers.

When Texas needed it, the C-47 stepped back into service – more than 70 years after the war that made the type famous. The cabin was loaded with diapers, food, and water before the aircraft launched on the hour and a half trip from Georgetown to Beaumont.

In a post on the Commemorative Air Force Facebook page, the CAF said, “When the Texas National Guard showed up with their Deuce and a half truck, we knew we had brought supplies to the right place. A troop of soldiers descended on the C-47 unloading box after box directly onto the military truck. This was only the first load of supplies and so long as there is a need the CAF is planning to help.”


Photos from David Oliver

The C-47 wasn’t the only aircraft that helped with Harvey relief. The B-25 Mitchell “Devil Dog”, also a CAF aircraft, transported supplies to impacted areas as well. These including, rather fittingly, 500 pounds of dog food for displaced pets.

Well done by these resilient old airframes and the volunteers that support, maintain, and fly them!

B-25 Devil Dog Aids Harvey Relief

Kyle Franklin Flies It Like He Stole It, Collects Bill Barber Award At EAA AirVenture 2017

posted in: Aerobatics | 0

Kyle Franklin Awarded Bill Barber Award for Showmanship

Second generation airshow pilot Kyle Franklin was awarded the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship during an annual ceremony on Tuesday evening of EAA AirVenture 2017 in Oshkosh, WI.

The Bill Barber Award for Showmanship began in 1986, and is awarded to air show performers or teams that have demonstrated great skill and showmanship. World Airshow News magazine and the friends and family of the late Bill Barber present the award annually.

Kyle is now in his 20th year of performing in airshows. He got his start in the industry by wingwalking on his late father’s Waco biplane at age 17 – the youngest ever. He’s also known for being the first jet biplane wingwalker, creating his popular pirate-themed act “Pirated Skies,” and performing the motorcycle to airplane transfer act.

Today, Franklin flies his popular “Dracula” biplane performances and Super Cub comedy act at airshows across the nation. He performed his “stolen” Cub act twice during the week at AirVenture, and took one of our cameras along for a harrowing ride on Tuesday. Thanks to Chris Desmond for the help with the footage!

We also filmed Kyle’s act from the ground, where you can really see how much skill he has as he throws the aircraft all over the sky (and sometimes the ground) while remaining in complete control.

While accepting the award, Kyle remembered those who he grew up with in the airshow industry, including his parents and his late wife Amanda Franklin, and thanked them for their help in getting him to where he is today.

Kyle joins his father, Jimmy Franklin who was awarded with the award in 1989. Kyle and Jimmy are the second father and son to receive the Bill Barber Award. Bobby Younkin (2004) and his son Matt (2012) were the first.

Congrats Kyle!

Blue Angels Rock Oshkosh, Discuss Super Hornet Transition Plans

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams, Popular Posts | 1

Blue Angels Fly at Oshkosh for the First Time

Oshkosh always has an award winning lineup and many highlights through the week. This year – the show was home to another first.

For the first time ever, the United States Navy Blue Angels flew a full demonstration in the skies over Oshkosh.

The team arrived Wednesday afternoon during the afternoon airshow, announcing their presence with a perfectly-timed (of course) flyby at the end of the national anthem. Only five jets arrived initially, with #3 arriving several hours later and #7 coming in separately after that.

On Thursday, the diamond pilots performed their circle and arrival maneuvers, where they pick out landmarks to use as they fly. They were supposed to do this during the daily airshow, but the aircraft had a small mishap while taxiing out in the interest of safety they canceled. They were able to reschedule for 8pm, after the airport is normally closed. Two jets took off and completed the necessary maneuvers just in time. Fans who stayed noted the rare chance to see the Blues jets with afterburner glow and lights on. The solo pilots performed their circle and arrival flight on Friday morning.

Noticeably absent from the show was the Blue Angels’ famous blue and gold C-130 Hercules, Fat Albert. In the wake of the crash of a USMC C-130T that killed 16 servicemembers, the USMC ordered a safety stand down of all C-130Ts, including Fat Albert. Bert was not only unable to perform, she never even made it to Oshkosh. Instead, the team relied on a Navy C-40 Clipper, the military version of the Boeing 737-700C, to bring in their maintenance crew and some equipment.

US Navy Blue Angels - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017US Navy Blue Angels - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017

The Blue Angels also participated in a popular Theater in the Woods event on Friday, July 28th. During this appearance, they spoke about being on the team and took questions from the audience. A couple of the questions were particularly interesting; when asked about female Blue Angel pilots in the future, Blue Angel #1 revealed that there have been no female F/A-18 applicants for the past two recruitment cycles. The team has never had a female fly as a Hornet demonstration pilot.

US Navy Blue Angels - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017US Navy Blue Angels - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017

The transition to the Super Hornet was also discussed. Currently, the team is in their 30th year of flying the Boeing F/A-18 Legacy Hornet. Despite internet rumors of a switch to the Super Hornet in September of this year or at the beginning of the 2018 season, the team plans to continue flying their Hornets for now. In fact, they are currently inducting three “new” Hornets into the squadron.

The target date for transitioning to the Super Hornet is not until 2019, and it was quickly pointed out that it could slip beyond that. There are several Super Hornets already set aside for the team, but they will need to be modified and tested before the pilots can begin training. One step in the right direction was mentioned; apparently a couple (now previous) Blue Angel pilots have already flown the current flight demonstration profile in the Super Hornet simulator and the results seemed positive. Hang in there Rhino fans!

Didn’t get a chance to see the Blue Angels at Oshkosh in person? No worries! We’ve got you covered with a video of their entire Friday performance!

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017: Follow Along From Home!

posted in: Airshows | 0

EAA AirVenture Crowd

One of the best weeks of the year for aviation lovers is fast approaching, but for those who don’t have tickets to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, July 24th-July 30th can be one of the loneliest weeks of the year. Don’t fear though – this year EAA has several ways to make it almost feel like you’re there. Our team here at AirshowStuff has compiled some of the best methods of enjoying the 2017 show without making the trip:

Listen to EAA Radio:
On EAA Radio you can listen to the daily airshow announcer/music feed live, hear some of the world’s best aviation commentary, and listen to interviews from key players in aviation. You can listen to it via the EAA Radio App, TuneIn, or by tuning your radio to 96.5 FM or 1210 AM if you’re in the Oshkosh area. Hearing Rob Reider yell “I Wish I had my mother in law up there” or hearing Sean D. Tucker yell “YEAH BABY” (for the last time) is guaranteed to put a smile on any airshow fan’s face!

Listen to EAA Radio on TuneIn.com
EAA Radio Schedule
EAA Radio on Twitter
EAA Radio on Facebook
Download the EAA Radio App

View the Webcams:
The great folks at EAA have set up several live webcams stretched across the airfield so that people from all across the world can feel like they’re at the show. Be aware though that these cameras are not meant to show the daily airshow – they’re more like webcams set up for a view during the day. There may be times when they’re offline so that someone can change the view, review old footage, etc. Some certain events cannot be broadcast.

Listen to Oshkosh ATC
LiveATC.net once again has put up live streams of the Air Traffic Control communications at Oshkosh. Listen to the arrivals, the daily airshow airboss feed and more on their site. Feeds include the Airboss, Airshow Control, KOSH Tower and Approach, and more. Frequencies are also on the website if you happen to live in the area and have a scanner of your own!

Listen to OSH Tower North
Listen to OSH Tower South
Listen to FISK VFR Approach

Read the AirVenture Newspaper
The daily EAA AirVenture Newspaper, AirVenture Today, will be posted online during the week.

Follow the AirshowStuff and EAA Accounts!
AirshowStuff will have several members of our staff at EAA AirVenture, providing pictures, videos and other updates throughout the week. Make sure you’re following us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest info! If you’re on Twitter, search for #OSH17, the official hashtag of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017! EAA’s account (@EAA) will also be active during the week, so be sure to follow them too! Don’t forget to follow EAA’s Instagram account for cool images throughout the event and the year as well as their Facebook page. The social team at EAA has also put together a dedicated social media page called AirVenture Social, where fans and attendees can keep up with all the latest social media posts about Oshkosh.

Celebrate EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 With These 20 Amazing Videos

posted in: Airshows, Event Recap, Featured Videos | 0

The countdown to AirVenture is getting shorter with each passing minute! We’re celebrating with our favorite videos from previous years. Each year, AirVenture brings together such a diverse mix of aircraft, performers, and fans. There is really no other event like it in the world!

Here are our 20 favorite videos from EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016! If you want to skip ahead, just go ahead and check out our EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 playlist that features all 49 of our videos from the show.

20. Mass Arrivals at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 – Sunday

19. USAF C-5M Super Galaxy Arrival – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

18. Boeing 747-8F Maximum Performance Departure – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

17. F-16 Fighting Falcon Full Demo and Heritage Flight w/ P-51 – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

16. Warbird Extravaganza! Jets, Fighters, and Bombers – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

15. Minimum Interval Departures – Sunday Part 1 – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

14. Seaplane Base and Martin Mars – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

13. Helmet Cam! MiG-17 and F-86 Sabre Formation – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

12. F-4 Phantom Helmet Cam – Two-Ship Airshow Demo and Departure – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

11. Texas Flying Legends (B-25, Spitfire, F4U, P-51, P-40, F4F) with Pyro! – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

10. U-2 Dragon Lady Flyover – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

9. US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet Twilight Demonstration – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

8. F-16 Cockpit Cam – Aerobatics and Heritage Flight w/P-51 Mustang – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

7. Cockpit/Swimmer Cam – US Coast Guard MH-65 SAR Demo – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

6. F-15C Eagle Flybys – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

5. Canadian Forces Snowbirds – Arrivals – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

4. Mass 34-Ship RV Flyovers – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

3.Two-ship US Coast Guard SAR Demo – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

2. Martin Mars – Water Bombing Demo And Flybys – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

1. Two-Ship F-4 Phantom Takeoff and Flybys – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

Still haven’t got enough OSHKOSH? Watch over 5 hours of video in our Mega Compilation!

ATC Privatization Threatens The Airshow Community

posted in: Miscellaneous | 2

ATC Privatization Threatens the Airshow Community

Pending legislation in Congress would pose a threat to the airshow community.

If this legislation becomes law, authority for managing airspace in the US would be transferred from the US Government to a nonprofit board, disproportionately made up of airline representatives and other officials with financial ties to the airlines.

This form of ATC privatization is a bad idea and will create significant challenges for airshow event organizers and performers if it becomes law, including increased prices, difficulty getting airspace access, and a host of other problems that would make airshows more expensive and more difficult to organize. Some shows might even go out of business entirely.

This poses a threat to the airshows we all love and support. The time has come to act. The International Council of Airshows (ICAS) and airshow performers are encouraging airshow fans to contact their local congressmen or congresswoman and express their concerns.

Call 855-265-9002 to be connected to a switchboard which can then connect you to your local representative.

You can also find the name and contact information for your congressman or congresswoman by clicking here. You may write your own email message or letter to your congressional representative, or you can use one of several different sample letters that ICAS has generated for this purpose here, here, here, here, here, and here. If you’d prefer to call your congressional representative, that’s helpful too. If you would like to educate yourself on the elaborate fictions the airlines and other advocates for this scheme have constructed to promote the idea, click here.

Countdown To AirVenture: Best Of Oshkosh 2014

posted in: Airshows, AirshowStuff, Event Recap | 0

USAF Thunderbirds Take Off at Oshkosh

Oshkosh will be here before we know it! Soon, the skies of Wisconsin will be filled with planes and the grounds will be filled with, well, more planes! People too! A lots of them! Check out some of the expected items at this year’s show.

The 2014 airshow marked the first time a US military jet demonstration team performed at Oshkosh. Performing Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the USAF Thunderbirds soared through the skies of Oshkosh in their famous red, white and blue F-16 Fighting Falcons. While this was a popular performance, it also forced the normal Oshkosh crowd line back a bit.

Matt Younkin was kind enough to take our cameras for a ride during his daytime Twin Beech Aerobatic demonstration at the 2014 show. We have two videos from that flight- one in the cockpit and one looking out over the wing. Check out both views below!

AirshowStuff also obtained a unique view of Kyle Franklin’s “Dracula” performance when we put a camera in the cockpit of Kyle’s plane.

One of the best things about Oshkosh is the variety of warbirds that perform each and every afternoon in the airshow. The 2014 show featured jets, radials, and much more!

The weather of Oshkosh can also provide a bit of a tricky landing situation for pilots. Check out several of our “Gusty Crosswind Landings” videos by watching the playlist below.

If you want even more Oshkosh, you can settle in for an hour and a half of action with our mega-compilation!

Here’s a few more of our photos from the 2014 show. You can find many more photos in our gallery!

Thunderbirds Cross

Blue Angels Announce 2018 Officers, Including New Demo Pilots

posted in: Jet Teams | 1

US Navy Blue Angels

Two new F/A-18 Hornet demonstration pilots, a C-130 demonstration pilot, a maintenance officer, and a public affairs officer will be joining the elite Blue Angels team in 2018. These new officers will fill the shoes of the existing team members who are wrapping up their tour of duty when the 2017 airshow season ends. Also joining the Blue Angels is 2018 is a new commanding officer, Cmdr. Eric Doyle. He will take over for Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi.

Here’s some information on all the new team members:

F/A-18 Hornet Demonstration Pilots:
Marine Maj. Jeffrey Mullins, 30, of Memphis, Tennessee, is an F/A-18 Hornet pilot currently assigned to Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 31. He graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2006.

Navy Lt. Andre Webb, 31, of Lawton, Oklahoma, is an F/A-18 Hornet pilot and 2008 US Naval Academy graduate currently assigned to the “Golden Eagles” of Training Squadron (VT) 22 based in Kingsville, TX.

Maj.-MullinsLt. Webb

C-130 Demonstration Pilot:
Marine Capt. Beau Mabery, 28, of Lompoc, California, is a C-130 Hercules pilot currently assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 152. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2011.

Maintenance Officer:
Navy Lt. Garrett Hopkins, 38, of Charlotte, North Carolina, is a maintenance officer currently assigned to Strike Fighter Wing Pacific Detachment (SFWPD) Fallon. He graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2009.

Public Affairs Officer:
Navy Lt. David Gardner, 36, of Warrensburg, Missouri, is a public affairs officer currently assigned to the USS Makin Island (LHD 8). He graduated from the University of Central Missouri in 2003.

Capt.-MaberyLt.-Hopkins

Lt.-Gardner

All of the officers were recommended by Rear Adm. James Bynum, chief of Naval Air Training and approved by Commander of Naval Air Forces, Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker. Join us in welcoming them to the team and wishing them the best for a safe 2018 season!

USAF Thunderbirds Announce New Pilots, Officers For 2018 Season

posted in: Jet Teams | 0

USAF Thunderbirds Announce New Officers for 2018 Show Season
Air Combat Command and the Thunderbirds have announced new pilots who will be joining the team for the 2018 demonstration season. The left wing, slot and opposing solo positions will have new pilots when the team takes to the skies in 2018.

Flying Thunderbird #2 will be Capt. William Graeff. Currently assigned to the 88th Fighter Training Squadron at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas, Graeff replaces Maj. Ryan Bodenheimer on the Left Wing of the Diamond formation.

The Slot position will be filled by Capt. Stephen Del Bango of the 58th Fighter Squadron, stationed at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Capt Del Bagno’s selection is unique, as he is the first F-35 pilot to be selected to serve on the team. He replaces Maj. Nick Krajicek.

Capt. Matthew Kimmel of the 79th Fighter Squadron, stationed at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina will be the new Opposing Solo, #6 for the team. Maj. White Collins, the current Opposing Solo for the 2017 show season will move to the Lead Solo position (#5), replacing Maj. Alex Turner.

Other new officers on the 2018 team include:

Thunderbird #7 – Maj Eric Gorney. He will serve as the squadron’s operations officer.
Thunderbird #10- Capt Lauren Venturini. She will serve as the squadron’s maintenance officer.
Thunderbird #12- Maj. Raymond Geoffroy. He will serve as the squadron’s public affairs officer.

There are twelve officer positions with the USAF Thunderbirds team, and members serve two-year tours of duty. In 2018, Thunderbird # 1, 3, 6, 8, and 9 will be replaced.

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