Patrouille de France Officially Announces Airshow Schedule For 2017 North American Tour

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams, Schedules | 5
Patrouille de France
Photo Courtesy of the Patrouille de France

Although we first reported on it in November, the Patrouille de France officially announced their 2017 North American tour today and unveiled all of the stops on their schedule. See below for a full list of their appearances, which is translated and subject to change. The team also released the logo of their tour, which curiously mentions the US but not Canada.

Patrouille de France North American Tour Logo

The Patrouille de France is the French equivalent of the Blue Angels or Thunderbirds, and performs precision formation aerobatics using Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jets. Their aircraft will sport special paint schemes during the 2017 season to commemorate their tour, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I in France. According to their graphic, they will travel with ten Alpha Jets and one A-400M airlifter.

Will you see the Patrouille de France in 2017? Let us know! Post on the AirshowStuff Facebook page or on our forums, and make sure you share pictures after the show!

2017 North American Tour Appearance Schedule – Patrouille de France

March 19th: Arrive Bagotville, QC
March 25th: Statue of Liberty Flyby, New York
March 27th: Washington DC flyby and reception with French Ambassador

April 1st and 2nd: Melbourne Air Show, FL
April 3rd and 4th: Sun-n-Fun Airshow, Lakeland, FL
April 5th and 6th: Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of US entry into WW1, Kansas City, MO
April 7th-9th: Maxwell AFB Airshow, AL
April 10th-12th: Visit w/USN Blue Angels at NAS Pensacola, FL
April 12th: Flyby over Trescal Factory, Dallas, TX
April 12th: Refueling in Santa Fe, NM
April 13th: Grand Canyon, AZ Flyby/photoshoot
April 13th-16th: California Capitol Airshow, Sacramento & Golden Gate Bridge Flyby in San Francisco, CA
April 17th-18th: Visit w/USAF Thunderbirds at Nellis AFB, NV
April 19th: Refueling at Peterson AFB and USAF Academy Flyby, CO
April 19th: Refueling at Scott AFB, IL
April 20th-21st: VIP Event at Langley AFB, VA
April 22nd-23rd: Airshow at Stewart ANG Base, NY
April 28th-29th: NATO Tattoo in Norfolk, VA
April 30th: Wings Over Gatineau Airshow, Gatineau, QC

May 1st: Montreal, QC
May 2nd: Quebec City, QC
May 4th: Departure from Bagotville, QC

Patrouille de France 2017 North American Tour

USAF Thunderbirds Museum Reopens At Nellis AFB

posted in: Jet Teams, Museums | 0

USAF Thunderbirds Re-Open Museum

The United States Air Force Thunderbirds have re-opened their team museum at their home base of Nellis AFB. The museum helps tell the Thunderbird story, from its beginnings, to today.

Inside the museum, you’ll find artifacts and other memorabilia including documentation on the team’s formation. The picture below shows the designation and order to create the 3600th USAF Air Demonstration Unit at Luke AFB on May 23rd, 1953.

USAF Thunderbirds Re-Open Museum

Other displays include old Thunderbird team gear, patches, and photographs.

USAF Thunderbirds Re-Open Museum

USAF Thunderbirds Re-Open Museum

To access the museum, visitors must have a valid DOD ID card to get onto base property or be escorted by a DOD ID cardholder. The hours of operation are 8 am to 4 pm, and the location is 4445 Tyndall Avenue, Nellis AFB, NV 89191. For the most up-to-date information, call 702-652-6776.

Patrouille de France Debut New Tail Paint For 2017 Season

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Patrouille de France Paint 2017 Season

The Patrouille de France, France’s aerobatic jet team has released pictures of a new tail paint on their Alpha Jets for the 2017 show season.

The pictures, taken during training flights during the winter season, debut a new tail display that differs from the traditional red, white and blue striped tail. The 2017 tail features a wave pattern of red, white, and blue as well as several stars.

Want to see the paint for yourself? If you live in the United States, you have a rare chance to catch the team in action this year in the U.S. The team will perform at the Melbourne Airshow, Sun ‘n Fun, and Maxwell AFB. If you live in Canada, you can see the team when they perform at the Wings over Gatineau Airshow in Quebec in late April.

What do you think of the paint? Do you like the look? Share your comments with us on our Facebook page or in the forums!

Patrouille de France Paint 2017 SeasonPatrouille de France Paint 2017 Season
Patrouille de France Paint 2017 Season
Patrouille de France Paint 2017 SeasonPatrouille de France Paint 2017 Season

2017 Patriots Jet Team Schedule Released

posted in: Jet Teams, Schedules | 0
The Patriots Jet Team
Photo courtesy of the Patriots Jet Team

The Patriots Jet Team has announced their 2017 airshow schedule! The civilian team is based on the West Coast of the United States and performs in up to six L-39 Albatros aircraft.

Will you see the Patriots in 2017? Let us know! Post on our Facebook page and make sure you share pictures after the show!

2017 Appearance Schedule – Patriots Jet Team

March 17-18: Yuma, Arizona — “MCAS Yuma Airshow”

May 20: Redlands, California — “Hangar 24 AirFest”

June 25: Sonoma, California — “NASCAR Toyota/Save Mart 350”

September 9-10: Sacramento, California — “California Capital Airshow”
September 18: Sonoma, California — “Verison IndyCar Series Finale”
September 23-24: San Diego, California — “MCAS Miramar Airshow”

October 7-9: San Francisco, California — “San Francisco Fleet Week”
October 21-22: San Bernardino, California — “SBD Fest”

Patrouille de France 2017 North American Tour Extended; Canadian Show Added

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams, Schedules | 2
Patrouille de France
Source: Patrouille de France

The Patrouille de France has added a Canadian stop to their 2017 North American tour. The Wings Over Gatineau airshow in Quebec has moved from June 30th to April 30th in order to secure an appearance by the French national aerobatic display team. The show is hosted by Vintage Wings Of Canada, a flying museum that operates aircraft such as the “Hawk One” F-86 Sabre, a P-51 Mustang, and an FG-1D (F4U) Corsair.

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds, who were scheduled to perform at the show in June, are expected to follow the date change but have not yet confirmed their intent to do so. They do not currently have any April appearances on their 2017 schedule.

This is the first Canadian date for the Patrouille’s tour, and extends the time frame for their return home by several weeks. Previously announced stops include Melbourne, FL, Sun ‘n Fun in Florida, Kansas City, MO, and Maxwell AFB, AL. These shows are all in early to mid April, leaving a significant gap yet to be filled by additional appearances.

Blue Angels Arrive In El Centro For 2017 Winter Training

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Blue Angels Prepare for Winter Training 2017

The US Navy Blue Angels have returned to Southern California to begin their winter training period! In a post on the team’s Facebook page Thursday afternoon, the Blues announced they had landed at Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centro on a “beautiful day” and were ready to begin training.

The 10 week flight training period for the Blue Angels begins in January and continues through early March. During the team’s time in the Imperial Valley, they will conduct 120 required flights, flying several times during the day to hone their skills. Flights will initially be conducted off site in a nearby valley, and will then transition to over the base after several weeks. Fat Albert will also conduct training flights during this time period.

2017 marks the 50th year the Blue Angels will visit NAF El Centro for their winter training. Over the past 50 years, the usually calm weather of the Imperial Valley has proven itself excellent for flying, as opposed to Pensacola which can often see rain and storms in the winter months.

The team’s first performance of 2017 will be at the annual NAF El Centro, CA airshow on March 11th.

Patrouille de France Adds Third US Airshow Appearance In 2017

posted in: Jet Teams, Schedules | 1

Patroille de France at Maxwell AFB

AirshowStuff has learned that the Patrouille de France, France’s Aerobatic Jet Team, will be performing at another US site in 2017. Maxwell AFB, Alabama will host the team on April 8-9th as part of their open house.

The base will be open to the public from 8 am to 4 pm on both days. The United States Air Force Thunderbirds will also perform.

See the Thunderbirds full 2017 schedule here

The base’s 2017 airshow theme is Heritage to Horizon: Legacy of the Great War – A Century of Airpower. Thr event will commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the US entry into World War I.

Additional United States performances by the team on their 2017 US Tour include the Melbourne Airshow (April 1-2nd) and Sun ‘n Fun (April 4th, Tuesday only). A unconfirmed airshow or flyby in Kansas City, MO is also listed on some schedules, but as of now AirshowStuff has not been able to confirm that show.

Stay with us as we bring you coverage of these shows and any additional schedule updates!

Rockford AirFest Suspended In 2017 And Beyond Despite Scheduled USAF Thunderbirds Appearance

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams, Schedules | 1

US Air Force Thunderbirds - Rockford AirFest

Say goodbye to the Rockford AirFest. The event has been canceled in 2017 and beyond, thanks to new tenants at the airport. The move is surprising as the show had already landed a coveted appearance by the US Air Force Thunderbirds on June 3rd and 4th of next year. Mike Dunn, the Airport’s Executive Director, says that the airport has gotten too busy to shut down operations for the show weekend.

The show had faced troubles recently, and was canceled in 2016 after scheduling conflicts with the US Air Force F-22 Raptor demonstration team that was the headline the event. Two different US Navy Blue Angel appearances were also canceled in recent years, but it nevertheless remained a popular attraction since its start in 2005. Rockford did not appear on either the Blue Angel or Thunderbirds preliminary schedules for 2018, but may have landed the F-22 Raptor demonstration.

With Rockford throwing in the towel, that weekend will now open up for the Thunderbirds. The airshow in Duluth, MN will already host the Blue Angels and Canadian Forces Snowbirds on those same dates, and may make a play for the rare privilege of hosting all three North American jet teams. More likely, another show currently without a jet team will land the Thunderbirds by changing dates. Be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow our social media channels for further updates when they are available!

Air Force Announces Report Findings On 2016 Thunderbird #6 Crash – Pilot Cleared

posted in: Jet Teams | 0

US Air Force Thunderbirds

The US Air Force says that the crash of Thunderbird #6 into a Colorado field earlier this year was caused by a throttle malfunction. The finding was part of the Accident Investigation Board report on the incident, announced today by Air Combat Command. The crash occurred shortly after a flyby of the United States Air Force Academy graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs, CO on June 2nd.

Although speculation has been rampant that the F-16 Fighting Falcon ran out of fuel, ACC has stated that hundreds of pounds of fuel were removed from the wreckage. Instead, the investigation found that an issue with the throttle incorrectly caused the pilot, Major Alex Turner, to shut the engine off rather than setting it to idle power as intended. He was unable to restart the engine due to his low altitude and ejected safely after steering toward an empty field.

According to ACC, “after beginning landing procedures, the pilot inadvertently rotated the throttle, placing it into an engine cut-off position. Normally, this full rotation cannot occur unless a throttle trigger is affirmatively actuated or pressed. However, the throttle trigger was “stuck” in the “pressed” position. The accident investigation board observed debris accumulation in the throttle trigger, combined with wear on the trigger assembly.

Once the engine cut-off occurred, the aircraft immediately lost thrust. The pilot attempted engine restart procedures, but restart was impossible at the low altitude of the aircraft. The pilot safely delayed his ejection until he navigated the aircraft to a grass field.

The aircraft, valued at approximately $29 million, was destroyed. There was no known damage to civilian property. At the time of the accident, the pilot was a current and qualified air demonstration pilot, with more than 1,200 hours flying the F-16 and a total flight time of 1,447 hours. He resumed demonstrations with the team.”

The Thunderbirds were grounded for a little over two weeks following the crash. They returned to aerial demonstrations at the airshow in Ocean City, MD and successfully completed the remainder of their 2016 show season.

This crash was somewhat overshadowed by the fact that Blue Angel #6, Marine Captain Jeff Kuss, was killed when his aircraft crashed the same afternoon in Smyrna, TN. That crash was a separate and unrelated accident, and a report on it was released in September.

US Air Force Thunderbirds To Perform At RIAT In 2017

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US Air Force Thunderbirds

The US Air Force Thunderbirds will be heading overseas this summer. The Royal International Air Tattoo announced that it will host the team at RAF Fairford in the United Kingdom on July 14, 15, and 16. This is not surprising, since the dates were left conspicuously open on the 2017 USAF Thunderbirds schedule, released earlier this week. The RIAT dates are book-ended by US airshow appearances, so the team will likely only be performing at the single event rather than conducting a multi-stop European tour. The announcement does mention that it will be the team’s only UK appearance of 2017.

The RIAT appearance is fitting this year, as the event is honoring the 70th anniversary of the US Air Force. The Thunderbirds previously performed in Europe as recently as 2011.

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