The Belgian Air Force has finally unveiled an absolutely incredible paint scheme after teasing it for weeks. The “Dark Falcon” F-16 will serve as the primary aircraft used by the country’s F-16 Fighting Falcon solo display team for the next three airshow seasons.
The scheme is a nod to the callsign of the demonstration pilot, Comd.av. Stefan ‘Vador’ Darte from No 2 Wing at Florennes AB. It was designed by Johan Wolfs and Nicolas Deboeck, and applied by the 2W paint shop team.
The 2018 schedule for the US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet Demo Teams has been released, but there’s not a whole lot to see. Due to training and other requirements, the demo teams are severely limited in their performances this year. As of the April release, only four shows have been approved with two listed as tentative.
In a statement, Navy TAC Demo said “both VFA-106 and VFA-122 are Fleet Replacement Squadrons (FRS), sometimes referred to by the old Navy term “RAG” or Replacement Air Group. The primary mission of each squadron is to provide the fleet with trained replacement aircrew to support fleet requirements. At this time, each squadron must focus on training newly winged aviators and flight officers on employing the Super Hornet to defend our country. This mission must take priority over flying these remarkable aircraft at air shows.”
While the limited number of shows certainly is disappointing, schedules often change during the year – so for the latest updates please be sure to check our forums! More shows could be added.
2018 Appearance Schedule – US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet Demonstration Teams
April 14-15: Sun-N-Fun, Lakeland Regional Airport – Lakeland, FL
April 21-22: Thunder Over Louisville – Louisville, KY
May 5-6: Ford Lauderdale Air Show – Fort Lauderdale, FL
May 26-27: Miami Beach Air and Sea Show – Miami Beach, FL
The following shows are approved for TACDEMO participation; however, actual participation will be determined in May.
June 9-10: Thunder of Niagara, Niagara Falls ARS – Niagara Falls, NY
June 30-July 1: Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show – Battle Creek, MI
A recent update to the ACC schedule has removed five shows originally scheduled for 2018. This comes after a few shows were added to the schedule a few weeks ago.
The canceled shows are:
– Myrtle Beach, SC – April 28-29th
– MCAS Cherry Point, NC – May 5-6th
– Seattle, WA SeaFair – Aug 2-5th
– Reno Air Races, Reno, NV – Sept 14-16th
– Ft. Worth, TX – Oct 13-14th
At this time, the reason for the schedule change is unknown. AirshowStuff has reached out to ACC and the F-35 Heritage Flight team for a comment.
With the changes, the F-35 will perform in ten Heritage Flights this year and appear at two international shows as a static display. The team will also make a third, much requested performance at the Royal International Air Tattoo, known to many as RIAT at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, England in mid July.
This news comes after we learned the F-35 would be doing more than ever- adding extra flybys to it’s 2018 performance. In years prior, the aircraft would only takeoff and join up with the other aircraft for the Heritage Flight.
NOTE: The F-35 profile will include three non-aerobatic solo passes, most likely before the first HF formation pass, for consistency between HF performances.
This is a bit of a let down for those who followed the rumors that the US Air Force’s F-35 would be upgraded to a full aerobatic demonstration after Lockheed Martin debuted an aerobatic profile at the Paris Airshow last year. However, it shows that the program is getting closer to a full-up demo.
In the mean time, we can look forward to an extra few passes from the jet at each airshow performance. There are no specifics on what the three flybys will be, but such mini-demos in the past have consisted of a photo pass, a high speed pass, and a slow speed/high alpha pass. The F-4 Phantoms flew this profile back when they were a part of the Heritage Flight, and both the A-10 Thunderbolt II and F-16 Fighting Falcon teams did the same prior to being reinstated to full aerobatic status. This year marks the A-10s first year back to an aerobatic profile.
The F-35 was added to the Heritage Flight program in 2016, and it has been limited to HF performances in the two seasons since. The aircraft typically takes off and immediately joins the formation, offering a solo flyby or two after the formation breaks apart. Most recently the F-35 has been performing a high speed pass and a pitch to land following the Heritage Flight. Along with the mini-demo, we could be looking at five solo flybys by the F-35.
Air Combat Command, which oversees the US Air Force single-ship demonstration teams, updated the 2018 airshow schedules for the F-22 Raptor, A-10 Warthog, and F-16 Fighting Falcon teams today. Several shows were removed after announcing cancellations, but several new appearances were added as well! Take a look at each schedule below and see if they’ll be performing near you in 2018.
The Royal Canadian Air Force has just released an illustration of the coming 2018 CF-18 Hornet demonstration team paint scheme! This amazing, full-aircraft design is intended to celebrate 60 years of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD. The specially painted aircraft will be the team’s primary demonstration aircraft throughout the season. Make sure to check the 2018 CF-18 Hornet demonstration schedule and see if the jet will be appearing near you, and stay tuned for photos of the jet as it is rolled out!
The RCAF explained some of the elements of the paint scheme in their announcement:
This year’s design commemorates the 60 years of the North American Aerospace Defense Command.
The design: Elements from NORAD’s logo – lightning bolts, a north-pointing sword, the globe, and silver stylized wings that evoke both the northern lights and radar sweeps. Taken together, the motif is undeniably symbolic of NORAD’s ongoing commitment to the protection and defence of North American airspace, and the RCAF’s role in guaranteeing Canadian sovereignty.
The #CF18Demo team is looking forward to showcasing 60 years of Canada and the United States sharing “the watch” through NORAD.
This year’s aircraft is just the latest in a long line of specially-painted demonstration team aircraft. The 2017 Hornet celebrated “Canada 150”, the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation, with a beautiful red and white design.
Here is the 2018 airshow schedule for the US Air Force F-35 Lightning II Heritage Flight Team! Will you see them in 2018? Let us know! Post in the AirshowStuff Forums or on the AirshowStuff Facebook page and make sure you share pictures after the show!
Schedules often change during the year – for the latest updates please be sure to check our forums!
2018 Appearance Schedule – US Air Force F-35 Lightning II Heritage Flight Team
March 17-18: Luke Air Force Base, AZ
March 23-24: NAS Kingsville, TX
April 3-8: FIDAE – Santiago, Chile (Static only)
April 25-29: ILA Berlin – Berlin, Germany (Static only)
May 25-27: Miami, FL
June 9-10: North Kingston, RI
June 15-17: Ocean City, MD
July 13-15: Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) – RAF Fairford, United Kingdom (HF profile fly by/static)
August 10-12: Offutt Air Force Base, NE
August 17-19: Chicago, IL
August 31-September 2: CIAS – Toronto, Ontario
September 21-23: California Capitol Airshow – Sacramento, CA
The jet team/military demo schedules are the highlight of each annual International Council of Airshows (ICAS) convention, but the military forums and presentations also have some interesting bits of info for fans. This year the Navy forum in particular yielded some very interesting and exciting news items.
First, the F/A-18C Hornet (AKA Baby Hornet or Legacy Hornet) demos appear to be a thing of the past. All F-18 demonstrations in 2018 will be either F/A-18E or F/A-18F Super Hornets. As in the past, they will be flown by a West Coast team out of NAS Lemoore, CA and an East Coast team out of NAS Oceana, VA. The F/A-18E demos will only be flown by Lemoore crews.
Second, and maybe the biggest news of the forum; Legacy Flights might be back! The presentation includes the requirements for a show to host a Legacy Flight, and says the performance will consist of a short profile similar to that flown in the past. Legacy Flights have not been regularly performed for years now, although a Super Hornet and Corsair formation flight was arranged at the Cleveland airshow this past September. No word yet on what warbirds might be among the approved performers.
The third major takeaway from the forum is that there appears to be no limit on Navy static displays in 2018! Each year since sequestration (2013) has seen the military branches place limits on how many of their aircraft could be approved for static display at each airshow. This has gradually been lifted each year and thankfully it appears to be a nonissue in 2018; static display ramps may be a little fuller this summer!
The schedule for the F-18 demonstrations is not expected to be released for a while, but the the teams are approved for 46 airshows total. As noted, we are currently seeking some more information on these topics and will post any updates that we receive!
Captain Stefan “Porcelain” Porteous will be the demonstration pilot for the 2018 season. He is from Comox, British Columbia and earned his private pilot license in 2005 after first learning to fly gliders with the Royal Air Cadets. He joined the RCAF in 2008 and qualified to fly the CF-18 Hornet in 2014. Capt. Porteous is currently part of 433 Tactical Fighter Squadron at 3 Wing in Bagotville, Quebec.
The theme he will be flying for in 2018 is the 60th anniversary of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). NORAD is the military command charged with defending North American airspace. It was jointly established in 1958 by Canada and the United States and continues to maintain a 24/7 watch to protect both countries.
Assuming tradition holds, the aircraft assigned to the demonstration team will be given a special paint scheme (designed by Jim Belliveau) celebrating this theme. The 2017 demo jet, flown by Capt. Matthew “Glib” Kutryk, featured a stunning red and white paint scheme celebrating Canada 150, the 150th anniversary of the country’s confederation.
Previous demo paint schemes have ranged from special tails to designs covering the entire aircraft. During a live video interview, Capt. Porteous reported that the 2018 scheme will be a full aircraft design with midnight blue as the primary color. More details on the 2018 paint scheme will be released at a later date!
“I am extremely honoured to have been selected as Canada’s 2018 National CF-18 Demonstration Team pilot. I am very much looking forward to commemorating 60 years of NORAD at air shows throughout the summer while having the opportunity to be part of a highly dedicated team that will work together to put on thrilling performances aimed at demonstrating the professionalism and skill of the men and women of the RCAF. I look forward to meeting as many people as possible over the course of the coming demonstration season.”
– Capt. Porteous, 2018 CF-18 demonstration pilot
“As the Commander of the Canadian NORAD Region, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase the important NORAD mission and our important bi-national partnership through the 2018 National CF-18 Demonstration program. The men and women of NORAD work diligently to keep watch over our countries and to protect the air sovereignty of North America. Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, no matter what – we have the watch.”
– Major-General Christian Drouin, the commander of 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region