EXCLUSIVE: Helmet Cam Footage Of Two F-4 Phantoms Over The Grand Canyon

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Phantom’s-Eye View!

It’s no secret that the F-4 Phantom is a favorite of airshow fans everywhere, but with 2016 being the final year for the venerable Phantom in the US military inventory, the opportunity to see one flying is now even more rare. Once it returns from maintenance, the Collings Foundation F-4 will be the only one flying in the US. Throughout the year, we here at AirshowStuff have covered the “Phantom Phinale” tour with photos, videos, and cockpit cameras. We are now excited to bring you this exclusive helmet-cam video of the last departure of the QF-4E Phantoms from Nellis Air Force Base after Aviation Nation 2016!

You get a pilot’s-eye view as Lt. Col. Ron “Elvis” King and Lt. Col. (Ret.) Jim “WAM” Harkins depart Nellis AFB back to Holloman AFB after their final airshow performance prior to the retirement ceremony in December. After a formation takeoff, you’ll see the two Phantoms meet up with a photoship T-33 for some brief formation flying before heading over the Grand Canyon. Once over the Grand Canyon, you’ll see the two Phantom pilots make the most of their flight with some playful flying over some of the most spectacular landscapes nature has to offer. You won’t see this footage anywhere else, so strap in to the cockpit, adjust your helmet, put the player on full screen, and enjoy this HD video to the fullest!

Check back later for some additional cockpit footage taken during the airshow!

-Justin Miner

SEE ALSO: F-4 Phantom II Demo and Heritage Flight with F-15 and P-51 – Dayton Airshow 2007

QF-4E Phantom IIF-4 Phantom Heritage Flight

2017 Bethpage Airshow Cancels Planned F-18 Hornet Demonstration Due To Airspace Restrictions

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F/A-18F Super Hornet

The Bethpage Airshow at Jones Beach in New York has been forced to cancel the planned F/A-18 Hornet demonstration, the show announced today. Due to runway construction at JFK airport and the subsequent rerouting of air traffic, the show will not have the air space necessary for the Hornet team to perform. Traffic will still be coordinated to allow the US Air Force Thunderbirds to perform, and the other performers do not require the same amount of space so they are unaffected.

The airshow is scheduled for May 27 and 28. The cancellation may give the Hornet team (from VFA-106) the chance to book another show in its place. We will update our 2017 Hornet and Super Hornet Demonstration Schedules with any such info as we get it.

Nellis Air Force Base Concludes 17-2 Red Flag Aerial Combat Training Exercise

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This past week, the year’s second Red Flag Exercise, known as Red Flag 17-2, came to a close after two intense weeks of training consisting of air to air, air to ground, aerial refueling, and overwatch missions. Missions were flown during the afternoons and evenings, resulting in two mass launches and two mass recoveries of aircraft each day, five days a week.

Red Flag happens four times a year, hosting the world’s elite fighter squadrons from the US Air Force, Navy, Marines, Air National Guard, NATO, and other allied nations. These groups gather to take part in ultra-realistic simulated aerial war games, which all take place at the Nevada Test and Training Range.

One participating aircraft type that really stood out from the crowd was the EA-6B Prowler operated by the US Marine Corps. This will be marked as the last Red Flag participation from any EA-6B squadron, as VMAQ-4 is set to deactivate. The squadron will be retiring its aging Prowler fleet this June, marking the end of an era for a distinguished airframe.

Colorado Air National Guard F-16 passing the moon during Red Flag 17-2EA-6B Prowler returns during Red Flag 17-2

The amount of time and effort that goes into creating these highly realistic combat environments is unprecedented. Even when the jets are not flying, the maintainers are hard at work on the line keeping the jets ready for the next sortie. While the maintainers and pilots do their tasks, the unsung warriors are the dozens of Red Flag mission organizers that help thoroughly brief and debrief hundreds of pilots from the 15 visiting fighter and support squadrons:

Royal Netherlands Air Force

  • F-16 Fighting Falcon

Spanje (Spanish Air Force)

  • ALA 111 – Eurofighter EF-2000
  • ALA 312 – KC-130H Hercules

Air National Guard

  • 100th FS – F-16 Fighting Falcon
  • 120th FS – F-16C Fighting Falcon

US Army

  • 149th AVN – UH-60 Blackhawk

US Air Force – Europe

  • 493d FS – F-15C/D Eagle

US Air Force

  • 16th ACCS – E-8C Joint STARS
  • 55th FS – F-16CJ Fighting Falcon
  • 79th RQS – HC-130 Hercules/HH-60 Blackhawk
  • 960th AACS – E-3 Sentry
  • 91st ARS – KC-135 Stratotanker

US Navy

  • HSC-21 – MH-60S Seahawk
  • VAW-117 – E-2C Hawkeye

US Marine Corps

  • VMAQ-4 – EA-6B Prowler

HC-130 Red Flag 17-2

Beyond the squadrons’ jet fuel-driven training, exercises also draw crowds of a different breed. Hundreds of aviation photographers travel to Nellis each Red Flag for the opportunity to photograph aircraft from squadrons they may never have the chance to see again. Squadrons such as the Spanish, Dutch, and the Lakenheath-based USAFE F-15C/Ds were on every photographer’s must-shoot list. Nothing provides a better opportunity for good photos than the almost always clear Vegas skies mixed with perfect late afternoon light.

Though 17-2 has come to a close, photographers should mark their calendars as Nellis AFB will be hosting two more Red Flag exercises during the 2017 calendar year; the first taking place mid-July (17-3), and the second in mid-August (17-4).

– Anthony Cornelius

Spanish Eurofighter at Red Flag 17-2

F-16C From the 140th wing returning to Nellis AFBColorado Air National Guard F-16s leading a pair of Shaw AFB F-16s

Red Flag 17-2 Night Launch Operations

VFA-106 Unveils Special VFA-15 Paint Scheme For 2017 F/A-18C Hornet Demonstrations

posted in: Military | 8

F/A-18C Hornet Demonstration In VFA-15 Commemorative Paint Scheme

The U.S. Navy’s East Coast TAC Demo squadron, VFA-106 Gladiators, recently introduced a commemorative paint scheme for their F/A-18C “Legacy Hornet” demo jet. The new paint scheme celebrates the legacy of VFA-15 Valions, which is scheduled to formally deactivate on May 31, 2017. The demo jet markings are representative of VA-15 while flying A-7E Corsair IIs during the 1970s. VA-15 transitioned to F/A-18s in January of 1987 and was subsequently re-designated VFA-15.

F/A-18C Hornet Demonstration In VFA-15 Commemorative Paint SchemeF/A-18C Hornet Demonstration In VFA-15 Commemorative Paint Scheme

The jet made its public debut March 10-12 at the Tico Warbird Airshow held annually at the Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida. The event was the team’s first of the 2017 airshow season. Lt. Scott “MacGruber” Lindahl piloted the jet for all three demonstrations of the weekend, much to the surprise and delight of the crowd. Overall, the jet was very well received and was the subject of much discussion due to the jet’s retro 1970s paint scheme.

The jet is a fitting tribute to the men and women currently serving in VFA-15, and provides honor and respect for all who served the mighty Valions during the squadron’s storied 75 year history.

– Shawn Yost

EDIT: Our comments include some credit for the paint scheme:
All of us in the VFA-15 Corrosion Workcenter painted the jet that paint scheme, the original A/C Modex was 301. The night before it came out from the paint hangar there onboard NAS OCEANA & was on display at my Navy Retirement Ceremony on Nov. 18, [2016]. I was the LPO for 12C Work Center & all my guys did a Fantastic JOB painting the jet. I like to give them the credit & they are as follows: Jared Paul Bowen, Yisus Vlzqz, Wayne Ragas, Jordan Soltis, Huy G Tran, Sean Collins, Narciso Diaz & Brent Fore

SEE ALSO: 2017 US Navy F-18 Hornet And Super Hornet Demo Team Schedules Released

F/A-18C Hornet Demonstration In VFA-15 Commemorative Paint Scheme

WATCH: The Best Of Military Aviation – February 2017

posted in: AirshowStuff, Featured Videos, Military | 0

Each month we bring you a compilation of the very best military aviation videos on our Youtube channel. These videos take you inside military operations all over the world for things like exercises, aircraft carrier operations, aerial refueling, and training missions. Please enjoy the February video, which you can watch below or view on Youtube: The Best Of Military Aviation – February 2017

A compilation of the best military aviation clips from February 2017. Featuring F-35 Lightning II landing practice, an amazing ten-ship V-22 Osprey formation, aerial refueling of B-1s and B-52s, aircraft carrier operations, and more!

Be sure to check out the other videos in the series as well by checking out the Best of Military Aviation video playlist!

2017 US Navy F-18 Hornet And Super Hornet Demo Team Schedules Released

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US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet Demonstration Team

The United States Navy has released the 2017 schedule for the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet demonstration teams! Their schedule does not specify which airshows are getting which type of aircraft, but we will update this post with that information when we get it.

Will you see the Hornet/Super Hornet in 2017? Let us know! Post on our Facebook page and in our forums, and make sure you share pictures after the show!

2017 Appearance Schedule – US Navy F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Demonstration Teams

VFA-106 “Gladiators”:

March 11-13 – Titusville, FL (F/A-18C Hornet)
March 18-19 – Waco, TX

April 22-23 – Louisville, KY
April 29-30 – Lake City, FL

May 6-7 – Fort Lauderdale, FL
May 7-8 – Lincoln, NE
May 20-21 – North Kingstown, RI
May 20-21 – Oklahoma City, OK
May 27-28 – Miami Beach, FL
May 27-28 – Wantagh, NY Canceled on 3/24/17

June 25-26 – Huntsville, AL

July 1-2 – Traverse City, MI
July 15-16 – Johnson City, NY

August 12-13 – Scranton, PA
August 19-20 – Selfridge ANGB, MI
August 23 – Atlantic City, NJ

September 2-4 – Cleveland, OH (F/A-18F Super Hornet)
September 9-10 – Sacramento, CA
September 16-17 – Virginia Beach, VA (F/A-18C Hornet and F/A-18F Super Hornet)
September 23-24 – London, ON (F/A-18F Super Hornet)

October 14-15 – Atlanta, GA

November 3-5 – Stuart, FL

VFA-122 “Flying Eagles”:

March 17-18 – Yuma, AZ
March 24-26 – Lancaster, CA

April 1-2 – Melbourne, FL
April 8-9 – Columbus, GA
April 28-30 – Lake Charles, LA

May 13-14 – Pittsburgh, PA
May 20-21 – Redlands, CA
May 27-28 – Columbia, MO

June 10-11 – Scott AFB, IL
June 17-18 – Gaylord, MI
June 24-25 – Dayton, OH

July 3 – Dubuque, IA
July 8-9 – Gary, IN
July 22-23 – Great Falls, MT
July 29-30 – Fairchild AFB, WA

August 11-13 – Abbotsford, BC

September 9-10 – Wendover, UT
September 16-17 – Midland, TX
September 30-October 1 – Grand Junction, CO

October 7-8 – Minden, NV
October 21-22 – Houston, TX

WATCH: Thunder And Smoke From TWO F-4 Phantoms Flying Together At AirVenture 2016

Feel The Thunder!

The F-4 Phantom is now gone from the active United States Air Force inventory, but you can still see the Phabulous Phantom in this great video from the AirshowStuff.com team. Retired in December of 2016, the F-4 Phantom made its final rounds of the airshow circuit that year as a Pharewell to a much-beloved aircraft. Watch as Lt. Col. Ron “Elvis” King and Lt. Col (Ret.) Jim “WAM” Harkins show the crowd at AirVenture 2016 that the Phantom still has the moves.

You can almost feel the thunder in your chest from the J-79 jet engines as the two pilots roar past on takeoff. See the characteristic smoke trails that gave the Phantom one of it’s many nicknames of “Old Smokey”. You’ll see smoke, the flames from the afterburners, and hear that incredible roar as these legends of airpower fly overhead. This video will thrill any Phantom Phanatic and remind you of how Phantastic the F-4 Phantom truly was.

Built by McDonnell Douglas, the Phantoms served the US Air Force, US Navy, and US Marines from the 1950’s all the way into the 2000’s with many different variants. The F-4 Phantom was a formidable fighter/bomber and even a very capable reconnaissance platform that served from land-based airfields as well as aircraft carriers, and served in nearly every conflict from Vietnam to Desert Storm. Select full screen and turn up the volume to experience this awesome piece of history in full HD!

-Justin Miner

SEE ALSO: F-4 Phantom Helmet Cam – Two-Ship Airshow Demo and Departure – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

USAF F-4 PhantomUSAF F-4 Phantom

2017 USAF F-22 Raptor Demo Team Schedule Released

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 0

USAF F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team

The US Air Force has released the 2017 airshow schedule for the F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team. Will you see the Raptor in 2017? Let us know! Post on our Facebook page and in our forums, and make sure you share pictures after the show!

Also check out the rest of the 2017 airshow appearance schedules!

2017 Appearance Schedule – USAF F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team

Feb 28-March 5th: Avalon, Australia

March 24-26th: Brunswick, GA (HF with ?)

April 22-23rd: Tyndall AFB, FL (HF with ?)

May 6-7: McEntire JNGB, SC (HF with ?)
May 13-14th: Pittsburgh, PA (HF with ?)
May 20-21st: Seymour-Johnson AFB, NC (HF with ?)
May 27-28: Miami, FL (HF with ?)

June 17-18th: Ocean City, MD (HF with ?)
June 24-26th: Bagotville, Quebec, Canada (HF with ?)

July 1st: Goshen, IN (Heritage Flight Only with P-51)
July 1-4th: Battle Creek, MI (HF with P-51)
July 14-16; RAF Fairford, UK
July 29-30th: Kennewick, WA (HF with ?)

August 4-5th: Seattle, WA
August 12-13: Wilkes-Barre Scranton, PA (HF with ?)
August 18-20th: Chicago, IL (HF with ?)

Sept 2-4th: Toronto, ON, Canada (HF with ?)
Sept 16-17th: Joint Base Andrews, MD (HF with ?)
Sept 16th: Air Force Marathon – Wright Patterson AFB, OH (Flyover Only)
Sept 22-24th: Hillsboro, OR (HF with ?)
Sept 29-Oct 1st: Salinas, CA (HF with ?)

Nov 4-5th: NAS Jacksonville, FL (HF with ?)
Nov 11-12th: Nellis AFB, NV (HF with ?)

2017 USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II Heritage Flight Schedule Released

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 2

US Air Force Heritage Flight - A-10 Thunderbolt II and P-38 Lightning

The US Air Force has released the 2017 airshow schedule for the A-10 Thunderbolt II Heritage Teams. As we announced in January, the A-10 “Warthog” will return to the airshow circuit in 2017 to participate in Air Force Heritage Flights at select show sites. The shows will be split between an East team from Moody AFB in Georgia and the West team from Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona. In the past, the teams were approved to perform a three pass “mini-demo” at each show before the Heritage Flight, but we have not received confirmation if that practice will continue.

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

Also check out the rest of the 2017 airshow appearance schedules!

2017 Appearance Schedule – USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II Heritage Teams

March 25-26: Lancaster, CA (West Team)

April 7-9: Lakeland, FL – SUN ‘n FUN (East Team)
April 22: Louisville, KY (East Team)

May 6-7: Manassas, VA (East Team)
May 20-22: Seymour-Johnson AFB, NC (East Team)

June 17-18: Ocean City, MD (East Team)
June 24-25: Detroit, MI (West Team)

July 3: Dubuque, IA (East Team)
July 24-30: Oshkosh, WI – EAA AirVenture (East Team)

Aug 18-20: Chicago, IL (East Team)

Sept 9-10: Sacramento, CA (West Team)
Sept 13-16: Reno, NV (West Team)
Sept 23-24: Colorado Springs, CO (West Team)
Sept 29-Oct 1: Salinas, CA (West Team)

Oct 7-8: San Francisco, CA (West Team)
Oct 14-15: Boise, ID (West Team)
Oct 21-22: Houston, TX (West Team)
Oct 28-29: Moody AFB, GA (East Team)

Nov 4-5: NAS Jacksonville, FL (East Team)
Nov 11-12: Nellis AFB, NV (West Team)

2017 USAF F-35A Lightning II Heritage Flight Schedule Released

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 0

US Air Force Heritage Flight - P-51 Mustang, F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II

The US Air Force has released the 2017 airshow schedule for the F-35 Lightning II Heritage Team. Unlike the full aerobatic performances of the F-22 and F-16 demo teams, the F-35 will perform flybys and Heritage Flights only.

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

Also check out the rest of the 2017 airshow appearance schedules!

2017 Appearance Schedule – USAF F-35 Lightning II Heritage Team

April 1-2nd: Melbourne, FL
April 22nd: Louisville, KY

May 6-7th: Chino, CA
May 20-22nd: Tinker AFB, OK

June 3-4th: Duluth, MN
June 24-25th: Dayton, OH (HF with P-51)
July 22-23rd: Idaho Falls, ID
July 24-30th: Oshkosh, WI – EAA AirVenture

Aug 11-13th: Abbotsford, BC
September 9-10th – New Windsor, NY (Date changed to July)
Sept 23-24th: London, ON
Sept 30th-Oct 1st: Huntington Beach, CA

Oct 13-15th: Punta Gorda, FL

Nov 4-5th: Joint Base San Antonio, TX

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