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

WATCH: Lightning Strikes Oshkosh! F-35 Lightning II Arrival And Flybys

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Lightning Strikes Twice!

Check out this awesome video from AirshowStuff.com where two USAF F-35A Lightning II aircraft perform multiple low approaches during the first-ever EAA AirVenture display of the F-35! You’ll get to see the two Lightnings fly by multiple times. And where there’s lightning, there’s always thunder! You’ll almost *feel* the thunder of the engines as these two unique aircraft fly past. Watch as the vapor comes off the wingtips as they pull around for another pass and examine the angles and lines of this awesome fifth-generation USAF fighter. And finally, you’ll get a close-up look at them as they land and taxi past you, all in HD!

The F-35 Lightning II is designed to perform multiple missions, from strike and attack missions to air defense. The F-35A is the Air Force’s version, and this was the first time that the F-35s were brought out for display at the massive EAA AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh. While plagued with various issues and cost overruns throughout its development, there’s no denying that the F-35 is an exciting aircraft to see ripping up the skies over and over again, so turn up the sound, put the video on full screen mode, and enjoy watching lightning striking twice!

Be sure to subscribe to the AirshowStuffVideos channel on YouTube for more great videos.

-Justin Miner

F-35 Lightning II Afterburner FlybyF-35 Lightning II Head On

WATCH: The Best Of Military Aviation – May 2017

posted in: 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 – May 2017

A compilation of the best military aviation clips from May 2017. Featuring Operation Northern Edge mass takeoffs, A-29 Super Tucano cockpit footage, aerial refueling of F-16 Fighting Falcons F-22 Raptors, A-10 Warthogs, and F-18 Hornets, an elephant walk at Moody AFB, 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!

Video credits:
Senior Airman Joshua DeGuzman – Alaskan NORAD Region/Alaskan Command/11th Air Force
Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kimball – Colorado National Guard
Petty Officer 2nd Class Travis Litke – Alaskan NORAD Region/Alaskan Command/11th Air Force
Staff Sgt. Esteban Esquivel – 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Damon Moritz – Navy Media Content Services
Lance Cpl. Serine Farahi – II Marine Expeditionary Force
Staff Sgt. John Raven – U.S. Air Forces Central Command Public Affairs
Lance Cpl. Mark Lowe – Marine Corps Air Station Miramar / 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing
Tech. Sgt. Micah Theurich – U.S. Air Forces Central Command Public Affairs
Master Sgt. Andrew Moseley – 379th Air Expeditionary Wing
Tech. Sgt. Timothy Gallagher – Moody Air Force Base
Senior Airman Jacob Albers – 1st Combat Camera Squadron

First F-35A Lightning II Aerobatic Performance Planned For 2017 Paris Airshow; USAF Demos To Follow In 2018

posted in: Airshows, Military | 0

USAF and Lockheed Martin plan F-35 Demos for 2018

The United States Air Force and Lockheed Martin are reportedly starting to develop an aerobatic demonstration routine with their newest fighter jet, the F-35A Lightning II, for the 2018 airshow season. They have been developing the routine and practicing it in the simulator this year, and they are ready to begin practice flights at their F-35 production facility in Fort Worth.

Most of us will have to wait until 2018 to see the demo, but those attending the 2017 Paris Airshow will actually see the first performance. The Air Force says they will “build our demonstration profile based on the experiences and lessons learned from F-35 participation in other airshows and the Lockheed Martin demonstration at the 2017 Paris Air Show.”

The F-35 Heritage Flight Team stood up at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona in 2016. The team performed at 15 airshows in 2016 and is scheduled to perform at 14 airshows in 2017. It has not been announced where the demonstration team would be based out of, but the Heritage Team operates out of Luke AFB in Arizona. We’ll provide more information as we learn it.

Atlantic Trident 2017 Exercise Combines Eurofighters, Rafales, And Raptors To Strengthen Ties Between Allies

posted in: Event Recap, Military | 0

French Air Force Rafale - Atlantic Trident 2017

After entering World War I on the 6th of April 1917, the United States’ participation in Europe led down a path of air power that resulted in our current day United States Air Force. On 5 May 1918, the American Expeditionary Force in Europe activated the 1st Pursuit Group at Gencoult, France. Commanded by Major Bert M. Atkinson, this unit was the first American group-level fighter organization and is now known as the 1st Fighter Wing, the Air Force’s oldest Wing. The 1st Pursuit Group consisted of five Aero Squadrons: 27th, 94th, 95th, 147th, and 185th. Of these five, the 27th and the 94th remain part of the wing to this day, and ensure air dominance with their F-22 Raptors.

During combat throughout Europe, the pilots of the 1st Pursuit Group conducted over 1,400 aerial engagements and accumulated 202 confirmed aerial victories. The 27th Aero Squadron’s 2nd Lieutenant Frank Luke Jr. achieved 18 aerial victories before he was shot down and killed while engaging the enemy on the ground on 29 September 1918. For his actions, Luke received the Air Force’s first ever Medal of Honor. The 94th Fighter Squadron’s Captain Eddie Rickenbacker achieved 26 aerial victories, more than any other American pilot in WWI. While on patrol on 25 September 1918, Rickenbacker engaged seven enemy planes on his own, destroying two, and was later awarded the Medal of Honor for his gallantry against the enemy. On 10 November 1918, the day before the war ended, Major Maxwell Kirby of the 94th Aero Squadron recorded the last aerial victory of WWI. Throughout the war, the 1st Pursuit Group remained constantly engaged with the enemy in the skies over the battlefields and earned eight campaign credits.

Royal Air Force Typhoon - Atlantic Trident 2017USAF F-22 Raptor - Atlantic Trident 2017

It was during WWI that the Air Forces of the three countries participating in Atlantic Trident 2017, namely the US, France, and Great Britain, began building a relationship that has lasted 100 years. The 27th Aero Squadron’s origins are tied closely to the Royal Flying Corps of the British Army. The 27th received its advanced aerial training from British instructors in Canada before deploying to Europe. In addition, the commander of the squadron when they entered the war was Major Harold E. Hartney, a former Royal Flying Corps veteran who had already flown in combat and been shot down by Baron Manfred von Richthofen. The British cultural influence and training helped make the 27th one of the most lethal American squadrons during the war with 56 confirmed aerial victories.

Atlantic Trident 2017 is not only a multi-national training exercise but a celebration of the alliance the UK, France, and United States maintain. The 2017 exercise includes French Rafales, Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4s from the UK, as well as home-based F-22 Raptors, F-35As from Eglin AFB in Florida, and F-15E Strike Eagles from Mountain Home AFB in Idaho. The Strike Eagles got the opportunity to team up with Langley T-38 Talons to serve as the bad guys, or “red air”.

French Air Force Rafale - Atlantic Trident 2017Patrouille de France - Atlantic Trident 2017

To help commemorate this anniversary, the base hosted a media day and small airshow during the exercise. The morning consisted of a USAF F-22 Raptor demonstration followed by a French Air Force Rafale demonstration. The Patrouille de France finished it up with their aerobatic performance. Following the demonstrations, we were given the chance to interview the crews from the demonstrations and then visit the alert hangars for a static display that included all the exercise aircraft. The day finished up with a mass launch of 24 aircraft for the only planned sortie of the day; quite a lot of military metal in the skies over eastern Virginia!

We would like to extend our gratitude to Jeff Hood, Maj. Whitlatch and everyone at the 633d Air Base Wing, Joint Base Langley-Eustis for going above and beyond to make this day happen.

Photos courtesy of guest contributor Andy Backowski.

USAF F-15E Strike Eagle - Atlantic Trident 2017USAF F-35A Lightning II - Atlantic Trident 2017

WATCH: The Best Of Military Aviation – April 2017

posted in: 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 – April 2017

A compilation of the best military aviation clips from April 2017. Featuring USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier operations, UH-1Y Venom close air support training, aerial refueling of F-22 Raptors, Rafales, F-18 Hornets, and F-35 Lightning IIs, an elephant walk at Kadena AFB, 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!

Video credits:
Senior Airman Joshua Hoskins – U.S. Air Forces Central Command Public Affairs
Lance Cpl. Benjamin Drake – MAWTS-1 Combat Camera
Tech. Sgt. Eric Craft – Hurlburt Field
Sgt. Daniel Kujanpaa – MAWTS-1 Combat Camera
Cpl. Timothy Valero – 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit
Chief Petty Officer Jennifer Roy – USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)
Airman 1st Class Michael Jones – 18th Wing Public Affairs
Staff Sgt. Emerson Nuñez – 1st Combat Camera Squadron
Staff Sgt. Joshua Rosales – 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Senior Airman Christine Groening – 100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Tech. Sgt. Roidan Carlson – Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa
Staff Sgt. John Raven – U.S. Air Forces Central Command Public Affairs

WATCH: The Mighty B-52 Stratofortress Takes Off Right Over Your Head

The BUFF Is The Stuff!

It’s hard to beat the sight of a B-52 coming at you. One of the most iconic symbols of American air power, the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress has been flying since the 1950’s, and is scheduled to remain in service for at least another 15 years. The crew at AirshowStuff.com love the mighty BUFF (Big Ugly Fat….Fellow), and here’s your chance to see this awesome piece of history up close in a unique end-of-runway view. In 2015, the B-52 made it’s first-ever appearance at the famed EAA AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, WI.

Watch as the Stratofortress spools up its eight Pratt and Whitney TF-33 engines and rolls down the runway right at you! You get a head-on view as the B-52 lifts off and screams overhead. You’ll see this legend of the cold war’s unique landing gear retraction sequence, followed by an overhead pass with the scream of the engines so loud, you’ll almost feel the ground shaking below you! As the BUFF comes around for a final pass, you’ll see the smoke from the engines, the twinkle of the landing lights, and the sheer size of this massive warrior as it approaches. You’ll even get a “goodbye” wave from the crew as it passes down the runway toward you before departing. So set your video player to full screen, turn up the speakers, and enjoy every second of this awesome video in full HD, because you have one of the best seats in the house!

Be sure to browse the AirshowStuffVideos channel on YouTube for more great videos.

-Justin Miner

Boeing B-52 StratofortressB-52 Stratofortress Flyover

“SOLOTURK” Turkish F-16 Fighting Falcon Demo Scheduled For 2017 Canadian Airshow Appearance

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SoloTurk F-16 Fighting Falcons

The ongoing Patrouille de France North American Tour is not the only exciting international appearance in North America this season! The Turkish Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon demonstration, known as SOLOTURK, will reportedly be traveling to the airshow in London, Ontario this September for one of just six appearances outside of Turkey. The other scheduled shows are listed on our forums.

The team typically performs a very aggressive demonstration utilizing smokewinders and a spectacularly painted black, silver, and gold aircraft. This same team was scheduled to perform at the NAF El Centro show last year, but the plans eventually fell through. Hopefully London will fare better!

SoloTurk F-16 Fighting FalconSoloTurk F-16 Fighting Falcon

From the SOLOTURK website:

SOLOTURK is a demonstration team which presents the capability of the modern and high-performance F-16 aircraft possessed by Turkish Air Force and the high level of skill and knowledge necessary for its use to the audience as a show. The demonstration flights are realized with a solo F-16 C Block-40 aircraft. White-colored smoke is released from the smoke devices which are placed on the edges of both wings during the show. No modifications have been made on the aircraft; it can be planned for any mission. Besides the demonstration flights, the SOLOTURK pilots continue their combat training.

London also announced that a KC-30 of the Royal Australian Air Force will be in attendance.

Photos courtesy SoloTurk website

WATCH: Patrouille de France Performs In The US For The First Time In Decades

The Patrouille de France performed the first airshow routine of their North American tour this past weekend, and we were there to capture it! Check out this video of their entire show on the Friday practice day at the Melbourne Air and Space Show in Florida. Melbourne is one of just a handful of stops the team will make on their whirlwind tour through the US and Canada this month, and marks the first US performance by the team in more than 30 years.

The routine is a little shorter than those of the US Navy Blue Angels and US Air Force Thunderbirds, but contains all of the same exciting elements – formation aerobatics, opposing flybys, and nonstop action. Because the Patrouille perform with eight jets instead of six, they can put together some larger formations and utilize multiple groups of aircraft in a similar fashion to the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, who perform with nine CT-114 Tutors. The French team also makes use of red- and blue-colored smoke, which might not sound like much but adds to the performance significantly and is a rare sight here in the US.

Patrouille de France US Tour 2017French Air Force Airbus A400M - Patrouille de France US Tour 2017

As a special treat, the team’s Airbus A400M Atlas support aircraft also took to the skies for a few flybys. It is accompanying the team all throughout their tour to transport their crew and equipment, and can also serve as a photo platform during their planned flyovers of US landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty and New York City. This marked the first ever airshow performance by an A400M in the US and although it is far from the maximum performance company demonstration, it was an exciting addition to the lineup! You can check it out in the video below.

BREAKING: US Air Force Approves Live-Fire Single-Ship Demonstrations Next Year

posted in: Military, Popular Posts | 3

A-10 Thunderbolt II Warthog Strafe - Hawgsmoke 2016

The US Air Force has decided to add live munitions to its single-ship demonstrations starting next year. The change was announced in a surprise press release today, distributed by Air Combat Command. Not all show sites will be eligible for the new demonstrations; the list will be finalized and released at this year’s ICAS convention.

“We’ve been wanting to share this with the public since our conference back in February,” said ACC Commander General Mike Holmes. “We’ve been planning this since [Secretary of Defense James] “Mad Dog” Mattis was sworn in. All credit needs to go to him. He was the one that brought up the idea and paved the way for us to bring something truly exciting to the air show circuit next year.”

The aircraft that will incorporate the live rounds are the A-10 Thunderbolt II, F-22 Raptor, and F-16 Fighting Falcon (Viper). The F-35 will not be participating for unspecified reasons. The A-10 will be restored to full demonstration status as part of the move; it currently is only permitted to perform in Heritage Flights. Each aircraft will conduct two strafing passes using their cannons and one bombing run with several bombs during their performances.

F-22 Raptor Weapons Nellis AFB Red Flag 2015USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon

When asked about the new addition to show line-ups, Mattis said, “Our folks at home need to see we ain’t messin’ around. They need to harden up and get some. They need to hear the rumble of the guns and feel the motivation to drop and give our boys in blue fifty.”

The US Navy will not pursue live-fire passes until 2020, deciding instead to focus on the upcoming plan for the Blue Angels to transition to unmanned drones.

Until next year, here’s a dose of some BRRRRRRRrrrrrrt to tide you over!

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
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