Interesting Observations From The 2019/2020 Military And Jet Team Schedules

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams, Military, Schedules | 3

USAF Thunderbirds and Crowd - AirshowStuff

Last week we got our best glimpse yet as to what the 2019 and 2020 airshow seasons will look like when the jet team and military demonstration schedules were announced at the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) Convention in Las Vegas. We here at AirshowStuff were the first to post them publicly, and you can review them here on our blog or in our forums.

Although much of the information is pretty standard, there are always some surprises and less obvious revelations tucked away in the list of dates and shows. Here are some of the more interesting tidbits we noticed:

  • One of the hottest topics in airshow circles these days is the RAF Red Arrows US/Canada tour in August and September. The Reds did have a couple of representatives at the convention, but they disappointed fans everywhere by not releasing a schedule with the rest of the teams. This wasn’t shocking really, but it does leave some fans stuck in limbo for travel plans. Stay tuned to AirshowStuff – we’ll bring you the schedule as soon as they do announce it!
  • The North American jet teams cross paths at least a few times each year, and 2019 is no exception. The real surprise is the show at Joint Base Andrews near Washington, D.C., which features a rare combination of the US Navy Blue Angels and USAF Thunderbirds plus the A-10 Warthog demo team. The Canadian Snowbirds will meet each US team once during the year; the Blue Angels in Ocean City, MD and the Thunderbirds in Abbotsford, BC.
  • Numerous shows will feature multiple single-ship demonstrations, but especially noteworthy are Milwaukee and Cleveland. Milwaukee has the benefit of sharing their weekend with EAA AirVenture just up the road in Oshkosh, WI, so it’s not shocking that they will get the Thunderbirds and the newly approved F-35 Lightning II Demo and also borrow the F-22 Raptor and F-16 Fighting Falcon from Oshkosh for a Heritage Flight. Hopefully Oshkosh gets something in return! Cleveland sees the Thunderbirds, but also gets the F-35 and A-10 demo teams in an unusual collection of Air Force teams at a civilian show.
  • Not counting a handful of US appearances in Canada, there are two international airshows on the schedules for the US teams. The Thunderbirds will head to Rionegro, Colombia in July, and the A-10 demonstration team will perform at Santa Lucia AB in Mexico in April. Both seem a little random, but at least the teams will not be gone on an extended tour.
  • The RCAF CF-18 Hornet Demonstration Team will not be performing at any US shows in 2019. We noticed that their schedule was cut down significantly and hoped that additional shows might be approved later, but it was then reported that the season is intentionally being “condensed” amid personnel shortages and aircraft maintenances woes in the RCAF. This is definitely disappointing because the CF-18 carries a special paint scheme every year, so it’s a bit of a collector’s item among photographers.
  • One item that was noticed when the preliminary 2019 schedules were released a year ago is that the NAS Oceana Airshow will not host the Blue Angels for the first time in memory. In a strange twist, the Thunderbirds are scheduled for that one! The Blue Angels will instead be flying at NAS Lemoore in California, the first airshow there in many years. Oceana is also considered a favorite to land the Red Arrows during their US/Canada tour, so there is a real possibility of having two jet teams at Oceana but no Blue Angels.
  • The US Marines are bad at releasing schedules. Not only do they only list a few shows, there are always errors and inconsistencies with the more polished lists released by other organizations. This year is no exception. Just three AV-8B Harrier demonstrations were announced, and four MV-22 Osprey demonstrations. For the record, last year four of each were announced but roughly eight shows saw Osprey demos by the time the season was over. The problem is that the Marines do not have dedicated teams or pilots, they simply fly the demonstrations with regular units that have much less availability. Their schedules also don’t mention the Marine Corps Air Station airshows that end up hosting demonstrations.
  • Looking ahead to the preliminary 2020 schedules, the very first thing that screams off the page is a shortened Blue Angels season, ending in October. This isn’t an error; the season still ends with the traditional homecoming show in Pensacola, just a month before it usually takes place. This indicates an intentional extension to the off season, and comes just in time (actually a little early in our opinion) for the planned transition to Super Hornets. Nothing has been announced, but it sure looks like 2021 may be the first year in the new jets!
  • A more minor entry in the Blue Angels’ 2020 schedule is the airshow at CFB Cold Lake in Alberta. The Blues list the show as August 8-9, but the organizers were quick to start promoting July 18-19 instead. Normally this would be a simple date swap, but the July dates happen to be one of the rest weekends the team is obligated to take; the team cannot perform more than seven weekends in a row. These breaks were instituted following the fatal crash of Blue Angel #6 pilot Capt. Jeff Kuss in 2016. If the organizers are to be believed, this rest weekend will be filled and the schedule will show nine performance weeks between breaks. Expect some more shuffling to occur, but luckily there is plenty of time for all involved to sort it out.

Did you notice anything else interesting in the schedules? Who are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments or join the discussion on our forums!

Canadian CF-18 Hornet Demo Team Announces Theme And Pilot For Limited 2019 Season

posted in: Military | 0

2019 CF-18 Hornet Demonstration Pilot Capt. Brian "Humza" Kilroy. Photo Credit: DND

The Royal Canadian Air Force has announced that the theme of the 2019 CF-18 Hornet Demonstration Team will be celebrating the history of the RCAF and highlighting Canada’s role in the NATO alliance. They also announced that the demonstration pilot for the 2019 airshow season will be Captain Brian “Humza” Kilroy from Alberta.

Each year’s theme is reflected in a special paint job applied to the primary demonstration aircraft; for 2019, the 70th anniversary of NATO and the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion were popular suggestions for the theme. In recent years, themes have honored the 60th anniversary of NORAD, 150 years of Canadian confederation, the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, and the Battle of Britain.

There have been indications that the 2019 demo paint scheme will be limited to the aircraft’s tail fins. Recent designs have covered the entire aircraft but tail-only designs have been done before as well. Regardless of the limitations, we look forward to seeing what the talented paint techs can come up with!

Unfortunately, according to the schedule they released at ICAS the CF-18 team will not be performing anywhere outside of Canada in 2019. In fact, their schedule has been reduced by 40% compared to last year. A later report by the Toronto Star indicates that the reduced schedule is a conscious decision in light of significant personnel shortages in the RCAF, although the wisdom of reducing recruitment efforts during a shortage is questionable. The aircraft are also in poor shape; the team had many high-profile struggles to keep the primary aircraft flying during the 2018 show season and had to skip at least one entire weekend due to mechanical troubles. Less time on the road should reduce wear and tear on both man and machine.

Make sure you check the CF-18 Hornet Demonstration Team’s 2019 schedule to see if they’ll be anywhere near you!

Here is the full press release from the RCAF:

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Captain Brian Kilroy as the pilot for the 2019 CF-18 Demonstration Team.

Captain Kilroy will wow audiences around Canada during the 2019 air show season, flying his specially-painted CF-18 Hornet commemorating the RCAF’s pathway to the stars and the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

“The 2019 CF-18 Demonstration Team theme is an opportunity for the Royal Canadian Air Force to reflect on the innovations and people that have contributed to our success while challenging ourselves and the next generation to help us shape the future of our organization for the better,” said Major-General Christian Drouin, Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region. “I am very proud of what the RCAF has accomplished in the last 95 years and I can’t wait to see where the next few decades take us.”

Captain Brian Kilroy

Born in Grande Prairie, Alberta Captain Kilroy spent his childhood in Stony Plain, Alberta, and graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in chemical engineering.

The son of an RCMP officer, he was strongly supported to pursue his aviation dreams by his mother, who also shared his love for aviation. He attended numerous airshows throughout his childhood where he even had the chance to see the CF-18 Demonstration Team perform, which further inspired him to follow his dream of becoming a fighter pilot.

Captain Kilroy was a member the Royal Canadian Air Cadets in Stony Plain before deciding to pursue his dream of flying and joining the RCAF in 2006. He was later given the opportunity to attend the Euro NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program in Witchita Falls, Texas, where he went on to fulfill his lifelong dream of receiving his RCAF pilot’s wings.

Following flight training, he was posted to 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta, as an operational fighter pilot in 2013. Captain Kilroy has actively served throughout Canada on the Hornet in support of NORAD and has deployed numerous times on international NATO and Canadian Armed Forces missions.

Today, Captain Kilroy is a four-ship lead and qualified Electronic Warfare Instructor with 410 Tactical Fighter (Operational Training) Squadron, using his combat and operational experience to train the next generation of CF-18 pilots.

“Being chosen to represent the Royal Canadian Air Force as the 2019 CF-18 Demonstration Pilot is a true honour and I can’t wait to meet the rest of my team and start the season,” said Captain Kilroy. “To me this year’s theme really is a call to action and an amazing opportunity to inspire the next generation. We’re challenging ourselves and Canadians to keep pushing the limits of what is possible and to keep innovating. I hope that this summer our team will inspire Canadians to think and dream big while also demonstrating the impressive capabilities of their Air Force.”

2019 Theme

Based on the RCAF’s motto Sic Itur Ad Astra (Latin for “such is the pathway to the stars”), the 2019 CF-18 Demonstration Team will celebrate the history of the RCAF, recognize the innovative and driven Canadians who have led the charge for change and stand ready to inspire a new generation to take up the flame of innovation and help shape the RCAF’s pathway to the stars.

The 2019 season also provides an opportunity to highlight the RCAF’s operational role within NATO, a cornerstone of Canada’s international security policy, as it celebrates its 70th anniversary.

2019 Schedule

The 2019 schedule will see the team visit 15 different show sites across Canada, as well as take part in the Parliament Hill flypast in Ottawa on Canada Day. The 2019 CF-18 Demonstration Team is looking forward to thrilling audiences across Canada this summer and demonstrating the RCAF’s capabilities to Canadians.

2019 USMC AV-8B Harrier Demonstrations Schedule Released

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 0

USMC AV-8B Harrier - AirshowStuff

Here is the 2019 airshow schedule for US Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier demonstrations! Will you see one in 2019? Let us know! Post in the AirshowStuff Forums or on the AirshowStuff Facebook page and make sure you share pictures after the show!

As is typical for the Marines, this initial list is quite short. A handful of other shows are usually added as the year progresses, and many Marine Corps Air Stations end up hosting demos as well. Schedules often change during the year – for the latest updates please be sure to check our forums!

2019 Appearance Schedule – USMC AV-8B Harrier Demonstrations

May 25-26: Westmoreland County Airshow – Latrobe, PA
June 29-30: National Cherry Festival Airshow – Traverse City, MI
July 4: Tacoma Freedom Fair – Tacoma, WA

2019 USMC MV-22 Osprey Demonstrations Schedule Released

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 0

US Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey - AirshowStuff

Here is the 2019 airshow schedule for US Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey demonstrations! Will you see one in 2019? 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!

2019 Appearance Schedule – USMC MV-22 Osprey Demonstrations

May 25-26: Miami Beach Air and Sea Show – Miami, FL

July 4th: Fair St. Louis – St. Louis, MO

August 16-18: 61st Annual Chicago Air and Water Show – Chicago, IL
August 23-25: Fly Ottumwa Air Show – Ottumwa, IA

USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team 2019 Airshow Schedule Released

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 0

USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team - AirshowStuff

Here is the 2019 airshow schedule for the US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team! Will you see them in 2019? 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!

2019 US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team Appearance Schedule

February 17: 19th Annual Stars and Stripes Air Show Spectacular – Laredo, TX

March 9-10: Yuma Airshow – MCAS Yuma, AZ
March 23-24: Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona Air and Space Expo – Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ

April 13-14: Wings Over South Texas Air Show – NAS Corpus Christi, TX
April 24-27: Feria Aeroespecial Mexico – Santa Lucia AB, Mexico

May 4: Manassas Airshow – Manassas, VA
May 11-12: JB Andrews Airshow – Joint Base Andrews, MD
May 18-19: Hangar 24 Airfest – Redlands, CA

June 29-30: Quad City Air Show – Davenport, IA

July 3: Dubuque JayCees Radio Dubuque Air Show and Fireworks – Dubuque, IA
July 6-7: KC Air Show – Kansas City, MO
July 12-14: History of Flight Air Show – Geneseo, NY
July 27-28: Grand Junction Air Show – Grand Junction, CO

August 3: Rocky Mountain Air and Ground Festival – Broomfield, CO
August 17-18: Edmonton Airshow – Edmonton, AB
August 24-25: Pocono Raceway Festival of Flight & Airshow – Long Pond, PA
August 31-September 2: Cleveland National Airshow – Cleveland, OH

September 7: Northern Illinois Airshow – Waukegan, IL
September 13-15: Airshow London – London, ON
September 28-29: Wings Over Wine Country Air Show – Santa Rosa, CA

October 5-6: The Great Pacific Airshow – Huntington Beach, CA
October 19-20: LA County Air Show – Lancaster, CA

USAF F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team 2019 Airshow Schedule Released

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 1

USAF F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team - AirshowStuff

Here is the 2019 airshow schedule for the US Air Force F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team! Will you see them in 2019? 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!

2019 US Air Force F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team Appearance Schedule

March 23-24: Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona Air and Space Expo – Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ
March 30-31: Wings Over Solano – Travis AFB, CA

April 27-28: MCAS Beaufort Airshow – MCAS Beaufort, SC

May 4-5: Lauderdale Airshow – Fort Lauderdale, FL

June 6: D-Day Celebration – Bedford, VA (Heritage Flight Only)
June 15-16: Wings over Whiteman – Whiteman AFB, MO
June 22: Inland Northwest Skyfest 2019 – Fairchild AFB, WA
June 29-30: National Cherry Festival Airshow – Traverse City, MI

July 4-6: Battle Creek Field of Flight Airshow and Balloon Festival – Battle Creek, MI
July 4: Racine Airshow – Racine, WI (Heritage Flight Only)
July 6: American Freedom Festival – Goshen, IN
July 13: Eielson Airshow – Eielson AFB, AK
July 22-28: EAA AirVenture 2019 – Oshkosh, WI (Heritage Flight Only)
July 27-28: Milwaukee Air and Water Show – Milwaukee, WI (Heritage Flight Only)

August 17-18: Chicago Air and Water Show – Chicago, IL
August 24-25: Rochester International Airshow – Rochester, NY

September 7-8: Spirit of St. Louis Airshow and STEM Expo – Chesterfield, MO
September 14-15: Dover AFB Open House – Dover AFB, DE
September 21-22: Southern Colorado Regional Airshow – Colorado Springs, CO
September 28-29: Robins AFB Airshow – Robins AFB (Warner-Robins), GA

October 19-20: Bell Helicopter Fort Worth Alliance Airshow – Fort Worth, TX

November 2-3: Thunder Over South Georgia – Moody AFB, GA
November 15-17: Aviation Nation Air and Space Expo – Nellis, AFB, NV

USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon Demo Team 2019 Airshow Schedule Released

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 0

USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon Demonstration Team - AirshowStuff

Here is the 2019 airshow schedule for the US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon Demonstration Team! Will you see them in 2019? 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!

2019 US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon Demonstration Team Appearance Schedule

March 30-31: Southernmost Air Spectacular – NAS Key West, FL

April 6: Shaw AFB Wing Event – Shaw AFB, SC **Non-public Event

May 4-5: Planes of Fame Air Show – Chino, CA
May 11-12: Chennault International Airshow – Lake Charles, LA
May 25-26: Westmoreland County Airshow – Latrobe, PA

June 1-2: Star Spangled Salute, Tinker AFB, OK
June 8-9: Great Tennessee Airshow, Smyrna, TN
June 15-16: Ocean City Air Show, Ocean City, MD

July 4: Tacoma Freedom Fair – Tacoma, WA
July 6-7: CFB Moose Jaw – Moose Jaw, SK
July 13-14: Gary Air and Water Show – Gary, IN
July 22-28: EAA AirVenture Oshkosh (HF Only) – Oshkosh, WI
July 27-28: Milwaukee Air and Water Show – Milwaukee, WI

August 3-4: Thunder Over Michigan – Ypsilanti, MI

September 14-15: Owensboro Air Show – Owensboro, KY
September 28-29: MCAS Miramar – San Diego, CA

October 5-6: California Capital Airshow – Sacramento, CA
October 12: Apple Valley Airshow – Apple Valley, CA (HF Only)
October 19-20: Bell Helicopter Fort Worth/Alliance Airshow – Fort Worth, TX

November 2-3: Stuart Air Show – Stuart, FL
November 9-10: NAS Pensacola Airshow – Pensacola, FL

USAF Announces F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team To Debut In 2019

posted in: Military | 0

USAF F-35A Lightning II - AirshowStuff

Airshow fans can look forward to a new jet demo on the airshow circuit next year!

Air Combat Command announced today that the F-35A Lightning II group will be upgraded from a “Heritage Flight Team” to a full-up “Demonstration Team” to bring it in line with the other US Air Force single-ship demo teams which fly the F-22 Raptor, A-10 Thunderbolt II, and F-16 Fighting Falcon.

ACC actually leaked the news a bit early by posting the team’s new “Demo Team” patch on their website a couple weeks ago. We embargoed the news at the team’s request and the patch was quickly taken down pending the official announcement.

The 2019 demonstration pilot will be Capt. Andrew “Dojo” Olson, who flew as the team’s display pilot in 2018 and earned rave reviews for his flybys.

Fans have been asking about an F-35A demo for years. The USAF F-35 Heritage Team began performing in 2016. Instead of jumping straight to an aerobatic routine with the brand new aircraft, the performance was limited to performing Heritage Flights and some non-aerobatic solo flybys. Now, with a few years of airshow experience and a more mature aircraft, the team is being allowed to turn it loose and show off more dynamic maneuvers.

“The past year’s demonstration was sort of like an ‘appetizer’ if you will,” said Capt. Andrew “Dojo” Olson, F-35 Demonstration Team pilot and commander. “The new profile this year will be the full ‘five-course meal’ showing fans everything this jet is capable of.”

According to Olson, the new 13 minute-long profile will highlight the F-35A Lightning II’s numerous capabilities to include speed, agility, and high-G turning.

“What makes the fifth generation fighter so special in general is the slow-speed, high angle of attack maneuvering it can do,” Olson said. “We’re also going to be performing controlled flat spins while falling out of the sky as well as high-speed passes and vertical climbs.”

Lockheed Martin test pilot Billie Flynn finally put the F-35A through its paces at the 2017 Paris Airshow, and many expected that it signaled a military demonstration would follow. In fact, reports from that time indicated the Air Force was working closely with Lockheed on establishing the routine in preparation for launching this demo team in 2018. That obviously didn’t happen, but the team’s flybys have gotten more aggressive with time. This is a very exciting development – the first new jet demonstration since the F-22 Raptor debuted over 10 years ago.

Wondering where you can see the F-35 next year? Luckily, the F-35 Demonstration Team’s 2019 schedule was also made public today!

Stay tuned to AirshowStuff for more details on this exciting new performance and be sure to add your thoughts on the news in our forums!

USAF F-35 Lightning II Demonstration Team 2019 Airshow Schedule Released

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 3

US Air Force F-35 Lightning II Demonstration Team - AirshowStuff

Here is the 2019 airshow schedule for the US Air Force F-35 Lightning II Demonstration Team! Will you see them in 2019? 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!

2019 US Air Force F-35 Lightning II Demonstration Team Appearance Schedule

March 30-31: Melbourne Air and Space Show – Melbourne, FL

May 18-19: Defenders of Liberty Air Force Air and Space Exposition – Barksdale AFB, LA
May 25-26: Miami Beach Air & Sea Show – Miami Beach, FL

June 22-23: Spectacle Aerien International de Bagotville – Bagotville, QC

July 4-6: Fair Saint Louis Airshow – St Louis, MO
July 20-21: Duluth Air and Aviation Expo – Duluth, MN
July 27-28: Milwaukee Air & Water Show – Milwaukee, WI

August 24-25: New York Air Show – New Windsor, NY
August 31-September 2: Cleveland National Air Show – Cleveland, OH

September 20-22: Oregon International Air Show – Hillsboro, OR

October 5-6: The Great Pacific Airshow – Huntington Beach, CA
October 11-13: San Francisco Fleet Week – San Francisco, CA
October 18-20: Wings Over Houston Airshow – Houston, TX
October 26-27: Jacksonville Sea & Sky Spectacular – Jacksonville Beach, FL

Canadian Forces CF-18 Hornet Demonstration Team 2019 Schedule Released

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 0

RCAF CF-18 Hornet Demonstration Team - AirshowStuff

Here is the 2019 airshow schedule for the Canadian Forces CF-18 Hornet Demonstration Team! Will you see them in 2019? 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!

2019 Canadian Forces CF-18 Hornet Demonstration Team Appearance Schedule

June 8-9: Val-d’Or, QC
June 12: North Bay, ON
June 22-23: Bagotville, QC
June 29: Barrie, ON

July 1: Ottawa, ON (Canada Day Flyover)
July 6-7: Moose Jaw, SK
July 20: Boundary Bay, BC
July 27-28: Springbank, AB

August 3-4: Quesnel, BC
August 9-11: Abbotsford, BC
August 17-18: Edmonton, AB
August 28: Brantford, ON
August 31-September 2: Toronto, ON

September 7-8: Gatineau, QC
September 13-15: London, ON
September 21-22: Bromont, QC

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