Candlelight Vigil To Honor Fallen Blue Angel Tonight In Pensacola

posted in: Jet Teams, Miscellaneous | 0

Candlelight Vigil to Honor Blue Angel 6 Marine Capt Jeff Kuss

Thursday night, the citizens of Pensacola, FL and the surrounding area are invited to gather at Pensacola’s Veterans Memorial Park for a candlelight vigil to honor Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss. The vigil will begin at 7:30pm central daylight time.

Admiral Anderson from the Blue Angels association will start off the evening by welcoming everyone. Following the welcome, a prayer will be lead by Sr. Pastor Gordon Godfrey Jr from Marcus Pointe Baptist Church.
McGuire’s Pipe Band will be on site to provide musical honors through the event.

Mayor Hayward of Pensacola and Lt. Matt Suyderhoud, Blue Angel #2, are also expected to be in attendance.

Capt. Kuss will be honored with six minutes of silence as well, to recognize him as Blue Angel #6.

If you are unable to attend, the City of Pensacola will live stream the vigil on their Facebook page. You are also encouraged to light a candle at home, no matter where you are in the world, to show your support. We invite you to share a photo of your tribute on our Facebook page.

EAA Skiplane Fly-In 2016 – Oshkosh, WI

EAA Skiplane Fly-In 2016

Once again, there was plenty of snow on hand for the 2016 edition of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Skiplane Fly-In at Pioneer Airport. The event took place on relatively cool and overcast February 6th. In all, 28 aircraft from four states flew in for the one day event, and more than 1,000 spectators gathered to see them. The fly-in included a chili cookout in one of the museum’s hangars. Photographers got a few great vantage points thanks to snow piles in the nearby parking lots, allowing an elevated view of the snowpacked runway.

Check out our video and some our photos below. Be sure to click through to our EAA Skiplane Fly-In 2016 album in the photo gallery to see them all!

EAA Skiplane Fly-In 2016EAA Skiplane Fly-In 2016
EAA Skiplane Fly-In 2016IMG_8415web

Last Surviving Martin Mars – World’s Largest Flying Seaplane – To Appear At EAA AirVenture 2016

posted in: Airshows, Miscellaneous, Warbirds | 2
Martin Mars - EAA Airventure 2016
Photo source: EAA

EAA recently announced that this year, the Martin JRM Mars water bomber will appear for the first time at EAA AirVenture. It will perform during the airshow several times throughout the week and will be parked near the seaplane base for up-close spectator viewing. The aircraft is unable to actually land at Wittman Regional Airport because it is a true flying boat, and will land on Lake Winnebago instead. The Martin Mars is the largest operational seaplane ever made. The largest seaplane of all time, the Spruce Goose, only performed one flight.

Martin Mars - EAA Airventure 2016
Photo source: EAA

The Martin Mars first flew in June of 1942, and entered service with the US Navy as a long-range transport aircraft. Only six were built. During World War II they acted as troop transport aircraft, shuttling soldiers across the Pacific. After the war it was used as a water bomber, fighting forest fires in the Western United States. It is capable of carrying 7,200 gallons of water and ingesting one ton of water per second when it skims over water.

Part of what makes EAA AirVenture so special is its ability to bring in unique aircraft every single year. EAA’s Vice President of Communities and Member Programs, Rick Larson, stated, “There aren’t many airplanes that have never been to Oshkosh, but this is one of them, so this is both literally and figuratively a huge addition to this year’s lineup”. The Martin Mars is, literally, the world’s largest warbird.

EAA Airventure Sea Plane Base - Patrick Barron
EAA AirVenture Sea Plane Base

Shuttle buses to the seaplane base are available from inside the show grounds.

What do you think? Are you excited to see the Martin Mars make its first ever appearance at EAA AirVenture? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Twilight Airshows Prove To Be Rare Treasures

posted in: Airshows, Miscellaneous | 0

F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II, P-38 Lightning and Fireworks - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

Why are there so few twilight airshows? I ask myself that question a lot. To me, there is nothing cooler than watching (and listening) to airplanes soar through the sky at twilight or at night. Some of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken have been at twilight/night time airshows. It’s soothing, it’s peaceful, and sometimes even romantic. There have even been numerous cases of “concerned citizens” calling 911 thinking they saw a UFO, only to discover it was someone like Matt Younkin or Bill Leff at the nearby airshow. This typically results in the news running a story on it and free publicity for the airshow.

So why do so few shows have them?

Gene Soucy Night Airshow - EAA AirVenture OshkoshOtto the Helicopter Night Airshow - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Recently, we learned that the MCAS Miramar airshow is not planning on a twilight airshow in 2016. This comes as a shock to many long term Miramar fans who have long looked forward to the night show.

In some ways, I can understand why. If you hold the airshow on a Friday night, you’re competing against a lot of other things. Depending on the season the show is held in, you’re competing with sports, people just getting home from work, and other entertainment. Plus, you have to pay or obtain volunteers for an extra night. A lot of logistics go into organizing an airshow. This could be a turnoff for many shows thinking about having a night airshow. For many airshow attendees in the general public, the main draw are the jet teams. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard someone ask “What time will the Blues/Thunderbirds/Snowbirds fly tonight?” Without the main draw, your attendance will almost certainly be lower than a normal day.

USMC Harrier Twilight Airshow - NAS Oceana

Some shows get it, though. Last year we wrote a blog post on the Battle Creek airshow, which features a twilight balloon launch, festival-like atmosphere, fireworks, and a night airshow. Other shows have combined evening concerts and catered parties with short twilight airshows in an effort to attract a different sort of crowd that might not attend in the long heat of a full day.

Night airshows seem to have gained some popularity in recent years, but they’re still pretty rare. In 2013, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh added a second night airshow on Wednesday due to the popularity of the Saturday night show. They’ll do it again this year, with a night airshow on July 22nd and July 25th. Hopefully we see more shows add night shows instead of take them away in coming years.

So what are your thoughts? Should more airshows host night time or twilight airshows? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

– AirshowStuff Photographer Ricky Matthews

Matt Younkin - Twin Beech Night AirshowP-51 Mustangs and Fireworks - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

F-35 Lightning II To Race At Reno; Biplane Class Expected To Provide Tough Competition

posted in: Military, Miscellaneous | 3

USAF F-35A Lightning II

The Biplane Class will have a tough new kid on the block to compete with at this year’s Reno Air Races. The United States Air Force has arranged special permission for one of its new F-35 Lightning II fighters to enter the race in an effort to shed the jet’s reputation as unmaneuverable, slow, and a colossal waste of money. The jet was originally intended to race in the headlining Unlimited Class, but after several practice runs it became clear that it would simply not be competitive. Race organizers felt it would be unsafe to force the Unlimited pilots to overtake the $113 million stealth fighter at such a high rate of speed, and approved the appearance only on the condition that the F-35 would compete with aircraft of a similar speed. The Biplane Class typically features similar lap times, so that is where the jet will compete.

This could easily be seen as another black mark on the program’s record, but the Air Force and the aircraft’s manufacturer are quick to point out that air race performance of the current F-35 fleet is limited by the installed software package. Program representatives say that a $45 million dollar air-racing software upgrade designed for this year’s event is currently in testing and should be ready some time in 2037. Nevertheless, the F-35 is expected to compete for a top ten finish amongst the biplanes. “It’s great for the class,” race pilot Chet Whabnoski told AirshowStuff, “because it will draw a lot of attention to the underappreciated biplanes. At the same time, the top pilots in the class don’t really have to worry about losing. It’s a win for everyone! Except the F-35 of course.”

US Navy Blue Angels And USAF Thunderbirds Adopt Chemtrail Smoke To Aid Recruitment

posted in: Jet Teams, Miscellaneous | 8

Blue Angels and Thunderbirds Chemtrails

Chemtrails aren’t just for airliners anymore! Unconfirmed reports have surfaced today that the US Navy Blue Angels and US Air Force Thunderbirds have begun using a new type of airshow smoke this year. The smoke will contain chemicals, such as Dihydrogen Monoxide, designed to induce a strong sense of awe and patriotism in anyone exposed to it. The substance is very similar to that used in traditional chemtrails that are sprayed around the world.

Documents released to the media indicate that the move is fueled by declining recruitment numbers. A primary goal of the demonstration teams is to inspire young people to enlist in the military. One passage in particular slams “kids these days” for being too distracted by cell phones and electronics to be taken in by the military’s message. “Even young people sitting outside at an airshow are constantly on their cell phones,” the document states, “and they can hardly be bothered to look up at the amazing aerobatics in front of them. New methods are needed to reach these dang kids.” Ironically, the military plans to funnel many of the new recruits into the drone pilot program where they will fly by staring at a screen.

The new smoke has already been used at several show sites in 2016, and will likely be appearing in skies near you at some point this year. It is not harmful to spectators’ health, but anyone affected will find themselves extremely impressed by the flying action during the show. They will feel euphoric and proud of the military capabilities of the US. If all goes well, some will even consider joining the military. All thanks to chemtrails.

[Video] The Best Of Military Aviation – December 2015

posted in: Military, Miscellaneous | 0

Check out this amazing compilation of beautiful military aviation footage from December of 2015. No cheesy music or voiceovers, just raw footage taking you into the action whether it be an aerial refueling tanker or the deck of an aircraft carrier during nighttime operations. This footage has been made available to us by the US Department of Defense, and all video credit goes to those named in the Youtube description. We thank them for this incredible look into what the military does on a daily basis!

2016 Dates And Locations Announced For Red Bull Air Racing

posted in: Aerobatics, Airshows, Miscellaneous | 1

Red Bull Air Race 2009 - Windsor, ON

The 2016 dates for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship were announced today, and the 8-stop world tour will conclude with two stops in the US. The 7th stop will take place at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, IN before the series wraps up by returning to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV. The stop in Indianapolis already has Midwest airshow fans abuzz as it is the first stop in the region since 2010. The full 2016 schedule is below.

    March 11-12 – Abu Dhabi, UAE
    April 23-24 – Spielberg, Austria
    TBD – Japan
    July 16-17 – Budapest, Hungary
    August 13-14 – Ascot, Great Britain
    September 3-4 – Lausitzring, Germany
    October 1-2 – Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
    October 15/16 – Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Each race will be broadcast in the US on Fox Sports 1 on a schedule to be announced later.

Each air race is arranged as a time trial event. Carefully selected pilots from around the world fly small aerobatic planes such as Edge 540s and Extra 300s through gates made of inflatable pylons. These pylons are specially designed to not damage the aircraft in the frequent event of contact. There are multiple rounds per event and the pilot with the fastest time through the course is the winner.

The flexible setup allows the course to take on a new layout at each race location, often in a small footprint. While many of the earlier events took place over open water, race tracks have seemingly become a favored location since they do not have many tall obstacles, the track can be used as a temporary airport, and the crowd can sit in pre-existing grand stands.

The series was created in 2003 and soon branched out from Europe to the US and around the world. Previous US events have been held in Monument Valley, Reno, San Francisco, San Diego, Detroit (along with adjacent Windsor, Ontario), and New York City. The races were not held in 2011, 2012, or 2013. In 2014 and 2015, the series concluded with stops in Texas and Las Vegas. Stops outside the US have included Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, the UAE, and more.

Red Bull Air Racer Mike Mangold Killed In Plane Crash

posted in: Miscellaneous, Warbirds | 2
Mike Mangold
Photo: mikemangold.us

Mike Mangold is dead after he was involved in an L-39 Albatros crash Sunday afternoon. Witnesses to the crash say that the aircraft was attempting to takeoff from Apple Valley Airport in Apple Valley, CA when it encountered an issue and crashed.

Apple Valley Fire and Police Department spokesman Jason Nailon said that as “the jet was taxiing down the runway, someone spotted flames coming out of the engine.”

A second person onboard at the time of the crash was also killed, but authorities have not released their name.

Mangold was famous for his airshow flying and for his time as a Red Bull Air Race pilot. During his flying career, which spanned 38 years, Mangold flew for the USAF as well as commercially and as an airshow pilot. He won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in 2004, 2005 and 2007, and took home gold, silver, and bronze medals at the US National Aerobatic Championships.

He is survived by his wife and two children. AirshowStuff sends our sincere condolences to Mike’s family and friends. Godspeed.

Order Now: 2016 Airshow Photo Calendars Available!

posted in: AirshowStuff, Miscellaneous | 0

As 2015 nears it’s end, we here at AirshowStuff are excited to announce that our two airshow photo calendars are back in our store! These 2016 calendars are going to be printed in limited quantities so it’s important to order early! All orders received on or before December 5th will be guaranteed. Orders placed after that date will be filled only as our stock allows. Both calendars are spiral bound and printed on heavy cardstock. These are perfect gifts for the aviation lover in your life, or for yourself!

2016 AIRSHOWSTUFF CALENDAR

The 2016 AirshowStuff calendar is filled with our best photos from this past season and some previous seasons. These photos show a variety of airshow scenes so that you can relive the thrills all throughout 2016!
2016 AirshowStuff Calendar2016 AirshowStuff Calendar

2016 JET TEAMS CALENDAR

The 2016 Jet Teams calendar features photos of your favorite airshow performers; the US Navy Blue Angels, the USAF Thunderbirds, and the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. Fill your year with jet noise and high speed action!
2016 Jet Teams Calendar2016 Jet Teams Calendar

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