Raptors in Green Bay: the Packers Veteran’s Day Flyover

posted in: Flyovers, Military, Miscellaneous | 0

F-22 Raptors in Green Bay

On November 14, 2014, four F-22 Raptors from Langley Air Force Base flew into Austin Straubel International Airport for the flyover of the Green Bay Packers versus the Philadelphia Eagles that following Sunday. With the restrictions on military flyovers being somewhat lifted, military aircraft have been flying over stadiums more frequently in the past few weeks. On the Sunday afternoon, approximately two hours before kickoff, business jets from around the country were flying into Green Bay carrying VIPs anxious to watch the football game. The ramp was full of parked King Airs and Gulfstreams, but four imposing F-22s sat front and center in a coned off section of ramp.

F-22 Raptors in Green Bay

While arriving guests checked in at the front desk of the FBO, the two flyover Raptor pilots geared up on a couch in the lounge. Ground crew also walked in and out, grabbed gear from a pile of rucksacks in the corner of the room. Many visiting pilots stopped to chat about the jets. About an hour before kickoff, the pilots and crew gathered at their jets. The famous Green Bay weather was brisk, with a strong wind making it feel even colder. One of the jets howled to life quickly, but the other coughed and sputtered and refused to get going. Luckily the pilot was able to slide into one of the other jets and start it up.

F-22 Raptors in Green Bay
F-22 Raptors in Green BayF-22 Raptors in Green Bay
Once they warmed up, they taxied out, gave the onlookers a wave, and proceeded to the runway. With a deafening full afterburner takeoff, they were airborne very quickly. Feeling the power of an F-22 Raptor taking off is an absolute treat.

F-22 Raptors in Green Bay

F-22 Raptors in Green BayF-22 Raptors in Green Bay
The stadium is only a few miles from the airport, and while we were able to see fireworks for the national anthem we didn’t see the jets go over. Low overcast may have prevented the flyover from happening, but they soon returned with a break to land over the airport and landed. The pilots got out, gave each other a high five, returned to the lobby, and grabbed a ride to the stadium. After all, even the pilots want to see the Packers!

F-22 Raptors in Green Bay

Photo Gallery Updates: Battle Creek, Thunder Over Michigan, and NAS Oceana

posted in: Airshows, AirshowStuff, Event Recap | 0

In the month of November, we were able to upload four new completed airshow albums to the AirshowStuff photo gallery:

Battle Creek Airshow 2014 (Ryan)
Click to view the full gallery
Kyle Franklin - Battle Creek Airshow 2014

Battle Creek Airshow 2014 (Patrick)
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Matt Younkin - Battle Creek Airshow 2014

Thunder Over Michigan 2014 (Ryan)
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P-63 King Cobra - Thunder Over Michigan 2014

NAS Oceana Airshow 2014 (Ricky)
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Geico Skytyper - NAS Oceana Airshow 2014

Thanksgiving Sale in the AirshowStuff Store!

posted in: AirshowStuff | 0

AirshowStuff Store Thanksgiving Sale

As you’re doing your shopping this weekend, be sure to take some time to check out our sale in the AirshowStuff Store! Through the end of the day on Monday, December 1st we are offering 25% off t-shirts when you buy two or more, and 15% off sweatshirts when you buy two or more. We also have the recently released RideAlong! Volume 1 DVD and our two 2015 calendars available. As always, shipping is free on all orders!

A New Home and New Name for the Yankee Air Museum

posted in: Airshows, Museums, Warbirds | 2

Yankee Air Museum

Exciting changes are in store for the Yankee Air Museum near Detroit! After a long campaign to “Save the Bomber Plant”, YAM has finalized the purchase of a portion of the former Willow Run Bomber Plant to act as the museum’s new home. The plant was used by Ford to produce thousands of B-24 Liberator bombers during World War II, and was later converted into an auto plant for General Motors. The museum has always triumphed the historical nature of the plant, and when it was condemned to demolition they saw an opportunity to preserve at least a portion of it while also securing the museum’s future accomodations. At the same time, the museum announced that it will no longer be known as Yankee Air Museum and will instead be called the National Museum of Aviation and Technology at Historic Willow Run. The identity changeover will occur once the museum moves into the new space, expected to happen a few years from now.

The new location, an 18-acre parcel located on the West side of the Willow Run Airport, will bring some incredible new opportunities to the museum. All of the aircraft that currently reside in the outdoor static display park on the opposite side of the airport will be moved indoors, including the gigantic B-52 Stratofortress bomber. This decision is very encouraging, especially as some other museums around the country are opting to destroy their outdoor exhibit aircraft once they fall into disrepair rather than invest in preserving them.

The mission of the museum will be updated to become a bit more defined, yet broader at the same time. The core mission will remain one of honoring veterans and preserving vintage military aircraft, but the evolution of aviation technology will also be put on display through the exhibits. One unique point of emphasis for the new museum will be explaining Detroit’s role in supporting the war efforts of WWII and other conflicts. “More and more, we’re becoming an educational institution,” says Kevin Walsh, the museum’s Executive Director, “but for the aviation lovers, we’re not going anywhere.”

The money raised so far will cover not only the actual purchase of the building, but also required improvements to the structure and the outfitting of utilities. The museum won’t be able to move in, however, until additional money is raised to pay for finishing the interior. A new concrete floor will need to be put down, offices and classrooms will need to be created, and exhibits will need to be built and installed.

B-25 Mitchell "Yankee Warrior" - Yankee Air MuseumB-17 Flying Fortress "Yankee Lady" - Yankee Air Museum

One thing the museum is not looking to put into the plant currently is support for their “flyables”, the B-17, B-25, and C-47 aircraft that are the crown jewels of the museum. These aircraft will continue to be housed in a hangar leased from the airport, as they have been since the museum’s original hangar burned to the ground in 2004. This arrangement will prevent the museum from having to install $2.5 million worth of infrastructure, such as a foam fire suppression system and fire wall, into the bomber plant building. Luckily, the museum has been given permission to build a connecting tunnel between the bomber plant and the nearby county hangar to allow visitors to see the flyable aircraft. Contingency plans are also being factored into the bomber plant renovation so that it can be upgraded to house flying aircraft should the need arise in the future.

As the final move in date nears, the museum will sell off its current home, a building purchased to act as the museum’s headquarters after the 2004 hangar fire. The Robertson Education Center, a 1938 school house that was relocated to be near the headqaurters building, will be moved again and placed inside the new hangar where it can be protected from the elements. Along with the removal of the static aircraft park, this will eliminate the museum’s presence on the Eastern half of the airport.

Thunder Over MichiganWWII Reenactment - Thunder Over Michigan

The museum’s popular Thunder Over Michigan airshow, however, will retain its traditional layout on the East ramp rather than being held on the much busier and logistically challenging West ramp adjacent to the new museum. Although the prospect of having the sun in your face all afternoon is a frustrating one for photographers, this ensures that the unique WWII battle reenactments will be able to take place during the airshow.

If you would like to help the Yankee Air Museum/National Museum of Aviation and Technology in this fantastic endeavor, you can donate directly at SaveTheBomberPlant.org.

Be sure to check out our photos from this year’s Thunder Over Michigan airshow in our photo gallery!

Rob Holland Needs Your Help!

posted in: Aerobatics | 0

Rob Holland - Battle Creek Airshow 2014

Rob Holland needs your help to win gold for the USA in 2015!

When Rob won 1st place at the US National Championship this year, it secured his spot on the US Aerobatic Team that will compete at the World Aerobatic Championships in Chateauroux, France next August. The problem is, each pilot on the team is self-funded. This means all cost of shipping their aircraft and flying falls all on Rob. To offset this cost, Rob is asking for help from his fans to help him win Overall, Team, and Freestyle Gold in 2015!

There are several levels of donations and rewards available:
A $25 donation will get your name on Rob’s MSX-RH airplane
A $100 donation will get you a Rob Holland Ultimate Airshows hat
A $500 donation will get you a Rob Holland Ultimate Airshows Jacket
A $2,000 donation will get you an aerobatic ride with Rob
A $10,000 donation will get you a VIP Airshow Experience

All donors will also be entered to win a ride in Scott “Scooter” Yoak’s P-51D Mustang! A random name will be selected on July 31st, 2015.

You can donate to Rob’s quest to win gold by visiting his Fundrazr site.

Follow Rob’s Adventures on Facebook

Blue Angels Add Eau Claire, WI to 2015 Schedule

posted in: Airshows | 0

US Navy Blue Angels - NAS Oceana Airshow 2014

We now have one gap in the 2015 Blue Angels schedule filled after Blue Angels #7 and #8 stopped in Eau Claire, WI to perform a preseason coordination visit. They only perform such visits at locations they will be performing at the following season, so even though Eau Claire did not appear on the 2015 Blue Angel schedule released at ICAS in 2013, the show was expected to appear on the updated schedule to be released at this year’s ICAS convention. Sure enough, it was announced soon after the visit that the Blue Angels had committed to performing at the Chippewa Valley Airshow in Eau Claire the 4th and 5th of July of next year. This fills a hole in their schedule left open by the surprise cancellation of the St. Cloud, MN airshow, which was awarded a Blue Angel performance despite not intending to request one. The two locations are relatively close together, so it will not be much of a change for the team.

Captain Jeff Kuss, Blue Angel #7 and team narrator, stated, “We’re happy to announce that we are going to come here, we’re very excited about performing in this part of the country.” The show is scheduled for July 4th and 5th of 2015. This will be the first appearance of the Blue Angels to the show since 2010.

As always, there is a lot of pre-season planning that must be conducted before the show can commence. “In order for us to really start the ball rolling, we need to get eyes on the show area, the airfield area, the facility where we’ll be staying, where we’ll be working out, and most importantly, to be able to develop the relationship with the people we’ll be working with,” says Captain Corrie Mays, the events coordinator and Blue Angel #8. After the preseason flights and inspections, the team will not see the area until the week of the show, which is still seven and a half months away.

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