Civilian F-5 To Join Heritage Flight Program, Pyro Approved For F-22 And F-35 Demos

posted in: Airshows, Military, Popular Posts | 1

US Air Force Heritage Flight - AirshowStuff

An easy to overlook update from Air Combat Command has yielded some exciting developments with the Air Force’s single-ship demonstration and Heritage Flight programs!

The update in question is the publishing of the 2019 version of the Demo Team Support Manual; a long document which spells out all of the requirements that airshows must meet in order to host the F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II, F-16 Fighting Falcon, and A-10 Thunderbolt II demonstration teams during the season. These details are often mundane and invisible to spectators, like the number of required rental cars and mandated access to a 24/7 fitness center, but the manual does give a glimpse at the many factors that need to be carefully considered when planning an event. The 2019 version includes a couple of noteworthy mentions that will be very noticeable to spectators.

First, the Heritage Flight program is being expanded to include a Northrop F-5 fighter jet! The F-5 is an interesting addition because it was primarily exported to US allies and saw only limited USAF service. It will represent the Vietnam War era previously represented by USAF-operated F-4 Phantom IIs, which did not return to the Heritage Flight program after the 2013 sequestration year shut down all military demonstrations and left active service in 2016. This left the A-1 Skyraider as the only approved participant from that time period. F-5s did fly a couple thousand sorties in Vietnam, but certainly are not closely associated with the war.

The pilots in the program meet at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ every year for the Heritage Flight Conference, a weekend practice session to prepare for the upcoming airshow season. Civilian participation in the Heritage Flight is kept under tight control, and only a small group of specially approved pilots are allowed to fly in them, and only in certain aircraft types. Aside from the F-5, only P-51 Mustangs, P-38 Lightnings, P-40 Warhawks, P-47 Thunderbolts, F-86 Sabres, and A-1 Skyraiders are approved. There are several other privately owned fighter jets that could theoretically be included; an F-4 Phantom II flown by the Collings Foundation and a pair of F-100 Super Sabres are the most notable. Sadly, it seems likely that logistics and costs will prevent them from participating any time soon.

An interesting note is that while the F-5 is increasingly flown as a civilian warbird in the US, the US Navy and Marine Corps still actively use versions of the aircraft as aggressors during training and the T-38 Talon advanced trainer that was developed from the F-5 is a mainstay of the Air Force training fleet.

The other interesting takeaway from the support manual update is that pyrotechnics have been approved for use during the F-22 and F-35 demonstrations. The pyro is limited to a wall of fire on the high speed pass only, similar to the limitations already approved for the F-16 demo. The A-10 demo continues to be approved for additional pyro as it includes simulated strafing and bombing attacks in its routine. Most shows do not elect to use pyro with the demos, but it’s great that it will be more available in the future for those that do.

Find out where you can see the USAF single-ship demonstration teams in 2019 by visiting our airshow and aviation event calendar, and share your thoughts about the new F-5 on our forums!

First Female F-16 Demo Team Commander Suddenly Removed From Team

posted in: Military | 3

Capt Zoe Kotnik Climbs into F-16

Less than two weeks after being confirmed as the 2019 USAF F-16 demonstration pilot and leader of the demo team – the first female commander of any single ship ACC demo team – Capt. Zoe “SiS” Kotnik has been removed from the position.

Col. Derek O’Malley, the commander of the 20th Fighter Wing which is located at Shaw AFB in Sumter, SC, removed Kotnik after losing confidence in her ability to lead. His statement was posted the on the team’s Facebook page midday Tuesday, shocking many in the airshow community.

Kotnik’s appointment to the Viper Demo Team was quite popular, with many applauding the choice of a female to lead the team. She was labeled a “real-life Captain Marvel” in reference to the upcoming movie that stars a female Air Force fighter pilot who becomes a superhero. The marketing practically wrote itself and the fanfare of her appointment now shines a huge spotlight on this sudden change.

“It was exciting to have the first female demo team pilot here at Shaw, but I’m also just as excited about the many other females that are serving with great distinction across our Air Force. I’m proud to serve with them, and I’m inspired by them. Even as I speak, another female pilot from the 20th Fighter Wing is flying combat missions in the Middle East,” O’Malley said.

O’Malley’s statement reads extremely similarly to the one issued in 2017 when the leader of the USAF Thunderbirds was also relieved of his position. The key phrase in both cases was “loss of confidence” in the ability to lead.

USAF F-16 Viper Demonstration Team - AirshowStuff

As commander of the F-16 Viper Demonstration Team, Kotnik was responsible for leading the 17-member unit whose mission is to inspire the next generation of pilots and maintainers, and to represent the Air Combat Command, United States Air Force, Department of Defense, and the United States of America at more than 20 air shows annually. She also was responsible for overseeing maintenance and conducting the demonstration in the air.

The outgoing demonstration pilot, Maj. John “Rain” Waters, will now stay on to lead the team and fly the demonstrations for at least the 2019 season, which will be his third.

Capt. Kotnik graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2011 and earned her wings in 2013. She has over 1,000 hours in military aircraft.

The team’s first performance in 2019 is scheduled for March 30-31st at Naval Air Station Key West in Florida. At this time, it’s not known how this decision could impact the season.

Here is the full statement from 20th Fighter Wing commander Col. Derek O’Malley:

Viper Demo Team friends and family, please see a message below from the 20th Fighter Wing commander.

I removed Capt. Kotnik from her position as the commander of the Viper Demo team yesterday, because I lost confidence in her ability to lead the team.

I know that loss of confidence is a common response from the Air Force, whenever someone is removed from a command position, and I think it’s important to understand why we take this approach.

We have thousands of Airmen across our Air Force serving our country, and not one of them is perfect. As good people, like Capt. Kotnik make mistakes, I want them to have the opportunity to learn from them without being under public scrutiny, and to continue to be a part of this great service. They’ll be better for the experience, and in turn, we’ll be better as an Air Force.

In these types of situations, I never forget that we’re dealing with real human beings, that I care deeply about, and that we are charged to take care of. This will be a difficult time for Capt. Kotnik, but she’s surrounded by wingmen that will help her every step of the way.

It was exciting to have the first female demo team pilot here at Shaw, but I’m also just as excited about the many other females that are serving with great distinction across our Air Force. I’m proud to serve with them, and I’m inspired by them. Even as I speak, another female pilot from the 20th Fighter Wing is flying combat missions in the Middle East.

Maj. Waters, last season’s Viper Demo pilot has resumed command, so the team is in great hands, and the show will go on. We’re looking forward to another amazing season with this team.

Col. Derek O’Malley
Commander, 20th Fighter Wing

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 – make sure to check out our airshow calendar for an updated list of airshows and aviation events, plus this and other major schedules all listed in one place! You can also check our forums for discussion on the schedule and shows!

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
March 30-31: Thunder Over the Bay – Travis AFB, CA

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 15-16: Wings Over Whiteman – Whiteman AFB, MO
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 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

USAF F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team 2019 Airshow Schedule Released

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 4

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 – make sure to check out our airshow calendar for an updated list of airshows and aviation events, plus this and other major schedules all listed in one place! You can also check our forums for discussion on the schedule and shows!

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: Parade Flyover – Racine, WI (One Heritage Flight Pass Only)
July 6: American Freedom Festival – Goshen, IN (Heritage Flight Only)
July 13: Eielson Airshow – Eielson AFB, AK
July 22-28: EAA AirVenture 2019 – Oshkosh, WI
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 – make sure to check out our airshow calendar for an updated list of airshows and aviation events, plus this and other major schedules all listed in one place! You can also check our forums for discussion on the schedule and shows!

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

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

April 2-5: Sun ‘n Fun – Lakeland, 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 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 12-13: Central Coast AirFest – Santa Maria, CA
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 | 5

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 – make sure to check out our airshow calendar for an updated list of airshows and aviation events, plus this and other major schedules all listed in one place! You can also check our forums for discussion on the schedule and shows!

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

March 24-25: Thunder and Lightning Open House – Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ (Heritage Flight Only)
March 30-31: Melbourne Air and Space Show – Melbourne, FL

April 6-7: Heart of Texas Airshow – Waco, TX
April 27-28: Wings Over Wayne Airshow – Seymour-Johnson AFB, NC

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 13-14: Eielson Open House and Air Show – Eielson AFB, AK
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

USAF Single-Ship Demo Team (F-22/F-16/A-10) 2018 Airshow Schedules Updated

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 0

US Air Force Heritage Flight - F-35 Lightning II, A-10 Warthog, P-51 Mustangs

Air Combat Command, which oversees the US Air Force single-ship demonstration teams, updated the 2018 airshow schedules for the F-22 Raptor, A-10 Warthog, and F-16 Fighting Falcon teams today. Several shows were removed after announcing cancellations, but several new appearances were added as well! Take a look at each schedule below and see if they’ll be performing near you in 2018.

2018 USAF F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team Schedule
2018 USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon Demonstration Team Airshow Schedule
2018 USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team Schedule
2018 USAF F-35 Heritage Flight Team Schedule

USAF F-35 Lightning II Heritage Flight Team 2018 Airshow Schedule Released

posted in: Military, Schedules | 10

USAF F-35 Lightning II Heritage Flight Team

Here is the 2018 airshow schedule for the US Air Force F-35 Lightning II Heritage Flight Team! Will you see them in 2018? 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!

2018 Appearance Schedule – US Air Force F-35 Lightning II Heritage Flight Team

March 17-18: Luke Air Force Base, AZ
March 23-24: NAS Kingsville, TX

April 3-8: FIDAE – Santiago, Chile (Static only)
April 25-29: ILA Berlin – Berlin, Germany (Static only)

May 25-27: Miami, FL

June 9-10: North Kingston, RI
June 15-17: Ocean City, MD

July 13-15: Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) – RAF Fairford, United Kingdom (HF profile fly by/static)

August 10-12: Offutt Air Force Base, NE
August 17-19: Chicago, IL
August 31-September 2: CIAS – Toronto, Ontario

September 21-23: California Capitol Airshow – Sacramento, CA

October 1-6: USAF Academy Football Game / CORONA

USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team 2018 Airshow Schedule Released

posted in: Military, Schedules | 0

USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team

Here is the 2018 airshow schedule for the US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team! This is the first year for an aerobatic A-10 demonstration since sequestration. Will you see them in 2018? 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!

All demos unless stated otherwise include a USAF Heritage Flight.

2018 Appearance Schedule – US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team

March 10-11: Luke Days – Luke AFB, AZ

April 7-8: Heart of Texas Airshow – Waco, TX
April 14-15: Tuscaloosa Regional Airshow – Tuscaloosa, AL
April 21: Thunder Over Louisville, Louisville, KY

May 5-6: Planes of Fame Airshow – Chino, CA
May 12-13: MacDill Airfest – MacDill AFB, FL
May 19-20 – Anderson Regional Airshow – Anderson, SC
May 26-28: Salute to Veterans Celebration – Columbia, MO

June 16-17: Wings Over Northern Michigan – Gaylord, MI
June 23-24: Binghamton Airshow: Binghamton, NY
June 30-July 4: Battle Creek Field of Flight Airshow – Battle Creek, MI

July 3: Dubuque Jaycees Radio Dubuque Airshow – Dubuque, IA (HF Only)
July 28-29: Tri-City Water Follies/HAPO Over The River – Kennewick, WA

August 3-5: Seafair – Seattle, WA
August 10-12: Abbotsford International Airshow – Abbotsford, BC
August 25-26: Fly Ottumwa – Ottumwa, IA

September 15-16: CAF High Sky Wing AIRSHO – Midland, TX
September 22-23: Osan Air Power Days – Osan AB, South Korea (Demo Only)*
September 29-30: Oregon International Airshow – Hillsboro, OR

October 6-7: Maryland Fleet Week and Airshow – Baltimore, MD
October 13-14: Wings Over North Georgia – Rome, GA
October 27: Hangar 24 AirFest – Lake Havasu City, AZ

November 3-4: SBD Fest – San Bernadino, CA

*Pending final approval

1 2 3