CONFIRMED: A-10 Warthog Aerobatic Demonstrations Returning In 2018!

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

Get ready Warthog fans! The wait is over. A-10 Warthog single-ship demonstrations will return to the skies at airshows across the nation in 2018.

In a statement released by Air Combat Command this week, we learned an A-10 demonstration team will be based at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ. They will perform at approximately 14 airshows during the 2018 show season. This follows a Twitter post by the current A-10 Heritage Flight team, which we reported on last week, that hinted at a coming announcement. There is no word on what will happen to the current East Coast A-10 Heritage Flight Team, based at Moody AFB in GA.

You may remember due to budget restrictions and sequestration, single ship demos were restricted after the 2011 season. Heritage Flights were performed in 2012 and 2017, but no aerobatic demonstrations were allowed.

Here is the text of the announcement shared by ICAS and ACC:

The United States Air Force A-10 demonstration team will once again display the capabilities of the Thunderbolt II at approximately 14 shows throughout the 2018 air show season.

The A-10 demonstration team last flew in 2011. Since then, when it has participated in air shows, the A-10 has been either a static display aircraft or flown exclusively with the Air Force Heritage Flight program (in 2012 and 2017). In 2018, the Warthog will fly a full aerobatic demonstration and also perform in Heritage Flight demonstrations.

Specifically designed for close air support, the A-10’s combination of high and low speed maneuverability has made it a popular air show demonstration aircraft for many years. Beginning next year, the A-10 demo team – based at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona – will be flown by Captain Cody Wilton.

Are you excited to see the return of Warthog demos? What shows do you think may get an A-10 demonstration in 2018?

Visit our forums to discuss this exciting news!

Full A-10 Warthog Demonstrations To Return In 2018?

posted in: Airshows, Military | 0

A-10 Thunderbolt II "Warthog" Demonstration

A-10 Warthog fans have a big reason to be excited today as the A-10 West team teased the return of full A-10 single-ship demonstrations next year!

The US Air Force used to have two A-10 demonstration teams, but the sequestration cuts forced the units to stand down to USAF Heritage Flights only in 2012 and to cease performances in 2013. They got a bit of a restart this year with both East and West teams reforming to participate in Heritage Flights, but no full demonstrations. It was rumored that this was a stepping stone to full demos, a notion that seems to have been confirmed today.

The A-10 gap has also been filled this year by some normal units showing off the Hawg in field attack demos, including a two ship attack demo at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh.

There is also discussion about the F-35 Lightning II team, currently limited to Heritage Flights, transitioning to full aerobatic demonstrations next year following Lockheed Martin’s company demo in Paris this summer.

Expect both developments to be confirmed at the ICAS convention in December if not before!

Make sure to visit our forums to discuss this exciting news as it unfolds!

USAF Thunderbirds Announce New Pilots, Officers For 2018 Season

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USAF Thunderbirds Announce New Officers for 2018 Show Season
Air Combat Command and the Thunderbirds have announced new pilots who will be joining the team for the 2018 demonstration season. The left wing, slot and opposing solo positions will have new pilots when the team takes to the skies in 2018.

Flying Thunderbird #2 will be Capt. William Graeff. Currently assigned to the 88th Fighter Training Squadron at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas, Graeff replaces Maj. Ryan Bodenheimer on the Left Wing of the Diamond formation.

The Slot position will be filled by Capt. Stephen Del Bango of the 58th Fighter Squadron, stationed at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Capt Del Bagno’s selection is unique, as he is the first F-35 pilot to be selected to serve on the team. He replaces Maj. Nick Krajicek.

Capt. Matthew Kimmel of the 79th Fighter Squadron, stationed at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina will be the new Opposing Solo, #6 for the team. Maj. White Collins, the current Opposing Solo for the 2017 show season will move to the Lead Solo position (#5), replacing Maj. Alex Turner.

Other new officers on the 2018 team include:

Thunderbird #7 – Maj Eric Gorney. He will serve as the squadron’s operations officer.
Thunderbird #10- Capt Lauren Venturini. She will serve as the squadron’s maintenance officer.
Thunderbird #12- Maj. Raymond Geoffroy. He will serve as the squadron’s public affairs officer.

There are twelve officer positions with the USAF Thunderbirds team, and members serve two-year tours of duty. In 2018, Thunderbird # 1, 3, 6, 8, and 9 will be replaced.

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

posted in: Military | 6

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!

2017 USAF F-22 Raptor Demo Team Schedule Released

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 1

USAF F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team

The US Air Force has released the 2017 airshow schedule for the F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team. Will you see the Raptor in 2017? Let us know! Post on our Facebook page and in our forums, and make sure you share pictures after the show!

Also check out the rest of the 2017 airshow appearance schedules!

2017 Appearance Schedule – USAF F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team

Feb 28-March 5th: Avalon, Australia

March 24-26th: Brunswick, GA

April 22-23rd: Tyndall AFB, FL (HF with P-51)

May 6-7: McEntire JNGB, SC (HF with P-51)
May 13-14th: Pittsburgh, PA (HF with P-51)
May 20-21st: Seymour-Johnson AFB, NC (HF with A-10 and P-51)
May 27-28: Miami, FL (HF with P-51)

June 17-18th: Ocean City, MD (HF with A-10 and P-51)
June 24-25th: Bagotville, Quebec, Canada (HF with ?)

July 1st: Goshen, IN (Heritage Flight Only with P-51)
July 1-4th: Battle Creek, MI (HF with P-51)
July 14-16; RAF Fairford, UK (HF with P-51)
July 29-30th: Kennewick, WA (HF with P-51)

August 4-5th: Seattle, WA
August 12-13: Wilkes-Barre Scranton, PA (HF with P-51)
August 18-20th: Chicago, IL (HF with A-10 and P-51)

Sept 2-4th: Toronto, ON, Canada (HF with P-51)
Sept 13-14: Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, DC (HF with P-51)
Sept 16-17th: Joint Base Andrews, MD (HF with P-51)
Sept 16th: Air Force Marathon – Wright Patterson AFB, OH (Flyover Only)
Sept 22-24th: Hillsboro, OR (HF with P-51)
Sept 29-Oct 1st: Salinas, CA (HF with A-10 and P-51)

Oct 17-22: Seoul, Korea

Nov 4-5th: NAS Jacksonville, FL (HF with A-10 and P-51)
Nov 11-12th: Nellis AFB, NV (HF with A-10 and P-51)

2017 USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II Heritage Flight Schedule Released

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 2

US Air Force Heritage Flight - A-10 Thunderbolt II and P-38 Lightning

The US Air Force has released the 2017 airshow schedule for the A-10 Thunderbolt II Heritage Teams. As we announced in January, the A-10 “Warthog” will return to the airshow circuit in 2017 to participate in Air Force Heritage Flights at select show sites. The shows will be split between an East team from Moody AFB in Georgia and the West team from Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona. In the past, the teams were approved to perform a three pass “mini-demo” at each show before the Heritage Flight, but we have not received confirmation if that practice will continue.

Will you see the Warthog in 2017? Let us know! Post on our Facebook page and in our forums, and make sure you share pictures after the show!

Also check out the rest of the 2017 airshow appearance schedules!

2017 Appearance Schedule – USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II Heritage Teams

March 25-26: Lancaster, CA (West Team)

April 7-9: Lakeland, FL – SUN ‘n FUN (East Team)
April 22: Louisville, KY (East Team)

May 6-7: Manassas, VA (East Team)
May 20-22: Seymour-Johnson AFB, NC (East Team)

June 17-18: Ocean City, MD (East Team)
June 24-25: Detroit, MI (West Team)

July 3: Dubuque, IA (East Team)
July 24-30: Oshkosh, WI – EAA AirVenture (East Team)

Aug 18-20: Chicago, IL (East Team)

Sept 9-10: Sacramento, CA (West Team)
Sept 13-16: Reno, NV (West Team)
Sept 23: USAFA Football Game, CO (West Team)
Sept 23-24: Colorado Springs, CO (West Team)
Sept 29-Oct 1: Salinas, CA (West Team)

Oct 7-8: San Francisco, CA (West Team)
Oct 14-15: Boise, ID (West Team)
Oct 21-22: Houston, TX (West Team)
Oct 28-29: Moody AFB, GA (East Team)

Nov 4-5: NAS Jacksonville, FL (East Team)
Nov 11-12: Nellis AFB, NV (West Team)

2017 USAF F-35A Lightning II Heritage Flight Schedule Released

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 2

US Air Force Heritage Flight - P-51 Mustang, F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II

The US Air Force has released the 2017 airshow schedule for the F-35 Lightning II Heritage Team. Unlike the full aerobatic performances of the F-22 and F-16 demo teams, the F-35 will perform flybys and Heritage Flights only.

Will you see the Lightning in 2017? Let us know! Post on our Facebook page and in our forums, and make sure you share pictures after the show!

Also check out the rest of the 2017 airshow appearance schedules!

2017 Appearance Schedule – USAF F-35 Lightning II Heritage Team

April 1-2nd: Melbourne, FL
April 22nd: Louisville, KY

May 6-7th: Chino, CA
May 20-22nd: Tinker AFB, OK

June 3-4th: Duluth, MN
June 24-25th: Dayton, OH

July 1-2: New Windsor, NY

July 22-23rd: Idaho Falls, ID
July 24-30th: Oshkosh, WI – EAA AirVenture

Aug 11-13th: Abbotsford, BC

Sept 23-24th: London, ON
Sept 30th-Oct 1st: Huntington Beach, CA

Oct 13-15th: Punta Gorda, FL

Nov 4-5th: Joint Base San Antonio, TX

2017 USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon Demo Team Schedule Released

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 0

US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon Demonstration Team

The US Air Force has released the 2017 airshow schedule for the F-16 Fighting Falcon Demonstration Team, popularly known as Viper East. Heritage Flight info will be added at a later date.

Will you see the Viper in 2017? Let us know! Post on our Facebook page and in our forums, and make sure you share pictures after the show!

Also check out the rest of the 2017 airshow appearance schedules!

2017 Appearance Schedule – USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon Demonstration Team

Feb 9-12 – Heritage Flight Conference – Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ

April 1-2 – NAS Corpus Christi, TX
April 7-9 – Lakeland, FL – Sun ‘n Fun
April 22-29 – NASJRB New Orleans, LA (HF with P-51)
April 29-30 – MCAS Beaufort, SC

May 6-7 – Fort Lauderdale, FL (HF with P-51)
May 13-14 – Millington, TN
May 20-21 – North Kingstown, RI
May 27-28 – Miami, FL

June 10-11 – Whiteman AFB, MO
June 17-18 – Gaylord, MI
June 24-25 – Latrobe, PA (HF with P-51)

July 1-2: New Windsor, NY (HF with F-35 and P-51)
July 10-16 – Rio Negro, Columbia

August 11-13 – Abbotsford, BC (HF with F-35 and P-51)
August 26-27 – Brunswick, ME (HF with P-51)

September 9-10 – New Windsor, NY (Date changed to July)
September 15-17 – NAS Oceana, VA (HF with P-51)
September 23-24 – Owensboro, KY
September 30-October 1 – Huntington Beach, CA (HF with F-35 and two P-51s)

October 7-8 – San Francisco, CA (HF with A-10 and two P-51s)
October 14-15 – Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA (HF with P-51)
October 28-29 – Fort Worth, TX (HF with P-47)

November 3-5 – Stuart, FL (HF with ?)

2016 USAF F-22 Raptor Demo Team Schedule Released

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 5

USAF F-22 Raptor

The US Air Force has released the 2016 airshow schedule for the F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team. Heritage Flight info will be added later. Will you see the Raptor in 2016? Let us know! Post on our Facebook page and make sure you share pictures after the show!

Also check out the 2016 USAF F-16 Demonstration Team schedule!

2016 Appearance Schedule

March
12-13 – Davis Monthan AFB, AZ

April
9-10 – Lakeland, FL
22-24 – Langley AFB, VA
30-May 1 – MCAS Cherry Point, NC

May
7-8 – Lincoln, NE
11 – Cape Girardeau, MO
14-15 – St. Louis, MO
21-22 – Latrobe PA

June
4-5 – Smyrna, TN
17-19 – Dayton, OH
25-26 – RCF Trenton, Ontario

July
8-10 – RAF Fairford, United Kingdom
23 – Eielson AFB, AK
30-31 – Elmendorf AFB, AK

August
20-21 – Ypsilanti, MI

September
3-4 – Cleveland, OH
10-11 – NAS Oceana, VA
16-18 – London, Ontario
24-25 – Santa Rosa, CA

October
8-9 – San Francisco, CA
15-16 – Baltimore, MD
29-30 – NAS Patuxent River, MD

November
12-13 – Nellis AFB, NV

Military To Increase Support For Airshows In 2016 (Part 2 – US Air Force)

posted in: Airshows, Military | 4

USAF B-1B Lancer

Yesterday we told you about how the US Navy plans to increase its support for airshows in 2016; happily, similar changes are in store from the US Air Force!

Overall, the USAF is placing emphasis on consistency in its public outreach efforts over the next two years. The first visible sign of this is the Thunderbirds releasing a two-year schedule (2016 and 2017) for the first time. This emphasis should also mean that the gains in support for 2016 that are mentioned below should not go away in 2017. Here are some of the details on the non-Thunderbirds portion of the USAF’s planned airshow presence, based on their presentation at this week’s International Council of Airshows convention.

F-22 RaptorUSAF Heritage Flight - F-16 Fighting Falcon and P-51 Mustang

Single-Ship Demonstrations

The Air Combat Command (ACC) F-22 Raptor and F-16 Fighting Falcon demonstration teams will both return in 2016 and are approved for 20 shows each. These shows will be prioritized based on things like recruiting opportunities, crowd size, location, and suitability. The initial schedules for both teams are expected to be approved and published by mid-February, although shows that fall later in the year will likely be added to the schedule in subsequent updates.

Heritage Flights

The popular USAF Heritage Flight program also returns in 2016 with many of the familiar warbirds and pilots from years past. It sounds like the number of Heritage Flights will increase as well; rumors are that any show with one of the demo teams scheduled will be granted a Heritage Flight. One gigantic new development in the Heritage Flight program is one that we have already reported on; the inclusion of the F-35 Lightning II (JSF) in select Heritage Flights. More details on this to come.

USAF A-10 Warthog On Static DisplayUSAF A-10 Thunderbolt IIs

Static Displays

The Air Force is not quite following the Navy’s lead in lifting restrictions on static displays, but it is upping the limit for civilian shows from two aircraft per show in 2015 to four in 2016. Aircraft towed over from co-located stations do not count toward this limit. Flying units will still need to come up with the budget space to bring aircraft, but at least the opportunity is there!

Flyovers

Although not airshow related, event flyovers are another key area of military outreach efforts. They became few and far between for a while, but are staged to make somewhat of a comeback because the Air Force has approved limited flyovers of things like patriotic holiday events and national sporting events. These events will need to be approved by the Air Force, so it will fall on event organizers to specifically request flyover support. Fighter and helicopter flyovers are limited to two aircraft per event, while bomber or transport flyovers are limited to one aircraft per event. In the past, some of these flyovers would appear on the ACC Aerial Events schedule; no word on if this practice will continue.

US Air Force Academy Wings Of Blue Parachute TeamB-1B Lancer Flyover With Vapor Cone

Wings of Blue

The US Air Force Academy Wings of Blue parachute team will continue to perform as well, although no details are given as to how many events or what a schedule can be expected.

Bomber Flybys

Bomber flybys should be making a comeback in 2016. The heavy bombers of the USAF, the B-52 Stratofortress, B-2 Spirit, and B-1 Lancer, are all now operated under the Air Force Global Strike Command (GSC), which also operates some T-38 Talons and UH-1 Hueys. GSC will be accepting requests for flyover support and filling them as unit schedules and budget allow. Although this may not return bomber flybys to pre-budget cut levels, it is yet another step in the right direction and some very exciting news.

Please stay tuned for more information and performance schedules as they become available!

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