Patrouille de France Officially Announces Airshow Schedule For 2017 North American Tour

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams, Schedules | 5
Patrouille de France
Photo Courtesy of the Patrouille de France

Although we first reported on it in November, the Patrouille de France officially announced their 2017 North American tour today and unveiled all of the stops on their schedule. See below for a full list of their appearances, which is translated and subject to change. The team also released the logo of their tour, which curiously mentions the US but not Canada.

Patrouille de France North American Tour Logo

The Patrouille de France is the French equivalent of the Blue Angels or Thunderbirds, and performs precision formation aerobatics using Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jets. Their aircraft will sport special paint schemes during the 2017 season to commemorate their tour, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I in France. According to their graphic, they will travel with ten Alpha Jets and one A-400M airlifter.

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

2017 North American Tour Appearance Schedule – Patrouille de France

March 19th: Arrive Bagotville, QC
March 25th: Statue of Liberty Flyby, New York
March 27th: Washington DC flyby and reception with French Ambassador

April 1st and 2nd: Melbourne Air Show, FL
April 3rd and 4th: Sun-n-Fun Airshow, Lakeland, FL
April 5th and 6th: Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of US entry into WW1, Kansas City, MO
April 7th-9th: Maxwell AFB Airshow, AL
April 10th-12th: Visit w/USN Blue Angels at NAS Pensacola, FL
April 12th: Flyby over Trescal Factory, Dallas, TX
April 12th: Refueling in Santa Fe, NM
April 13th: Grand Canyon, AZ Flyby/photoshoot
April 13th-16th: California Capitol Airshow, Sacramento & Golden Gate Bridge Flyby in San Francisco, CA
April 17th-18th: Visit w/USAF Thunderbirds at Nellis AFB, NV
April 19th: Refueling at Peterson AFB and USAF Academy Flyby, CO
April 19th: Refueling at Scott AFB, IL
April 20th-21st: VIP Event at Langley AFB, VA
April 22nd-23rd: Airshow at Stewart ANG Base, NY
April 28th-29th: NATO Tattoo in Norfolk, VA
April 30th: Wings Over Gatineau Airshow, Gatineau, QC

May 1st: Montreal, QC
May 2nd: Quebec City, QC
May 4th: Departure from Bagotville, QC

Patrouille de France 2017 North American Tour

The Best Of Military Aviation – January 2017

posted in: AirshowStuff, Featured Videos, Military | 0

Each month we bring you a compilation of the very best military aviation videos on our Youtube channel. These videos take you inside military operations all over the world for things like exercises, aircraft carrier operations, aerial refueling, and training missions. Please enjoy the January video, which you can watch below or view on Youtube: The Best Of Military Aviation – January 2017

A compilation of the best military aviation clips from January 2017. Featuring F-35 Lightning II night landings, A-29 Super Tucano cockpit footage, Red Flag 17-1, aerial refueling of F-16s, on board footage of the College Football Championship game flyover, and more!

Be sure to check out the other videos in the series as well by checking out the Best of Military Aviation video playlist!

USAF Thunderbirds 2017/2018 Airshow Schedule Released

US Air Force Thunderbirds

Here is the 2017/2018 airshow schedule for the United States Air Force Thunderbirds! Will you see them in 2017? Let us know! Post on the AirshowStuff Facebook page and make sure you share pictures after the show!

2017 Appearance Schedule – USAF Thunderbirds
Updated 2/18/17 – Latest updates in bold.

February 5: Houston, Texas – Super Bowl LI Flyover
February 26: Daytona Beach, Florida – Daytona 500 Flyover

March 11-12: Titusville, Florida – “TICO Warbird Air Show”
March 18-19: Waco, Texas – “Heart of Texas Air Show”
March 25-26: Lancaster, California – “Los Angeles Air Show”

April 1-2: Melbourne, Florida – “Melbourne Air & Space Show”
April 8: Maxwell AFB, Alabama – “Maxwell AFB Gathering of Eagles”
April 22-23: Tyndall AFB, Florida – “Gulf Coast Salute”
April 29-30: Lake Charles, Louisiana – “Chennault International Air Show”

May 6-7: Travis AFB, California – “Travis AFB Open House”
May 13-14: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – “Wings Over Pittsburgh”
May 20-21: Tinker AFB, Oklahoma – “Star Spangled Salute Air Show”
May 24: USAF Academy, Colorado
May 27-28: Wantagh, New York – “Bethpage New York Air Show”

June 3-4: Rockford, Illinois – “Rockford Air Show” (Canceled – date now open)
June 10-11: Scott AFB, Illinois – “Scott AFB Air Show & Open House”
June 17-18: Youngstown ANG, Ohio – “Thunder Over the Valley Air Show”
June 24-25: Dayton, Ohio – “Vectren Dayton Air Show”

July 1-2: Traverse City, Michigan – “National Cherry Festival Airshow”
July 8-9: Gary, Indiana – “Gary Air Show”
July 14-16: RAF Fairford, UK – “Royal International Air Tattoo”
July 22-23: Great Falls, Montana – “Flight Over the Falls”
July 26: Cheyenne, Wyoming – “Frontier Days Air Show”
July 29-30: Fairchild AFB, Washington – “Inland Northwest Skyfest”

August 12-13: Westfield ANGB, Massachusetts – “Westfield Air Show”
August 19-20: Selfridge ANGB, Michigan – “Selfridge ANGB Air Show/Open House”
August 23: Atlantic City, New Jersey – “Thunder Over the Boardwalk”
August 26-27: Dover AFB, Deleware – “Dover AFB Open House/Air Show”

September 2-4: Cleveland, Ohio – “Cleveland National Air Show”
September 9-10: Altus AFB, Oklahoma – “Altus AFB Air Show”
September 16-17: JB Andrews, Maryland – “JB Andrews Air Show”
September 23-24: Colorado Springs, Colorado – “Pikes Peak Regional Airshow”
September 30-Oct 1: Grand Junction, Colorado – “Grand Junction Air Show”

October 7-8: Minden, Nevada – “Minden-Tahoe Air Show”
October 14-15: Boise, Idaho – “Gowen Thunder Airshow”
October 21-22: Houston, Texas – “Wings Over Houston Air Show”
October 28-29: Moody AFB, Georgia – “Moody AFB Community Appreciation Day”

November 4-5: JB Lackland-Kelly, Texas – “JB Lackland-Kelly AFB”
November 11-12: Nellis AFB, Nevada – “Aviation Nation Open House”

2018 Appearance Schedule – USAF Thunderbirds

February 25: Daytona Beach, Florida – Daytona 500 Flyover

March 10-11: Open
March 17-18: Melbourne, Florida – “Melbourne Air & Space Show”
March 24-25: Dobbins ARB, Georgia – “Dobbins Air Reserve Base”

April 7-8: March ARB, California – “March Field Airfest”
April 14-15: Lakeland, Florida – “Sun-N-Fun Fly-In Expo”
April 21-22: Columbus AFB, Mississippi – “Wings over Columbus”
April 28: JB Charleston, South Carolina – “Joint Base Charleston Air Show”

May 5-6: Fort Lauderdale, Florida – “Fort Lauderdale Air Show”
May 12-13: Laughlin AFB, Texas – “Laughlin AFB Open House
May 19-20: Langley AFB, Virginia – “Airpower Over Hampton Roads”
May 26-27: Cannon AFB, New Mexico – “Cannon AFB Air Show Air Commandos on the High Plains”
May 31: USAF Academy, Colorado

June 2-3: Mountain Home AFB, Idaho – “Gunfighter Skies”
June 9-10: Niagara Falls, New York – “Thunder Over Niagara Military Air Show”
June 16-17: Ocean City, Maryland – “OC Air Show”
June 23-24: Hill AFB, Utah – “Warriors Over the Wasatch”
June 30-1 July: JB Elmendorf, Alaska – “Arctic Thunder Open House”

July 7-8: Duluth, Minnesota – “Duluth Air Show”
July 14-15: Westover ARB, Massachusetts – “Great New England Air Show and Open House”
July 21-22: Milwaukee, Wisconsin – “Milwaukee Air & Water Show”
July 25: Cheyenne, Wyoming – “Frontier Days Air Show”
July 28-29: Latrobe, Pennsylvania – “Westmoreland County Air Show”

August 4: Minot AFB, North Dakota – “Minot AFB”
August 18-19: Chicago, Illinois – “60th Annual Chicago Air & Water Show”
August 22: Atlantic City, New Jersey – “Thunder Over the Boardwalk”
August 25-26: Ypsilanti, Michigan – “Thunder Over Michigan Air Show”

September 1-3: Toronto, Canada – “Canadian International Air Show”
September 8-9: McConnell AFB, Kansas – “McConnell Open House”
September 12: Reno, Nevada – “National Championship Air Races”
September 15-16: Mather, California – “California Capital Air Show”
September 22-23: New Windsor, New York – “New York Air Show”
September 29-30: Salinas, California – “California International Airshow”

October 6-7: Baltimore, Maryland – “Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show Baltimore”
October 13-14: Fort Worth, Texas – “Fort Worth Alliance Air Show”
October 20-21: Huntington Beach, California – “Huntington Beach”
October 27-28: Little Rock AFB, Arkansas – “Little Rock AFB”

November 3-4: Homestead ARB, Florida – “Wings Over Homestead ARB”
November 10-11: Nellis AFB, Nevada – “Aviation Nation Open House”

Patrouille de France To Perform In The United States In 2017

Patrouille de France in the United States
The Patrouille de France, France’s aerobatic jet team and equivalent to the US Navy Blue Angels and US Air Force Thunderbirds, will perform in the United States in early 2017. Plans are currently in place for only one or two shows, though we certainly hope more are added.

As of now, the only confirmed show for the team will be the Melbourne Air and Space Show, April 1-2nd 2017 at the Melbourne International Airport in Florida. We have heard rumors of a planned show in the central United States, but as of the writing of this post, AirshowStuff has not confirmed that rumor.

The team performs with eight Alpha Jets, a light attack and advanced trainer aircraft co-manufactured by Dassault Aviation of France and Dornier Flugzeugwerke of Germany. Their display involves both formation and solo maneuvers. Based at Salon Air Force Base in France, the team utilizes red, white and blue smoke in their 30 minute show.

The last time the team performed publicly in the United States was 1986, when they flew over New York City and then performed at Coney Island. In 2009, the team performed a flyover of the Yorktown Battlefield Monument in Yorktown, VA to commemorate the Battle of Yorktown anniversary. They also performed at an airshow in Quebec, Canada during that tour, but did not stop at any US airshows.

USAF Thunderbirds To Fly Over New York City, Statue of Liberty, And World Trade Center

posted in: Flyovers, Jet Teams | 3
USAF Thunderbirds Flyover Statue of Liberty in New York City
Photo credit: NY Airshow/USAF

Flyover alert! Six red, white and blue F-16 Fighting Falcons of the US Air Force Thunderbirds will fly over famous sights around New York City, NY on the morning of September 2nd.

The team will flyover the Statue of Liberty and up the Hudson River, setting up a unique photo opportunity with the World Trade Center. If you live in the area and want to see the flyover yourself, Battery Park, South Cove Park, Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park, or Nelson A. Rockefeller Park should be good vantage points for the flyover Friday morning in Lower Manhattan. Liberty State Park or J. Owen Grundy Park on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River would also be good vantage points.

The six jets are expected over the landmarks around 9:45 am. AirshowStuff will be sure to post some pictures and videos of the flyover after it happens for those who can’t see it in person!

Massive C-5M Super Galaxy Visits EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

posted in: Featured Videos, Military | 0

C-5 Galaxy - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

The C-5 Galaxy is the largest aircraft in the US Air Force inventory, and one of the largest few in the world. This massive airlifter is always a special sight, but it is usually limited to static display. We caught this massive beast in flight two times during EAA AirVenture 2016, and its arrival and departure can be seen in the videos below.

C-5 Galaxy - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016C-5 Galaxy - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

While in Oshkosh, the aircraft was (naturally) parked front row center in Boeing Plaza, an intimidating sight from the main gate and a major focal point of the crowd’s attention. The huge nose and cargo ramp were both opened, and visitors were allowed inside the cavernous cargo bay. This specific aircraft, from Travis AFB, is actually a C-5M Super Galaxy, an updated version of the C-5 with new engines producing 22% more thrust and other improvements.

US Air Force Announces New Thunderbird Officers For 2017 Season

posted in: Jet Teams | 0

USAF Thunderbirds

The United States Air Force (USAF) Thunderbirds demonstration team have announced their new officers for the 2017 season. In a press release posted to the Thunderbirds Facebook page, Commander of Air Combat Command Gen. Herbert Carlisle officially released the names of those joining the team next year.

Taking over the reigns as Thunderbird 1 will be Lt. Col. Jason Heard, Director of Operations for the 492nd Fighter Squadron at Royal Air Force Lakenheath in the United Kingdom. Thunderbird 3, the right wing pilot, will be Maj. Nathaniel Hofmann, Chief of Training and F-16 pilot with the 55th Fighter Squadron at Shaw AFB in South Carolina. Capt. Whit Collins, Chief of Training and F-16 pilot for the 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron, currently stationed at Eglin AFB in Florida, will become the team’s opposing solo pilot, Thunderbird 6. The position of advance pilot and narrator, Thunderbird 8, will be filled by Capt. Erik Gonsalves, Flight Commander and A-10 pilot with the 75th Fighter Squadron at Moody AFB in Georgia. Capt. (Dr.) William Goncharow of the 59th Medical Wing, a flight surgeon currently stationed at Lackland AFB, Texas, will be the team’s flight surgeon, Thunderbird 9.

According to the press release, “The 12 officer positions on the team are two-year tours of duty. By design, the position openings are staggered, allowing the squadron to maintain continuity of experience and leadership. In 2018, Thunderbird Nos. 2, 4, 7, 10, 11, and 12 will be replaced.”

Congrats to those selected to become our next Ambassadors in Blue! We at AirshowStuff wish the team continued success and look forward to seeing the latest Thunderbirds at one of their many shows slated for 2017.

Hawgsmoke 2016 – A-10 Thunderbolt II Action In The Desert

posted in: Event Recap, Military | 0

A-10 Warthog Strafing Run - Hawgsmoke 2016 - Davis-Monthan AFB

In the hot Arizona desert south of Tucson lies Davis-Monthan AFB, where aircraft and aircrews representing A-10 units stateside and abroad were present to see who would be the best in the biennial Hawgsmoke competition. Hosted by the previous winners, the 47th Fighter Squadron (FS) known as the Termites, the 2016 Hawgsmoke competition centers around A-10 crew camaraderie and aerial precision in gunnery and payload delivery.

Hawgsmoke is an offshoot of the now discontinued Gunsmoke competition the US Air Force (USAF) began in 1949 at Nellis AFB, Nevada and ran until 1995. In 2005, the A-10 community came together for the first Hawgsmoke competition at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center near Alpena, Michigan. Since then, A-10 units have been coming together every two years to grow their bond as an attack community and to earn bragging rights for their squadron.

This year’s participating units flew in aircraft and aircrews to fill up the roster, with nearly all of the world’s A-10 squadrons in attendance. The units that took part in this year’s competition were:

  • AATC Test Squadron of Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona
  • 47th FS of Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona
  • 74th FS of Moody AFB, Georgia
  • 75th FS of Moody AFB, Georgia
  • 107th FS of Selfridge ANGB, Michigan
  • 104th FS of Westfield ANGB, Maryland
  • 303rd FS of Whiteman AFB, Missouri
  • 163rd FS of Fort Wayne ANGB, Indiana
  • 25ft FS of Osan AB, Republic of Korea
  • 76th FS of Moody AFB, Georgia
  • 354th FS of Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona
  • 357th FS of Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona
  • 358th FS of Whiteman AFB, Missouri
Fallen Hawg Ceremony - Hawgsmoke 2016 - Davis-Monthan AFBA-10 Warthog Formation - Hawgsmoke 2016 - Davis-Monthan AFB

Each squadron arrived on June 1st to a warm welcome from the DM personnel and each other. That afternoon, in keeping with Hawgsmoke tradition, the service men and women, friends, and families gathered in front of the parade grounds near a static A-10 to remember fellow Hawg drivers who were lost in and out of the service. Each year the complete list of names is read, sadly with a few new names added from the previous Hawgsmoke. A four-ship of Warthogs perform a missing man at the conclusion of Taps. To end the ceremony, all take part in shooting a small glass of alcohol and breaking the glass in the ceremonial fire pit as a final toast to their lost comrades. With that, the first day of Hawgsmoke is finished asecond the machismo builds in anticipation of the following day’s competition.

At the Barry M. Goldwater Range east of DM, a four-ship of the competing teams is sent in with a payload comprising of MK-76/BDU-33 25-lb. practice bombs, AGM-65 Mavericks, sometimes an LAU-131 rocket launcher with practice rockets, and a belt of 30mm practice rounds. The 30mm practice rounds are designed with an aluminum tip that breaks away in the air after firing, shaping the remaining round like a large, blunt slug to produce a more visible impact for scoring observers. Pilots that came without their own aircraft were able to make use of some of the many A-10s stationed at DM.

The competition consists of a series of bombing runs and strafing passes at various angles and altitudes along with a specialized tactical section. These conventional parts are consistent with each Hawgsmoke competition, while the tactical elements shift each Hawgsmoke, tailored to the desired training pilots are looking for for that particular year. The tactical element is flown in a 10-minutes window where the units must destroy as many targets as they can. This year’s tactical range pitted units against realistic threats templated around a series of targets to better prepare pilots for completing precise missions in hostile situations.

This year’s Hawgsmoke was another success and assuredly plenty of fun for all, but with every contest comes a victor, and for 2016’s Hawgsmoke, the winners were:

45-degree High Altitude Dive Bomb:
1. Capt. David Knighton – 47th FS, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ
2. 1st Lt Christopher Shelley – 76th FS, Moody AFB, GA
3. Maj. John “Atlas” Meyers – 25th FS, Osan AB, Republic of Korea

30-degree Dive Bomb Heading and Altitude Reference System, degraded delivery:
1. Capt. Tyler Shipman – 47th FS, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ
2. Maj. Jeff Sliwoski – ANG/Air Force Reserve Command Test Center, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ
3. Capt. Ryan Yingling – 104th FS, Westfield ANGB, MD

10-degree Low Angle High Drag Pop-up:
1. Capt. Simon Long – 47th FS, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ
2. Lt. Col. Alan McCracken – ANG/Air Force Reserve Command Test Center
3. Capt. David Knighton – 47th FS, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ

Long Range Strafe:
1. Lt. Col. John Marks – 303rd FS, Whiteman AFB, MO
2. Capt. Ben Best – 107th FS, Selfridge ANGB, MI

Low Angle Strafe:
1. Capt. Josh Woodard – 354th FS, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ
2. Capt. Max Sery – 25th FS, Osan AB, Republic of Korea

Top Conventional Team (Maj. Jeff Watterberg Trophy):
47th FS, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ

Top Tactical Team (Capt. Steve Phillis Trophy):
25th FS, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ

Top Overall Pilot (Lt. Col. Robert Brown Trophy):
Capt. David Knighton – 47th FS, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ

Top Overall Team (Col. Al “Mud” Moore Trophy)
47th FS, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ

Since the Termites dominated the competition once again, a special rule comes into play that prohibits a unit from hosting the event twice in a row. The second place top overall team will be hosting the next Hawgsmoke in 2018. In just a couple short years ahead, the A-10 Thunderbolt II units will meet back again, with some new faces and some familiar ones too, to duke it out in a friendly competition to see who will be the next top Hawg.

We at AirshowStuff would like to thank 2nd Lt. Sydney M. Smith for permitting us to observe the exciting event, the 47th FS for their accommodating hosting of the 8th Hawgsmoke competition, and all of the men and women that have kept this tradition alive and well.

Thunderbirds and Blue Angels Announce Show Cancellations

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams, Schedules | 2

US Navy Blue Angels

Following crashes at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO and in Smyrna, TN, the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels have officially announced cancellations of their performances in the coming weeks as both teams undergo a safety stand down.

We have already reported on the Syracuse International Air Show, which was scheduled to host the Blue Angels this weekend. They moved to secure the Sea Harrier, and also announced that all profits from the show will go to the family of fallen Blue Angel Capt Jeff Kuss. The show has also been granted a Super Hornet demonstration in lieu of the Blue Angels.

The Blue Angels were then scheduled to appear at the Vectren Dayton Airshow in Dayton, OH on June 18th and 19th. That show was notified Tuesday that the Blue Angels would not be attending. However, performers still scheduled for the Vectren Dayton Airshow include the USAF’s F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II and Heritage Flight, Tora Tora Tora Pearl Harbor re-enactment, the US Navy Leap Frogs and several other civilian performers. The show announced they will host the US Navy F-18 Hornet demonstration team as well.

Dayton released this statement following the Blue Angels announcement:
“We are saddened by the tragic loss of Marine Captain Jeff Kuss, Blue Angel # 6 in Tennessee last week,” stated Michael Emoff, United States Air and Trade Show Board of Trustees Chairman. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Captain Kuss’s family and the Blue Angel team members,” he added.

USAF Thunderbirds

The United States Air Force Thunderbirds also announced on Tuesday that the team would not be attending the 2016 Rhode Island International Airshow this upcoming June 11-12 weekend. A decision on the team’s performance at the Ocean City, MD airshow on June 17-18 has not been made at this time, according to the team. The Thunderbirds’ performance at the Kirtland Air Force Base Air Show was canceled last weekend immediately following the incident.

In a promising sign, the Thunderbirds returned to the skies on Tuesday for their first practice since the crash last Thursday. Hopefully they will be back to normal soon. The Blue Angels will obviously take more time to regroup and potentially retrain with a replacement solo pilot before resuming performances.

Bomber Heritage To Be Honored At Barksdale AFB Air Show With B-17/B-29/B-52 Formation Flight

posted in: Airshows, Military, Warbirds | 0

Barksdale AFB Airshow - B-17 B-29 B-52 Bomber Heritage Flight 2016

In a post on the Commemorative Air Force B-29/B-24 Squadron’s Facebook page, it was announced that their B-29 Superfortress “Fifi” will be participating in a historic flight at the upcoming Barksdale AFB Defenders of Liberty Air Show, to be held on 30 April and 1 May this year. The post detailed that Fifi will be participating in a formation flight with one of Barksdale’s B-52 Stratofortresses as well as the Lone Star Flight Museum’s B-17 Flying Fortress “Thunderbird.”

While the formation of a B-52 and B-17 has been seen before in recent years, the addition of the B-29 is significant in a historic aspect. Arguably, strategic air power for the United States began shortly before World War II with the US Army Air Corps purchase of Boeing Y1B-17s. Later manufactured and flown in service as the B-17, it became the backbone of air power in the European theater. Following the success of the 17 and strategic bombing, the B-29 would take over as the dominant force behind America’s newly formed Air Force until it’s retirement in 1960. At the dawn of the jet age, the B-29 would then be replaced by multiple new bomber designs until the iconic B-52 ultimately seated itself as the primary bomber of strategic air power for the US Air Force from 1952 on, still serving today.

The planned flight holds significance in the additional regard that the Boeing Company, the manufacturer of all three airframes, celebrates their centennial this year. For spectators at the show, this will be a unique opportunity to see the lineage of US bomber technology and heritage sharing the skies as a veritable bridge across time joining past and present.

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