Vucano Market - US Navy Blue Angels Towels (Officially Licensed)
Vucano Market - US Navy Blue Angels Towels (Officially Licensed)

New Photo Album – America’s Freedom Fest (Goshen, IN) 2017

posted in: Airshows, AirshowStuff, Event Recap | 1

America's Freedom Fest 2017 - Goshen, IN

A new album is now available in our photo gallery! Check it out here: America’s Freedom Fest (Goshen, IN) 2017 – Ryan Sundheimer

Also be sure to check out our videos from the show on our Youtube playlist:

Inside USAF Thunderbird Operations Over Colorado

posted in: Jet Teams | 1

USAF Thunderbirds Blue Out Pitch

The United States Air Force Thunderbirds recently wrapped up back-to-back weekends in the state of Colorado, where they performed at the Pikes Peak Regional Airshow on September 23rd and 24th and the Grand Junction Airshow on September 30th and October 1st. During this stretch, we were able to capture a special look at some of the logistics involved in the teams travels and their procedures to ensure a perfect performance.

Wednesday

The Thunderbirds begin each show week on Wednesday at their home, Nellis AFB. Typically, Thunderbird #7 or #8 departs to the next show site to meet with airshow organizers to ensure everything is set up for the teams arrival. This includes things like transportation, lodging, temporary flight restrictions, and ramp security. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew pack up their equipment and prepare it for transport.

Thunderbirds "One Team"

Thursday

On Thursday, roughly one hour ahead of the demonstration pilots, the enlisted personnel and support officers arrive via C-17 or C-130 (“Thunderbird 14”). Once on the ground, they begin preparing for the upcoming airshow. Support crews unload the communication and maintenance trailers, spare equipment, luggage of all members traveling, and even a spare Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 engine.

Supervising Thunderbird 14's DepartureThunderbird 14 Support Aircraft Unloading

Following the unloading of equipment and crew, flight operations start with the overhead arrival of Thunderbirds 1-6. Once at the show site the demonstration pilots conduct a survey of the area. This provides them with an opportunity to see the show lines, the crowd lines, and find points of reference on the ground. It’s really just an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the area so that they can fly a safe and well-executed show.

Thunderbirds Arrival into the Colorado Springs Area
Photo Credit: Maj. Ryan “Neo” Bodenheimer TB2 (Left Wing)

After all aircraft, equipment, and personnel are on the ground the jets are thoroughly checked for maintenance complications by the support personal while the officers meet with members of the media for plane-side interviews to help promote the event. This is a great way for local news channels to get people interested in the airshow. While this is taking place, Thunderbird #7 or #8 are in a pre-flight briefing with a lucky member of the media who was pre-selected to go up for a media ride and represent their news station. The media ride takes place in one of the team’s two-seat F-16D’s, which also serve as backup jets for the performances. During the flight, the pilot demonstrates maneuvers from the show routine to the media representative in the back seat.

Thunderbird #7 Stare Down During Engine StartThunderbird 7 Media Flight Launch

Friday

Friday begins early in the morning, with most of the team participating in school visits, children’s hospital visits, and other such recruiting or community outreach opportunities. At the same time, aircraft specialists are at the airfield preparing the F-16’s for the afternoon practice demonstration. The Friday practice allows for the Thunderbirds to adjust for any complications or abnormalities they may have during the demonstration, whether it be timing, maneuvers, show lines, or narration. Once the afternoon rolls around it’s all hands on deck preparing for the practice show as if it were the real deal. In many ways it actually is the same, as the Thunderbirds and airshow organizers often invite distinguished guests and members of the media to the Friday show to hopefully give one last push to bring in the crowds on Saturday and Sunday.

Thundebirds Line Chief Overseeing Launch Procedures

Thunderbird #6 Site Survey LaunchThunderbird #8 "Speedy" Back In Action Providing Narration

The Friday practice in Grand Junction actually provided a unique opportunity to witness a Thunderbird mission that is rarely seen. During the performance, the demonstration pilots were shadowed by Thunderbird #7 Lt. Col Kevin “Lowen” Walsh flying a photo chase mission with a back seat photographer from the Thunderbirds Public Affairs Office. This is how the team gets amazing photos and videos of the diamond formation performing aerobatics, and it is not a common sight.

Thunderbird #7 Acting as Photo Chase following the DiamondPhoto Chase aircraft taxing out

Though the practice may have looked flawless to any member of the general public, a rigorous debrief begins immediately afterward where the officers review ground recordings, HUD tapes, and other on-board footage recorded during the show. This allows them to grade themselves on their overall performance and tells them what they can clean up, improve on, and make better for Saturday and Sunday.

Diamond Pass In Review

Saturday/Sunday

Saturday and Sunday begins, as we all know, with an early morning opening of the airshow gates, food, drinks, and hours family entertainment while the other airshow performers fly. During this time the Thunderbirds are preparing for their flight with a briefing, preflight checks, aircraft pushbacks, and communications checks. Everything funnels into the ability to provide the grand finale at the end of the day, thrilling thousands of excited fans.

Once the weekend is over the cycle resets. The team loads up to fly back to Nellis for a short bit of rest before starting again. It’s a constant fast-paced work environment that is often tasking on the team members and their families, but the rewards are extraordinary and every member of the team is always “happy to be here.”

Article and photos by Anthony Cornelius

Dedicated Crew Chief for Thunderbird #3 Launching Out His Pilot

WATCH: Two B-29 Superfortresses Flying Together For The First Time In Decades!

Double Trouble!

What’s better than a flyover from a B-29 Superfortress? The obvious answer is flyovers from TWO B-29 Superfortresses! AirVenture 2017 was an exciting week for many reasons, but this just may be the best reason of all. For the first time since 1960, there were two airworthy B-29 Superfortresses sharing the skies, and the AirshowStuff.com crew was there to capture this historic moment.

Although “Fifi” has ruled the airshow circuit as the only flyable B-29 for years, “Doc” became airworthy in 2016 and completed test flights in 2017. Attention immediately turned to the first time these aircraft would meet each other, and there was little doubt it’d be in Oshkosh. The two ultra-rare warbirds flew together several times during the week, ultimately flying in close formation together along with numerous other historical and modern bombers for an absolutely astonishing joint flyby!

Be sure to subscribe to the AirshowStuffVideos channel on YouTube for more great videos.

-Justin Miner

B-29 Superfortress FifiB-29 Superfortress Fifi

WATCH: A-10 Warthogs Attack The Oshkosh Airport At Dusk!

Hawg Attack!

The twilight airshows at AirVenture are one of those “not to be missed” events. There’s just something about that time in the evening when the sun has gone down, but it’s still light enough out that makes for some spectacular scenes. It’s a favorite among airshow enthusiasts, and just in case you weren’t able to make it, or if you want to see it again, the AirshowStuff.com crew is bringing you a replay of the Saturday evening A-10 Warthog Demo. You get to see two A-10s from the 122nd Fighter Squadron of the Indiana Air National Guard, known as the Blacksnakes, do what Hawgs do best, and that’s bomb and strafe things! Assisted with pyro by the famous Tora Bomb Squad, this demo is an awesome sight!

Be sure to subscribe to the AirshowStuffVideos channel on YouTube for more great videos.

-Justin Miner

A-10 Thunderbolt IIA-10 Warthogs

WATCH: Rare Joint Flight Of NASA T-38 And NACA P-63 Honors Legacy Of Flight Testing

posted in: Featured Videos, Warbirds | 0

The History of Aeronautical Exploration!

There’s no end to the types of aircraft that you can see at AirVenture. If you look in any direction, you can see everything from homebuilts to the latest military hardware. This year, a unique duo took to the skies of Oshkosh during Sunday’s airshow for a display that’s both rare, and a treat to watch. Representing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, a NASA T-38 Talon takes to the skies and shares the airspace with a National Advisory Committee of Aeronautics P-63 Kingcobra wearing special Test markings. Although the aircraft didn’t fly in close formation, their joint passes offered a special tribute to pioneers of science and technology both past and present. It’s a unique combination even for AirVenture!

The P-63 was also part of a different special flight during AirVenture; a formation of three P-63 Kingcobras, approximately half of the flyable examples in the world!

Be sure to subscribe to the AirshowStuffVideos channel on YouTube for more great videos.

-Justin Miner

NASA T-38 Talon - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017NACA P-63 Kingcobra - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017

WATCH: F-22 Raptors Arrive In Oshkosh With Vapor And Afterburners!

posted in: Featured Videos, Military | 0

Raptors Roar Over Oshkosh

There’s nothing quite like the sight of an F-22 Raptor pulling a tight turn and squeezing the moisture out of the air with vapor rolling off the wings. In this video, the AirshowStuff.com crew proudly brings you the arrival of two US Air Force F-22 Raptors to EAA AirVenture. There’s no doubt the F-22 is one of the world’s most advanced fighters in the air today, with thrust vectoring and stealth capabilities. Who can resist the powerful roar of the two Pratt and Whitney F119 engines as the Raptor flexes its muscles and thunders past?

In this video, you’ll get to see these stars of the USAF perform multiple low approaches and flybys. See the afterburners kick in and the heat from the engines as the Raptors bank away, not to mention that awesome vapor flowing over the wings and fuselage. We hope you enjoy viewing this video as much as we enjoyed making it for you. So put on some aviators, put it on full screen, turn up the volume, and revel in the awesomeness of these F-22 Raptors at AirVenture!

Be sure to subscribe to the AirshowStuffVideos channel on YouTube for more great videos.

-Justin Miner

Lockheed F-22 RaptorF-22 Raptor With Afterburner

Fat Albert Grounded As Part Of C-130T Safety Stand Down, Not Expected To Appear In Oshkosh

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams | 0

US Navy Blue Angels - C-130 Hercules Fat Albert

Fat Albert is grounded once again. All KC-130T Hercules aircraft, used by the Marine Corps, have been grounded as a precaution after a KC-130 crashed earlier this month in Louisiana, killing 16. This includes Fat Albert, the support aircraft of the US Navy Blue Angels demonstration team that is performing at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh this weekend. Unfortunately she is not expected to fly in to Oshkosh or perform in the show. The team’s F/A-18 Hornets will still perform as planned.

Bert actually remains on the ground in Idaho Falls, ID, where the team performed last weekend. A US Navy C-40 Clipper (737) flew in to Oshkosh to deliver the team’s support staff and some equipment. There is no word on how long the stand down will last, but it indicates that there are concerns stemming from the crash that require further analysis. Fat Albert returned to airshows from a nearly year-long overhaul earlier this month.

EAA initially announced (and later reaffirmed) that all C-130s in the US military were grounded, but this was later proven to be false. Although we updated our posts as more information became available, we apologize for any confusion due to what should have been a reliable source.

The 2017 Lethbridge International Air Show Was One To Remember

posted in: Airshows, Event Recap | 0

Canadian Forces Snowbirds - Lethbridge International Air Show 2017

The biennial Lethbridge International Air Show returned in 2017 as a highlight worth catching in Southern Alberta and Western Canada. With a full list of performers of all types and a static display that was impressive to say the least, the July 15-16 weekend was well spent in Lethbridge.

Friday – Night Show

Friday’s schedule started late to allow for a twilight show, something which is thankfully becoming more common. The show began with the United States Army Golden Knights jumping in at the start of golden hour. Shortly after they landed, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds took to the skies for yet another excellent performance, even with one ship missing. With light fading, the Canadian Air Force CC-177 Globemaster III powered down the runway and bolted into the sky. Geoff Latter in his Nanchang CJ-6 “Nancy” followed, then the United States Air Force’s A-10 Thunderbolt II “Warthog” mini-demo with some up-close and impressive pyro. Canada’s own Pete McLeod of Red Bull Air Racing fame tumbled through the sky just before Mark Peterson in his Dornier AlphaJet demonstrated how high-performance a non-afterburning jet can be. Greg “Wired” Colyer in his T-33 Shooting Star “Ace Maker II” kept it low and fast ahead of Jerry Conley in his beautiful de Havilland DH-115 Vampire “Vampy ‘Too’.” Just before the sun began to set, the Golden Knights fit in their full routine.

US Army Golden Knights - Lethbridge International Air Show 2017de Havilland DH-115 Vampire "Vampy Too" - Lethbridge International Air Show 2017

The highlight of the show was certainly the last demo, and one the crowds were waiting for: the CF-18 Hornet. The Hornet, with afterburners lighting up the runway, burnt a trail across the then night sky. Before finishing his routine, Bill Braack in the Smoke-N-Thunder Jetcar took to the runway and challenged the Hornet to a race, of which the outcome was undetermined by most spectators due to the enormous and impressive wall of fire that lit the grounds and sky as they crossed the finished line.

While the flying had finished and most were filing out of the show, a smaller, less-appreciated setting had been set on the static display. Folks on their way off of the airport were treated to the numerous aircraft on the static line lit up by large, portable lights, providing a unique and often unseen view as the last bit of light faded from the day into the dark.

CAF CF-18 Hornet - Lethbridge International Air Show 2017CAF Snowbirds - Lethbridge International Air Show 2017

Saturday – Full Show

This was the first and only day to show the full line-up of performers in the light of day. Attendance was noticeably high, despite the winds and approaching weather that persisted throughout the day. Nearly all performers were able to fit in their routines without issue. The Golden Knights were able to complete their first jump (which we were graciously allowed to observe from the aircraft), but unable to finish their second due to the winds. This prompted Transport Canada to monitor the approaching storm, and once it closed within 1 km, the show was postponed for a mandatory evacuation of the grounds. Shortly after, lightning struck the end of the runway. By then, the NOTAM set to secure the airspace for the performers was too near its end to continue the show, and the decision was made to cancel the remainder of the acts (CF-18 and Snowbirds).

Pete McLeod (Red Bull Air Racer) - Lethbridge International Air Show 2017Mustang High Flight - Dornier AlphaJet - Lethbridge International Air Show 2017

Sunday – Mini-Show

With the same hours as the full show, but with select performances, the mini-show was intended to give first-time attendees a taste of what an air show is like. The winds were still high throughout the day, resulting in the Golden Knights cancelling their demo that afternoon. The acts that did still take the sky included the CC-177, T-33, AlphaJet, Vampire, A-10, CAF Snowbirds, CJ-6, and CF-18.

RCAF CC-177 Globemaster III - Lethbridge International Air Show 2017A-10 Thunderbolt II Warthog - Lethbridge International Air Show 2017

Statics

Certainly the aerial performers were worth the admission, but just as equally the static displays that attended proved worthwhile. All of the aircraft on the website’s listing of confirmed attendees showed up except the Transport Canada National Aerial Surveillance Dash 8. In a surprise filling of the Dash 8’s vacancy, a US Navy E-6B Mercury airborne command post and communications relay aircraft from Tinker AFB, Oklahoma came to the show. Additionally, a Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 from 410 Tactical Fighter Operational Training Squadron, nicknamed the “Cougars,” with a special 75th anniversary painted tail joined the many heavies on the line. The show had a total of three C-17s on display, with one from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, Altus AFB, Oklahoma, and a CC-177 from CFB Trenton, Ontario.

USMC MV-22 Osprey on static - Lethbridge International Air Show 2017USN E-6B Mercury on static - Lethbridge International Air Show 2017

With a few hiccups throughout the weekend due to weather and other elements out of the show’s control, the 2017 Lethbridge International Air Show was able to impress with a stellar line-up of performers and a static display most shows would envy. We at AirshowStuff would like the thank the Lethbridge International Air Show Association and its volunteers for putting on this year’s show. We’d also like to thank Kim and Trina Tymko of Prime Rentals Ltd. for their sponsorship of the air show and help in coordinating our visit. We look forward to seeing you all again in 2019!

Look for much more coverage of this great event on our Facebook page and Youtube channel as we work through a mountain of content!

Celebrate EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 With These 20 Amazing Videos

posted in: Airshows, Event Recap, Featured Videos | 0

The countdown to AirVenture is getting shorter with each passing minute! We’re celebrating with our favorite videos from previous years. Each year, AirVenture brings together such a diverse mix of aircraft, performers, and fans. There is really no other event like it in the world!

Here are our 20 favorite videos from EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016! If you want to skip ahead, just go ahead and check out our EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 playlist that features all 49 of our videos from the show.

20. Mass Arrivals at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 – Sunday

19. USAF C-5M Super Galaxy Arrival – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

18. Boeing 747-8F Maximum Performance Departure – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

17. F-16 Fighting Falcon Full Demo and Heritage Flight w/ P-51 – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

16. Warbird Extravaganza! Jets, Fighters, and Bombers – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

15. Minimum Interval Departures – Sunday Part 1 – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

14. Seaplane Base and Martin Mars – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

13. Helmet Cam! MiG-17 and F-86 Sabre Formation – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

12. F-4 Phantom Helmet Cam – Two-Ship Airshow Demo and Departure – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

11. Texas Flying Legends (B-25, Spitfire, F4U, P-51, P-40, F4F) with Pyro! – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

10. U-2 Dragon Lady Flyover – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

9. US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet Twilight Demonstration – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

8. F-16 Cockpit Cam – Aerobatics and Heritage Flight w/P-51 Mustang – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

7. Cockpit/Swimmer Cam – US Coast Guard MH-65 SAR Demo – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

6. F-15C Eagle Flybys – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

5. Canadian Forces Snowbirds – Arrivals – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

4. Mass 34-Ship RV Flyovers – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

3.Two-ship US Coast Guard SAR Demo – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

2. Martin Mars – Water Bombing Demo And Flybys – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

1. Two-Ship F-4 Phantom Takeoff and Flybys – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

Still haven’t got enough OSHKOSH? Watch over 5 hours of video in our Mega Compilation!

Relive EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 With These 20 Amazing Videos

As we continue to count down to EAA AirVenture, we’re going back through some of our videos from previous years and, no surprise, finding some incredible moments. Each year, AirVenture brings together such a diverse mix of aircraft, performers, and fans. There is really no other event like it in the world!

Here are our 20 favorite videos from EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015! If you want to skip ahead, just go ahead and check out our EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 playlist that features all 65(!) of our videos from the show.

20. Gusty Crosswind Arrivals and Departures (Monday) – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

19. Valdez STOL Competition (Monday) – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

18. Battle of Britain Tribute – Lancaster, Mosquito, Spitfire – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

17. Helicopters and Autogyros at the Ultralight Field – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

16. Helmet Cam – T-34 Mentor Mass Formation Arrival – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

15. 108-Person Mass Formation Skydive – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

14. Texas Flying Legends Warbirds (B-25, P-40, F4U, P-51, TBM, A6M2) – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

13. USAF F-22 Raptor Mini-Demo and Heritage Flight – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

12. RideAlong! P-51 Mustang Heritage Flight with P-38 and F-22 – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

11. USMC AV-8B Harrier Demo “From the Ditch” – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

10. Mustang Mania! Mass P-51 Mustang Takeoffs, Formation, and Flybys – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

9. Minimum Interval Departures on Runway 27 (Thursday) – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

8. “Tora Tora Tora” Pearl Harbor Reenactment – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

7. Airbus A350 Arrival and Demonstration – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

6. USMC AV-8B Harrier II+ Twilight Demo “From the Taxiway” – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

5. F-100 Super Sabre Twilight Afterburner – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

4. Burt Rutan Tribute – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

3. Military Departures Compilation (F-22s/F-35s/F-4/AV-8Bs/B-52) – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

2. F-35 Lightning II Low Approaches and Arrival – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

1. USAF F-4 Phantom II Twilight Demonstration – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

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