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

Atlantic Trident 2017 Exercise Combines Eurofighters, Rafales, And Raptors To Strengthen Ties Between Allies

posted in: Event Recap, Military | 0

French Air Force Rafale - Atlantic Trident 2017

After entering World War I on the 6th of April 1917, the United States’ participation in Europe led down a path of air power that resulted in our current day United States Air Force. On 5 May 1918, the American Expeditionary Force in Europe activated the 1st Pursuit Group at Gencoult, France. Commanded by Major Bert M. Atkinson, this unit was the first American group-level fighter organization and is now known as the 1st Fighter Wing, the Air Force’s oldest Wing. The 1st Pursuit Group consisted of five Aero Squadrons: 27th, 94th, 95th, 147th, and 185th. Of these five, the 27th and the 94th remain part of the wing to this day, and ensure air dominance with their F-22 Raptors.

During combat throughout Europe, the pilots of the 1st Pursuit Group conducted over 1,400 aerial engagements and accumulated 202 confirmed aerial victories. The 27th Aero Squadron’s 2nd Lieutenant Frank Luke Jr. achieved 18 aerial victories before he was shot down and killed while engaging the enemy on the ground on 29 September 1918. For his actions, Luke received the Air Force’s first ever Medal of Honor. The 94th Fighter Squadron’s Captain Eddie Rickenbacker achieved 26 aerial victories, more than any other American pilot in WWI. While on patrol on 25 September 1918, Rickenbacker engaged seven enemy planes on his own, destroying two, and was later awarded the Medal of Honor for his gallantry against the enemy. On 10 November 1918, the day before the war ended, Major Maxwell Kirby of the 94th Aero Squadron recorded the last aerial victory of WWI. Throughout the war, the 1st Pursuit Group remained constantly engaged with the enemy in the skies over the battlefields and earned eight campaign credits.

Royal Air Force Typhoon - Atlantic Trident 2017USAF F-22 Raptor - Atlantic Trident 2017

It was during WWI that the Air Forces of the three countries participating in Atlantic Trident 2017, namely the US, France, and Great Britain, began building a relationship that has lasted 100 years. The 27th Aero Squadron’s origins are tied closely to the Royal Flying Corps of the British Army. The 27th received its advanced aerial training from British instructors in Canada before deploying to Europe. In addition, the commander of the squadron when they entered the war was Major Harold E. Hartney, a former Royal Flying Corps veteran who had already flown in combat and been shot down by Baron Manfred von Richthofen. The British cultural influence and training helped make the 27th one of the most lethal American squadrons during the war with 56 confirmed aerial victories.

Atlantic Trident 2017 is not only a multi-national training exercise but a celebration of the alliance the UK, France, and United States maintain. The 2017 exercise includes French Rafales, Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4s from the UK, as well as home-based F-22 Raptors, F-35As from Eglin AFB in Florida, and F-15E Strike Eagles from Mountain Home AFB in Idaho. The Strike Eagles got the opportunity to team up with Langley T-38 Talons to serve as the bad guys, or “red air”.

French Air Force Rafale - Atlantic Trident 2017Patrouille de France - Atlantic Trident 2017

To help commemorate this anniversary, the base hosted a media day and small airshow during the exercise. The morning consisted of a USAF F-22 Raptor demonstration followed by a French Air Force Rafale demonstration. The Patrouille de France finished it up with their aerobatic performance. Following the demonstrations, we were given the chance to interview the crews from the demonstrations and then visit the alert hangars for a static display that included all the exercise aircraft. The day finished up with a mass launch of 24 aircraft for the only planned sortie of the day; quite a lot of military metal in the skies over eastern Virginia!

We would like to extend our gratitude to Jeff Hood, Maj. Whitlatch and everyone at the 633d Air Base Wing, Joint Base Langley-Eustis for going above and beyond to make this day happen.

Photos courtesy of guest contributor Andy Backowski.

USAF F-15E Strike Eagle - Atlantic Trident 2017USAF F-35A Lightning II - Atlantic Trident 2017

Patrouille de France Concludes 2017 US Tour, Heads For Canada

posted in: Jet Teams | 0

Patrouille de France Over Kittyhawk/Wright Brothers Monument

The Patrouille de France has finished their 2017 tour of the United States, and the team is on its way north to Canada right now. The French have spent the last several days at the NATO Festival in Norfolk, Virginia and performed several flyovers of the city and surrounding area during their time there. The image above shows them flying over Kittyhawk, North Carolina and the Wright Brothers Memorial. Just out of view is where the first powered flight took place in 1903.

Patrouille de France Over Norfolk

The Patrouille is due to perform at the Wings Over Gatineau airshow in Quebec today, then perform a joint flight with the Canadian Forces Snowbirds tomorrow over Parliament Hill on Ottawa. All ten Alpha Jets and their A400M support aircraft will then transit the North Atlantic back to Europe.

Top photo: Patrouille de France on Twitter
Bottom photo: Larry Ferdinande

US Air Force Thunderbirds And Patrouille de France Fly Together Over Nevada

posted in: Jet Teams | 1

Patrouille de France and USAF Thunderbirds Fly Together

Two teams, together as one. That was the sight in the skies around Nellis AFB on today as the Patrouille de France arrived in Las Vegas for a visit with the United States Air Force Thunderbirds at their home base. The Thunderbirds sent up all six of their F-16 Fighting Falcons to escort the eight French Alpha Jets in, setting up a dramatic photo opportunity over the desert and mountains near Nellis.

Patrouille de France and Thunderbirds Fly Together

The pilots and maintainers will spend two days in Las Vegas before flying to Colorado Springs, CO and Peterson AFB to fly over the US Air Force Academy. From there, they will travel to Langley AFB to take part in a VIP event which AirshowStuff will bring you coverage of on Friday. Several other events on their North American tour follow before they return to France in May.

Patrouille de France and USAF Thunderbirds

This isn’t the first time that the USAF Thunderbirds have spent time with the Patrouille de France. The teams performed together at the Melbourne Air & Space Show in early April, and again one week later at Maxwell AFB in Alabama.

The Patrouille’s visit to Nellis AFB comes a short time after they had a similar joint formation flight with the Blue Angels while visiting them in Pensacola.

All photos courtesy of the Patrouille de France and USAF Thunderbirds

Patrouille de France and USAF Thunderbirds Fly TogetherPatrouille de France and USAF Thunderbirds Fly Together
Patrouille de France and USAF Thunderbirds Fly TogetherPatrouille de France and USAF Thunderbirds Fly Together
Patrouille de France and USAF Thunderbirds Fly TogetherPatrouille de France and Thunderbirds

Patrouille de France 2017 US Tour Hits West Coast With Incredible San Francisco Photo Shoot

posted in: Flyovers, Jet Teams | 0

Patrouille de France Over San Francisco/Golden Gate Bridge

The 2017 US Tour of the Patrouille de France has hit the West Coast! The team performed for one time only at Mather Airport in Sacramento, CA in the morning, then headed for a photo shoot with San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge in the evening. Spectators stood in awe as the eight-ship formation followed their supporting A400M Atlas transport/photoship on multiple flybys around the Bay Area. Two other Alpha Jets trailed the formation for more photos. These magnificent images from this flight really speak for themselves!

Patrouille de France Over San FranciscoPatrouille de France Over San Francisco

The Patrouille has previously flown photo missions over New York City and the Statue of Liberty as well the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley. They also performed at several East Coast airshows and even stopped to visit the US Navy Blue Angels at their home base of NAS Pensacola. Their trip through North America is quickly coming to an end though, and they will be heading East again soon for several military-focused events before proceeding up through Canada and back home to France at the beginning of May.

All photos courtesy Armée de l’air

Patrouille de France Over San FranciscoPatrouille de France Over San Francisco

A Grand Photo Shoot! The Patrouille de France Fly Over The Grand Canyon And More!

posted in: Jet Teams | 0

Patrouille de France Fly Over Grand Canyon

After spending some time in the Eastern United States, performing at airshows, and visiting the Blue Angels, the Patrouille de France aerobatic team has made their way to the West Coast. Along the way, they stopped by the American Southwest for some amazing photo ops!

The eight Alpha Jets flew over Monument Valley, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, and the Grand Canyon on Thursday! They will continue their US tour for just a couple more weeks before working their way home to France for the European airshow season.

Check out some of the photos from the flight!
Patrouille de France Fly Over Monument Valley

Patrouille de France Fly Over Horseshoe Bend

Patrouille de France Fly Over Lake Powell

Photos courtesy of the Patrouille de France

RARE SIGHT: Blue Angels and Patrouille de France Fly Together

posted in: Jet Teams, Popular Posts | 1

Blue Angels and Patrouille de France Fly Together

The world’s two oldest military flight demonstration teams flew together Sunday night as the US Navy Blue Angels returned to Pensacola from Sun ‘n Fun with the Patrouille de France in tow to spend a few days with the team.

The eight Alpha Jets of the Patrouille teamed up with the Blue’s six F/A-18 Hornets at sunset, flying down the coastline and creating a fantastic photo opportunity for Blue Angel #7 to snap a few pictures, like the one above.

Check out this video posted by a boater off the coast of Pensacola!

The French team’s visit is part of a nationwide tour that takes them from coast to coast. The team just wrapped up the central Florida portion of the visit with airshow performances in Melbourne, FL and Lakeland, FL.

Below are some photos provided by the Blue Angels Association!

Blue Angels and Patrouille de France Fly TogetherBlue Angels and Patrouille de France Fly Together

Have a photo or video you took? Post it on our Facebook wall or our forums! We’d love to see it.

WATCH: Patrouille de France Performs In The US For The First Time In Decades

The Patrouille de France performed the first airshow routine of their North American tour this past weekend, and we were there to capture it! Check out this video of their entire show on the Friday practice day at the Melbourne Air and Space Show in Florida. Melbourne is one of just a handful of stops the team will make on their whirlwind tour through the US and Canada this month, and marks the first US performance by the team in more than 30 years.

The routine is a little shorter than those of the US Navy Blue Angels and US Air Force Thunderbirds, but contains all of the same exciting elements – formation aerobatics, opposing flybys, and nonstop action. Because the Patrouille perform with eight jets instead of six, they can put together some larger formations and utilize multiple groups of aircraft in a similar fashion to the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, who perform with nine CT-114 Tutors. The French team also makes use of red- and blue-colored smoke, which might not sound like much but adds to the performance significantly and is a rare sight here in the US.

Patrouille de France US Tour 2017French Air Force Airbus A400M - Patrouille de France US Tour 2017

As a special treat, the team’s Airbus A400M Atlas support aircraft also took to the skies for a few flybys. It is accompanying the team all throughout their tour to transport their crew and equipment, and can also serve as a photo platform during their planned flyovers of US landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty and New York City. This marked the first ever airshow performance by an A400M in the US and although it is far from the maximum performance company demonstration, it was an exciting addition to the lineup! You can check it out in the video below.

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

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams, Schedules | 17
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 (12pm)
March 26th: Washington DC flyby (1pm) 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

Patrouille de France 2017 North American Tour Extended; Canadian Show Added

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams, Schedules | 2
Patrouille de France
Source: Patrouille de France

The Patrouille de France has added a Canadian stop to their 2017 North American tour. The Wings Over Gatineau airshow in Quebec has moved from June 30th to April 30th in order to secure an appearance by the French national aerobatic display team. The show is hosted by Vintage Wings Of Canada, a flying museum that operates aircraft such as the “Hawk One” F-86 Sabre, a P-51 Mustang, and an FG-1D (F4U) Corsair.

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds, who were scheduled to perform at the show in June, are expected to follow the date change but have not yet confirmed their intent to do so. They do not currently have any April appearances on their 2017 schedule.

This is the first Canadian date for the Patrouille’s tour, and extends the time frame for their return home by several weeks. Previously announced stops include Melbourne, FL, Sun ‘n Fun in Florida, Kansas City, MO, and Maxwell AFB, AL. These shows are all in early to mid April, leaving a significant gap yet to be filled by additional appearances.

Patrouille de France Confirmed For 2017 Sun ‘n Fun Appearance, Kansas City Appearance Tentative

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams, Schedules | 1
Patrouille de France - United States Tour
Photo source: Sun ‘n Fun

The Patrouille de France has added another show to its short US airshow tour this spring! This morning, the Sun ‘n Fun Facebook page announced that the French aerobatic team will be performing at the event on April 4th. This date is just after their previously announced appearance at the Melbourne Air and Space Show on April 1st and 2nd. The two shows are less than 100 miles apart, so it is no surprise that the team would stop at Sun ‘n Fun, which runs from the 4th through the 9th.

A third event is also in the works, but has not been confirmed. Tentative plans are for the team to perform in Kansas City, MO on April 6th. This would coincide with the 100th anniversary of the US entering World War I in France. Kansas City is the home of the National World War I Museum and Memorial. This appearance has not been confirmed, and it is unclear if it would be a true airshow or simply a flyover. We will of course post details as we get them!

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