AirshowStuff’s Top Ten Warbird Videos Of 2018

As our 13th year of airshow coverage comes to a close, we’re taking a look back at another awesome season of aviation and airshows!

Warbirds – aircraft that are no longer in military service – are one of the most popular searches across all of our channels, and it’s easy to see why. Many people have strong emotional connections to these aircraft, maybe due to a relative who flew one or just as a touchstone to history. Warbirds are almost by definition quite rare, and we are glad to share the sights and sounds of these vintage beasts! Here are ten of our favorite warbird videos from 2018!

We also have lists of our top ten onboard videos and our top ten military videos!

Two F7F Tigercats Flying Together

Listen to this exceptionally rare pair get the props going on their high speed pass in Oshkosh! A unique – and chilling – sound! One of the aircraft lost a wheel on landing, but was otherwise undamaged.

MiG-17 Afterburner at Sunset

Randy Ball flies what may be the perfect warbird routine – a mix of aerobatics, high speed passes, and photo passes. He knows what the crowd likes, and it’s even more beautiful at dusk!

Air to Air With an A-26 Invader and Four TBM Avengers

One of the coolest air to air flights we did all year was this rare opportunity to hang out the open door of a Beech 18 with five rare warbirds flying off the wing!

Warbirds Roaring Directly Overhead on the Hot Ramp

We work hard to film from spots with no music or narrators blasting over the PA, and this year our friends at the Terre Haute Airshow helped us out with amazing access to the hot ramp. Enjoy this compilation of warbirds, including a B-17 Flying Fortress, B-25 Mitchell, P-51 Mustang, and more – watch for them to blast right overhead on their photo passes!

An Inside Look at Tora Tora Tora – Right Next to the Bombs

They’re warbirds in two different senses – T-6 Texans and BT-13 Valiants masquerading as Japanese Zeros, Vals, and Kates – and we had a great time getting attacked by them while sitting in the pyro field during this performance by the Tora Tora Tora group!

Preflighting a Supermarine Spitfire in Oshkosh

This video has less action than most, but it’s also one of the most informative. Dave Hadfield, who flies a number of warbirds, was nice enough to show us around the Mike Potter Collection’s Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX on the ground at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. Learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about preflighting a Spitfire! Dave also shared some cockpit footage with us – check back for that when we list our 2018 on-board videos!

Spitfire Flybys for RAF 100

Here’s the end result of the Spitfire preflight – some spectacular flybys lit up by the late afternoon sun. Oshkosh helped mark the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force with the Spitfire, a de Havilland Chipmunk, and a BAC Jet Provost.

Twilight Flybys From an F-5 Freedom Fighter

This nimble F-5 Freedom Fighter showed off just after sunset at the America’s Freedom Fest airshow in Goshen, IN. We’ll also have cockpit footage from this jet coming up with other on-board videos!

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Trenchard Formation

Thanks to our friends at This Is Flight, we were able to share a look of this excellent and rare formation flown by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight over in the UK which includes one of only two flying Avro Lancasters in the world!

Jet Warbird Day at EAA AirVenture

Jet Warbird Day at EAA AirVenture means a sky full of jets. This video is part 2 of our footage – you can see part 1 here – and includes F-86 Sabres, the F-5 Freedom Fighter mentioned above, and the only flyby all week from the Gloster Meteor that just came to the United States this year. The Meteor and missing man formation before it were flown as a tribute to Marty Tibbitts, who was killed in a crash while practicing for the show.

Remember to subscribe to our Youtube channel for even more warbird videos – we’re adding more all the time!

Pilot OK After Spitfire Crashes At Biggin Hill After Losing Power On Takeoff

posted in: Miscellaneous, Warbirds | 0
Crashed Spitfire - Twitter/@khurramfarooq
Twitter/@khurramfarooq

Reports from the UK are saying a Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. IXc has crashed shortly after losing power on takeoff from Biggin Hill. The aircraft (MK912) was piloted by former RAF test pilot Dan Griffiths for a routine test flight preparing for the upcoming Battle of Britain commemoration display. The Spitfire experienced a loss of power shortly after takeoff and Griffiths made a forced landing. The aircraft came to rest inside the airport grounds along Main Road suffering significant damage. Griffiths is reported to be in the hospital with a shoulder injury.

The Spitfire belongs to Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar, who plan to repair the aircraft. MK912 was one of 31 airworthy Spitfires left in the UK today, of which nine are currently owned by Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar. The Battle of Britain commemoration will continue as planned for September 18 of this year.

https://twitter.com/TelegraphNews/status/627515282571919360

Eau Claire, WI Adds CF-18 Hornet To Airshow Lineup

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 0

Air to Air - CF-18 Hornet Demonstration Team - Battle of Britain Paint Scheme

We now know where the CF-18 Hornet demonstration team is headed for the 4th of July weekend – Eau Claire, WI. The team, along with the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, was left with an open weekend after the Wings Over Wasaga Airshow canceled about a month ago. The Chippewa Valley Airshow in Eau Claire announced today that the CF-18 has been added to the lineup, which is headlined by the US Navy Blue Angels. There is still no word on if the Snowbirds will fill that open weekend or use for some mid-season rest.

Canadian Snowbirds And CF-18 Hornet Spring Practice/Air To Air Photos

posted in: Jet Teams, Military, Popular Posts | 0

Canadian Forces Snowbirds - Air to Air Over British Columbia

For the past few weeks, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds and CF-18 Hornet demo teams have been ripping up the skies over Comox, BC, practicing their routines for the upcoming air show season, now just around the bend. We were lucky enough to participate in observing their practices and operations last week, and even a unique air-to-air photo op!

View all of the photos from Comox in our photo gallery: Canadian Snowbirds/CF-18 Hornet Air to Air and Comox Practice

Winter training takes part at CFB Comox on Vancouver Island as the base offers both teams the chance to practice over land and water with the Strait of Georgia just beyond the base perimeter. To the east are the majestic peaks of the Beaufort Range offering additional practice opportunities. While at Comox, both teams will fly at least once nearly every day, rain or shine. The wind and rain were heavy during last Thursday’s practice and both teams went out; the Snowbirds over Air Force Beach and the CF-18 over the base, both performing low shows.

2015 CF-18 Hornet Demonstration Practice - Comox, BC Canadian Snowbirds Practice - Air Force Beach, BC

Both teams have maneuvers to perfect in their routine. Thorough debriefs follow each practice, where the team reviews their entire performance and critiques each maneuver to correct mistakes, some not even visible to observers on the ground. Each member of the Snowbirds is tasked with progress reports during the debrief to pass along any improvements or struggles they have had since the last practice. Flying the routines is only one element of the practice for the team. Simulator training also occurs, practicing taxi maneuvers and close proximity parking to perfect the ground performance as well. These practices develop the team into the fantastic performers we love to see each season.

Canadian Snowbirds Practice - Double Take - Air Force Beach, BC Canadian Snowbirds Practice - Opposing Pass- Air Force Beach, BC

This year, the Snowbirds are changing things up a bit. For shows with adequate runway length and fair weather, the team will depart in a 5 jet/4 jet formation takeoff, as opposed to their traditional 3/3/3 formation. You’ll also notice some new maneuvers such as the Card Nine and the Double-Take (as seen above) inserted into their performance this year.

2015 CF-18 Hornet Demo Team Battle of Britain Scheme - Air to Air Over British Columbia 2015 CF-18 Hornet Demo Team Battle of Britain Scheme - Air to Air Over British Columbia

As we reported previously, this year’s CF-18 demonstration aircraft is wearing a gorgeous camouflage scheme honoring the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. But you may not have known that there’s quite an interesting history behind the paint scheme chosen to adorn this year’s Hornet. The scheme matches that of a Hawker Hurricane Mk. I belonging to No. 1 Fighter Squadron RCAF, later renamed 401 Fighter Squadron, piloted by F/L Gordon R. MacGregor. From Jim Belliveau, the graphic artist who designed and painted the aircraft:

“The serial identifier used of YO-H was not only piloted by MacGregor… it was the first RCAF aircraft to score a confirmed kill in the battle.

I could go on in detail about the rationale behind the two murals, but the decision to feature the iconic pics of St. Paul and the London dockyards is rather subjective, and you may not want to… go there.

In my mind the St. Paul mural depicts the ultimate hope that good will always triumph over evil. And as to the dockyards, both that industrial area of London, and collaterally the working class who lived there, took a disproportionate amount of the bombing campaign in the war. It is my small tribute to those wonderful East Enders who were the quiet unsung heroes of the battle.”

Canadian Snowbirds Practice - Maple Split - Air Force Beach, BCCanadian Snowbirds Practice - Lag Back Cross - Air Force Beach, BC

The practices at Comox are not only an opportunity for the teams to practice their flights, it is also one of the first opportunities for the public to get a glimpse of the team. The people of Comox and Courtney, BC flock to the shores of Air Force Beach for a free air show that truly looks amazing. The Cascades on the mainland just across the water offer a spectacular scenic backdrop and the lighting in the afternoon is excellent.

CFB Comox operations continue as normal during these practice weeks. The base is home to RCAF 19 Wing consisting of 407 Maritime Patrol Squadron, one of only two squadrons that operate CP-140 Auroras, and 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron, operating the CC-115 Buffalo and CH-149 Cormorant. Search and rescue operations and regular missions along the coastline of British Columbia carry on while hosting the teams. Comox also serves as a forward operations base for CF-18 Hornets deployed to the region.

CF-18 Hornet Demo Team Battle of Britain Scheme - Air to Air Over British ColumbiaCanadian Forces Snowbirds - Air to Air Over British Columbia

On April 28, the teams flew their acceptance shows over Comox and on the 29th they headed back to their bases to prepare for their upcoming first shows. The CF-18 will quickly be heading south to Chino, CA for the Planes of Fame air show this weekend (May 1-2) while the Snowbirds will be heading to Dallas, GA with the CF-18 for the Salute America Airshow on May 9-10. Be sure to check the CF-18 and Snowbird schedules to find out where you can see them perform this year!

Special thanks to: Lt. Patricia Brunelle and Lt. Mathew Strong for the help in covering their team’s practices, 442 squadron for the CC-115 ride and photo ship, and the Canadian Armed Forces for letting this Yank visit.