V-22 Osprey And MQ-9 Reaper Make Historic First Static Appearance In Canada At 2017 Lethbridge Intl. Airshow

posted in: Airshows | 1

USMC MV-22 Osprey - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014

Some of the most advanced machines in modern military hardware are making their way to the Lethbridge International Airshow this year – their first static appearances in Canada. Both aircraft will be featured guests as part of the growing static display set to appear at the show July 14-16.

The innovative Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft will be coming from Marine Corps Air Station Mirimar in San Diego, California. The Osprey has the unique ability to transition from vertical flight to conventional flight via the rotation of its two large turboshaft engines and rotors. First fielded in March 2007, the MV-22 has seen extensive use on deployments with the United States Marine Corps.

USMC MV-22 Osprey - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014USAF General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper Static Display Aviation Nation Nellis Air Force Base AFB Creech

Accompanying the MV-22 on static display will be the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) from Creech Air Force Base outside Las Vegas, Nevada. Following the success and use of the now-dated MQ-1 Predator, General Atomics improved the airframe and capability to form the MQ-9. You will get a chance to see both the MQ-9 and MQ-1 on display together over the show weekend. As the face of the future in unmanned aerial systems, the Reaper UCAV will be an attraction all its own, amidst other exciting spectacles at this year’s show.

Royal Canadian Air Force CC-177 Globemaster III Anniversary Paint 2017 429 Squadron
Courtesy of the RCAF

Equally as exciting, a specially-painted CC-177 Globemaster III from 429 Transport Squadron “Bisons” of 8 Wing in Trenton, Ontario will be attending the show. The squadron has painted the tail of their aircraft to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the unit’s formation and 10 years of the Globemaster III’s service with the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Additionally, newly-confirmed aircraft to join the static display listing for the show include the US Navy’s P-8 Poseidon, C-2 Greyhound, and E-2 Hawkeye, and the US Air Force’s A-10 Thunderbolt II “Warthog,” C-17 Globemaster III, and C-5M Super Galaxy.

You can learn more about what else will be shown off at this year’s Lethbridge International Airshow at the event’s website .

Are you planning on attending the Lethbridge International Airshow this year? Join the conversation in our forums!

EXCLUSIVE: Helmet Cam Footage Of Two F-4 Phantoms Over The Grand Canyon

posted in: Featured Videos, Military | 0

Phantom’s-Eye View!

It’s no secret that the F-4 Phantom is a favorite of airshow fans everywhere, but with 2016 being the final year for the venerable Phantom in the US military inventory, the opportunity to see one flying is now even more rare. Once it returns from maintenance, the Collings Foundation F-4 will be the only one flying in the US. Throughout the year, we here at AirshowStuff have covered the “Phantom Phinale” tour with photos, videos, and cockpit cameras. We are now excited to bring you this exclusive helmet-cam video of the last departure of the QF-4E Phantoms from Nellis Air Force Base after Aviation Nation 2016!

You get a pilot’s-eye view as Lt. Col. Ron “Elvis” King and Lt. Col. (Ret.) Jim “WAM” Harkins depart Nellis AFB back to Holloman AFB after their final airshow performance prior to the retirement ceremony in December. After a formation takeoff, you’ll see the two Phantoms meet up with a photoship T-33 for some brief formation flying before heading over the Grand Canyon. Once over the Grand Canyon, you’ll see the two Phantom pilots make the most of their flight with some playful flying over some of the most spectacular landscapes nature has to offer. You won’t see this footage anywhere else, so strap in to the cockpit, adjust your helmet, put the player on full screen, and enjoy this HD video to the fullest!

Check back later for some additional cockpit footage taken during the airshow!

-Justin Miner

SEE ALSO: F-4 Phantom II Demo and Heritage Flight with F-15 and P-51 – Dayton Airshow 2007

QF-4E Phantom IIF-4 Phantom Heritage Flight

WATCH: Thunder And Smoke From TWO F-4 Phantoms Flying Together At AirVenture 2016

Feel The Thunder!

The F-4 Phantom is now gone from the active United States Air Force inventory, but you can still see the Phabulous Phantom in this great video from the AirshowStuff.com team. Retired in December of 2016, the F-4 Phantom made its final rounds of the airshow circuit that year as a Pharewell to a much-beloved aircraft. Watch as Lt. Col. Ron “Elvis” King and Lt. Col (Ret.) Jim “WAM” Harkins show the crowd at AirVenture 2016 that the Phantom still has the moves.

You can almost feel the thunder in your chest from the J-79 jet engines as the two pilots roar past on takeoff. See the characteristic smoke trails that gave the Phantom one of it’s many nicknames of “Old Smokey”. You’ll see smoke, the flames from the afterburners, and hear that incredible roar as these legends of airpower fly overhead. This video will thrill any Phantom Phanatic and remind you of how Phantastic the F-4 Phantom truly was.

Built by McDonnell Douglas, the Phantoms served the US Air Force, US Navy, and US Marines from the 1950’s all the way into the 2000’s with many different variants. The F-4 Phantom was a formidable fighter/bomber and even a very capable reconnaissance platform that served from land-based airfields as well as aircraft carriers, and served in nearly every conflict from Vietnam to Desert Storm. Select full screen and turn up the volume to experience this awesome piece of history in full HD!

-Justin Miner

SEE ALSO: F-4 Phantom Helmet Cam – Two-Ship Airshow Demo and Departure – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

USAF F-4 PhantomUSAF F-4 Phantom

QF-4 Phantoms To Perform Flyover At Sunday’s NASCAR Race in Texas

posted in: Flyovers | 0

USAF QF-4 Phantom IIs
This Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway will have a special treat – two QF-4 Phantoms for the pre-race flyover!

The flyover is scheduled for 2:02 pm eastern, 1:02 central time before the start of the race.

The QF-4s will base out of the Fort Worth/Alliance Airport, about 14 miles north of Fort Worth and very close to the Texas Motor Speedway. Expect them to arrive on Friday, November 4th.

If you live in the area, you may want to head out to catch the Phantom one last time. It’s possible the pilots may do some low approaches on arrival and departure!

What’s it like to flyover thousands of people in a QF-4? Find out in our RideAlong video below from Oshkosh!

Unauthorized Civilian Drone Brings South African Airshow To Sudden Halt

posted in: Airshows, Miscellaneous | 0
Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team
Photo courtesy of the Silver Falcons

The Silver Falcons, the aerial demonstration team of South Africa, were forced to cut their performance short at the Rand Show in Johannesburg, South Africa two weeks ago when an unauthorized drone was spotted in the airspace. The entire airshow was put on hold while the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) searched for the drone pilot, and the situation was put into the hands of the proper authorities. The drone itself was described as flying higher than 200 feet above the grounds of the show as the operator sought to take photos of the performance.

One of the pilots talked about the danger that a drone could cause in such a situation: “The Silver Falcons fly at approximately 500 kilometers per hour. Besides causing damage to the plane, the debris could hit people. The plane could even crash”. It is illegal to fly such a device in South Africa without authorization.

This may be the first instance where a rogue UAV has interrupted an airshow, but with small quadcopters and other UAVs becoming increasingly popular among consumers this may not be the last time it happens. Here in the United States, the FAA is already struggling to develop effective rules to keep such drones away from manned aircraft that are already tightly regulated. Other countries have been quicker to respond and many do have established rules for UAV use, but unfortunately operator stupidity cannot be prevented in all cases.

US Navy: Blue Angels Will Transition To Unmanned Aircraft Next Year

posted in: Jet Teams, Miscellaneous | 143
Blue Angels to Fly Drones
Blue Angels to Fly Unmanned Drone Aircraft – Artist’s Depiction

In a surprise announcement today, the US Navy announced that the Blue Angels will transition from their current F-18 Hornets to unmanned F-47 aircraft for their next airshow season. The team will still fly a full ‘delta’ aerobatic routine, including tight formations, using six of the cutting edge drones. The only difference is that the pilots will never leave the ground and will instead monitor the pre-programmed flight routines from special trailers set up at each show site. Since the aircraft are unmanned, the team will no longer offer media rides but will allow selected media representatives to ‘sit in’ on practice demonstrations using a virtual reality headset that will be known as Blue Angel 7, the same callsign as the team’s current two-seat media jet. The pilots will also be expected to post to social media during the routine to increase their interaction with fans.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for the Navy to showcase our advanced technology and cutting edge aircraft,” said Jack Herndon, the Navy’s Chief of Public Outreach. “Honestly, the Hornets are getting to be quite old and worn out. We saw the need to replace them and decided to take advantage of the timing by leaping straight ahead to our very newest fighter aircraft, the F-47. The Blue Angels’ primary mission is to inspire America’s young people to join the Navy, and with this transition we are able to demonstrate that even young men and women who only want to sit at a computer all day can have a successful Navy flying career. Those are exactly the people we are looking to recruit in the future.”