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

EAA AirVenture 2017 To Feature The Only Two B-29s Still Flying – “Doc” and “FIFI” Confirmed For Oshkosh!

posted in: Airshows, Popular Posts, Warbirds | 3

Boeing B-29 Superfortress "FIFI" and Fireworks - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

This year’s EAA AirVenture is set to feature not one but TWO flying B-29 Superfortresses. That’s right, both “FIFI” and “Doc”, the only flying B-29s in the world, are planning to attend!

Earlier today, Doc’s Friends, the group behind the aircraft, announced four stops on the first half of Doc’s planned 2017 tour. Doc recently completed ‘phase one’ of the initial flight testing program following a lengthy restoration in Kansas, which allows it to be flown to airshows. These events will be important fundraising opportunities for the group, and an exciting opportunity for fans to see a ‘new’ and extremely rare aircraft. Be sure to check our forums for the other dates and updates at the rest of the schedule is announced!

Boeing B-29 Superfortress "Doc"Boeing B-29 Superfortress "FIFI"

The Commemorative Air Force had previously released a partial schedule for their B-29, FIFI. FIFI is authorized to give rides, and tours the country each year to raise money for the organization.

The two aircraft will cross paths in Oshkosh, WI this July 24-30, during the massive EAA AirVenture airshow. We look forward to bringing you the sights and sounds of this amazing meetup between the only airworthy B-29s!

Update: Eagle-eyed fans have pointed out that these aircraft will actually cross paths earlier in the year, as both are scheduled to attend the airshow at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana in May! This summer will be very exciting for B-29 fans!

“Doc” photo courtesy of Doc’s Friends

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

2017 USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II Heritage Flight Schedule Released

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 2

US Air Force Heritage Flight - A-10 Thunderbolt II and P-38 Lightning

The US Air Force has released the 2017 airshow schedule for the A-10 Thunderbolt II Heritage Teams. As we announced in January, the A-10 “Warthog” will return to the airshow circuit in 2017 to participate in Air Force Heritage Flights at select show sites. The shows will be split between an East team from Moody AFB in Georgia and the West team from Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona. In the past, the teams were approved to perform a three pass “mini-demo” at each show before the Heritage Flight, but we have not received confirmation if that practice will continue.

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

Also check out the rest of the 2017 airshow appearance schedules!

2017 Appearance Schedule – USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II Heritage Teams

March 25-26: Lancaster, CA (West Team)

April 7-9: Lakeland, FL – SUN ‘n FUN (East Team)
April 22: Louisville, KY (East Team)

May 6-7: Manassas, VA (East Team)
May 20-22: Seymour-Johnson AFB, NC (East Team)

June 17-18: Ocean City, MD (East Team)
June 24-25: Detroit, MI (West Team)

July 3: Dubuque, IA (East Team)
July 24-30: Oshkosh, WI – EAA AirVenture (East Team)

Aug 18-20: Chicago, IL (East Team)

Sept 9-10: Sacramento, CA (West Team)
Sept 13-16: Reno, NV (West Team)
Sept 23-24: Colorado Springs, CO (West Team)
Sept 29-Oct 1: Salinas, CA (West Team)

Oct 7-8: San Francisco, CA (West Team)
Oct 14-15: Boise, ID (West Team)
Oct 21-22: Houston, TX (West Team)
Oct 28-29: Moody AFB, GA (East Team)

Nov 4-5: NAS Jacksonville, FL (East Team)
Nov 11-12: Nellis AFB, NV (West Team)

2017 USAF F-35A Lightning II Heritage Flight Schedule Released

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 2

US Air Force Heritage Flight - P-51 Mustang, F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II

The US Air Force has released the 2017 airshow schedule for the F-35 Lightning II Heritage Team. Unlike the full aerobatic performances of the F-22 and F-16 demo teams, the F-35 will perform flybys and Heritage Flights only.

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

Also check out the rest of the 2017 airshow appearance schedules!

2017 Appearance Schedule – USAF F-35 Lightning II Heritage Team

April 1-2nd: Melbourne, FL
April 22nd: Louisville, KY

May 6-7th: Chino, CA
May 20-22nd: Tinker AFB, OK

June 3-4th: Duluth, MN
June 24-25th: Dayton, OH

July 1-2: New Windsor, NY

July 22-23rd: Idaho Falls, ID
July 24-30th: Oshkosh, WI – EAA AirVenture

Aug 11-13th: Abbotsford, BC

Sept 23-24th: London, ON
Sept 30th-Oct 1st: Huntington Beach, CA

Oct 13-15th: Punta Gorda, FL

Nov 4-5th: Joint Base San Antonio, TX

Enjoy Nearly Six Hours Of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Action With This Mega-Compilation Video!

That’s right, our annual EAA AirVenture Oshkosh mega-compilation video is up, and this year it is nearly six hours long! This video combines all of our ground footage from the show into one long masterpiece, sure to please any aviation fan. The videos are in roughly sequential order, so you start out with the chaos of mass aircraft arrivals on the Sunday before the show. As the week progresses you’ll see more arrivals, portions of the airshow, and then mass departures as everyone reluctantly bids Wittman Regional Airport farewell and heads home.

Airshow performances include the US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon demonstration team, the USAF Heritage Flight, the US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet demonstration, the arrival of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, a Martin Mars water drop, the final Oshkosh appearance of USAF F-4 Phantom IIs, flybys from a USAF U-2 Dragon Lady, F-15 Eagle, and A-10 Warthogs, massive warbird formations and exciting flybys, the Tora! Tora! Tora! Pearl Harbor reenactment, the arrival and departure of a massive C-5M Super Galaxy, the Oshkosh seaplane base on Lake Winnebago, a maximum performance departure of the Cathay-Pacific 747-8 freighter “Hong Kong Trader”, and much more!

Find a comfortable chair and settle in to watch the video above! You can also view each video individually, as well as special on-board videos from the show, using our EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 video playlist. Enjoy!

US Navy Blue Angels To Headline EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017 With Full Aerobatic Performances

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

US Navy Blue Angels

The famous US Navy Blue Angels flight demonstration team will headline EAA AirVenture for the first time this July. Although the show was previously listed on the preliminary 2017 schedule released last year, it was confirmed earlier this week when the updated 2017 Blue Angel schedule was announced.

The team has sent jets to AirVenture in the past, but it has never performed a full demonstration due to airspace limitations. In 2014, the show made special arrangements for a full-sized aerobatic box and hosted the US Air Force Thunderbirds. The Canadian Forces Snowbirds performed their full routine in 2016.

In order to establish the sterile aerobatic box, the crowd line is temporarily relocated further from the runway. Unfortunately this leaves numerous aircraft and structures in front of the crowd to block the view, and can create a dangerous stampede when the crowd is released to rush forward.

The event runs from Monday, July 24th through Sunday, July 30th at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, WI. The team is only scheduled to perform on the final Saturday and Sunday, but typically runs through a full routine as practice on the Thursday and Friday before a show. Any aerobatic practice would require the modified crowd line.

Mentors Over Manitowoc – Pre-Oshkosh Practice And Fun With The T-34 Association

posted in: AirshowStuff, Warbirds | 0

T-34 Mentor Air to Air - Manitowoc, WI

One of the most amazing sights and sounds of EAA AirVenture every year is the warbird segment of the airshow. On some days, over 100 airplanes fill the sky together in a tremendous display of historical air power. The majority of these aircraft are part of the mass formations that circle and cross overhead, providing a backdrop for the other aircraft below.

The formations are usually organized by aircraft type; the T-6 Texans, the T-28 Trojans, the T-34 Mentors, and the Red Stars formation of Yak-52s and CJ-6s (plus one misfit SF-260 that I have had the pleasure of riding in). These groups represent pilots from across the country who fly and train together throughout the year to put on shows like these. Each of the groups arranges a pre-AirVenture gathering at an airport near Oshkosh in the days leading up to the event as a chance to meet up and get some last minute practice flights in. This year, I had the privilege of joining the T-34 Mentor Association members in Manitowoc, WI for their annual pre-AirVenture meetup.

T-34 Mentor Air to Air - Manitowoc, WIT-34 Mentors - Manitowoc, WI

Manitowoc County Airport (KMTW) is east of Oshkosh, near the shore of Lake Michigan. It is an untowered field with good ramp space and most importantly, EAA Chapter 383. Members of the chapter play host during the gathering, and their hangar and office are the hang out spot for the pilots. This year at least 20 T-34s were in attendance, with two, three, and four-ship flights launching in several waves beginning Saturday morning.

I was invited to join one of these flights, a four-ship. We headed out over the lake to work through different formations and rejoins, while other groups did the same in different pre-determined areas. Everything was expertly organized and briefed by T-34 Association President Billy “Smitty” Smith. Flights like this are required for each pilot to earn and maintain their “FAST card”, a certification of their ability to fly formation. Without this, they are not allowed to fly formation in waivered airspace, such as during the AirVenture airshows.

T-34 Mentor Air to Air - Manitowoc, WIT-34 Mentor Air to Air - Manitowoc, WI

After several rounds of these smaller group flights, the group starts putting together the large mass formation. This usually begins to come together on Sunday afternoon, but unfortunately this year the weather was less than cooperative and it was delayed. I had to leave for Oshkosh without seeing the mass flight practice.

I’d see the group soon enough though, as they arrived during the airshow in typical dramatic fashion. If you’ve never witnessed it, it is quite shocking to see. All of the formation groups come in from different directions and at different altitudes, all pointed at show center. Last year they nailed the timing, resulting in a thrilling triple cross directly overhead. From the cross, each group begins a carefully calculated orbit to continue passing over and in front of the crowd while avoiding the dozens of other airplanes sharing the sky.

T-34 Mentors Air to Air - Manitowoc, WIT-34 Mentor Air to Air - Manitowoc, WI

The chaos is incredible to witness, and most on the ground have no idea of how much work, practice, and planning is behind the spectacle. Luckily, these pilots are willing to put in the hours necessary to give us all a safe and entertaining show!

Check out the rest of my photos in our photo gallery – T-34 Mentor Gathering 2016 – Manitowoc, WI

T-34 Mentors - Manitowoc, WIT-34 Mentors - Manitowoc, WI

Thank you to Billy Smith, Stephen Bohlig, Adam Silverstein, Malte Lorenz, Tim Kolp, the rest of the T-34 pilots, and EAA Chapter 383 for allowing me to join in the fun!

– Ryan Sundheimer

Video Highlight: Canadian Snowbirds Arrive At EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

posted in: Featured Videos, Jet Teams | 1

Canadian Forces Snowbirds - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

The headlining act of this year’s EAA AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, WI was undoubtedly the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. It was the team’s first appearance there in 33 years, and only the second jet team performance with the full aerobatic box. The team put on several spectacular shows, and even called their Saturday performance the best of the season so far. Check back as we continue to edit photos for some amazing shots!

Unfortunately we are not able to post video of their routine due to the music, but we did catch their 9-ship formation arrival flybys earlier in the week. Check out their arrival below, and then watch their full high show routine from earlier this year.

Martin Mars Stars In AirVenture Lineup, Recovers From Damage

posted in: Airshows, Warbirds | 2

Martin Mars - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

The famous Martin Mars water bomber was one of the main attractions at EAA AirVenture this year, but it did not survive the show unscathed. The aircraft, which performed in the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday airshows, suffered a bird strike to one of its four engines on Friday. In the ensuing landing on Lake Winnebago, it hit a rock that tore a basketball-sized hole in the flying boat’s hull. The damage forced the plane to miss its planned Saturday airshow appearance, but after extensive pumping and some repair work, it was able to fly home and did so on Tuesday, August 2nd.

Martin Mars - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016
Pumping underway to keep the Martin Mars afloat

The “Hawaii Mars II”, the aircraft showcased at AirVenture, is the lone flying example remaining of the type. Only seven aircraft were built in the 1930’s and 1940’s, with with most destroyed or scrapped long ago. She is owned by Coulson Flying Tankers in British Columbia, and has been used to fight wild fires in the region. A second intact Mars, named “Phillipine Mars”, is also owned by Coulson but does not currently fly. Phillipine Mars is painted in the colors she wore during her service in the US Navy as a long range patrol aircraft. There was previously a deal in place to send her to the National Museum of Naval Aviation, but it fell through and Coulson Flying Tankers is currently seeking a buyer for both aircraft as they are no longer being tasked with firefighting duties.

Martin Mars - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016Martin Mars - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

You can check out the stunning performance of the Martin Mars during AirVenture in our video:

EAA Webinar Reveals Exciting Details About AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

posted in: Airshows | 1

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

The Experimental Aircraft Association hosted a webinar last night to give some updates on plans for this years EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, which is rapidly approaching. Updated daily airshow schedules were released along with some extra details that should excite the many fans who will attend.

Interesting tidbits mentioned during the presentation:

  • The Martin Mars will be performing water drops as part of the show, dropping 7,200 gallons of water to show off its firefighting capabilities.
  • A grass runway will be set up for WWI aircraft, which are being highlighted this year, roughly near the ultralight strip.
  • A US Air Force U-2 spy plane will perform a flyover on Friday.
  • Pearl Harbor reenactment group Tora! Tora! Tora! will perform in the evening show on Wednesday, and a special “Final Countdown” pass will see US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornets fly with the Tora Zeros.
  • The B-29 Superfortress “Fifi” will be in attendance, and hopes are high that the B-29 “Doc” will be able to complete flight testing in time to appear as well.
  • A rare North American P-64 will attend and will fly during the show. Other cool aircraft appearing include an A-20 Havoc, Super Guppy, TWA MD-83, Boeing YL-15, and Airbus eFan.
  • Pilot and actor Harrison Ford will be on hand to introduce a showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Friday night.
  • The Canadian Snowbirds will perform Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. They will require a special crowd line similar to when the Thunderbirds appeared in 2014. This will also allow fully aerobatic F-16 demonstrations on those days, and likely the same for the Super Hornet demonstration on Friday and Sunday. The box and show center are shown in the image below, followed by the daily airshow lineups

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 - Canadian Snowbird Show Box

Monday

National Anthem/Flag Jump
Paul Poberezny Tribute/P-64
Canadian Harvards
Matt Chapman
Warbird Arrivals
Bill Stein
Vintage review
Kent Pietsch
Seaplane Showcase
Martin Mars
GoPro Bomb squad
Jerry Kerby
Gene Soucy
David Martin
Paul McCowan
Kevin Coleman
Class of ’45
Greg Shelton and Ashley Key
Kyle Franklin
Rob Holland
International Aerobatic Club
Aeroshell Aerobatic Team
Aeroshell Aerobatic Team - EAA AirVenture OshkoshJeff Boerboon - Screamn Sasquatch - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Tuesday

National Anthem/Flag Jump
Warbirds of America
Sean D. Tucker
Electric Aircraft
GoPro Bomb Squad
Debby Rihn-Harvey
Homebuilt Review
Greg Shelton and Ashley Key
Jeff Boerboon
Matt Younkin
Skip Stewart
Greg Koontz
Bob Carlton
Manfred Radius
USAF Heritage Flight (F-16/P-51)

Wednesday (Day Show)

National Anthem/Flag Jump
Warbirds of America
Vintage Review
Kent Pietsch
Vicky Benzing
Patty Wagstaff
Gene Soucy and Teresa Stokes
Snowbirds Arrival
Canadian Harvards
Kent Pietsch
Martin Mars
Kirby Chambliss
Geico Skytypers
Jim Pietz
GoPro Bomb Squad
Michael Goulian
Kent Pietsch
Texas Flying Legends
USAF Heritage Flight (F-16/P-51)
Kirby Chambliss - EAA AirVenture OshkoshTexas Flying Legends - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Wednesday (Evening Show)

“The Pearl” Interstate Cadet
Tora! Tora! Tora!
P-64
Final Countdown Pass
Paradigm Parabatic Team
Aeroshell Aerobatic Team
Randy Ball – MiG-17
Redline Airshows
GoPro Bomb Squad
Bob Carlton
Matt Younkin
Gene Soucy
Fireworks
Wall of Fire

Thursday

Two Millionth Young Eagle
National Anthem/Flag Jump
Warbirds of America (Jet Day)
Centennial of USCG Aviation
Sean D. Tucker
Sammy Mason
Jim Pietz
Bill Stein
Van’s RVs
Jerry Kirby
West Coast Ravens
Redline Airshows
International Aerobatic Club
Rob Holland
Kirby Chambliss
Geico Skytypers
Skip Stewart
Texas Flying Legends
F/A-18F Super Hornet
Skip Stewart - EAA AirVenture OshkoshMatt Younkin - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Friday

National Anthem/Flag Jump
Warbirds of America
Matt Chapman
Aeroshell Aerobatic Team
Jeff Boerboon
Kirby Chambliss
David Martin
Philipp Steinbach
Martin Mars
Michael Goulian
F/A-18F Super Hornet
F-16 Fighting Falcon
USAF Heritage Flight (F-16/P-51)
Canadian Snowbirds

Saturday (Day)

National Anthem/Flag Jump
Warbirds of America
Geico Skytypers
Vicky Benzing
Michael Goulian
Tora! Tora! Tora!
Jim Pietz
Kyle Franklin
Sean D. Tucker
F-16 Fighting Falcon
USAF Heritage Flight (F-16/P-51)
Canadian Snowbirds
Canadian Forces SnowbirdsB-29 Superfortress "Fifi" - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Saturday (Evening)

F/A-18F Super Hornet
Martin Mars
Paradigm Parabatic Team
Team Aerostar
Aeroshell Aerobatic Team
US Customs and Border Patrol
Manfred Radius
Bob Carlton
Redline Airshows
Patriot Parachute Team
Steve Oliver
Gene Soucy
Fireworks
Wall of Fire

Sunday

National Anthem/Flag Jump
Departures
Debbie Rihn-Harvey
US Customers and Border PAtrol
Greg Shelton and Ashley Key
Matt Chapman
F/A-18F Super Hornet
Redline Airshows
Sammy Mason
Jeff Boerboon
Bill Stein
Team Aerostar
Patty Wagstaff
Scott Yoak
Patriot Parachute Team
F-16 Fighting Falcon
USAF Heritage Flight (F-16/P-51)
Canadian Snowbirds

Hat tip to Nathan Truninger for providing us the info.

1 2