EAA Announces Preliminary Airshow Schedule For AirVenture 2017 In Oshkosh

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EAA AirVenture

EAA has released the preliminary daily airshow schedule for this year’s AirVenture convention in Oshkosh! This schedule doesn’t include all of the military performers and will obviously change a bit in the coming weeks. Join us in Oshkosh on July 24th for the biggest party in aviation, and be sure to share your thoughts in the EAA AirVenture 2017 thread on our forums!

As you’ll see, there is now at least a small twilight show every night of the week. Other highlights include numerous US Air Force Heritage Flights, the Doolittle Raid tribute, both B-29s flying together for the first time (!), and of course the US Navy Blue Angels, making their aerobatic debut at the show!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Day: Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Matt Chapman (Extra 330LX), Rob Holland (MX-2), Bill Stein (Edge 540), Twin Tigers Aerobatic Team, Aeroshell Aerobatic Team (T-6 Texans), Greg Shelton and Ashley Key (450 Super Stearman/wing walking), John Klatt (Screamin’ Sasquatch), Kyle Franklin (Piper Cub), David Martin (Bücker Jungmeister), Jerry Kerby (Wild Blue), Bob Carlton (Sub Sonex JSX-2), Warbirds of America arrival show, Seaplane fly-overs, Lindbergh 90th anniversary tribute, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University E-Spirit of St. Louis, Piper Cub 80th anniversary, Bob Hoover tribute

Evening (Twilight Flight Fest at the Fun Fly Zone): EAA STOL Invitational Flying, Paradigm Aerobatic Team (dynamic maneuvering), Patriot Parachute Demo Team, 3-D RC flying

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Sean D. Tucker (Oracle Challenger III), Phillip Steinbach (Game Bird 1), Skip Stewart (Prometheus 2), The Thric3 (Matt Chapman, Rob Holand, Bill Stein), Kyle Franklin (Piper Cub), Matt Younkin (Beech 18), Greg Koontz (Legend Cub), Bob Carlton (Sub Sonex JSX-2), Manfred Radius (Salto Sailplane), USAF Heritage Flight, Doolittle Raid tribute, B-29s (Doc and FIFI), Class of ’45 – Jim Tobul & Scott Yoak (Corsair and P-51 Mustang), Warbirds of America show, Homebuilts Review, Stratos VLPJ

Evening (Twilight Flight Fest at the Fun Fly Zone): EAA STOL Invitational Flying, Paradigm Aerobatic Team (dynamic maneuvering), Patriot Parachute Demo Team, 3-D RC flying

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Patty Wagstaff (Extra 300LX), The Thric3 (Matt Chapman, Rob Holand, Bill Stein), Twin Tigers Aerobatic Team, Jim Peitz (Beech Bonanza), Vicky Benzing (Stearman), Gene Soucy and Teresa Stokes (Grumman Showcat wing walking), John Klatt (Screamin’ Sasquatch), Kyle Franklin (Piper Cub), USAF Heritage Flight, Warbirds of America show, Vintage Review, RotorWay 50th anniversary, Lindbergh 90th anniversary tribute, Christen Eagle anniversary (Matt Chapman)

Night Air Show: Doolittle Raid tribute, Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Paradigm Aerobatic Team, Aeroshell Aerobatic Team (T-6 Texans), Gene Soucy (Firecat[KH1] ), Redline Airshows, Greg Shelton and Ashley Key (450 Super Stearman/wing walking), Matt Younkin (Beech 18), Bob Carlton (Super Salto), Fireworks and Wall of Fire sponsored by GE Aviation

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Sean D. Tucker (Oracle Challenger III), Mike Goulian (Extra 330SC), Kirby Chambliss (Edge 540 and Red Bull Air Force), Bill Stein (Edge 540), Redline Airshows, Jim Peitz (Beech Bonanza), John Klatt (Screamin’ Sasquatch), David Martin (Bücker Jungmeister), USAF Heritage Flight, Warbirds of America show, Dassault (Falcon 8X), Blue Angels (site orientation flights)

Evening (Twilight Flight Fest at the Fun Fly Zone): EAA STOL Invitational Flying, Paradigm Aerobatic Team (dynamic maneuvering), Patriot Parachute Demo Team and Red Bull Air Force, 3-D RC flying

Friday, July 28, 2017

10am-11am: Blue Angels (site orientation flights with TFR in effect)

Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Kirby Chambliss (Edge 540 and Red Bull Air Force), Patty Wagstaff (Extra 300LX), Skip Stewart (Prometheus 2), The Thric3 (Matt Chapman, Rob Holand, Bill Stein), Aeroshell Aerobatic Team (T-6 Texans), Matt Younkin (Beech 18), Blue Angels and Fat Albert, Warbirds of America show, B-29s (Doc and FIFI), USAF Heritage Flight

Evening (Twilight Flight Fest at the Fun Fly Zone): EAA STOL Invitational Flying, Paradigm Aerobatic Team (dynamic maneuvering), Patriot Parachute Demo Team and Red Bull Air Force, 3-D RC flying

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Sean D. Tucker (Oracle Challenger III), Mike Goulian (Extra 330SC), Rob Holland (MX-2), Jim Peitz (Beech Bonanza), Vicky Benzing (Stearman), Gene Soucy (Grumman Showcat), Warbirds of America show, USAF Heritage Flight, B-29s (Doc and FIFI), Blue Angels and Fat Albert

Night Air Show: Red Bull Wingsuits, Paradigm Aerobatic Team, USAF Heritage Flight, Aeroshell Aerobatic Team (T-6 Texans), Gene Soucy (Firecat[KH2] ), Redline Airshows, Greg Shelton and Ashley Key (450 Super Stearman/wing walking n), Matt Younkin (Beech 18), Bob Carlton (Super Salto), Fat Albert, Fireworks and Wall of Fire

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Mike Goulian (Extra 330SC), Kirby Chambliss (Edge 540), Patty Wagstaff (Extra 300LX), Skip Stewart (Prometheus 2), Matt Chapman (Extra 330LX), Redline Airshows, Greg Shelton and Ashley Key (450 Super Stearman/wing walking), Kyle Franklin (Piper Cub), Maj. Joshua Boudreaux (Wild Blue), Scott Yoak (P-51 Mustang), International Aerobatic Club competition demo (Cameron Jaxheimer), USAF Heritage Flight, Blue Angels (non-aerobatic demo) and Fat Albert

WATCH: Classic Warbird Sunset Flight – Ride Along With Six TBM Avengers!

Turkeys CAN Fly!

We here at AirshowStuff.com think you’ll agree that few things sound better than the radial engine of a classic warbird. Unless, of course, it’s SIX radial engines! In 2016, the Illinois Regional Valley airport in Peru, IL hosted their first TBM Avenger Gathering where ten TBM Avengers (along with many other classic warbirds) met for an unforgettable weekend showcasing this legend of World War II. Affectionately nicknamed “The Turkey” for its large size, the Avenger was designed as a torpedo bomber and saw action in the Pacific theater. Avengers were even piloted by such famous people as former President George H. W. Bush and movie star Paul Newman!

From taxi to landing, you get a cockpit view from one of the immaculately-restored Avengers taking part in a formation flight at dusk. The golden glow of the sunset, along with the six other Avengers, makes for some spectacular scenery. You’ll see various formations being flown, and even get a glimpse of a T-6 Texan photo ship capturing the action as well. The sound of the radial engine’s throaty roar takes you back to when these large aircraft patrolled the skies, looking for Japanese ships. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this thrilling video and all it has to offer, you won’t be disappointed!

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

-Justin Miner

TBM AvengerTBM Avenger Star Trail

Gathering Of Warbirds Returns To Waukesha In 2017

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Gathering of Warbirds Waukesha

The Gathering of Warbirds in Waukesha, WI will return this month! This one day event is organized by the Wisconsin Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) and will be held on Saturday, May 27th. This is a relaxed, smaller event where you can wander the ramp to get up close and personal with a wide variety of aircraft, many based at the airport. Last year featured types from Stearman biplanes to T-6 Texans to a P-51 Mustang and P-40 Warhawk – you can see them all in our Gathering of Warbirds 2016 photo gallery.

Gathering of Warbirds WaukeshaGathering of Warbirds Waukesha

The event runs from 10am to 4pm, and flying is expected sporadically throughout the day. It is not an airshow, and there are no designated performances, but the pilots will be eager to do some flybys. Highlights this year include the B-25 Mitchell bomber “Miss Mitchell”, Brad Deckert’s TBM Avenger, and the MiG-17 Fresco and F-86 Sabre from our friends at MiG Alley Airshows. Organizers are hopeful that the Royal Canadian Air Force will bring in a C-130 Hercules for static display as well.

Gathering of Warbirds WaukeshaGathering of Warbirds Waukesha

Those wanting to take part in the flying can purchase rides in the B-25 bomber or a BT-13 trainer aircraft. More details are available on the Gathering of Warbirds website.

B-25 Mitchell "Miss Mitchell"Vultee BT-13 Valiant

From the event’s website:

Airplanes dating back to World War II and the Korean War will be in the air over Waukesha and on the ground at the Waukesha County Airport.

​This second annual Gathering of Warbirds will honor veterans and the 75th Anniversary of the 1942 Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, which was the first strike to hit the Japanese home islands in World War II.

The Gathering of Warbirds is a family-friendly event featuring historic and modern military aircraft, aircraft tours and rides, and education activities for all ages. It’s aimed at anyone who enjoys seeing historic and modern military aircraft and fighter jets fly throughout the day.

Aircraft presentations and tours will provide hands-on opportunities for families and aviation history buffs alike. Miss Mitchell, a restored B-25 Mitchell and the type of aircraft used in the Doolittle Raid, will be at the event and will offer tours and flight experiences. The event will also honor veterans with a free hat presented to the first 200 veterans who attend.

Entrance fee is $15 per vehicle (cash only), which includes entrance for everyone in the vehicle. Park in Waukesha County Expo Center. Handicap parking will be available. Please no pets or smoking on the grounds of the event.

TBM Avenger Gathering Promises To Be Even Bigger In 2017

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TBM Avenger Gathering 2016

The Gathering of TBM Avengers will return for the second year in a row and promises to be even bigger and better! This year a whopping sixteen TBMs (and TBFs) have verbally committed to the event, which will be held on Saturday, May 20th in Peru, IL. Numerous other warbird crews have expressed interest in flying in as well, including B-25 Mitchells, A-1 Skyraiders, and P-51 Mustangs, as well as an F4U Corsair, F8F Bearcat, F4F Wildcat, F-86 Sabre, MiG-17 Fresco, and T-33 Shooting Star.

TBM Avenger Gathering 2016TBM Avenger Gathering 2016

Over 250 aircraft (including 10 Avengers) and 10,000 people turned out for the first event last April, taking advantage of the beautiful weather to kick off the summer flying season. It was undoubtedly one of the best early-season events in the Midwest, and we are excited that it will be continuing.

This year’s event will be set up very similar to the last one. Attendees should plan to arrive at Illinois Valley Regional Airport (KVYS in Peru) in the mid-morning. Both parking and admission are free this year, thanks to the sponsorship of Marquis Energy! Food and drinks will be available on the airport, and several warbirds will be offering rides.

TBM Avenger Gathering 2016TBM Avenger Gathering 2016

One important difference is that the airspace around the area will be “waivered” from 12 to 4pm. This will allow the warbirds to perform more than they could last year – it should feel a bit more like an airshow. Pilots that plan to fly in will need to be aware of the change.

With a little good weather, this event should again prove to be the grand opening of airshow season in these parts. Our own Anthony Richards designed this flyer for the event, which is being passed around as an open invitation to pilots and enthusiasts alike. We hope you will help us spread the word, and that you will join us there!

Be sure to check in on our forums for future updates, to share your thoughts, and to post your own photos from the event!

TBM Avenger Gathering 2017

2017 SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In – The Perfect Spring Break for Pilots

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Sun n Fun 2017 Schedule

For pilots and airshow fans looking to have a little fun in the Florida sun, the SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In Expo is looking like the perfect Spring trip.

Since 1975, SUN ‘n FUN has been the Spring destination for pilots and award-winning airshow performers.

The 2017 edition of the show is looking like another award winner. Below is the schedule for the daily airshow:

Tuesday, April 4, 2017: 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM
SOCOM Parachute Team, Patrouille de France, Jean-Marc d’Hulst Starduster, Warbirds, Michael Goulian, Aerostars, Larry Kelly (Panchito), Matt Younkin, Greg Colyer, Greg Koontz (Super Decathalon), Bob Carlton.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017: 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM
SOCOM Parachute Team, Matt Chapman, Warbirds, Greg Colyer T-33, Class of ’45, Larry Kelly (Panchito), Jerry Kerby RV-8, Gene Soucy, Viper Demo and HF with P-51, Aeroshell,

Wednesday will also feature a night time airshow that starts at 7:30pm.

Thursday, April 6, 2017: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Thursday is a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness one of the largest demonstrations of P-51 Mustangs this century has seen yet! In partnership with Stallion 51 and Experience Kissimmee, SUN ‘n FUN is proud to bring you this exceptional tribute to the P-51, featuring over two dozen pristine examples of the famous fighter thundering across the skies over Lakeland.

Other demos include the Blue Angels Practice, Gene Soucy, and Aeroshell.

Friday, April 7, 2017: 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM
SOCOM Parachute Team, Matt Chapman, Warbirds, Jim Pietz F33C, Geico Skytypers, Jessy Panzer Pitts Demo, Viper HF with P-51 and A-10, Michael Goulian, Art Nalls Harrier, Aeroshell, Gary Rower Stearman and the Blue Angels.

Saturday, April 8, 2017: 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM
SOCOM Parachute Team, Geico Sktypers, David Martin Cap 232, Michael Goulian, Art Nalls Harrier, Class of ’45, Viper Demo with P-51 and A-10 HF, Jessy Panzer Pitts Demo, Jim Peitz, Julie Clark, and the Blue Angels.

Saturday, April 8, 2017 Night Air Show: 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
SOCOM Parachute Team, Lee Lauderback, Paradigm Paragliders, Aeroshell, Dan Buchanan, Gene Soucy, Manfred Radius, Bob Carlton, Gary Rower, Jerry Kerby and Fireworks.

Sunday, April 9, 2017: 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM
UAS Demo, SOCOM Parachute Team, Manfred Radius, Paradigm Paragliders, Art Nalls Harrier, Geico Skytypers, Viper Demo and HF with P-51 and A-10, Gene Soucy, Julie Clark, Thom Richard (P-40), David Martin, and the Blue Angels demo.

TBM Avenger Gathering Kicks Off Summer With A Bang

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TBM Avenger Photo Flight

Aviation fans got an early treat this year when a whopping ten TBM Avengers came together for one special weekend in April.

The event, held at the Illinois Valley Regional Airport in Peru, IL, grew out of an annual private get together organized by local TBM owner Brad Deckert. The idea for this year was to get as many Avengers together as possible, and things quickly grew from there into an open invitation for aircraft and enthusiasts. As word spread and more pilots made plans to attend, estimates grew from 50 airplanes to 100 airplanes to 200 airplanes. Portions of the airport grass were converted to overflow airplane parking, and fuel trucks were purchased and borrowed since the airport had none.

TBM AvengersTBM Avengers

The day before the main event, Friday, featured plenty of action itself. Throughout the day, the lineup of the giant torpedo bombers on the ramp allowed for a running count of Avengers in attendance. One by one they arrived and joined the lineup. The tenth and final aircraft arrived in the late afternoon. The airport was open for normal business all day, so traffic filtered in and out. One Avenger flight was launched in the afternoon; a four-ship formation along with a Cessna 210 photo ship. It was a warm up of sorts for the main photo flight that evening.

As the sun went down, crews gathered with several photographers to brief a major sunset photo flight. By shuffling pilots between airplanes, eight formation-qualified aircraft were established. The plan was to launch as two four-ship flights, Alpha and Bravo, and then join up together. The Cessna and a T-6 Texan were used as photo ships. With sunset approaching, it was a race to get out of the briefing and into the aircraft. AirshowStuff was able to hitch a ride in Bravo Four, the CAF Missouri Wing‘s Avenger and the last aircraft in the formation.

TBM Avenger Photo FlightTBM Avenger Photo Flight

Unfortunately, 70 year old warbirds are not known for reliability and one aircraft could not get started. The rest launched and headed north to find some sunlight. Another aircraft began trailing smoke just after takeoff and returned to the airport as a precaution, leaving six aircraft – three in each flight. Alpha flight was already established in an echelon formation off of the T-6 photo ship when Bravo caught up, so the three newcomers joined up behind them to form a double echelon formation. After a few moments for photos, the formation was shifted into a six-ship echelon, stacked upwards. From our position on the end of the line, we were looking down at the amazing sight of five Avengers and a T-6, all lined up. Thanks to the skill of the pilots, and some pleasantly still evening air, the formation held together quite impressively until it was time to split apart. Two of the Bravo aircraft, including ours, headed back to the airport while the other four stayed for more shots with the other photo ship.

TBM AvengersT-6 Texan at sunset

Saturday morning was the opening of the official event, which was completely free. Turnout was fantastic, and the airport was well prepared to handle it. Thousands of people wandered the ramp, getting an up close look at the many different kinds of aircraft parked there. Aided by absolutely perfect weather, arriving aircraft filled the pattern and clogged the taxiways. Several major warbirds, such as two P-51 Mustangs, an AD-4 Skyraider, and a T-28 Trojan flew in for the day as well. The Avengers got things going right off the bat, and launched all nine airworthy aircraft (one was hangared for maintenance) together. A three-ship formation led the parade, with the others following in trail for several passes before landing. The airport remained open the entire time, with more aircraft arriving constantly.

TBM Avenger at sunsetP-51 Mustangs

After the main flyby, the flying entertainment was mostly in watching the arrival traffic. The airspace was astoundingly busy, right up there with Oshkosh itself; and at an untowered field no less! Several groups of T-6s performed formation flybys during the the day, and a four-ship of Avengers launched around lunch time for some flybys, including a missing man formation. Several warbirds came back for a flyby before heading home and a pair of T-33s made several passes before landing. Thanks to an aerobatic box at the airport, several pilots took advantage of the opportunity to renew their aerobatic certifications by performing short routines for an observer on the ground. The crowd dwindled as the day went on, and by sunset the Avengers sat peacefully on the ramp.

TBM Avengers at sunset

In the end the event was wildly successful, with over 250 aircraft (52 of them warbirds) in attendance and more than 10,000 people on the ground. Arriving aircraft maxed out at 137 in just an hour – that’s more than two every minute! There is talk of bringing it back next year. If it does return, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better use of a spring day!

TBM Avengers at nightTBM Avenger

The photos shown here are just a small sampling of the event. Please be sure to check out the full Gathering of TBM Avengers 2016 album in our gallery!

Thank you to Brad and Jane Deckert for hosting, to Jordan Brown and the CAF Missouri Wing for allowing us to ride shotgun, and to all of the other pilots and crews that made the event such a success! Be sure to check out Warbird Digest for more photos from the sunset flight!

Heavy Bombers Weekend 2015 Photo Albums Uploaded

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Two new albums have been added to the AirshowStuff photo gallery from Heavy Bombers Weekend 2015 in Madison, WI. We’ve covered the event here in a previous post, but since then it has been announced that the 2016 edition will take place in Janesville, WI instead of Madison. The plan is to rotate between the two cities from now on.

As before, many thanks go to Pete Buffington, Jeff Davis, and Wisconsin Aviation for their hospitality!

Check out our photo albums at the links below!

Heavy Bombers Weekend 2015 – Ryan Sundheimer

View full photo album: Heavy Bombers Weekend 2015 – Ryan Sundheimer
Heavy Bombers Weekend 2015 – Ryan Sundheimer

Heavy Bombers Weekend 2015 – Patrick Barron

View full photo album: Heavy Bombers Weekend 2015 – Patrick Barron
Heavy Bombers Weekend 2015 – Patrick Barron

EAA Skiplane Fly-In 2015 – Oshkosh, WI

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EAA Skiplane Fly-In 2015

Winter in the northern Midwest means not much flying, and certainly no airshows. Except, that is, for one special event put on by the Experimental Aircraft Association in their hometown of Oshkosh, WI. In the middle of the harsh winter, a few dozen planes gather at EAA’s private Pioneer Airport for one afternoon of flying and fun.

This year 26 skiplanes (plus one tundra-tired Cub) made it in to the event, and were greeted by hundreds of spectators milling about the small field. The coolest part of the event is how close you can get to the airplanes, even when they are taking off or landing. Piles of snow provide a chance to get some unique elevated photos and can even place you at eye level with the aircraft taking off. The event ran for about three hours, and included a chili cookout in one of the museum hangars. The weather was an improvement over 2014’s event also, with temperatures near 30 degrees and no wind. It was a very fun afternoon, and a fantastic break from the lull of winter in Wisconsin!

Check out our photos from the event below and see more in our photo gallery – 2015 EAA Skiplane Fly-In (Oshkosh, WI)

EAA Skiplane Fly-In 2015EAA Skiplane Fly-In 2015
EAA Skiplane Fly-In 2015EAA Skiplane Fly-In 2015