Rockford AirFest Cancelled in 2016

posted in: Airshows, Schedules | 0

USAF F-22 Raptor

In a surprise move, the Chicago-Rockford International Airport announced today that it will not hold its annual Rockford AirFest in 2016 after it was unable to reach an agreement with the US Air Force on an appearance by the F-22 Raptor. The show was left off of the Blue Angel and Thunderbird schedules released in December, but was very confident that the Raptor would be assigned to perform instead. The Air Force treats the F-22 as a major headlining act on the same level as the jet teams, and generally only sends it to shows without a team already performing.

The show was listed on several performer schedules as taking place the weekend of June 18-19, but according to airport’s Executive Director Mike Dunn it was originally planned for the first weekend of June. The F-22 was unable to make it that weekend because of the military’s Academy Week, and the Air Force proposed a shift to Memorial Day weekend. The organizers were unwilling to make that move due to competition with a nearby festival, and they ultimately reached an agreement with the Air Force for the 18-19th before the Air Force later ruled that weekend out as well, leading to the cancellation.

The move is very surprising because the show had already arranged a stronger lineup than most, including the USMC Harrier, the Breitling Jet Team, an expected US Navy F-18 Hornet demonstration, and a possible USAF F-16 demonstration in place of the F-22. The F-22 does not have the star power of the jet teams and the amount of attendance drop off stemming from its absence is questionable. There are two other larger shows in the region scheduled for that same weekend; St. Thomas, Ontario and Dayton, Ohio. It will be interesting to see how many of Rockford’s acts shift to them or even elsewhere.

Wings Over Waukegan Announces Cancellation For 2015

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams | 0

Wings Over Waukegan Airshow 2014

The Wings Over Waukegan airshow announced on Facebook today that the board of directors has elected to cancel the 2015 show, scheduled for September 12-13. The announcement cites lack of financial standing as well as aerobatic box logistics as the reasons behind the decision. This is extremely disappointing news for Midwest airshow fans, as the usually small, Saturday-only show was going to be much larger this year. The event was scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday, with the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, CF-18 Hornet, and US Navy F/A-18 Hornet demonstration teams headlining alongside the traditionally featured warbirds from the Warbird Heritage Foundation, located on the field, as well as civilian aerobatic acts. There is no word yet on where the demonstration teams may perform instead.

Wings Over Waukegan will attempt to return with a one day show in 2016, currently scheduled for September 10.

Photo Albums Uploaded: Rockford Airfest 2015

posted in: Airshows, AirshowStuff, Event Recap | 0

Two new photo albums have gone up in our photo gallery! Check out a preview of each below and then be sure to follow the links to view the full albums.

Rockford Airfest 2015 – Patrick Barron

View full photo album: Rockford Airfest 2015 – Patrick Barron
US Navy Blue Angels Wall of Fire - Rockford Airfest 2015

Rockford Airfest 2015 – Ryan Sundheimer

View full photo album: Rockford Airfest 2015 – Ryan Sundheimer
US Navy Blue Angels - Rockford Airfest 2015