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

US Navy Forum Teases Return Of Legacy Flights In 2018 – And More!

posted in: Military, Popular Posts | 0

US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet

The jet team/military demo schedules are the highlight of each annual International Council of Airshows (ICAS) convention, but the military forums and presentations also have some interesting bits of info for fans. This year the Navy forum in particular yielded some very interesting and exciting news items.

First, the F/A-18C Hornet (AKA Baby Hornet or Legacy Hornet) demos appear to be a thing of the past. All F-18 demonstrations in 2018 will be either F/A-18E or F/A-18F Super Hornets. As in the past, they will be flown by a West Coast team out of NAS Lemoore, CA and an East Coast team out of NAS Oceana, VA. The F/A-18E demos will only be flown by Lemoore crews.

Second, and maybe the biggest news of the forum; Legacy Flights might be back! The presentation includes the requirements for a show to host a Legacy Flight, and says the performance will consist of a short profile similar to that flown in the past. Legacy Flights have not been regularly performed for years now, although a Super Hornet and Corsair formation flight was arranged at the Cleveland airshow this past September. No word yet on what warbirds might be among the approved performers.

The third major takeaway from the forum is that there appears to be no limit on Navy static displays in 2018! Each year since sequestration (2013) has seen the military branches place limits on how many of their aircraft could be approved for static display at each airshow. This has gradually been lifted each year and thankfully it appears to be a nonissue in 2018; static display ramps may be a little fuller this summer!

The schedule for the F-18 demonstrations is not expected to be released for a while, but the the teams are approved for 46 airshows total. As noted, we are currently seeking some more information on these topics and will post any updates that we receive!

VFA-106 Unveils Special VFA-15 Paint Scheme For 2017 F/A-18C Hornet Demonstrations

posted in: Military | 13

F/A-18C Hornet Demonstration In VFA-15 Commemorative Paint Scheme

The U.S. Navy’s East Coast TAC Demo squadron, VFA-106 Gladiators, recently introduced a commemorative paint scheme for their F/A-18C “Legacy Hornet” demo jet. The new paint scheme celebrates the legacy of VFA-15 Valions, which is scheduled to formally deactivate on May 31, 2017. The demo jet markings are representative of VA-15 while flying A-7E Corsair IIs during the 1970s. VA-15 transitioned to F/A-18s in January of 1987 and was subsequently re-designated VFA-15.

F/A-18C Hornet Demonstration In VFA-15 Commemorative Paint SchemeF/A-18C Hornet Demonstration In VFA-15 Commemorative Paint Scheme

The jet made its public debut March 10-12 at the Tico Warbird Airshow held annually at the Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida. The event was the team’s first of the 2017 airshow season. Lt. Scott “MacGruber” Lindahl piloted the jet for all three demonstrations of the weekend, much to the surprise and delight of the crowd. Overall, the jet was very well received and was the subject of much discussion due to the jet’s retro 1970s paint scheme.

The jet is a fitting tribute to the men and women currently serving in VFA-15, and provides honor and respect for all who served the mighty Valions during the squadron’s storied 75 year history.

– Shawn Yost

EDIT: Our comments include some credit for the paint scheme:
All of us in the VFA-15 Corrosion Workcenter painted the jet that paint scheme, the original A/C Modex was 301. The night before it came out from the paint hangar there onboard NAS OCEANA & was on display at my Navy Retirement Ceremony on Nov. 18, [2016]. I was the LPO for 12C Work Center & all my guys did a Fantastic JOB painting the jet. I like to give them the credit & they are as follows: Jared Paul Bowen, Yisus Vlzqz, Wayne Ragas, Jordan Soltis, Huy G Tran, Sean Collins, Narciso Diaz & Brent Fore

SEE ALSO: 2017 US Navy F-18 Hornet And Super Hornet Demo Team Schedules Released

F/A-18C Hornet Demonstration In VFA-15 Commemorative Paint Scheme

2017 US Navy F-18 Hornet And Super Hornet Demo Team Schedules Released

posted in: Military, Schedules | 1

US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet Demonstration Team

The United States Navy has released the 2017 schedule for the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet demonstration teams! Their schedule does not specify which airshows are getting which type of aircraft, but we will update this post with that information when we get it.

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

2017 Appearance Schedule – US Navy F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Demonstration Teams

VFA-106 “Gladiators”:

March 11-13 – Titusville, FL (F/A-18C Hornet)
March 18-19 – Waco, TX

April 22-23 – Louisville, KY
April 29-30 – Lake City, FL

May 6-7 – Fort Lauderdale, FL
May 7-8 – Lincoln, NE
May 20-21 – North Kingstown, RI
May 20-21 – Oklahoma City, OK
May 27-28 – Miami Beach, FL
May 27-28 – Wantagh, NY Canceled on 3/24/17

June 25-26 – Huntsville, AL

July 1-2 – Traverse City, MI (F/A-18F Super Hornet)
July 15-16 – Johnson City, NY

August 12-13 – Scranton, PA
August 12-13 – Barnes ANGB/Westfield, MA
August 19-20 – Selfridge ANGB/Chesterfield Township, MI
August 23 – Atlantic City, NJ

September 2-4 – Cleveland, OH (F/A-18F Super Hornet)
September 9-10 – Sacramento, CA
September 16-17 – Virginia Beach, VA (F/A-18C Hornet and F/A-18F Super Hornet)
September 23-24 – London, ON (F/A-18F Super Hornet)

October 14-15 – Atlanta, GA

November 3-5 – Stuart, FL

VFA-122 “Flying Eagles”:

March 17-18 – Yuma, AZ
March 24-26 – Lancaster, CA

April 1-2 – Melbourne, FL
April 8-9 – Columbus, GA
April 28-30 – Lake Charles, LA

May 6-7 – McEntire ANGB, SC
May 13-14 – Pittsburgh, PA
May 20-21 – Redlands, CA
May 27-28 – Columbia, MO

June 10-11 – Scott AFB, IL
June 17-18 – Gaylord, MI
June 24-25 – Dayton, OH

July 3 – Dubuque, IA
July 8-9 – Gary, IN
July 22-23 – Great Falls, MT
July 29-30 – Fairchild AFB, WA

August 11-13 – Abbotsford, BC

September 9-10 – Wendover, UT
September 16-17 – Midland, TX
September 30-October 1 – Grand Junction, CO

October 7-8 – Minden, NV
October 21-22 – Houston, TX

F/A-18C Hornet Demo Added To 2016 NAS Pax River Air Expo Lineup

posted in: Airshows | 0

US Navy F/A-18C Hornet demonstration team

The US Navy F/A-18C Hornet demonstration from VFA-106 “Gladiators” has been added to the lineup of the 2016 NAS Patuxent River Air Expo. The status of the show was called into question after the Blue Angels were forced to cancel their planned appearance at the show, but organizers decided to press on with the rest of the line up. This late addition will provide some extra jet noise on top of the already scheduled F-22 Raptor and Sea Harrier performances.

The Navy has used the single-ship Hornet demo teams to fill in for the Blue Angels several times already this year. They were called into action when the Blues canceled multiple appearances as part of their safety stand down following the June crash of Blue Angel #6, Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss. The report on that crash led to a mandate that the team take one weekend off at least every eight weeks, which led to their Pax River cancellation.

Fat Albert Loses Famous Blue Angel Paint Scheme As Part Of Maintenance Overhaul

posted in: Jet Teams | 0
US Navy Blue Angels - Fat Albert C-130 Hercules - Paint Stripped
Photo Credit: Tinker AFB

Fat Albert has lost the famous blue and gold colors of the Blue Angels as part of a maintenance overhaul currently underway. The aircraft was flown to Tinker AFB in Oklahoma, where crews worked in three shifts to remove the famous paint scheme and check for corrosion. The base Facebook page posted a photo of this work in progress, and today another photo was posted by the Fat Albert Twitter account showing the end result; a naked Bert!

US Navy Blue Angels - Fat Albert C-130 Hercules - Paint Stripped
Photo Credit: FatAlbertUSMC

As you can see, only the bright yellow nose remains. The aircraft will be flown to Hill AFB in Utah for major maintenance and repair work. Indications are that severe corrosion is behind the effort that will keep Fat Albert grounded for the rest of the 2016 airshow season. In the mean time, the team will fly a regular ‘fleet’ C-130 for transportation and logistics, but will likely not perform in it.

Blue Angels’ Fat Albert Will Reportedly Not Fly Again Until After 2016 Airshow Season

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams | 10

US Navy Blue Angels - C-130 Hercules Fat Albert

Fat Albert, the famous C-130 Hercules that serves as the transport for the US Navy Blue Angels, appears to be done flying for the season. As we reported last week, Bert was forced to miss the Seattle Seafair airshow this past weekend due to unspecified maintenance issues, and unconfirmed reports began circulating that it would not be back to flying status any time soon. A tweet by one of the three Fat Albert pilots, USMC Captain Katie Higgins, seems to confirm the news. She mentions that Bert is in depot-level maintenance, and that she will not fly that airframe (164763) again during her time with the team.

The team will likely utilize a normal Marine Corps KC-130 for its transportation needs for the remainder of the season, but it remains to be seen whether that aircraft will perform in shows or not. From what we have heard, it seems doubtful. This puts a further damper on the current Blue Angels performance that remains a five-jet routine following the crash of Blue Angel #6, Captain Jeff Kuss, earlier this year. The sixth jet will rejoin the performances once Commander Frank Weisser is fully proficient in the routine.

We have reached out to the Blue Angels for comments and official confirmation. In the mean time, those needing their Fat Albert fix can take a ride in the cockpit during an airshow flight earlier this year:

US Navy Hornet Demo Teams Practice For 2016 Season

posted in: Airshows, Military | 0

IMG_1946web-XL

It’s that time again! Fans and pilots alike are starting to get ready for the 2016 season. The Navy is as well! In order to qualify for certification, the US Navy demo teams must fly a certain number of practice flights before their first public performance. Many of these practice flights take place at their home base.

Therefore, starting February 22nd and running through March 4th, residents in Virginia Beach, VA and around NAS Oceana will hear louder than normal jet noise and see some low level flying by the F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet demo teams. These flights will take place on Mondays and Wednesdays with Friday as a backup date.

The practice demos will begin around 3:30pm and run for 45 minutes until around 4:15. If previous practice demos we’ve seen are any indication, both teams will fly. Low clouds and rainy conditions could cancel or reschedule demos, but those are the typical flight times.

The Hornet demo teams also fly at the Dare County Bombing Range in Dare, NC and in a simulator before taking to the skies over Oceana.

Schedule for the NAS Oceana Airshow!

posted in: Airshows | 1

If you’re heading to the NAS Oceana airshow, get there early! The gates will open at 8am Saturday and Sunday and the flying will begin at 10am. The Blue Angels will fly around 3pm. NAS Oceana airshow

The following is a schedule of performers from the NAS Oceana airshow website. As always, the schedule is subject to change up until show time.
10:15 – Air Show starts with Bill Leff T-6 warm-up
10:25 – Jason Newburg Viper warm-up
10:40 – F/A-18C Tactical Demonstration
10:55 – L-39 Albatross Demonstration
11:05 – Fleet Air Power Launch and Demonstration
11:35 – National Anthem Flag Jump and Fleet Aircraft Flybe
11:50 – Fleet Aircraft Recover
11:55 – Greg Shelton Stearman Solo
Noon – Kent Pietsch Comedy Act
12:16 – Bill Leff T-6 Demonstration
12:31 – Bob Carlton Salto Jet Powered Glider Demonstration
12:43 – Jason Newburg/Viper Performance
12:55 – L-39 Albatross Demonstration
1:07 Skydive Suffolk Jump Team Performance
1:17 Geico Skytypers Demonstration
1:37 Kent Pietsch Dead Stick Performance
1:50 Greg Shelton/Sam Wing Walk Performance
2:05 Justin Lewis/Micro Jet Demonstration
2:15 Shockwave Jet Truck
2:25 Navy Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor Presentation
2:35 F/A-18F Super Hornet Tactical Demonstration
2:50 Kent Pietsch RV Top Landing
3:00 U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron/Blue Angels
4:00 Finish

Saturday evening, head to 31st street on the VA Beach Oceanfront for the Beach Blast! The Blue Angels will be introduced to the crowd and parachuters will jump onto the beach and there will be a free concert. The Beach Blast begins at 6:30pm. Parking is available at a garage on the corner of 31st Street and Atlantic Avenue.