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

Thunderbirds Return To Flying, Airshows After Dayton Landing Incident

posted in: Jet Teams | 0

Cleveland National Airshow - USAF Thunderbirds

The US Air Force Thunderbirds announced today that they are returning to flying operations this week, and it sounds like they have every intention of performing as scheduled this weekend in Traverse City, MI. The remaining aircraft departed Dayton today to return to their home base of Nellis AFB, and they will fly a practice show there tomorrow. After Traverse City, the team has a weekend off followed by a trip to the UK where they will perform at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.

The team canceled their scheduled performances at the 2017 Vectren Dayton Airshow this past weekend after one of their two-seat F-16Ds flipped over onto its back next to the runway on Friday. The pilot, Thunderbird #8 Capt. Erik Gonsalves and passenger Technical Sgt. Kenneth Cordova were trapped in the overturned cockpit for more than an hour as emergency crews carefully attempted to extract them without triggering the powerful ejection seats.

The jet was returning from a familiarization flight nearby when the weather deteriorated. Reportedly, a gust of wind caught the aircraft after it was on the ground and flipped it onto its back in the muddy grass. The incident is still under investigation.

Once freed, both of the crew were taken to a nearby hospital in good condition. Cordova was released but Gonsalves remains in the hospital with reported cuts to his legs. He is expected to fully recover.

We are glad to hear that both of the Thunderbird team members are safe, and that the team will not observe a lengthy stand down. They must feel that the incident was a freak occurrence and that it is safe to continue performing.

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

The Blue Angels And Thunderbirds Will Wrap Up Their 2016 Airshow Seasons This Weekend

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams | 0

US Navy Blue Angels

The US Navy Blue Angels and US Air Force Thunderbirds will both wrap up their 2016 airshow seasons this coming weekend with their respective homecoming shows. The Blue Angels will perform at NAS Pensacola in Florida while the Thunderbirds will wow their hometown crowd at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas. These shows mark the end of the major airshow season in the US; following the closing performances, the teams will begin preparing for their respective winter training periods and the 2017 season.

USAF Thunderbirds

While we have already posted preliminary schedules for both the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, check back with us in early December when updated 2017 and preliminary 2018 schedules are released at the ICAS convention!

Have you been able to see the teams during the 2016 season? We’d love to see some fan photos of them posted to the AirshowStuff Facebook page!

2016 Dates And Locations Announced For Red Bull Air Racing

posted in: Aerobatics, Airshows, Miscellaneous | 1

Red Bull Air Race 2009 - Windsor, ON

The 2016 dates for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship were announced today, and the 8-stop world tour will conclude with two stops in the US. The 7th stop will take place at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, IN before the series wraps up by returning to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV. The stop in Indianapolis already has Midwest airshow fans abuzz as it is the first stop in the region since 2010. The full 2016 schedule is below.

    March 11-12 – Abu Dhabi, UAE
    April 23-24 – Spielberg, Austria
    TBD – Japan
    July 16-17 – Budapest, Hungary
    August 13-14 – Ascot, Great Britain
    September 3-4 – Lausitzring, Germany
    October 1-2 – Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
    October 15/16 – Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Each race will be broadcast in the US on Fox Sports 1 on a schedule to be announced later.

Each air race is arranged as a time trial event. Carefully selected pilots from around the world fly small aerobatic planes such as Edge 540s and Extra 300s through gates made of inflatable pylons. These pylons are specially designed to not damage the aircraft in the frequent event of contact. There are multiple rounds per event and the pilot with the fastest time through the course is the winner.

The flexible setup allows the course to take on a new layout at each race location, often in a small footprint. While many of the earlier events took place over open water, race tracks have seemingly become a favored location since they do not have many tall obstacles, the track can be used as a temporary airport, and the crowd can sit in pre-existing grand stands.

The series was created in 2003 and soon branched out from Europe to the US and around the world. Previous US events have been held in Monument Valley, Reno, San Francisco, San Diego, Detroit (along with adjacent Windsor, Ontario), and New York City. The races were not held in 2011, 2012, or 2013. In 2014 and 2015, the series concluded with stops in Texas and Las Vegas. Stops outside the US have included Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, the UAE, and more.

Air Race 1 World Cup To End At Reno

posted in: Airshows, Miscellaneous | 0

Formula 1 Air Race

Air racing fans will want to make sure they’re in Reno in late September as the city plays host to the Air Race 1 World Cup! Reno, NV will play host to the final event of the 2015 Air Race 1 World Cup, a thrilling race of 8 aircraft in a 10 lap battle at 450kph where the first plane to cross the finish line wins! This will be the first international title in Formula 1 Air Racing’s 70 year history.

Mike Major, CEO of RARA, said: “The Reno Air Races has long been a cornerstone of the sport of air racing, but we are not resting on our laurels and many new innovations are planned. So the timing is perfect for us to harness the growth of air racing globally through this partnership with the exciting new international series, the Air Race 1 World Cup, to introduce true air racing to many new audiences.”

Pilots competing in the 2015 Air Race 1 World Cup will be announced in March. Other venues on the schedule include Monastir, Tunisia in early June and Lleida, Spain in late June. The races at Reno are scheduled for Sunday, September 20th.

The Air Race 1 World Cup is sanctioned as the top international title in the sport of formula one air racing by the three official associations based in USA, UK and France. Each event will be covered extensively by global media and the television program will be available in almost 100 countries. The series hopes to expand to more cities in 2016.

Photo from Air Race 1 Website