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 | 0

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 (HF with P-51)
July 22-23rd: Idaho Falls, ID
July 24-30th: Oshkosh, WI – EAA AirVenture

Aug 11-13th: Abbotsford, BC
September 9-10th – New Windsor, NY (Date changed to July)
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!

Afterburner, Bare Metal, And Sunset – Watch These F-100 Super Sabre Twilight Flybys!

posted in: Featured Videos, Warbirds | 0

F-100 Super Sabre

North American Aviation F-100 Super Sabre

Check out this rare and awesome video of one of the only flying examples left of an F-100 Super Sabre! This video was taken at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh back in 2015 and showcases the power and beauty of the F-100 with a stunning twilight backdrop. Be sure to pay particular attention to the afterburner as this powerful fighter-bomber of the 50’s and 60’s streaks by in pass after pass of polished metal glory. Pilot Dean “Cutter” Cutshall will put the F-100 through its paces, and you have a front-row seat to it all. And for a little bit of background on the F-100, read on about how this iconic aircraft cemented itself in aviation history.

History of the F-100 Super Sabre

In May of 1953, an unusual looking aircraft took to the skies for the first time. Sporting a gaping air intake where the nose would traditionally be located, along with a unique 45 degree swept-back wing design, the prototype F-100 Super Sabre took flight.

Building on the success of the F-86 Sabre jet, the North American Aviation F-100 Super Sabre was designed to be an air superiority fighter, and the first production fighter to be able to break the sound barrier while in level flight. The first of the so-called Century Series fighters, the Super Sabre carried four 20mm cannons on the bottom of the fuselage and a Pratt and Whitney J57 engine that propelled it to a maximum speed of about 850 mph. Later versions would receive an updated version of the J57 engine that would propel the “Hun”, as it was called, to a maximum speed of approximately 880 mph. With the exception of a handful of shows flown in the F-105 Thunderchief in 1964, the Super Sabre was the aircraft of choice for the USAF Thunderbirds from 1956 to 1969.

Though the Super Sabre was designed as an air superiority fighter, its ability as a tactical bomber became apparent, especially during the Vietnam war. Trading in the colorful and high-visibility silver lacquer paint schemes of the 1950’s, the Super Sabre began wearing the green and brown paint of the Southeast Asian conflict in its new role. The F-100D, the most produced variant of the Hun, became an adept ground attack aircraft platform and saved many friendly troops in direct action sorties by dropping a variety of ordnance from general purpose bombs, to rockets, to napalm. By the end of the Vietnam war, the F-100 had become the longest-serving fighter of any type, serving from 1961 to 1971. The Super Sabre was also the first aircraft to carry out the dangerous “Wild Weasel” surface-to-air missile suppression missions. Due to the heightened tensions of the Cold War, the F-100 could even pack a wallop with the capability of carrying five different types of tactical nuclear bombs.

With aircraft technology advancing rapidly in the 1950’s and 1960’s, the F-100 Super Sabres eventually became obsolete and were retired or transferred off to Air National Guard units. Some were even exported to other nations. The Hun was officially retired in 1979, but continued to serve proudly into the 1980’s as QF-100 drones. Despite being replaced by more technologically advanced aircraft in the 1970’s, you can see why the North American Aviation F-100 Super Sabre was one of the most powerful and capable fighter-bombers in history.

Once again, be sure to check out the video, turn up the volume, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the F-100 Super Sabre. You won’t be disappointed!

– Justin Miner

F-100 Super SabreF-100 Super Sabre Nose

Heavy Bombers Weekend 2016 – Janesville, WI

B-17 Flying Fortress - Heavy Bombers Weekend 2016

View the full photo gallery: Heavy Bombers Weekend 2016 – Janesville, WI – Ryan Sundheimer

The 2016 edition of Heavy Bombers Weekend was held at the Southwest Wisconsin Regional Airport in Janesville, WI. The fly-in is a popular stop for warbirds traveling to the EAA AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh. Even on the opening day of the event, many different aircraft were on hand to take passengers for rides, including EAA’s B-17 Flying Fortress “Aluminum Overcast”, the Commemorative Air Force’s B-29 Superfortress “FIFI”, and the P-51 Mustang “Gunfighter”. Ground tours were included in the price of admission, giving all of the attendees a chance to touch and feel history. The event plans to shift back to its previous home in Madison, WI in 2017 and alternate between the two airports each year.

Check out our coverage of the 2015 Heavy Bombers Weekend as well!

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.

1 2 3