Rockford AirFest Suspended In 2017 And Beyond Despite Scheduled USAF Thunderbirds Appearance

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams, Schedules | 5

US Air Force Thunderbirds - Rockford AirFest

Say goodbye to the Rockford AirFest. The event has been canceled in 2017 and beyond, thanks to new tenants at the airport. The move is surprising as the show had already landed a coveted appearance by the US Air Force Thunderbirds on June 3rd and 4th of next year. Mike Dunn, the Airport’s Executive Director, says that the airport has gotten too busy to shut down operations for the show weekend.

The show had faced troubles recently, and was canceled in 2016 after scheduling conflicts with the US Air Force F-22 Raptor demonstration team that was the headline the event. Two different US Navy Blue Angel appearances were also canceled in recent years, but it nevertheless remained a popular attraction since its start in 2005. Rockford did not appear on either the Blue Angel or Thunderbirds preliminary schedules for 2018, but may have landed the F-22 Raptor demonstration.

With Rockford throwing in the towel, that weekend will now open up for the Thunderbirds. The airshow in Duluth, MN will already host the Blue Angels and Canadian Forces Snowbirds on those same dates, and may make a play for the rare privilege of hosting all three North American jet teams. More likely, another show currently without a jet team will land the Thunderbirds by changing dates. Be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow our social media channels for further updates when they are available!

Video Highlight: USAF Thunderbirds and Canadian Snowbirds – 2014 Performances

posted in: Featured Videos, Jet Teams | 0

The 2014 Rockford AirFest in Rockford, IL was one of the rare airshows to feature two jet teams at one show! Both the US Air Force Thunderbirds and the Canadian Forces Snowbirds headlined the event. Check out their performances below!

World’s Oldest Jet Returns To Flight

posted in: Warbirds | 25

F-86A Sabre - World's Oldest Jet - Flies Again

The world’s oldest flyable jet, and one of the last remaining F-86A Sabres, S/N 48-178, took to the skies once again today in Rockford, IL. This is a major milestone in the recent acquisition of the Sabre by Heritage Aero Inc, which is based in Rockford, on behalf of a US collector. Paul Wood was at the controls for the two flights made by the Sabre, which was accompanied by a T-33 chase plane. The first flight was originally expected to occur before this year’s EAA AirVenture earlier in July, but was delayed by mechanical issues.

Sabre 48-178 has been through numerous private owners and restorations throughout it’s life, originating in Everett, WA in 1970 to Golden Apple Operations in the UK (1992)and finally to Heritage Aero late last year. These flights are a promising sign that we should see her on the airshow circuit next year!

All images courtesy of David Charles Lindberg

F-86A Sabre - World's Oldest Jet - Flies Again

F-86A Sabre - World's Oldest Jet - Flies AgainF-86A Sabre - World's Oldest Jet - Flies Again

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