WATCH: AirVenture’s Bomber Day Features Rare Modern And Vintage Bomber Formations And Flybys In Oshkosh

The Heavies Are The Stars At AirVenture 2017

2017 will forever be known as the “Year of the Bombers” at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh – and with good reason! With the memories of last week’s spectacle of aviation still fresh in our minds, the AirshowStuff.com crew is proud to present this video containing all of the major bombers that made an appearance at #OSH17. This video has something for every lover of the mud movers, from the only two flying B-29 Superfortresses “Fifi” and “Doc”, to the high-tech B-1B Lancer and B-2 Spirit. And let’s not forget the venerable workhorse of the bomber fleet, the B-52 Stratofortress.

Visitors were treated to multiple flybys, including a rare Bomber Triad flyover that included all three current USAF bombers in formation, plus static displays of the B-1B, the B-52, a re-enactment of the infamous Doolittle Raid including twelve B-25 Mitchell bombers, and both flyable B-29 Superfortresses on the ground and in the air. This video is sure to get your blood pumping and your adrenaline flowing. You’ll hear the scream of the eight Pratt and Whitney TF33 engines of the mighty B-52 as it roars overhead, and you’ll feel the rumble in your chest from the eight Wright Cyclone radial engines of both B-29s as they pass by. Check out the afterburner action of the B-1B as it rolls in at high speed with wings swept, heading straight for you! And who could forget the stealthy B-2 Spirit as it gracefully sweeps by, prominent bat-wing design on full display. This video has just about everything a bomber fan could love so sit down, strap in, and set your video player to 1080p so you can truly enjoy this awesome display of sheer firepower!

Be sure to subscribe to the AirshowStuffVideos channel on YouTube for more great videos!

-Justin Miner

Boeing B-1B LancerB-29 Superfortress Fifi

WATCH: The Mighty B-52 Stratofortress Takes Off Right Over Your Head

The BUFF Is The Stuff!

It’s hard to beat the sight of a B-52 coming at you. One of the most iconic symbols of American air power, the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress has been flying since the 1950’s, and is scheduled to remain in service for at least another 15 years. The crew at AirshowStuff.com love the mighty BUFF (Big Ugly Fat….Fellow), and here’s your chance to see this awesome piece of history up close in a unique end-of-runway view. In 2015, the B-52 made it’s first-ever appearance at the famed EAA AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, WI.

Watch as the Stratofortress spools up its eight Pratt and Whitney TF-33 engines and rolls down the runway right at you! You get a head-on view as the B-52 lifts off and screams overhead. You’ll see this legend of the cold war’s unique landing gear retraction sequence, followed by an overhead pass with the scream of the engines so loud, you’ll almost feel the ground shaking below you! As the BUFF comes around for a final pass, you’ll see the smoke from the engines, the twinkle of the landing lights, and the sheer size of this massive warrior as it approaches. You’ll even get a “goodbye” wave from the crew as it passes down the runway toward you before departing. So set your video player to full screen, turn up the speakers, and enjoy every second of this awesome video in full HD, because you have one of the best seats in the house!

Be sure to browse the AirshowStuffVideos channel on YouTube for more great videos.

-Justin Miner

Boeing B-52 StratofortressB-52 Stratofortress Flyover

Bomber Heritage To Be Honored At Barksdale AFB Air Show With B-17/B-29/B-52 Formation Flight

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Barksdale AFB Airshow - B-17 B-29 B-52 Bomber Heritage Flight 2016

In a post on the Commemorative Air Force B-29/B-24 Squadron’s Facebook page, it was announced that their B-29 Superfortress “Fifi” will be participating in a historic flight at the upcoming Barksdale AFB Defenders of Liberty Air Show, to be held on 30 April and 1 May this year. The post detailed that Fifi will be participating in a formation flight with one of Barksdale’s B-52 Stratofortresses as well as the Lone Star Flight Museum’s B-17 Flying Fortress “Thunderbird.”

While the formation of a B-52 and B-17 has been seen before in recent years, the addition of the B-29 is significant in a historic aspect. Arguably, strategic air power for the United States began shortly before World War II with the US Army Air Corps purchase of Boeing Y1B-17s. Later manufactured and flown in service as the B-17, it became the backbone of air power in the European theater. Following the success of the 17 and strategic bombing, the B-29 would take over as the dominant force behind America’s newly formed Air Force until it’s retirement in 1960. At the dawn of the jet age, the B-29 would then be replaced by multiple new bomber designs until the iconic B-52 ultimately seated itself as the primary bomber of strategic air power for the US Air Force from 1952 on, still serving today.

The planned flight holds significance in the additional regard that the Boeing Company, the manufacturer of all three airframes, celebrates their centennial this year. For spectators at the show, this will be a unique opportunity to see the lineage of US bomber technology and heritage sharing the skies as a veritable bridge across time joining past and present.

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The Many Highlights Of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

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F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II, and P-38 Lightning Under Fireworks - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

Another year, another EAA AirVenture in the books! The week-long event at Wittman Regional Airport annually draws in over 10,000 aircraft, from general aviation to warbirds and modern military aircraft. Many people will camp the entire week, either in the nearby campgrounds or even in a tent right under their plane, because there is simply too much to see and do for just a weekend. For aviation enthusiasts young and old, AirVenture is the biggest event of the year.

Skip Stewart - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015USAF Thunderbirds T-38 Talon - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

This year’s event stuck out to many as one of the best in recent years, thanks to the number and magnitude of highlights. The statistics certainly back up this notion; total attendance was approximately 550,000, up two percent from last year. Even more than that, there was a noticeable increase in both aircraft attendance and activity. At one point, only one parking spot was left in the Fightertown section!

With so much going on, let’s dive into some of this year’s highlights!

Airbus’s New A350 XWB

On Monday, a flight-test version of the Airbus A350 XWB (Extra-Wide-Body) gave an impressive display of the aircraft’s flight capabilities. Its tight turns, steep banks, and high rate of climb had spectators on their feet. After its performance, the aircraft was towed to Boeing Plaza for tours of the interior. On Wednesday, it was towed out of the plaza and down to the end of the runway where it gave a second demonstration before returning home. The A350 XWB can carry over 300 passengers nearly 8,000 nautical miles, and is already in service by Qatar Airways and Vietnam Airlines.

Airbus A350 - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015Airbus A350 - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

B-52 in Boeing Plaza

On the Friday before the show, many of the runway lights were taken down to accommodate one of the largest aircraft ever to land at Wittman Regional Airport: the B-52 Stratofortress. While it did not fly in the show, this massive bomber took up a big chunk of space in Boeing Plaza throughout the week, where the pilots and crew gave talks, answered questions, and sold some squadron merchandise. Fun fact: the B-52 is part of the 343rd Bomber Squadron out of Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. This is, coincidentally, the same location as EAA Chapter 343. As a result of this coincidence, special 343 patches commemorating both the base and the chapter were sold in limited supply.

B-52 Stratofortress and B-29 Superfortress - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

The crew even got into the AirVenture spirit by registering the aircraft as a home-built with over 14,000 flight hours and asking for it to be judged. As a result, the B-52 won a special award!

Unfortunately the aircraft did not fly during the event because of the logistics of getting it back to the runway. However, we were there on the following Monday and got the best seat in the house for its departure.

Honoring the Legacy of Burt Rutan

This year, Burt Rutan returned to AirVenture to commemorate the 40th anniversary of his VariEze aircraft design (which first flew in May of 1975). Rutan is famous for his innovative aircraft concepts, such as the use of canards on various general aviation aircraft and also for perhaps his most famous milestone: SpaceShipOne. On Monday, a rare Beechcraft Starship made a special airshow arrival and the next day it joined with various other Rutan designs for a tribute during the show. Tuesday night, the Theater in the Woods featured ‘Garage-to-Garage’, a special presentation that highlighted Rutan’s legacy; 46 different aircraft designs with over 1,000 aircraft in service.

Burt Rutan Tribute - Beechcraft Starship - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015Burt Rutan Tribute - Boomerang - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

Arrival of the F-35 Lightning II

While the USMC version of the F-35 has been giving mini-demonstrations throughout the year at military airshows, AirVenture 2015 marked the first appearance of an F-35 Lightning II at a civilian show. Early Wednesday afternoon, two USAF F-35s from Eglin Air Force Base performed some low approaches before landing, unfortunately without afterburner. One of the pair was soon towed over to Boeing Plaza; setting up a rare opportunity to see it next to not only an F-22 Raptor, but a P-38 Lightning as well! Both stealth jets were kept under tight security with armed guards who kept an eye on the swarms of people surrounding them and taking pictures.

USAF F-35 Lightning II - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015USAF F-35 Lightning II - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

F-100 Super Sabre and F-4 Phantom

These two Vietnam-era jets created their own thunder in the later half of the week. The F-100, currently the only one of its kind flying, makes precious few airshow appearances and had never graced the Oshkosh skies before. Pilot and owner Dean “Cutter” Cutshall flew it in from Fort Wayne, IN and performed twice during the show. The first time was during the Friday warbird show when it flew with the Warbird Heritage Foundation’s A-4 Skyhawk and Jeff Kaney’s MiG-17 Fresco in the “Vietnam jets” segment. The real show, however, was the twilight performance just before sunset on Saturday night. The F-100 is known for its primitive one-stage afterburner that POPS very loudly when first engaged, and Cutter knows just how to show it off for the crowd. In the dim evening sky, the flame trailing the aircraft was even more visible than usual and had aviation fans drooling.

F-100 Super Sabre - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015F-100 Super Sabre - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

The USAF F-4 Phantom II had a similar showing at AirVenture, performing a couple times as well as flying during the Saturday twilight show. This particular F-4 has been modified to fly as an unmanned target drone, making its proper designation QF-4. Several of these QF-4s were given special commemorative paint schemes in recent years and taken to airshows to perform in Heritage Flights alongside current fighters. Sadly many of even the specially painted F-4s have been shot down now as the QF-4 program comes to an end and the similar QF-16 program begins. This, combined with the recent budget cuts, meant that the pilots were not Heritage Flight qualified this year, and so they were only able to perform a solo mini-demonstration. Still, an F-4 twilight demo would be a highlight of any show. Oshkosh may very well prove to be the final public appearance of a military Phantom; if so, it went out in grand style.

USAF F-4 Phantom II - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015USAF F-4 Phantom II - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

Salute to Veterans

Each year, EAA AirVenture hosts an Old Glory Honor Flight, which flies veterans to Washington DC to visit the memorials built in their honor. This year, the flight honored veterans from the Vietnam War. As the American Airlines MD-80 carrying them returned to show center at the conclusion of their special day, it was greeted with a water cannon salute from a pair of firetrucks. A large crowd on onlookers cheered the arrival, and the crowd shifted to the main stage in Boeing Plaza for a ceremony followed by a performance by the Lt. Dan Band (featuring Gary Sinise, best known for his role as Lt. Dan in the movie Forrest Gump). Several Vietnam-era aircraft, including the F-4 Phantom, F-100 Super Sabre, A-4 Skyhawk, OV-10 Mohawk, and A-1 Skyraider were arranged to ring the concert, making the moment even more special.

Vietnam Veterans Tribute - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

Vietnam Veterans Tribute - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015Vietnam Veterans Honor Flight - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

Record-Breaking Sky-Dive Attempt

The Golden Knights will often reference a “traffic jam in the sky” when several of their jumpers are coming in to land, but even their routine is nothing compared to the massive sky-diving attempts that were performed Wednesday and Friday during AirVenture. In an attempt to set the sequential mega-formation world record, 108 skydivers from around the world were divided among 5 jump aircraft. After jumping from 20,000 feet, the group had only 60 seconds to join up and form five different formations before splitting apart. As the jumpers opened their parachutes simultaneously, the sky exploded with canopies; so many that it was clearly audible on the ground thousands of feet below! Although the group made 3 different attempts at the record, they were not successful in the eyes of the judges. However, they did end up setting a Wisconsin state record for largest skydiving formation!

Rare Bombers: B-29 Superfortress and PB4Y-2 Privateer

This year’s show featured the world’s only flying B-29 Superfortress and PB4Y-2 Privateer. Although the B-29 “Fifi” has been in Oshkosh several times in the last few years, it was the first visit for the all silver Privateer. Both flew during the week, making simulated bombing runs with the help of the Tora Bomb Squad pyrotechnics team on the ground. “Fifi” also operated out of Appleton for part of the week, selling rides to passengers alongside EAA’s B-17 Flying Fortress “Aluminum Overcast”.

PB4Y-2 Privateer - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015B-29 Superfortress "Fifi" - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

Roar of the Merlins

Thursday was the day of the legendary Merlin engine. The warbird portion of the show marked the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain by having the Avro Lancaster and de Havilland Mosquito, both powered by Merlins, fly together along with a replica Spitfire. The Lancaster and Mosquito are both one of only two of their type left flying in the world. A second Mosquito was on static display, however it is part of the EAA Museum located on the airport and does not fly. Still, the opportunity to see two side by side was incredible!

Avro Lancaster - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015de Havilland Mosquitos - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

A short time later, no less than 14 P-51 Mustangs taxied out. As they approached the runway, they stopped to perform simultaneous run-ups right in front of the crowd. Talk about goosebumps. They soon launched, mostly in pairs, and the formation-rated pilots in the group joined in three elements of four aircraft to provide high cover before diving in for individual high speed passes. Add it up and that’s twenty Merlins singing together in the skies over Oshkosh!

P-51 Mustangs - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015P-51 Mustangs - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

Same Old AirVenture

Each year EAA AirVenture offers something new; something even fans who have been going for the last 35 years haven’t seen before. But at the same time, EAA AirVenture remains fundamentally the same; a massive gathering of aviation enthusiasts and fans with an unmatched feeling of camaraderie that draws people back every year. From the 10,000+ aircraft that fly in to the 1,000+ forums/workshops and the 800+ exhibitors, AirVenture will always be the world’s biggest aviation destination and that is a worthy highlight in its own right.

USAF F-22 Raptor and Fireworks - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015P-51 Mustang - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

Mass Warbird Formations - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

MiG-17 Fresco - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015USAF Heritage Flight - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015
The 4ce - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015Texas Flying Legends B-25 Mitchell and Zero - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

Fan Submissions: Theme Week 20 – Bombers

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Thank you to all of our fans for submitting to our Bomber theme week! After 20 weeks, we once again had another record number of submissions! We posted some of our favorite Bomber photos throughout the week, and asked you to share some of your own shots to be featured right here on our blog. Check out just a sampling of the submissions in the slideshow below!

With airshow season just about upon us at AirshowStuff, this next week will be the final theme week, and we want theme weeks to go out with a bang! So this week’s theme is Best of the Best! We want to see the best airshow photo you’ve ever taken! All week long we’ll be posting our very best photos and want to see yours, too! If you would like to contribute to our next theme week, go to our Facebook page, like the page, and upload your photos to our wall!

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B-52 Stratofortress to Attend EAA AirVenture 2015

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B-52 Stratofortress Static Display

The Experimental Aircraft Association announced today that for the first time ever, a USAF B-52 Stratofortress bomber will be on static display throughout the week long AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh this July. In the announcement, EAA pointed out that although B-52s have performed flybys during past AirVentures, none has ever landed to be put on ground display. This particular B-52 will come from Barksdale AFB in Louisiana. No details have been announced as to when the bomber will arrive or depart, moments that many will surely be hoping to catch. However, there is a good chance that some of the previously announced historical bombers will be parked near the B-52 for at least part of the week.