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

posted in: Military | 1

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!

Military To Increase Support For Airshows In 2016 (Part 1 – US Navy)

posted in: Airshows, Military | 0

US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet Demonstration - Vapor Cone

Jet team schedules are not the only exciting news for fans to come out of the annual ICAS convention this week. Representatives from the US Navy and the US Air Force both gave presentations outlining their services plans for supporting airshows in 2016, and there is some very good news for fans eager to see more military involvement. Here are the important details from the Navy; we’ll cover the USAF in detail tomorrow.

US Navy F/A-18C Hornet Demonstration TeamUS Navy Legacy Flight - F4U Corsair, F/A-18F Super Hornet, T-2 Buckeye

F-18 Tactical Demonstrations

Both F/A-18C Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet tactical demonstration teams will be participating in 46 (up from 20 in 2015) airshows in 2016. As in years past, the East Coast team will come from VFA-106 at NAS Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The West Coast team will be from VFA-122 at NAS Lemoore in California. The TACDEMO teams are intending to perform only at airshows where the Blue Angels are not performing, in an effort to maximize the visibility of the Navy recruiting efforts. That said, we fully expect the VFA-106 teams to perform alongside the Blue Angels at their home show at Oceana, as they have for years. No word is given on when the TACDEMO schedules can be expected.

Legacy Flights

Not to be forgotten is the previously announced news that the Tailhook Legacy Flights, which pair Navy warbirds with current fighters, will be returning in 2016.

US Navy Leap Frogs Parachute TeamUS Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet Static Display

Leap Frogs

The US Navy Leap Frogs parachute team is also authorized to perform at up to 27 shows this year, although it is unclear if their many High School and sporting event appearances will count against that total. There is no word yet on when their schedule can be expected.

Static Displays

The other major news in the presentation is that restrictions on Navy static displays are being lifted in 2016. Previously they had been severely limited due to the sequestration budget cuts. Only 10 civilian shows were approved for statics in 2015. Happily, static displays will be unrestricted starting with this season!

These are all very exciting developments, and certainly indicate that military participation can be expected to rise in the near future. Let’s hope the good news continues!

Stay tuned for more developments and the performance schedules as we get them.