UPDATED: Royal Jordanian Falcons Planning North American Tour In 2019 Or 2020

posted in: Aerobatics | 1

Royal Jordanian Falcons

UPDATE: We contacted the team directly to ask about any tour, and sadly they have decided to postpone their plans until 2019 or 2020 due to various unnamed challenges. Thanks to Jim Reith for helping confirm the news! Stay tuned here and on our forums for info!

ORIGINAL POST: The Royal Jordanian Falcons, the national demonstration team of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, appears to be planning a North American tour during the 2018 airshow season.

While not much information is known at this moment, the California International Airshow in Salinas, California has announced that the team, which flies four Extra 300LX aircraft, will be one of their headliners. While the show dates for Salinas are in late September, there is the possibility the team may arrive in the spring and tour throughout the summer.

The team was also present at the International Council of Air Shows convention in Las Vegas in December, presumably to meet with prospective shows.

The team switched to the new Extra 300LXs for the 2018 season, sporting a brand new color scheme.

Photos Courtesy of the Royal Jordanian Falcons. Stay tuned to AirshowStuff for updates on this possible tour, and share your thoughts in our forums!

Royal Jordanian Falcons

Trojan Horsemen Formation Team Announces Retirement

posted in: Warbirds | 1

Trojan Horsemen T-28 Formation Team

The Trojan Horsemen formation team has announced their retirement from airshows. In a post to the team’s Facebook page, they explained that the challenges had simply become too much to continue.

The team performed at airshows and other events with up to six North American T-28 Trojans in formation. Although the team will be missed, it seems likely that most team members will continue performing in some capacity.

Read the full statement posted by the team below:

After 14 years of traveling the country and Performing for millions of Aviation fans we sadly announce our retirement.

The mounting challenges of reliably fielding a six-ship Team of T-28’s in a professional manner while maintaining proficiency, safety and our brand , have forced the premature retirement of the team.

We would like to thank all the airshow producers who honored us by allowing us to perform at your show, as well as our fans and friends in the air show community.

We sincerely hope that our patriotic message successfully touched your lives and made a positive difference. We have enjoyed every minute of sharing our historic aircraft with you.

US Navy Blue Angels Announce New 2017 Officers

posted in: Jet Teams | 0

US Navy Blue Angels

The US Navy Blue Angels have announced the officers that will be joining the team for the 2017 show season. These outstanding individuals were selected after a rigorous process and we want to congratulate them on their new status! They will join the returning members of the team, including the “Boss”, Blue Angel #1 Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi.

All photos courtesy of the US Navy Blue Angels Facebook page.

F/A-18 Hornet Demonstration Pilots

Lt. Brandon Hempler - US Navy Blue Angels
Navy Lt. Brandon Hempler, 32, of Wamego, Kansas, is an F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot currently assigned to Training Squadron TWO-TWO (VT-22), the “Golden Eagles,” at NAS Kingsville, Texas. He is a 2007 graduate of Kansas State University, Salina, Kansas.

Lt. Damon Kroes - US Navy Blue Angels
Navy Lt. Damon Kroes, 34, of Fremont, California, is an F/A-18 Hornet Instructor Pilot currently assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101 (VMFAT-101), the “Sharpshooters,” at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. He is a 2006 graduate of San Diego State University, San Diego.

Lt. Nate Scott - US Navy Blue Angels
Navy Lt. Nate Scott, 31, of Danville, California, is an F/A-18 Hornet Instructor Pilot currently assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron ONE ZERO SIX (VFA-106), the “Gladiators,” at NAS Oceana, Virginia. He is a 2007 graduate of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Events Coordinator

Lt. Dave Steppe - US Navy Blue Angels
Navy Lt. Dave Steppe, 31, of Birmingham, Alabama, is an EA-18G Growler Naval Flight Officer currently assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron ONE TWO NINE (VAQ-129), the “Vikings,” at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. He is a 2008 graduate of Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama.

C-130 “Fat Albert” Demonstration Pilot

Capt. Kyle Maschner - US Navy Blue Angels
Marine Capt. Kyle Maschner, 33, of Scottsdale, Arizona, is a KC-130 Hercules pilot currently assigned to 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Okinawa, Japan. He is a 2006 graduate of Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona.

Flight Surgeon

Lt. Juan Guerra - US Navy Blue Angels
Navy Lt. Juan Guerra, 31, of Ocala, Florida, is a Flight Surgeon currently assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron ONE ZERO SIX (VFA-106), the “Gladiators,” at NAS Oceana, Virginia. He is a 2011 graduate of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences School of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland.

Supply Officer

Lt. Bryan Pace - US Navy Blue Angels
Navy Lt. Bryan Pace, 32, of Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, is a Supply Officer currently assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 101 (VFA-101), the “Grim Reapers,” at Eglin AFB, Florida. He is a 2010 graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts.

Administration Officer

Lt. j.g. Timothy Hawkins - US Navy Blue Angels
Navy Lt. j.g. Timothy Hawkins, 37, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, is an Administrative Officer currently assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron ONE FOUR THREE (VFA-143), the “Pukin’ Dogs,” at NAS Oceana, Virginia. He was commissioned through the Limited Duty Officer Program in 2013.

Photo Albums Uploaded: Vectren Dayton Airshow 2015 and US Army Golden Knights Media Flight

posted in: Airshows, AirshowStuff, Event Recap | 0

Three 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.

Vectren Dayton Airshow 2015 – Patrick Barron

View full photo album: Vectren Dayton Airshow 2015 – Patrick Barron
Vectren Dayton Airshow 2015 - Patrick Barron

Vectren Dayton Airshow 2015 – Ryan Sundheimer

View full photo album: Vectren Dayton Airshow 2015 – Ryan Sundheimer
Vectren Dayton Airshow 2015 - Ryan Sundheimer

Golden Knights Media Flight – Vectren Dayton Airshow 2015 – Patrick Barron

View full photo album: Golden Knights Media Flight – Vectren Dayton Airshow 2015 – Patrick Barron
US Army Golden Knights

Canadian Snowbirds And CF-18 Hornet Spring Practice/Air To Air Photos

posted in: Jet Teams, Military, Popular Posts | 0

Canadian Forces Snowbirds - Air to Air Over British Columbia

For the past few weeks, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds and CF-18 Hornet demo teams have been ripping up the skies over Comox, BC, practicing their routines for the upcoming air show season, now just around the bend. We were lucky enough to participate in observing their practices and operations last week, and even a unique air-to-air photo op!

View all of the photos from Comox in our photo gallery: Canadian Snowbirds/CF-18 Hornet Air to Air and Comox Practice

Winter training takes part at CFB Comox on Vancouver Island as the base offers both teams the chance to practice over land and water with the Strait of Georgia just beyond the base perimeter. To the east are the majestic peaks of the Beaufort Range offering additional practice opportunities. While at Comox, both teams will fly at least once nearly every day, rain or shine. The wind and rain were heavy during last Thursday’s practice and both teams went out; the Snowbirds over Air Force Beach and the CF-18 over the base, both performing low shows.

2015 CF-18 Hornet Demonstration Practice - Comox, BC Canadian Snowbirds Practice - Air Force Beach, BC

Both teams have maneuvers to perfect in their routine. Thorough debriefs follow each practice, where the team reviews their entire performance and critiques each maneuver to correct mistakes, some not even visible to observers on the ground. Each member of the Snowbirds is tasked with progress reports during the debrief to pass along any improvements or struggles they have had since the last practice. Flying the routines is only one element of the practice for the team. Simulator training also occurs, practicing taxi maneuvers and close proximity parking to perfect the ground performance as well. These practices develop the team into the fantastic performers we love to see each season.

Canadian Snowbirds Practice - Double Take - Air Force Beach, BC Canadian Snowbirds Practice - Opposing Pass- Air Force Beach, BC

This year, the Snowbirds are changing things up a bit. For shows with adequate runway length and fair weather, the team will depart in a 5 jet/4 jet formation takeoff, as opposed to their traditional 3/3/3 formation. You’ll also notice some new maneuvers such as the Card Nine and the Double-Take (as seen above) inserted into their performance this year.

2015 CF-18 Hornet Demo Team Battle of Britain Scheme - Air to Air Over British Columbia 2015 CF-18 Hornet Demo Team Battle of Britain Scheme - Air to Air Over British Columbia

As we reported previously, this year’s CF-18 demonstration aircraft is wearing a gorgeous camouflage scheme honoring the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. But you may not have known that there’s quite an interesting history behind the paint scheme chosen to adorn this year’s Hornet. The scheme matches that of a Hawker Hurricane Mk. I belonging to No. 1 Fighter Squadron RCAF, later renamed 401 Fighter Squadron, piloted by F/L Gordon R. MacGregor. From Jim Belliveau, the graphic artist who designed and painted the aircraft:

“The serial identifier used of YO-H was not only piloted by MacGregor… it was the first RCAF aircraft to score a confirmed kill in the battle.

I could go on in detail about the rationale behind the two murals, but the decision to feature the iconic pics of St. Paul and the London dockyards is rather subjective, and you may not want to… go there.

In my mind the St. Paul mural depicts the ultimate hope that good will always triumph over evil. And as to the dockyards, both that industrial area of London, and collaterally the working class who lived there, took a disproportionate amount of the bombing campaign in the war. It is my small tribute to those wonderful East Enders who were the quiet unsung heroes of the battle.”

Canadian Snowbirds Practice - Maple Split - Air Force Beach, BCCanadian Snowbirds Practice - Lag Back Cross - Air Force Beach, BC

The practices at Comox are not only an opportunity for the teams to practice their flights, it is also one of the first opportunities for the public to get a glimpse of the team. The people of Comox and Courtney, BC flock to the shores of Air Force Beach for a free air show that truly looks amazing. The Cascades on the mainland just across the water offer a spectacular scenic backdrop and the lighting in the afternoon is excellent.

CFB Comox operations continue as normal during these practice weeks. The base is home to RCAF 19 Wing consisting of 407 Maritime Patrol Squadron, one of only two squadrons that operate CP-140 Auroras, and 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron, operating the CC-115 Buffalo and CH-149 Cormorant. Search and rescue operations and regular missions along the coastline of British Columbia carry on while hosting the teams. Comox also serves as a forward operations base for CF-18 Hornets deployed to the region.

CF-18 Hornet Demo Team Battle of Britain Scheme - Air to Air Over British ColumbiaCanadian Forces Snowbirds - Air to Air Over British Columbia

On April 28, the teams flew their acceptance shows over Comox and on the 29th they headed back to their bases to prepare for their upcoming first shows. The CF-18 will quickly be heading south to Chino, CA for the Planes of Fame air show this weekend (May 1-2) while the Snowbirds will be heading to Dallas, GA with the CF-18 for the Salute America Airshow on May 9-10. Be sure to check the CF-18 and Snowbird schedules to find out where you can see them perform this year!

Special thanks to: Lt. Patricia Brunelle and Lt. Mathew Strong for the help in covering their team’s practices, 442 squadron for the CC-115 ride and photo ship, and the Canadian Armed Forces for letting this Yank visit.

2015 USAF F-22 Raptor Demonstration Schedule Released

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 3

F-22 Raptor

The much-anticipated schedule for the United States Air Force’s F-22 Raptor demo was just released by Air Combat Command. Check your calendars and put in your time-off requests now, because here is where you can find the Raptor flying this year:

Mar 21-22 – Melbourne, FL
Mar 28-29 – Tuscaloosa, AL
Apr 11-12 – Tyndall AFB, FL
Apr 18-19 – NAS Corpus Christi, TX
May 2-3 – Chino, CA
May 16-17 – Westover ARB, MA
Jun 5-7 – Rockford, IL
Jun 13-14 – Ocean City, MD
Jul 4-5 – Battle Creek, MI
Jul 22-26 – Oshkosh, WI (Heritage Flight Only)
Jul 25-26 – Milwaukee, WI
Aug 1-2 – Seattle, WA
Aug 8-9 – Abbotsford, BC Canada
Aug 29-30 – Brooklyn, NY
Sept 2 – Atlantic City, NJ
Sept 5-6 – Brunswick, ME
Sept 12-13 – Ft Worth, TX
Sept 19 – JB Andrews, MD (Air Force Birthday & WWII Anniversary)
Sept 26-27 – Salinas, CA
Oct 3-4 – Rome, GA
Oct 20-25 – Seoul, Korea