Has The 2018 Aviation Nation Airshow At Nellis AFB Been Cancelled?

posted in: Airshows, Schedules | 0

USAF Thunderbird F-16 Fighting Falcon - Aviation Nation Airshow

Rumors are swirling that the 2018 Aviation Nation airshow at Nellis AFB has been canceled after it was removed from both the ICAS and USAF Thunderbird 2018 airshow schedules. The show was previously scheduled for November 10-11 on both.

This is a stunning development for one of the best military airshows in the country. Nellis is the home base of the Thunderbirds, and serves as the home town end to their season each year. The show previously canceled in 2015, but that was due to runway construction. This may be the beginning of a move to hold the show every two years instead of annually. Another interesting note is that the Thunderbirds’ 2019 schedule now has Nellis scheduled one week later than originally planned.

We are working to confirm this news, and will provide any further information we get. In the mean time, join the discussion and add your own info on our forums!

Rare USAF Heritage Flight Formation To Perform Super Bowl LII Flyover

posted in: Flyovers | 1

P-51 Mustang and A-10 Warthogs - USAF Heritage Flight

Keep your eyes to the sky (or more likely, your TV screen) before the kickoff of Super Bowl LII on February 4th – there will be a special US Air Force Heritage Flight flyover for the national anthem! The formation will feature the World War II-era P-51 Mustang “Sierra Sue II” leading two A-10 Warthogs and an F-16 Fighting Falcon.

It’s interesting that any flyover is planned, because the game is being played inside the fully enclosed U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. Nevertheless, there will hopefully be sufficient coverage for everyone outside of the stadium to enjoy the flight. The game, between the Patriots and the Eagles, is scheduled to start at 6:30 pm eastern time and will be broadcast on NBC.

Sierra Sue II is a combat veteran P-51 that is owned by the Wings of the North museum, located just outside of Minneapolis in Eden Prairie. Heritage Flight-approved pilot Steve Hinton will be at the controls during the flyover.

Florida’s Melbourne Air And Space Show Changes 2018 Dates, Retains Thunderbirds As Headliner

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams, Schedules | 1

USAF Thunderbirds - Opposing Pass

The Melbourne Air and Space Show announced today that they have changed dates from March 17-18 to March 24-25. Organizers say that they decided to change dates in order to keep the US Air Force Thunderbirds as headliners.

The move is not entirely unexpected, as the two other airshows that originally planned to have the Thunderbirds in March also went on to change their plans.

First, Wings Over Atlanta at Dobbins ARB in Georgia canceled their March 24-25 show citing financial reasons. Then, the Luke Days airshow at Luke AFB in Arizona changed dates from March 10-11 to March 17-18 and picked up a commitment from the US Navy Blue Angels to replace the Thunderbirds as the headlining act.

This left Melbourne as the sole March appearance by the Thunderbirds, with an open weekend before and after. Now that they have slipped back to the original Wings Over Atlanta dates, they represent the first airshow of the Thunderbirds’ 2018 season.

All of this schedule churn is extremely unusual, but likely a result of the equally unusual dismissal and replacement of former Thunderbird #1, Lt. Col. Jason Heard after the 2017 season. The new Thunderbird #1, Lt. Col. Kevin Walsh, had not previously flown the demonstration and it is not surprising that he would require extra practice time to learn the profile. In fact, we speculated that this might end up happening at the time of the announcement. These schedule moves give the team an extra two weeks of training time, and by reconfirming their Melbourne appearance for March 24th, they seem confident that it will be enough.

Luke Days 2018 Airshow Changes Dates; Secures New Jet Team

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams, Schedules | 1

US Navy Blue Angels

Luke Air Force Base confirmed today that their 2018 airshow will be getting not only new dates, but a new headliner as well. The Luke Days 2018 event will now be held on March 17-18 instead of March 10-11.

The new dates were necessary in order to secure the US Navy Blue Angels as the main attraction. It will be their first time appearing at Luke since 1992, and fills a previously open weekend on their schedule. Base Public Affairs has told us that the rest of the lineup will remain the same.

The US Air Force Thunderbirds display team was scheduled to perform on the original dates, but they are currently scheduled to be in Melbourne, FL on the 17th and 18th and will not be able to perform at Luke. However, this news only adds to rumors that the team will be extending their winter training period in order to train up the new #1 pilot.

Lt. Col. Kevin Walsh took over as Thunderbird #1 in December following the surprise dismissal of the previous squadron commander, Lt. Col. Jason Heard. Although Walsh served as Thunderbird #7 for two years before being placed in charge of the squadron, he came into the role with no experience flying the demonstration. At the time, we speculated that the sudden change in lead pilot could mandate additional training time.

The move by Luke to cancel on the Thunderbirds is an extremely unusual one, and the simplest explanation is that the Thunderbirds notified Luke that their planned appearance was either in question or written off altogether. This makes even more sense since the Wings Over Atlanta airshow at Dobbins AFB in Georgia, another March show that expected to host the Thunderbirds, announced their cancelation earlier this month. The uncertainty of a jet team appearance could certainly lead to the financial concerns that they cited as the cause.

Ultimately this is all speculation at this point, as there has been no official announcement made regarding the Thunderbirds changing their schedule; everything has come from the shows themselves. The Melbourne Air and Space Show is now the only remaining March appearance for the Thunderbirds, so it will be telling whether they make any announcements regarding the team.

As always, we welcome your own thoughts and comments on this topic in our forums, where you can also see the remainder of the USAF Thunderbirds 2018 schedule as well as the 2018 airshow schedule for the US Navy Blue Angels!

WATCH: B-1B Lancer Oshkosh Arrival And Flybys

The Bone Enters With Authority!

With the focus on bombers at this year’s AirVenture, the Rockwell B-1B Lancer was a hit with airshow spectators. Nicknamed the “Bone”, the B-1B is an awesome sight to see as it rolls inbound toward you. In this video, the AirshowStuff.com crew gives you that sight, along with many other views of this sleek swing-wing bomber as it arrives at Oshkosh for the week. Using the callsign “Hawk 8-3”, the Dyess Air Force Base-based Lancer performs several flybys, giving the crowd a great view of the wings, both swept-back and fully extended. The thunderous roar of the engines and the powerful sight of the Bone make this a great video to watch!

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

-Justin Miner

B-1B LancerB-1B Climbout

WATCH: A-10 Warthogs Attack The Oshkosh Airport At Dusk!

Hawg Attack!

The twilight airshows at AirVenture are one of those “not to be missed” events. There’s just something about that time in the evening when the sun has gone down, but it’s still light enough out that makes for some spectacular scenes. It’s a favorite among airshow enthusiasts, and just in case you weren’t able to make it, or if you want to see it again, the AirshowStuff.com crew is bringing you a replay of the Saturday evening A-10 Warthog Demo. You get to see two A-10s from the 122nd Fighter Squadron of the Indiana Air National Guard, known as the Blacksnakes, do what Hawgs do best, and that’s bomb and strafe things! Assisted with pyro by the famous Tora Bomb Squad, this demo is an awesome sight!

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

-Justin Miner

A-10 Thunderbolt IIA-10 Warthogs

WATCH: F-22 Raptors Arrive In Oshkosh With Vapor And Afterburners!

posted in: Featured Videos, Military | 0

Raptors Roar Over Oshkosh

There’s nothing quite like the sight of an F-22 Raptor pulling a tight turn and squeezing the moisture out of the air with vapor rolling off the wings. In this video, the AirshowStuff.com crew proudly brings you the arrival of two US Air Force F-22 Raptors to EAA AirVenture. There’s no doubt the F-22 is one of the world’s most advanced fighters in the air today, with thrust vectoring and stealth capabilities. Who can resist the powerful roar of the two Pratt and Whitney F119 engines as the Raptor flexes its muscles and thunders past?

In this video, you’ll get to see these stars of the USAF perform multiple low approaches and flybys. See the afterburners kick in and the heat from the engines as the Raptors bank away, not to mention that awesome vapor flowing over the wings and fuselage. We hope you enjoy viewing this video as much as we enjoyed making it for you. So put on some aviators, put it on full screen, turn up the volume, and revel in the awesomeness of these F-22 Raptors at AirVenture!

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

-Justin Miner

Lockheed F-22 RaptorF-22 Raptor With Afterburner

The 2017 Lethbridge International Air Show Was One To Remember

posted in: Airshows, Event Recap | 0

Canadian Forces Snowbirds - Lethbridge International Air Show 2017

The biennial Lethbridge International Air Show returned in 2017 as a highlight worth catching in Southern Alberta and Western Canada. With a full list of performers of all types and a static display that was impressive to say the least, the July 15-16 weekend was well spent in Lethbridge.

Friday – Night Show

Friday’s schedule started late to allow for a twilight show, something which is thankfully becoming more common. The show began with the United States Army Golden Knights jumping in at the start of golden hour. Shortly after they landed, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds took to the skies for yet another excellent performance, even with one ship missing. With light fading, the Canadian Air Force CC-177 Globemaster III powered down the runway and bolted into the sky. Geoff Latter in his Nanchang CJ-6 “Nancy” followed, then the United States Air Force’s A-10 Thunderbolt II “Warthog” mini-demo with some up-close and impressive pyro. Canada’s own Pete McLeod of Red Bull Air Racing fame tumbled through the sky just before Mark Peterson in his Dornier AlphaJet demonstrated how high-performance a non-afterburning jet can be. Greg “Wired” Colyer in his T-33 Shooting Star “Ace Maker II” kept it low and fast ahead of Jerry Conley in his beautiful de Havilland DH-115 Vampire “Vampy ‘Too’.” Just before the sun began to set, the Golden Knights fit in their full routine.

US Army Golden Knights - Lethbridge International Air Show 2017de Havilland DH-115 Vampire "Vampy Too" - Lethbridge International Air Show 2017

The highlight of the show was certainly the last demo, and one the crowds were waiting for: the CF-18 Hornet. The Hornet, with afterburners lighting up the runway, burnt a trail across the then night sky. Before finishing his routine, Bill Braack in the Smoke-N-Thunder Jetcar took to the runway and challenged the Hornet to a race, of which the outcome was undetermined by most spectators due to the enormous and impressive wall of fire that lit the grounds and sky as they crossed the finished line.

While the flying had finished and most were filing out of the show, a smaller, less-appreciated setting had been set on the static display. Folks on their way off of the airport were treated to the numerous aircraft on the static line lit up by large, portable lights, providing a unique and often unseen view as the last bit of light faded from the day into the dark.

CAF CF-18 Hornet - Lethbridge International Air Show 2017CAF Snowbirds - Lethbridge International Air Show 2017

Saturday – Full Show

This was the first and only day to show the full line-up of performers in the light of day. Attendance was noticeably high, despite the winds and approaching weather that persisted throughout the day. Nearly all performers were able to fit in their routines without issue. The Golden Knights were able to complete their first jump (which we were graciously allowed to observe from the aircraft), but unable to finish their second due to the winds. This prompted Transport Canada to monitor the approaching storm, and once it closed within 1 km, the show was postponed for a mandatory evacuation of the grounds. Shortly after, lightning struck the end of the runway. By then, the NOTAM set to secure the airspace for the performers was too near its end to continue the show, and the decision was made to cancel the remainder of the acts (CF-18 and Snowbirds).

Pete McLeod (Red Bull Air Racer) - Lethbridge International Air Show 2017Mustang High Flight - Dornier AlphaJet - Lethbridge International Air Show 2017

Sunday – Mini-Show

With the same hours as the full show, but with select performances, the mini-show was intended to give first-time attendees a taste of what an air show is like. The winds were still high throughout the day, resulting in the Golden Knights cancelling their demo that afternoon. The acts that did still take the sky included the CC-177, T-33, AlphaJet, Vampire, A-10, CAF Snowbirds, CJ-6, and CF-18.

RCAF CC-177 Globemaster III - Lethbridge International Air Show 2017A-10 Thunderbolt II Warthog - Lethbridge International Air Show 2017

Statics

Certainly the aerial performers were worth the admission, but just as equally the static displays that attended proved worthwhile. All of the aircraft on the website’s listing of confirmed attendees showed up except the Transport Canada National Aerial Surveillance Dash 8. In a surprise filling of the Dash 8’s vacancy, a US Navy E-6B Mercury airborne command post and communications relay aircraft from Tinker AFB, Oklahoma came to the show. Additionally, a Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 from 410 Tactical Fighter Operational Training Squadron, nicknamed the “Cougars,” with a special 75th anniversary painted tail joined the many heavies on the line. The show had a total of three C-17s on display, with one from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, Altus AFB, Oklahoma, and a CC-177 from CFB Trenton, Ontario.

USMC MV-22 Osprey on static - Lethbridge International Air Show 2017USN E-6B Mercury on static - Lethbridge International Air Show 2017

With a few hiccups throughout the weekend due to weather and other elements out of the show’s control, the 2017 Lethbridge International Air Show was able to impress with a stellar line-up of performers and a static display most shows would envy. We at AirshowStuff would like the thank the Lethbridge International Air Show Association and its volunteers for putting on this year’s show. We’d also like to thank Kim and Trina Tymko of Prime Rentals Ltd. for their sponsorship of the air show and help in coordinating our visit. We look forward to seeing you all again in 2019!

Look for much more coverage of this great event on our Facebook page and Youtube channel as we work through a mountain of content!

Countdown To AirVenture: Best Of Oshkosh 2014

posted in: Airshows, AirshowStuff, Event Recap | 0

USAF Thunderbirds Take Off at Oshkosh

Oshkosh will be here before we know it! Soon, the skies of Wisconsin will be filled with planes and the grounds will be filled with, well, more planes! People too! A lots of them! Check out some of the expected items at this year’s show.

The 2014 airshow marked the first time a US military jet demonstration team performed at Oshkosh. Performing Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the USAF Thunderbirds soared through the skies of Oshkosh in their famous red, white and blue F-16 Fighting Falcons. While this was a popular performance, it also forced the normal Oshkosh crowd line back a bit.

Matt Younkin was kind enough to take our cameras for a ride during his daytime Twin Beech Aerobatic demonstration at the 2014 show. We have two videos from that flight- one in the cockpit and one looking out over the wing. Check out both views below!

AirshowStuff also obtained a unique view of Kyle Franklin’s “Dracula” performance when we put a camera in the cockpit of Kyle’s plane.

One of the best things about Oshkosh is the variety of warbirds that perform each and every afternoon in the airshow. The 2014 show featured jets, radials, and much more!

The weather of Oshkosh can also provide a bit of a tricky landing situation for pilots. Check out several of our “Gusty Crosswind Landings” videos by watching the playlist below.

If you want even more Oshkosh, you can settle in for an hour and a half of action with our mega-compilation!

Here’s a few more of our photos from the 2014 show. You can find many more photos in our gallery!

Thunderbirds Cross

Exciting New Details And Developments For EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017

posted in: Airshows | 0

B-1B Lancer Twilight Flyover

EAA had their annual AirVenture webinar today, where they preview the main attractions and airshow performers at the convention in Oshkosh. In addition to the well-known highlights like the US Navy Blue Angels, USAF F-35 Lightning II and A-10 Thunderbolt II Heritage Flight teams, the Apollo astronaut reunion, Blue Origin’s rocket display, and the bomber parade, we learned about several major military/warbird developments that are planned for the show.

The webinar is summarized in more detail on our forums, and we invite you to add your own thoughts there as well!

F-35 Lightning II and P-51 Mustang Heritage FlightB-25 Mitchell Bombing Run

Here are some of our favorite mentions on the webinar:

  • B-1B Lancer bomber to fly in Monday and perform in the Wednesday twilight airshow
  • Different F-35/A-10/P-51 Heritage Flight formations each day
  • Airbus A400M from the Royal Air Force arriving and departing on Wednesday
  • MASSIVE pyro (96 bombs!) to open the Doolittle Raid reenactment – six bombs per B-25 Mitchell flying
  • Two A-10s will perform a field attack demo with pyro
  • Numerous military aircraft throughout the week, including F-22 Raptors, AH-64 Apaches, and F-16 Fighting Falcons
  • Potential surprise national anthem flybys on Tuesday and Wednesday – very mysterious right now
  • Blue Angel survey flights are being split between Thursday (diamond) and Friday (solos/Fat Albert)
  • Notable warbirds include the F-86A Sabre, Boeing YL-15, C-123 Provider, A-20 Havoc, P-63 King Cobra, SBD Dauntless, P-47 Thunderbolts, Spitfire Mk. IX, and possible B-24 Liberator

Again, there are a lot more details in our EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017 thread than we can share here, so please head there to read up and join the discussion! What do you think the surprise flybys might be?

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