Vucano Market - US Navy Blue Angels Towels (Officially Licensed)
Vucano Market - US Navy Blue Angels Towels (Officially Licensed)

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

posted in: Military, Popular Posts | 0

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!

Naval Academy Unveils “Blue Angels” Uniforms For 2017 Army-Navy Football Game

posted in: Jet Teams, Miscellaneous | 0

US Naval Academy Blue Angels Football Uniforms

Each year, the Naval Academy brings out the best uniforms for their game versus Army. This year is no different, as the Midshipmen will head onto the field in these amazing Blue Angels-inspired uniforms to face off against the Army Black Knights.

US Naval Academy Blue Angels Football Uniforms

The uniforms are designed as a tribute to the US Navy’s flight demonstration squadron. The uniform will bear a Blue Angels patch on the right sleeve, and the United States Flag on the left sleeve, just like actual Blue Angel uniforms. The helmets will also feature the famous blue and gold F/A-18 Hornets that the Blue Angels fly.

US Naval Academy Blue Angels Football UniformsUS Naval Academy Blue Angels Football Uniforms

“This tribute to the Blue Angels reflects the enthusiastic pride and appreciation we have for the Navy’s premier flying team and the motivation they convey to Navy football and the fleet at large,” Navy Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk said. “The masterminds at Under Armour are always thinking of ways to inspire our troops while still reflecting a deep appreciation for a Naval history that is so ingrained in our game day traditions. Annually, a special Navy uniform has become a statement in this game and brings with it appreciated meaning and a clear message that we are all in.”

Photos from @NavyAthletics Twitter / Navy Athletic Department

Article by Bretten Bailey

Welcome, Boss! New Commander Flies First Blue Angels Training Mission

posted in: Jet Teams | 0

New Boss of the Blue Angels Flies for the 1st Time

Earlier this year, the US Navy Blue Angels announced a new “Boss”had been selected to lead the famous flight demonstration team. Now, he is taking the skies for the first time in a Blue Angels jet!

Commander Eric “Popeye” Doyle will lead the demonstration team during their 2018 and 2019 show seasons. A graduate of Texas A&M, Cmdr. Doyle previously commanded VFA-113 “Stingers”. He assumed command of the squadron from outgoing Boss Capt. Ryan Bernacchi at a change of command ceremony at the National Naval Aviation Museumin Pensacola on November 12th, following the team’s final performance of the season the day before.

New Boss of the Blue Angels Flies for the 1st Time

On November 15th, Cmdr. Doyle strapped into the famous blue and gold hornet and lead a short winter training flight in the skies over Pensacola.

In January, the entire Blue Angels team will deploy to their winter training base of El Centro, CA for the traditional winter training period. The Blues will kickoff the 2018 show season March 10th at the NAF El Centro Airshow.

2017 Jet Team Seasons Coming To A Close

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams | 0

Blue Angels 2017 Season About to End

As the temperatures cool, the 2017 airshow season is coming to a close. The Canadian Forces Snowbirds wrapped up their season on October 22nd, in Moose Jaw, SK with their traditional home show for families.

The Blue Angels have a couple shows left before their traditional home closer at NAS Pensacola. The team will perform in Jacksonville, FL on November 4-5th before returning to Pensacola for the November 11-12th end of season show. The 2017 season has been one of ups and downs for the team, with Fat Albert being grounded for an extended amount of time due to a maintenance overhaul and a fleet grounding which ordered after a Marine C-130 crashed in Mississippi in July. On a positive note, the six blue and gold jets performed full displays at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in late July for the first time ever.

The Thunderbirds will also wrap up their 2017 show season at Nellis AFB on November 11-12th. The team performed in 36 cities, along with many additional flyovers, during the show season. The team performed flyovers of both the Super Bowl and the Daytona 500, and traveled across the Atlantic to fly at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) and appeared in the French Bastille Day military parade.

All three North American jet teams had the rare opportunity to fly with their Patrouille de France counterparts during their tour of US and Canada in the spring. The PAF visited the Blue Angels in Pensacola, the Thunderbirds at Nellis, and the Snowbirds in Ontario, making for some spectacular and rare photo opportunities.

Didn’t get a chance to see one of the jet teams in 2017? Check out the preliminary 2018 schedules for the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels to see if they’ll be near you next year. Keep in mind that the 2018 schedules for all three teams will be released/updated at the annual ICAS convention during the second week of December. Stay tuned to AirshowStuff for the details as soon as they are available!

Smyrna Breaks Ground On Captain Jeff Kuss Memorial For Fallen Blue Angel Pilot

posted in: Jet Teams, Miscellaneous | 0

The construction of a memorial to honor a fallen Blue Angel has begun.

Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss was killed on June 2nd, 2016 when his Blue Angels jet crashed during a Thursday afternoon practice demonstration in Tennessee. In his memory, the town of Smyrna plans to erect a permanent memorial.

The groundbreaking ceremony, held October 18th, was the first step in getting the memorial built.

As part of the memorial, a Blue Angels F/A-18C hornet will be on permanent display outside the airport adjacent to Lee Victory Recreation Park, where the community came together the night of the crash to remember Kuss.

If you want to donate, visit www.captjeffkussusmcmemorial.com. You can purchase a paver or donate money. As of late October, 78% of the money needed to build the memorial has been raised. All or part of your gift may be tax deductible as a charitable contribution.

Here’s video from the groundbreaking ceremony.

Visitors to the Cleveland National Airshow this past Labor Day weekend were treated to a special sight – a US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet and World War II-era F4U Corsair flying together! The pair performed several formation flybys before landing, then taxied together at show center and folded their wings to show their common bond as carrier-based fighters. Check out the entire performance in our video above!

This sort of sight used to be fairly commonplace through the US Navy Tailhook Legacy Flight program, which is similar to the US Air Force’s Heritage Flight program. Unfortunately the budget cuts of recent years stopped not only the Legacy Flights, but also the Hornet demonstrations themselves. As the TACDEMO teams return to full prominence on the airshow circuit, there is hope that these formations can again be flown regularly.

Don’t forget to also watch our video of the full Super Hornet aerobatic demonstration from Cleveland!

Blue Angels Announce 2018 Officers, Including New Demo Pilots

posted in: Jet Teams | 2

US Navy Blue Angels

Two new F/A-18 Hornet demonstration pilots, a C-130 demonstration pilot, a maintenance officer, and a public affairs officer will be joining the elite Blue Angels team in 2018. These new officers will fill the shoes of the existing team members who are wrapping up their tour of duty when the 2017 airshow season ends. Also joining the Blue Angels is 2018 is a new commanding officer, Cmdr. Eric Doyle. He will take over for Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi.

Here’s some information on all the new team members:

F/A-18 Hornet Demonstration Pilots:
Marine Maj. Jeffrey Mullins, 30, of Memphis, Tennessee, is an F/A-18 Hornet pilot currently assigned to Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 31. He graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2006.

Navy Lt. Andre Webb, 31, of Lawton, Oklahoma, is an F/A-18 Hornet pilot and 2008 US Naval Academy graduate currently assigned to the “Golden Eagles” of Training Squadron (VT) 22 based in Kingsville, TX.

Maj.-MullinsLt. Webb

C-130 Demonstration Pilot:
Marine Capt. Beau Mabery, 28, of Lompoc, California, is a C-130 Hercules pilot currently assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 152. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2011.

Maintenance Officer:
Navy Lt. Garrett Hopkins, 38, of Charlotte, North Carolina, is a maintenance officer currently assigned to Strike Fighter Wing Pacific Detachment (SFWPD) Fallon. He graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2009.

Public Affairs Officer:
Navy Lt. David Gardner, 36, of Warrensburg, Missouri, is a public affairs officer currently assigned to the USS Makin Island (LHD 8). He graduated from the University of Central Missouri in 2003.

Capt.-MaberyLt.-Hopkins

Lt.-Gardner

All of the officers were recommended by Rear Adm. James Bynum, chief of Naval Air Training and approved by Commander of Naval Air Forces, Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker. Join us in welcoming them to the team and wishing them the best for a safe 2018 season!

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?

Fat Albert Returns To Airshows!

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams | 3

US Navy Blue Angels C-130 Hercules Fat Albert

Fat Albert, the Blue Angels C-130 Hercules transport will return to the skies this week for the first airshow demonstration since her maintenance overhaul. Bert will fly in the annual Pensacola Beach Airshow, slated for June 8th. Practice day is Friday, June 7th.

Late last summer, Fat Albert was grounded for the end of the airshow season, missing the popular shows at NAS Oceana, MCAS Miramar, and Fleet Week in San Francisco. During the overhaul, Bert underwent a complete inspection and received a new paint job!

Maj. Mark Hamilton, Maj. Mark Montgomery and Maj. Kyle Maschner will be the pilots of Fat Albert for the 2017 airshow season. Fat Albert is always flown by an all Marine crew.

Don’t remember the Fat Albert routine? We’ve got you covered! Check out this video of a full Fat Albert demonstration at the 2016 Lynchburg Airshow in Lynchburg, VA.

Once you’ve watched that, watch from INSIDE Fat Albert!

EAA Announces Preliminary Airshow Schedule For AirVenture 2017 In Oshkosh

posted in: Airshows | 0

EAA AirVenture

EAA has released the preliminary daily airshow schedule for this year’s AirVenture convention in Oshkosh! This schedule doesn’t include all of the military performers and will obviously change a bit in the coming weeks. Join us in Oshkosh on July 24th for the biggest party in aviation, and be sure to share your thoughts in the EAA AirVenture 2017 thread on our forums!

As you’ll see, there is now at least a small twilight show every night of the week. Other highlights include numerous US Air Force Heritage Flights, the Doolittle Raid tribute, both B-29s flying together for the first time (!), and of course the US Navy Blue Angels, making their aerobatic debut at the show!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Day: Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Matt Chapman (Extra 330LX), Rob Holland (MX-2), Bill Stein (Edge 540), Twin Tigers Aerobatic Team, Aeroshell Aerobatic Team (T-6 Texans), Greg Shelton and Ashley Key (450 Super Stearman/wing walking), John Klatt (Screamin’ Sasquatch), Kyle Franklin (Piper Cub), David Martin (Bücker Jungmeister), Jerry Kerby (Wild Blue), Bob Carlton (Sub Sonex JSX-2), Warbirds of America arrival show, Seaplane fly-overs, Lindbergh 90th anniversary tribute, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University E-Spirit of St. Louis, Piper Cub 80th anniversary, Bob Hoover tribute

Evening (Twilight Flight Fest at the Fun Fly Zone): EAA STOL Invitational Flying, Paradigm Aerobatic Team (dynamic maneuvering), Patriot Parachute Demo Team, 3-D RC flying

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Sean D. Tucker (Oracle Challenger III), Phillip Steinbach (Game Bird 1), Skip Stewart (Prometheus 2), The Thric3 (Matt Chapman, Rob Holand, Bill Stein), Kyle Franklin (Piper Cub), Matt Younkin (Beech 18), Greg Koontz (Legend Cub), Bob Carlton (Sub Sonex JSX-2), Manfred Radius (Salto Sailplane), USAF Heritage Flight, Doolittle Raid tribute, B-29s (Doc and FIFI), Class of ’45 – Jim Tobul & Scott Yoak (Corsair and P-51 Mustang), Warbirds of America show, Homebuilts Review, Stratos VLPJ

Evening (Twilight Flight Fest at the Fun Fly Zone): EAA STOL Invitational Flying, Paradigm Aerobatic Team (dynamic maneuvering), Patriot Parachute Demo Team, 3-D RC flying

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Patty Wagstaff (Extra 300LX), The Thric3 (Matt Chapman, Rob Holand, Bill Stein), Twin Tigers Aerobatic Team, Jim Peitz (Beech Bonanza), Vicky Benzing (Stearman), Gene Soucy and Teresa Stokes (Grumman Showcat wing walking), John Klatt (Screamin’ Sasquatch), Kyle Franklin (Piper Cub), USAF Heritage Flight, Warbirds of America show, Vintage Review, RotorWay 50th anniversary, Lindbergh 90th anniversary tribute, Christen Eagle anniversary (Matt Chapman)

Night Air Show: Doolittle Raid tribute, Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Paradigm Aerobatic Team, Aeroshell Aerobatic Team (T-6 Texans), Gene Soucy (Firecat[KH1] ), Redline Airshows, Greg Shelton and Ashley Key (450 Super Stearman/wing walking), Matt Younkin (Beech 18), Bob Carlton (Super Salto), Fireworks and Wall of Fire sponsored by GE Aviation

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Sean D. Tucker (Oracle Challenger III), Mike Goulian (Extra 330SC), Kirby Chambliss (Edge 540 and Red Bull Air Force), Bill Stein (Edge 540), Redline Airshows, Jim Peitz (Beech Bonanza), John Klatt (Screamin’ Sasquatch), David Martin (Bücker Jungmeister), USAF Heritage Flight, Warbirds of America show, Dassault (Falcon 8X), Blue Angels (site orientation flights)

Evening (Twilight Flight Fest at the Fun Fly Zone): EAA STOL Invitational Flying, Paradigm Aerobatic Team (dynamic maneuvering), Patriot Parachute Demo Team and Red Bull Air Force, 3-D RC flying

Friday, July 28, 2017

10am-11am: Blue Angels (site orientation flights with TFR in effect)

Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Kirby Chambliss (Edge 540 and Red Bull Air Force), Patty Wagstaff (Extra 300LX), Skip Stewart (Prometheus 2), The Thric3 (Matt Chapman, Rob Holand, Bill Stein), Aeroshell Aerobatic Team (T-6 Texans), Matt Younkin (Beech 18), Blue Angels and Fat Albert, Warbirds of America show, B-29s (Doc and FIFI), USAF Heritage Flight

Evening (Twilight Flight Fest at the Fun Fly Zone): EAA STOL Invitational Flying, Paradigm Aerobatic Team (dynamic maneuvering), Patriot Parachute Demo Team and Red Bull Air Force, 3-D RC flying

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Sean D. Tucker (Oracle Challenger III), Mike Goulian (Extra 330SC), Rob Holland (MX-2), Jim Peitz (Beech Bonanza), Vicky Benzing (Stearman), Gene Soucy (Grumman Showcat), Warbirds of America show, USAF Heritage Flight, B-29s (Doc and FIFI), Blue Angels and Fat Albert

Night Air Show: Red Bull Wingsuits, Paradigm Aerobatic Team, USAF Heritage Flight, Aeroshell Aerobatic Team (T-6 Texans), Gene Soucy (Firecat[KH2] ), Redline Airshows, Greg Shelton and Ashley Key (450 Super Stearman/wing walking n), Matt Younkin (Beech 18), Bob Carlton (Super Salto), Fat Albert, Fireworks and Wall of Fire

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Mike Goulian (Extra 330SC), Kirby Chambliss (Edge 540), Patty Wagstaff (Extra 300LX), Skip Stewart (Prometheus 2), Matt Chapman (Extra 330LX), Redline Airshows, Greg Shelton and Ashley Key (450 Super Stearman/wing walking), Kyle Franklin (Piper Cub), Maj. Joshua Boudreaux (Wild Blue), Scott Yoak (P-51 Mustang), International Aerobatic Club competition demo (Cameron Jaxheimer), USAF Heritage Flight, Blue Angels (non-aerobatic demo) and Fat Albert

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