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!

WATCH: This Rare Super Hornet/Corsair Formation Showcases Decades Of Naval Aviation History

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!

2017 Bethpage Airshow Cancels Planned F-18 Hornet Demonstration Due To Airspace Restrictions

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 0

F/A-18F Super Hornet

The Bethpage Airshow at Jones Beach in New York has been forced to cancel the planned F/A-18 Hornet demonstration, the show announced today. Due to runway construction at JFK airport and the subsequent rerouting of air traffic, the show will not have the air space necessary for the Hornet team to perform. Traffic will still be coordinated to allow the US Air Force Thunderbirds to perform, and the other performers do not require the same amount of space so they are unaffected.

The airshow is scheduled for May 27 and 28. The cancellation may give the Hornet team (from VFA-106) the chance to book another show in its place. We will update our 2017 Hornet and Super Hornet Demonstration Schedules with any such info as we get it.

VFA-106 Unveils Special VFA-15 Paint Scheme For 2017 F/A-18C Hornet Demonstrations

posted in: Military | 14

F/A-18C Hornet Demonstration In VFA-15 Commemorative Paint Scheme

The U.S. Navy’s East Coast TAC Demo squadron, VFA-106 Gladiators, recently introduced a commemorative paint scheme for their F/A-18C “Legacy Hornet” demo jet. The new paint scheme celebrates the legacy of VFA-15 Valions, which is scheduled to formally deactivate on May 31, 2017. The demo jet markings are representative of VA-15 while flying A-7E Corsair IIs during the 1970s. VA-15 transitioned to F/A-18s in January of 1987 and was subsequently re-designated VFA-15.

F/A-18C Hornet Demonstration In VFA-15 Commemorative Paint SchemeF/A-18C Hornet Demonstration In VFA-15 Commemorative Paint Scheme

The jet made its public debut March 10-12 at the Tico Warbird Airshow held annually at the Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida. The event was the team’s first of the 2017 airshow season. Lt. Scott “MacGruber” Lindahl piloted the jet for all three demonstrations of the weekend, much to the surprise and delight of the crowd. Overall, the jet was very well received and was the subject of much discussion due to the jet’s retro 1970s paint scheme.

The jet is a fitting tribute to the men and women currently serving in VFA-15, and provides honor and respect for all who served the mighty Valions during the squadron’s storied 75 year history.

– Shawn Yost

EDIT: Our comments include some credit for the paint scheme:
All of us in the VFA-15 Corrosion Workcenter painted the jet that paint scheme, the original A/C Modex was 301. The night before it came out from the paint hangar there onboard NAS OCEANA & was on display at my Navy Retirement Ceremony on Nov. 18, [2016]. I was the LPO for 12C Work Center & all my guys did a Fantastic JOB painting the jet. I like to give them the credit & they are as follows: Jared Paul Bowen, Yisus Vlzqz, Wayne Ragas, Jordan Soltis, Huy G Tran, Sean Collins, Narciso Diaz & Brent Fore

SEE ALSO: 2017 US Navy F-18 Hornet And Super Hornet Demo Team Schedules Released

F/A-18C Hornet Demonstration In VFA-15 Commemorative Paint Scheme

F/A-18C Hornet Demo Added To 2016 NAS Pax River Air Expo Lineup

posted in: Airshows | 0

US Navy F/A-18C Hornet demonstration team

The US Navy F/A-18C Hornet demonstration from VFA-106 “Gladiators” has been added to the lineup of the 2016 NAS Patuxent River Air Expo. The status of the show was called into question after the Blue Angels were forced to cancel their planned appearance at the show, but organizers decided to press on with the rest of the line up. This late addition will provide some extra jet noise on top of the already scheduled F-22 Raptor and Sea Harrier performances.

The Navy has used the single-ship Hornet demo teams to fill in for the Blue Angels several times already this year. They were called into action when the Blues canceled multiple appearances as part of their safety stand down following the June crash of Blue Angel #6, Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss. The report on that crash led to a mandate that the team take one weekend off at least every eight weeks, which led to their Pax River cancellation.

[Updated x3] 2015 US Navy F-18 Hornet Demo Team Schedules Released

posted in: Military, Schedules | 3

F-18 Hornet Demo Team Schedule

Updated (3/15/15): The US Navy Tac Demo Facebook page has released the break down of C, E, and F model demonstrations during the seaon. We have rearranged the schedule below to more clearly display the lineup for each model. NAS Oceana will of course feature both the F/A-18C and F/A-18F demos, as VFA-106 is based there.

Original post: A number of you fans out there have been anticipating the release of the US Navy’s F-18 Hornet Demo schedule for this year’s air show season. Today it was finally released, so without further adieu, here is where you can find your Hornet fix this year:

{Updated 5/21/15 to add Rome, GA and Mankato, MN; and to remove Jones Beach, NY}
{Updated 4/12/15 to remove Louisville, KY}

— VFA-106 – F/A-18C Hornet —

23-24 May – Jones Beach, NY
4-5 Jul – Traverse City, MI
25-26 Jul – Milwaukee, WI
12 Sept – Waukegan, IL
30 Oct – 1 Nov – Stuart, FL
3-4 Oct – Rome, GA
19-20 Sept – NAS Oceana, VA

— VFA-106 – F/A-18F Super Hornet —

14 Mar – El Centro, CA
18-19 Apr – Louisville, KY
9-10 May – Millville, NJ
20-21 Jun – Dayton, OH
27-28 Jun – Mankato, MN
10-12 Jul – Gary, IN
29-30 Aug – Brooklyn, NY
5-7 Sept – Cleveland, OH
19-20 Sept – NAS Oceana, VA

— VFA-122 – F/A-18E Super Hornet —

21-22 Mar – Lancaster, CA
24-25 May – Columbia, MO
20 Jun – Denton, TX
3 Jul – Dubuque, IA
7-9 Aug – Abbotsford, BC
26-27 Sept – Millington, TN
3-4 Oct – Mather, CA
16-18 Oct – Houston, TX
24-25 Oct – Santa Teresa, NM

One interesting note is that the schedule does not identify whether the shows listed will feature a Hornet or Super Hornet. We will look into it and update this post once we get the info.