Airshow News

This Week in Airshows: Monday 11th December

Our news page will be updated every Monday with a comprehensive analysis and discussion of the week’s news. This week’s top stories:

  • ICAS SPECIAL: WHO ARE THE BIGGEST WINNERS AND LOSERS
  • ICAS SPECIAL: US JET TEAM SCHEDULES CONTAIN SOME SURPRISES
  • ICAS SPECIAL: US SOLO DEMONSTRATIONS BROADEN THEIR REACH
  • ICAS SPECIAL: CF-18 TO WEAR NORAD COLOURS; UK DISPLAYS PLANNED
  • ICAS SPECIAL: US NAVY LEGACY FLIGHTS COULD MAKE A COMEBACK
  • NEW RULES AND AIRCRAFT FOR RED BULL AIR RACE
  • TROJAN TURNOVER AS HORSEMEN RETIRE
  • RAF BEGIN TO REHEARSE FOR ANNIVERSARY FLYPASTS
  • PATRIOTS JET TEAM RELEASE 2018 SCHEDULE

ICAS special: who are the biggest winners and losers?

The annual International Council of Air Shows Convention in Las Vegas is traditionally the time for many US and Canadian military demonstration teams to release their schedules for the coming year. ICAS 2017 was no different, and details of individual schedules can be seen below, but here is a summary of how some airshows have been affected.

Winners:

  • Abbotsford International Airshow: this may have the strongest lineup of any North American event so far: Snowbirds, Blue Angels, A-10 and CF-18. It’s rare for so many jets to attend a single show in North America.
  • NAS Oceana Airshow: as well as the Snowbirds, Blue Angels and F-22 in 2018, in 2019 Oceana will deviate from its usual blue and gold headliners in favour of an appearance by the Thunderbirds. Some may be unimpressed, but we think the variety is a win!
  • Bethpage Jones Beach Airshow: Jones Beach is no stranger to attracting more than one jet team, but a combination of the Blue Angels, Snowbirds and F-22 is certainly not to be sniffed at – particularly at a free show.
  • Thunder Over Niagara is another show to have attracted the Blue Angels, Snowbirds and F-22 combination. That’s not bad for a relatively little-known airshow!
  • Arctic Thunder Airshow: all the way in Alaska, you may think an isolated base like Elmendorf would struggle to attract a high-quality lineup. But with the Thunderbirds, F-22 and Harrier, they certainly proved that’s not the case.
  • RNAS Yeovilton Air Day: rarely does a mid-sized European military airshow attract flying displays from across the Atlantic. The Canadian CF-18 will surely be a major draw for UK airshow fans in 2018.
  • The Canadian International Airshow will host the Snowbirds, Thunderbirds and CF-18: another healthy threesome from the Canadian and US armed forces.

Losers:

  • EAA AirVenture Oshkosh: after support from a jet team for the past three consecutive years, Oshkosh not only finds itself without one this year, but also without any support from USAF ACC, RCAF or USMC demonstration teams.
  • Seattle Seafair Airshow: a perennial favourite on the Blue Angels’ schedule, Seafair looks to be going without their usual headliners in 2019 – if the show will be going ahead at all.

ICAS special: US jet team schedules contain some surprises

The Blue Angels and Thunderbirds have released tentative schedules until the end of 2019 at the International Council of Air Shows Convention in Las Vegas. Tentative 2018 schedules were released at the event last year, and these have barely changed in that time. Most notably, next year will see both teams perform at one airshow each in Canada – part of a wider increase in US support for Canadian airshows.

USAF Thunderbirds 2018 schedule
  • Mar 10-11: Luke AFB Airshow & Open House, AZ, USA
  • Mar 17-18: Melbourne Air & Space Show, FL, USA
  • Mar 24-25: Dobbins ARB Airshow, GA, USA
  • Apr 7-8: March Field AirFest – Thunder over the Empire, CA, USA
  • Apr 14-15: Sun ‘n Fun, FL, USA
  • Apr 21-22: Columbus AFB Open House & Air Show, MS, USA
  • Apr 28-29: Charleston Air Expo, SC, USA
  • May 5-6: Fort Lauderdale Airshow, FL, USA
  • May 12-13: Laughlin AFB Open House & Air Show, TX, USA
  • May 19-20: AirPower Over Hampton Roads, VA, USA
  • May 23: USAF Academy Graduation, CO, USA
  • May 26-27: Cannon AFB Airshow & Open House, NM, USA
  • Jun 2-3: Mountain Home AFB Gunfighter Skies Airshow, ID, USA
  • Jun 9-10: Thunder Over Niagara, NY, USA
  • Jun 16-17: OC Airshow, MD, USA
  • Jun 23-24: Hill AFB Open House: Warriors over the Wasatch, UT, USA
  • Jun 30-Jul 1: Arctic Thunder Open House, AK, USA
  • Jul 7-8: Duluth Air & Aviation Expo, MN, USA
  • Jul 14-15: Great New England Airshow, MA, USA
  • Jul 21-22: Milwaukee Air & Water Show, WI, USA
  • Jul 25: Cheyenne Frontier Days, WY, USA
  • Jul 28-29: Westmoreland County Airshow, PA, USA
  • Aug 4: Minot AFB Northern Neighbors Day, ND, USA
  • Aug 18-19: Chicago Air & Water Show, IL, USA
  • Aug 22: Atlantic City Airshow, NJ, USA
  • Aug 25-26: Thunder Over Michigan, MI, USA
  • Sep 1-3: Canadian International Airshow, ON, Canada
  • Sep 8-9: McConnell AFB Airshow & Open House, KS, USA
  • Sep 15-16: New York Airshow, NY, USA
  • Sep 22-23: California Capital Airshow, CA, USA
  • Sep 29-30: California International Airshow, CA, USA
  • Oct 6-7: Maryland Fleet Week & Airshow Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Oct 13-14: Fort Worth Alliance Airshow, TX, USA
  • Oct 20-21: Huntington Beach Airshow, CA, USA
  • Oct 27-28: Little Rock AFB Air Show, AR, USA
  • Nov 3-4: Wings Over Homestead, FL, USA
  • Nov 10-11: Nellis AFB Aviation Nation, NV, USA

 

USN Blue Angels 2018 schedule
  • Mar 10: NAF El Centro Air Show, CA, USA
  • Mar 17-18: TBD
  • Mar 24-25: Wings Over South Texas, TX, USA
  • Apr 7-8: Heart of Texas Airshow, TX, USA
  • Apr 14-15: Tuscaloosa Regional Airshow, AL, USA
  • Apr 21-22: Vero Beach Airshow, FL, USA
  • Apr 28-29: Wings Over Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
  • May 5-6: MCAS Cherry Point Airshow, NC, USA
  • May 12-13: MacDill AFB Tampa Bay AirFest, FL, USA
  • May 23: US Naval Academy Airshow, MD, USA
  • May 25:  US Naval Academy Graduation, MD, USA
  • May 26-27: Jones Beach Airshow, NY, USA
  • Jun 2-3: Patuxent River Air Expo, MD, USA
  • Jun 9-10: Rhode Island Airshow, RI, USA
  • Jun 16-17: Chippewa Valley Airshow, MI, USA
  • Jun 23-24: Dayton Airshow, OH, USA
  • Jun 30-Jul 1: National Cherry Festival, MI,  USA
  • Jul 14-15: Pensacola Beach Airshow, FL, USA
  • Jul 21-22: Biloxi Gulf Coast Salute Airshow, MS, USA
  • Jul 28-29: Fargo Airsho, ND, USA
  • Aug 4-5: Seattle Seafair Airshow, WA, USA
  • Aug 11-12: Abbotsford International Airshow, BC, Canada
  • Aug 18-19: Terre Haute Airshow, IN, USA
  • Aug 25-26: Sound of Speed Airshow, MO, USA
  • Sep 2-3: Cleveland National Airshow, OH, USA
  • Sep 15-16: Owensboro Airshow, KY, USA
  • Sep 22-23: NAS Oceana Airshow, VA, USA
  • Sep 29-30: MCAS Miramar Airshow, CA, USA
  • Oct 6-7: San Francisco Fleet Week, CA, USA
  • Oct 13-14: Minden-Tahoe Aviation Round Up, NV, USA
  • Oct 20-21: Wings Over Houston, TX, USA
  • Oct 27-28: NAS Jacksonville Airshow, FL, USA
  • Nov 1-3: NAS Pensacola Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow, FL, USA

 

However, the most notable announcements are in the 2019 tentative schedules. During that year, the only international performance planned is for the Thunderbirds, in Abbotsford, Canada. One of the most outstanding features is the Thunderbirds’ participation at the NAS Oceana Airshow instead of the traditional appearance of the Blue Angels, which may perplex some long-term fans of the show. Another Blue Angels favourite, the Seafair event in Seattle, is not included on the list. A total of three open dates remain across both teams.

USAF Thunderbirds 2019 provisional schedule
  • Mar 23-24: Thunder & Lightning Over Arizona, AZ, USA
  • Mar 30-31: Tyndall AFB Gulf Coast Salute, FL, USA
  • Apr 6-7: Heart of Texas Airshow, TX, USA
  • Apr 13-14: Keesler AFB Salute to the Military Airshow, MS, USA
  • Apr 27-28: Wings Over Wayne Airshow, NC, USA
  • May 4-5: Wings Over Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
  • May 11-12: JB Andrews Airshow & Open House, MD, USA
  • May 18: Kirtland AFB Airshow & Open House, NM, USA
  • May 22: USAF Academy Graduation, CO, USA
  • May 25-26: Jones Beach Airshow, NY, USA
  • Jun 1-2: Offutt AFB Defenders of Freedom Airshow, NE, USA
  • Jun 15-16: Minnesota Air Spectacular, MN, USA
  • Jun 22-23: Dayton Airshow, OH, USA
  • Jun 29-30: Fort Wayne Airshow, IN, USA
  • Jul 6-7: Rhode Island Airshow, RI, USA
  • Jul 13-14: TBD
  • Jul 20-21: Fargo Airsho, ND, USA
  • Jul 24: Cheyenne Frontier Days, WY, USA
  • Jul 27-28: Milwaukee Air & Water Show, WI, USA
  • Aug 10-11: Abbotsford International Airshow, BC, Canada
  • Aug 17-18: Souix Falls Airshow, SD, USA
  • Aug 21: Atlantic City Airshow, NJ, USA
  • Aug 24-25: Rochester International Airshow, NY, USA
  • Aug 31-Sep 2: Cleveland National Airshow, OH, USA
  • Sep 7-8: Grissom ARB Airshow, IN, USA
  • Sep 14-15: Reno National Championships Air Races, NV, USA
  • Sep 21-22: NAS Oceana Airshow, VA, USA
  • Sep 28-29: Robins AFB Airshow & Open House, GA, USA
  • Oct 5-6: Puerto Rico International Airshow, PR, USA
  • Oct 12-13: Atlanta Airshow, GA, USA
  • Oct 19-20: Wings Over Houston, TX, USA
  • Oct 26-27: Sheppard AF Airshow & Open House, TX, USA
  • Nov 2-3: Florida International Airshow, FL, USA
  • Nov 9-10: Nellis AFB Aviation Nation, NV, USA

 

USN Blue Angels 2019 provisional schedule
  • Mar 16-17: NAS El Centro Airshow, CA, USA
  • Mar 23-24: California International Airshow, CA, USA
  • Mar 30-31: NAS Key West Southernmost Airshow, FL, USA
  • Apr 6-7: Sun ‘n Fun, FL, USA
  • Apr 13-14: Wings Over South Texas, TX, USA
  • Apr 27-28: MCAS Beaufort Airshow, SC, USA
  • May 4-5: Fort Lauderdale Airshow, FL, USA
  • May 11-12: TBD
  • May 18-19: Cape Girardeau Regional Air Festival, MO, USA
  • May 22: US Naval Academy Airshow, MD, USA
  • May 24:  US Naval Academy Graduation, MD, USA
  • May 25-26: Northeastern Pennsylvania Airshow, PA, USA
  • Jun 1-2: Tinker AFB Star Spangled Salute Air Show, OK, USA
  • Jun 8-9: Great Tennessee Air Show, TN, USA
  • Jun 15-16: OC Airshow, MD, USA
  • Jun 29-30: Quad City Airshow, IA, USA
  • Jul 6-7: KC Downtown Airshow, MO, USA
  • Jul 13: Pensacola Beach Airshow, FL, USA
  • Jul 20-21: Duluth Air & Aviation Expo, MN, USA
  • Jul 27-28: Grand Junction Airshow, CO, USA
  • Aug 17-18: Chicago Air & Water Show, IL, USA
  • Aug 24-25: New York Airshow, NY, USA
  • Aug 31-Sep 1: TBD
  • Sep 7-8: Spirit of St. Louis Airshow, MO, USA
  • Sep 21-22: NAS Lemoore Central Valley Air Show, CA, USA
  • Sep 28-29: MCAS Miramar Airshow, CA, USA
  • Oct 5-6: California Capital Airshow, CA, USA
  • Oct 12-13: San Francisco Fleet Week, CA, USA
  • Oct 19-20: Fort Worth Alliance Airshow, TX, USA
  • Oct 26-27: Moody AFB Thunder Over South Georgia, GA, USA
  • Nov 2-3: Jacksonville Sea & Sky Spectacular, FL, USA
  • Nov 1-3: NAS Pensacola Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow, FL, USA

 


ICAS special: US solo demonstrations broaden their reach

The USAF ACC demonstration teams released their 2018 schedules at the International Council of Air Shows Convention in Las Vegas on Monday. As previously announced, the A-10C Warthog will be performing a full demonstration for the first time since 2011, joining the existing F-16C Viper and F-22A Raptor demonstration teams. However, the rumoured F-35A Lightning demonstration team has not come to fruition – although that aircraft will be represented in the USAF Heritage Flight. Heritage Flight schedules have not yet been released. Most notably, the 2018 demonstration team schedules see increased support for Canadian airshows, in addition to two displays outside North America. It has also been widely anticipated that the USAF may support the RAF100 celebrations at the Royal International Air Tattoo in the UK, and indeed, open dates remain across that weekend for all three teams. The ACC have promised some changes to the schedule and hope to release an update in the new year.

USAF ACC F-22A Raptor Demo Team 2018 schedule
  • Mar 17: MCAS Yuma Airshow, AZ, USA
  • Mar 24-25: LA County Airshow, CA, USA
  • Mar 24: Riverside Airshow, CA, USA
  • Apr 3-8: Feria Internacional del Aire y del Espacio, Chile
  • Apr 28-29: Beale AFB Airshow & Open House, CA, USA
  • May 5-6: Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ, USA
  • May 12-13: MacDill AFB Tampa Bay AirFest, FL, USA
  • May 19-20: AirPower Over Hampton Roads, VA, USA
  • May 26-28: Jones Beach Airshow, NY, USA
  • Jun 9-10: Thunder Over Niagara, NY, USA
  • Jun 23-24: Dayton Airshow, OH, USA
  • Jun 30-Jul 1: Arctic Thunder Open House, AK, USA
  • Jul 21-22: Cold Lake Airshow, AB, Canada
  • Aug 10-12: Offutt AFB Defenders of Freedom Airshow, NE, USA
  • Aug 18-19: Terre Haute Airshow, IN, USA
  • Sep 8: 187 Fighter Wing Open House, AL, USA
  • Sep 22-23: NAS Oceana Airshow, VA, USA
  • Oct 13-14: Atlanta Airshow, GA, USA
  • Oct 13-14: Wings Over North Georgia, GA, USA
  • Oct 20-21: Hammond Northshore Regional Airshow, LA, USA
  • Nov 1-3: NAS Pensacola Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow, FL, USA
  • Nov 10-11: Nellis AFB Aviation Nation, NV, USA

 

USAF ACC F-16C Fighting Falcon Demo Team 2018 schedule
  • Feb 12: Stars & Stripes Airshow Spectacular, TX, USA
  • Apr 21-22: Vero Beach Airshow, FL, USA
  • Apr 28-29: Wings Over Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
  • May 12-13: Dyess Big Country AirFest, TX, USA
  • May 19-20: Hangar 24 Air Fest, CA, USA
  • May 26-27: Miami Air & Sea Show, FL, USA
  • Jun 2-3: Great Tennessee Airshow, TN, USA
  • Jun 16-17: Chippewa Valley Airshow, MI, USA
  • Jun 23-24: Quad City Airshow, IA, USA
  • Jun 30-Jul 1: Evansville ShrinersFest Airshow, IN, USA
  • Jul 21-22: Biloxi Gulf Coast Salute Airshow, MS, USA
  • Aug 25-26: Sound of Speed Airshow, MO, USA
  • Sep 2-3: Cleveland National Airshow, OH, USA
  • Sep 8-9: Airshow London, ON, Canada
  • Sep 14-17: Reno National Championship Air Races, NV, USA
  • Oct 13-14: Spirit of St. Louis Airshow, MO, USA
  • Oct 20-21: Wings Over Houston, TX, USA
  • Oct 27-28: NAS Jacksonville Airshow, FL, USA

 

USAF ACC A-10C Warthog Demo Team 2018 schedule
  • Mar 10-11: Luke AFB Airshow & Open House, AZ, USA
  • Apr 7-8: Heart of Texas Airshow, TX, USA
  • Apr 14-15: Tuscaloosa Regional Airshow, AL, USA
  • Apr 21: Thunder Over Louisville, KY, USA
  • May 5-6: Planes of Fame Airshow, CA, USA
  • May 12-13: MacDill AFB Tampa Bay AirFest, FL, USA
  • May 19-20: Anderson Regional Airshow, SC, USA
  • May 26-27: Salute to Veterans, MO, USA
  • Jun 2-3: Mountain Home AFB Gunfighter Skies Airshow, ID, USA
  • Jun 16-17: Wings Over Northern Michigan, MI, USA
  • Jun 23-24: Greater Binghamton Airshow, NY, USA
  • Jun 30-Jul 4: Battle Creek Airshow & Balloon Fiesta, MI, USA
  • Jul 4: Dubuque Jaycees Airshow, IA, USA
  • Jul 20-22: Lethbridge International Airshow, AL, Canada
  • Jul 28-29: Tri-City Water Follies – Over the River Airshow, WA, USA
  • Aug 10-12: Abbotsford International Airshow, BC, Canada
  • Aug 25-26: CAF Sky High Wing AIRSHO, TX, USA
  • Sep 22-23: Osan Air Power Days, Republic of Korea
  • Sep 29-30: Oregon International Airshow, OR, USA
  • Oct 6-7: Maryland Fleet Week & Airshow Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Oct 13-14: Wings Over North Georgia, GA, USA

 

Conspicuous for a comparative lack of growth for several years are the US Marine Corps Level 3 demonstrations. As the USMC does not operate demonstration teams, these displays must use operational aircraft and crew, and are therefore limited to four shows per year. However, many military-run airshows from the USMC and USAF will feature role demonstrations in addition to those discussed at the ICAS Convention.

USMC MV-22 Osprey Level 3 demonstrations
  • Mar 23: LA County Airshow, CA, USA
  • Jun 2: Great Tennessee Airshow, TN, USA
  • Jun 30-Jul 4: Battle Creek Airshow & Balloon Fiesta, MI, USA
  • Aug 25: KC Downtown Airshow, MO, USA

 

AV-8B Harrier Level 3 demonstrations
  • Mar 10: Luke AFB Airshow & Open House
  • May 12-13: Millville Wings & Wheels Airshow, NJ, USA
  • Jun 30-Jul 1: Evansville ShrinersFest Airshow, IN, USA
  • Jun 30-Jul 1: Arctic Thunder Open House, AK, USA

 


ICAS special: CF-18 to wear NORAD colours; UK displays planned

The theme, pilot and schedule for the RCAF CF-18 Hornet demonstration team was announced at the International Council of Air Shows Convention in Las Vegas on Monday. Demo pilot Cpt. Stefan Porteous will display the aircraft across North America and at two UK shows next year, as had been rumoured for several weeks. The theme for the demonstrations will be the 60th anniversary of NORAD, the joint US-Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command, and the jet’s paint scheme will reflect this theme. Further details of this are expected in the coming weeks.

RCAF CF-18 Hornet Demo Team 2018 schedule
  • May 5-6: Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ, USA
  • May 11-12: NORAD 60th Anniversary, CO, USA
  • May 19-20: Hangar 24 Air Fest, CA, USA
  • May 26-27: Cannon AFB Airshow & Open House, NM, USA
  • Jun 2-3: Borden Armed Forces Day, ON, Canada
  • Jun 9-10: Gimli Airshow, MB, Canada
  • Jun 13: North Bay Armed Forces Day, ON, Canada
  • Jun 16-17: Great Lakes International Airshow, ON, Canada
  • Jun 23-24: Heroes Festival Canada, ON, Canada
  • Jul 7: RNAS Yeovilton Air Day, United Kingdom
  • Jul 13-15: Royal International Air Tattoo, United Kingdom
  • Jul 21-22: Cold Lake Airshow, AB, Canada
  • Jul 15: Rocky Mountain House Airshow, AB, Canada
  • Jul 28-29: Hometown Heroes Airshow, AB, Canada
  • Aug 4-5: Vanderhoof International Airshow, BC, Canada
  • Aug 10-12: Abbotsford International Airshow, BC, Canada
  • Aug 18-19: Victoriaville Airshow, QC, Canada
  • Aug 25-26: Atlantic Canada International Airshow, NS, Canada
  • Aug 29: Brantford Charity Airshow, ON, Canada
  • Sep 1-3: Canadian International Airshow, ON, Canada
  • Sep 8-9: Airshow London, ON, Canada
  • Sep 15: AERO Gatineau-Ottawa, QC, Canada
  • Sep 16: Battle of Britain Commemeration, QC, Canada
  • Sep 22-23: California Capital Airshow, CA, USA
  • Sep 29-30: Oregon International Airshow, OR, USA
  • Oct 6-7: Maryland Fleet Week & Airshow Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Oct 13-14: Spirit of St. Louis Airshow, MO, USA

 

While the CF-18 will be present in the UK for RAF100 celebrations at the Royal International Air Tattoo, rumours of a Snowbirds tour to the continent proved to be false. Canadian airshow organisers had suggested the team would not be in North America for some of the 2018 season, sparking speculation that they may tour to the UK for the first time. However, the limited range of the Snowbirds’ ageing CT-114 Tutors would have made this an expensive and challenging undertaking. Instead, the Snowbirds’ season once again sees them perform only in North America.

CF Snowbirds 2018 schedule
  • May 5-6: MCAS Cherry Point Airshow, NC, USA
  • May 11-12: NORAD 60th Anniversary, CO, USA
  • May 19-20: Anderson Regional Airshow, SC, USA
  • May 26-27: Jones Beach Airshow, NY, USA
  • May 30: Air Show Cape Breton, NS, Canada
  • Jun 2-3: Borden Armed Forces Day, ON, Canada
  • Jun 9-10: Thunder Over Niagara, NY, USA
  • Jun 13: TBD
  • Jun 16-17: Great Lakes International Airshow, ON, Canada
  • Jun 20: TBD
  • Jun 23-24: Heroes Festival Canada, ON, Canada
  • Jun 27: Sur l’air de Chambly, QC, Canada
  • Jul 1: Canada Day Celebrations, QC, Canada
  • Jul 7-8: Manitoba Airshow, MB, Canada
  • Jul 11: Flin Flon Rotary Airshow, MB, Canada
  • Jul 14-15: Country Thunder Saskatchewan, SK, Canada
  • Jul 15: 15 Wing Fellowship Highway to Heroes, SK, Canada
  • Jul 18: Snowbirds Over Camrose, AB, Canada
  • Jul 21-22: Cold Lake Airshow, AB, Canada
  • Jul 15: Rocky Mountain House Airshow, AB, Canada
  • Jul 28-29: Hometown Heroes Airshow, AB, Canada
  • Aug 1: TBD
  • Aug 4-5: Vanderhoof International Airshow, BC, Canada
  • Aug 8: TBD
  • Aug 10-12: Abbotsford International Airshow, BC, Canada
  • Aug 22: Thunder Over the Boardwalk, NJ, USA
  • Aug 25-26: Atlantic Canada International Airshow, NS, Canada
  • Aug 29: Brantford Charity Airshow, ON, Canada
  • Sep 1-3: Canadian International Airshow, ON, Canada
  • Sep 4: Captain VandenBos School Tribute, ON, Canada
  • Sep 8-9: Spectacle aérien de Mont-Joli, QC, Canada
  • Sep 15: AERO Gatineau-Ottawa, QC, Canada
  • Sep 16: Battle of Britain Commemeration, QC, Canada
  • Sep 19: Snowbirds in Fort Erie, ON, Canada
  • Sep 22-23: NAS Oceana Airshow, VA, USA
  • Sep 29-30: Oregon International Airshow, OR, USA
  • Oct 6-7: TBD
  • Oct 13-14: Fort Worth Alliance Airshow, TX, USA
  • Oct 19: Home Closer, SK, Canada

 


ICAS special: US Navy Legacy Flights could make a comeback

The US Navy’s forum at the International Council of Air Shows provided some new information for airshow fans, if not a full schedule for their Tactical Demonstration teams. US website airshowstuff.com are reporting two major developments from the forum: firstly, in 2018, all F/A-18 Tac Demo displays will be performed by F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, with classic F/A-18C Hornet displays seemingly no longer operating. AirshowStuff also report that the forum included instructions on how to host US Navy Legacy Flights – a fixture not seen at US airshows for several years. This could foreshadow their long-awaited return to the airshow circuit. The Legacy Flights are broadly similar to those provided by the USAF Heritage Flight teams. No schedule or list of participating aircraft has yet been released, but we will endeavor to provide this information as soon as it is available.


New rules and aircraft for Red Bull Air Race

Challenger Class pilots will fly standardised single-seat Edge 540 V2s for the 2018 race season, the event organisers have revealed. Previously, Challenger pilots flew two-seat Extra 330LX aircraft. As before, the planes will be owned by Red Bull and shared by the Challenger pilots. The faster Edge 540 will more closely mirror conditions pilots will face when they progress into the Master Class. To cope with this, Challenger Class pilots recently attended a conversion training camp, during which they practiced flying the Edge 540 in race conditions.

In a further change to the format, Challenger Class pilots will fly at only four of the first seven races of the series, rather than five. After this point, the scores of each Challenger Class pilot will be added up, and the top six pilots will be invited to compete in the season finale. This change is to accommodate an increase in the number of Challenger Class pilots.

Red Bull Air Race Indianapolis behind-the-scenes feature

Both classes of the Red Bull Air Race will operate under a modified rulebook in 2018, with major changes to G force restrictions. In the Master Class, the G limit will remain set at 10G, with tolerance of up to 12G for 0.6 seconds. Next year, exceeding 0.6 seconds will incur a two second penalty rather than a DNF, and exceeding 12G will result in a DNF rather than disqualification. In the Challenger Class, exceeding 10G for any time will result in a two second penalty, and exceeding 11G will cause a DNF.

The Red Bull Air Race will return on the 2nd-3rd February in Abu Dhabi.


Trojan turnover as Horsemen retire

The Trojan Horsemen Flight Demonstration Team, who perform across the United States with six T-28 Trojans, announced their retirement at the end of last month. The team said that “the mounting challenges of reliably fielding a six-ship Team of T-28s in a professional manner while maintaining proficiency, safety and our brand, have forced the premature retirement of the team.” The Trojan Horsemen were formed fourteen years ago. However, shortly before their retirement, a new six-ship T-28 team surfaced in the United States under the name Trojan Thunder. There is currently little information about Trojan Thunder available and it is unclear whether they are linked to the defunct Horsemen, although they are now advertising for 2018 and have already been booked for the Terre Haute Airshow in August. They will fly T-28B and G models, painted in colour schemes representing the legacy of each individual aircraft, according to World Airshow News magazine. The team’s pilots all have around 1,000 hours on the T-28 and include Jerry Kerby, currently well-known for performing in his RV-8A “Wild Blue”. We look forward to seeing the new team develop in the coming years.


RAF begin to rehearse for anniversary flypasts

A formation of ten Typhoons forming part of the number “100” was spotted over RAF Coningsby on Thursday 7th December, sparking speculation that the Royal Air Force has begun rehearsals for its 100th anniversary flypasts next year. The flypast is scheduled for Tuesday 10th of July over London, with a further royal review at the Royal International Air Tattoo on Friday 13th July. Aviation spotters at Coningsby this week believe to have seen the first preparations for this: ten Typhoon FGR.4s from 29(R) Sqn, forming what appeared to be the number zero with two outside trackers in the place of the other two numerals. The RAF were quick to quash the rumours, telling Lincolnshire Live that it was a “routine training exercise” to help train pilots to fly in large formations. However, Tweets of the flypast have been shared by sources within the RAF, including the Typhoon Display Team, using the RAF100 hashtag. The images also show that the aircraft were flying in a highly irregular formation not usually practiced on training missions. We expect to see the formation rehearsed again and expanded as the first glimpses of the RAF100 celebrations begin to be revealed.


Patriots Jet Team release 2018 schedule

On the sidelines of the International Council of Air Shows Convention in Las Vegas, several civilian teams often release their schedules for the coming year. The Patriots Jet Team, North America’s largest civilian jet team, were among those to do so. The team, who fly six L-39s with coloured “dotty” smoke generators piloted by ex-Thunderbirds, Blue Angels and Snowbirds pilots, will be limited to the southwestern United States as usual.

Patriots Jet Team 2018 schedule
  • Mar 17: MCAS Yuma Airshow, AZ, USA
  • Apr 28: Beale AFB Airshow & Open House, CA, USA
  • Jun 28: NASCAR Sonoma Raceway, CA, USA
  • Sep 14-16: Reno National Championship Air Races, NV, USA
  • Sep 16: GoPro Grand Prix Sonoma, CA, USA
  • Sep 28-30: MCAS Miramar Airshow, CA, USA
  • Oct 7-8: San Francisco Fleet Week, CA, USA

The second episode of The Airshow is now out!


News in Brief

  • The Yakovlevs will perform at three Chinese airshows in 2018, taking six aircraft to the country. Other aircraft will remain in the UK for European displays. The Global Stars will also be heading to China.
  • The AeroSuperBatics Wingwalkers are to perform at the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta – their first Philippine performance – on the 6th-11th February.
  • Lift West – the company behind the UK’s only flying Westland Whirlwind and currently restoring two Westland Wessex – have taken delivery of a pair of Sea Kings.
  • Timings for the Singapore Airshow flying displays have been published, limiting them to two half-hour sessions per day – the shortest in the show’s history.
  • The Great War Display Team have been booked for the Clacton Airshow in 2018. It will be their debut performance at the event.
  • The Biggin Hill Festival of Flight has been confirmed for the 18th-19th August 2018.

The next news update will be on Monday 18th December. It will include: