Category Archives: Airshow News America

USAF cancels all airshows and demo team appearances until mid-May

The United States Air Force will be suspending its outreach programmes due to uncertainty over the coronavirus outbreak.

After two days of individual show cancellations, the Brig. Gen Edward Thomas, the USAF’s director of public affairs, said: “The Air Force is committed to upholding the complete trust and confidence of Americans and our community engagement is the key to those connections. However, due to the uncertainty regarding COVID-19 and to protect our Airmen, their families and the communities that support us, the Department of the Air Force is suspending all outreach activities and support to community events through May 15.

“This includes, but is not limited to, on-base and civilian sponsored air shows, band performances and community engagements and meetings (speaking engagements, community meetings on installations, base tours, Pentagon visits, etc.).

“We will continue to support funeral flyovers on a case-by-case basis. The Air Force will continuously evaluate the situation and provide updates as needed.”

You can stay up to date on our LIVE BLOG.

WHICH SHOWS ARE IMPACTED?

USAF airshows in this period include:

  • Mar 14: Laughlin AFB Fiesta of Flight, TX
  • Mar 21-22: Luke Days Air & Space Expo, AZ
  • Mar 28-29: MacDill AFB Tampa Bay AirFest, FL
  • Apr 18-19: Maxwell AFB Beyond the Horizon Airshow, AL
  • Apr 18-19: JB Charleston Air & Space Expo, SC
  • Apr 25-26: Wings Over Columbus, MS
  • May 9-10: Beale AFB Thunder Over Recce Town, CA
  • May 9-10: Dyess Big Country AirFest, TX

Other shows still scheduled to go ahead will lose headline acts, such as the Fort Lauderdale Airshow, which was scheduled to host the Thunderbirds, Thunder Over Louisville, which was expected to feature USAF flyovers and solo demonstrations, and the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In, recently rescheduled to early May.

March AFB Airshow becomes first in US to be postponed over coronavirus fears

RIVERSIDE, CA | The March ARB Thunder Over the Empire Air & Space Expo has become the first in the US to be cancelled over the coronavirus outbreak.

In perhaps an inevitable move, as public events are cancelled across the world, March ARB announced on Wednesday that, after meetings with military and civilian health officials, they had decided to postpone the show “indefinitely”.

They said: “We are doing everything we can in conjunction with Riverside County health officials to help minimize the spread of COVID-19. Department of the Air Force personnel and their families live, work and attend school in this community and we are committed to doing our part to limit the spread of the virus.”

They added that the wellbeing of servicemen and women was their “primary concern”.

The March ARB Air & Space Expo was due to be held on the 28th-29th March, featuring the Thunderbirds and A-10 Demo Team. A rescheduled date is “to be determined”.

The event is the largest western airshow to be cancelled so far due to the desease, with the Aero Friedrichshafen general aviation trade show in Germany and the innaugural Aqaba Airshow in Jordan also being postponed. Several Chinese events have also been put back, including the Zhengzhou Airshow, scheduled for April.

Air Power Over Hampton Roads 2020 cancelled, next show in 2022

LANGLEY | The biannual Air Power Over Hampton Roads airshow in Langley, Virginia, has been cancelled, with the next show scheduled for 2022.

In a statement, Joint Base Langley-Eustis said they had been “proud hosts” of the biannual Air Power Over Hampton Roads show, but said: “Due to the installation’s current high operational tempo, scheduling conflicts and a lack of available aerial demonstration teams, the 1st Fighter Wing and 633rd Air Base Wing senior leadership determined it was in the best interest of both Langley and our community partners to postpone the show.”

Air Power Over Hampton Roads was scheduled for the 16th-17th May 2020, with the USAF’s F-22A Raptor Demo Team slated to perform. However, the continent’s three big aerobatic teams are due to be busy elsewhere: the Thunderbirds at Shaw AFB, the Blue Angels at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, and the Snowbirds still undertaking pre-season training in Canada.

“We look forward to hosting a great event which truly reflects the world’s greatest Air Force and the hard-working members of Team JBLE in the summer of 2022,” said Col. Clint Ross, JBLE installation commander. “This was not an easy decision for us to make, nor was it made lightly. But after considering all options and available resources, we felt it was the right thing to do.”

A tentative date for the 2022 airshow should be released at the International Council of Air Shows Convention in December this year, if the show is successful in securing the Blue Angels or the Thunderbirds.

Thunder Over Louisville gets a boost as officials approve larger aerobatic box

LOUISVILLE | Thunder Over Louisville is to enjoy bigger and better flying displays in future, as officials approve a Category 1 aerobatic box over the Ohio River.

The one-day airshow, which opens the annual Kentucky Derby, has only been permitted a Category 2 box since 2015, because of construction work on a pair of river bridges. This was too small to allow most jet aircraft to perform full aerobatic routines.

This has meant that jet aerobatic teams and military demonstration teams have largely avoided the show since then. However, the A-10C Warthog was an exception in 2018, as it is cleared to perform in a smaller aerobatic box than other similar performers.

According to local TV station WDRB, this year’s show will feature the US Navy’s new F-35C demonstration team, the US Air Force’s F-16C demonstration team and the US Marine Corps’ MV-22B Osprey. The US Army will also be dropping in, with the Golden Knights parachute team due to take part.

The event also attracts one of North America’s most extensive line ups of non-aerobatic flypasts from a variety of US and Canadian military aircraft, as well as participation from civilian aerobatic teams.

Thunder Over Louisville will take place on the afternoon of Saturday 18th April 2020, concluding with a spectacular fireworks display.

US Navy TACDEMO and Legacy Flight 2020 schedule

The US Navy will support 40 airshows this year with demonstrations and Legacy Flights, but only 11 shows will see full demonstrations, according to an early schedule.

The Super Hornet “TACDEMO” from VFA-106 – rebranded as the Rhino Demo Team – will fly at 11 shows, at which it may also perform Legacy Flights. VFA-125, flying the F-35C Lightning, will fly at ten, performing mini-demonstrations along with Legacy Flights, as will VAQ-129 with the EA-18G Growler.

Meanwhile, VFA-122 will fly Legacy Flights only at nine shows with the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

The Legacy Flight organisation have not given details of which aircraft or unit will perform at individual shows, other than those which will see full Super Hornet tactical demonstrations from VFA-106.

Date Show Location Country Details
Mar 21-22 United States Los Angeles County Airshow Lancaster USA (CA) F-35C
Legacy Flight
Apr 4-5 United States Wings Over South Texas Kingsville USA (TX) Legacy Flight
Apr 18 United States Thunder Over Louisville Louisville USA (KY) F/A-18F
TACDEMOF-35C
Legacy Flight
May 23-24 United States Miami Beach Air & Sea Show Miami Beach USA (FL) F/A-18F
TACDEMO
May 30-31 United States Hangar 24 SBD AirFest San Bernardino USA (CA) Legacy Flight
Jun 6-7 United States Wildwood Airshow
Wildwood USA (NJ) F/A-18F
TACDEMO
Jun 6-7 United States California International Airshow Salinas USA (CA) F-35C
Legacy Flight
Jun 13-14 United States OC Airshow Ocean City USA (MD) F/A-18F
TACDEMO
Jun 20-21 United States Deke Slayton Airfest La Crosse USA (WI) Legacy Flight
Jun 27-28 United States Dayton Airshow Dayton USA (OH) Legacy Flight
Jun 27-28 United States Hill AFB: Utah Air Show – Warriors Over the Wasatch Ogden USA (UT) Legacy Flight
Jul 3-4 United States Thunder Over North Beach Racine USA (WI) F/A-18F
TACDEMO
Jul 4 United States Tacoma Freedom Fair & Airshow Tacoma USA (WA) Legacy Flight
Jul 4 United States Gig Harbor Wings & Wheels Tacoma USA (WA) Legacy Flight
Jul 18 United States Sentry Eagle: Kingsley Field Open House Klamath Falls USA (OR) Legacy Flight
Jul 23-26 United States EAA AirVenture Oshkosh USA (WI) F/A-18F
TACDEMO
Jul 24-26 United States Tri-City Water Follies: Thunder Over the River Kennewick USA (WA) Legacy Flight
Aug 7-9 Canada Abbotsford International Airshow Abbotsford Canada (BC) EA-18G
Legacy Flight
Aug 15-16 United States Chicago Air & Water Show Chicago USA (IL) F/A-18F
TACDEMO
Aug 22-23 United States Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Armed Forces Airshow Avoca USA (PA) Legacy Flight
Aug 29-30 United States New York Airshow New Windsor USA (NY) F/A-18F
TACDEMO
Aug 29-30 United States Thunder Over Michigan Ypsilanti USA (MI) Legacy Flight
Sep 5-6 United States Kansas City Airshow New Century USA (KS) Legacy Flight
Sep 18-20 United States STIHL National Championships Air Races Reno USA (NV) Legacy Flight
Sep 18-20 United States Great Pacific Airshow Huntington Beach USA (CA) Legacy Flight
Sep 19-20 United States NAS Oceana Airshow Virginia Beach USA (VA) F/A-18F
TACDEMO
Oct 10-11 United States Wings Over Houston Houston USA (TX) F/A-18F
TACDEMO
Oct 17-18 United States Fort Worth Alliance Airshow Fort Worth USA (TX) Legacy Flight
Oct 17-18 United States Central Coast AirFest Santa Maria USA (CA) Legacy Flight
Oct 24-25 United States Little Rock ARB: Thunder Over the Rock Little Rock USA (AR) Legacy Flight
Nov 5 United States Naval Base Ventura County Airshow (INCORRECT DATE?) Point Mugu USA (CA) Legacy Flight
Nov 6-8 United States New Orleans Airshow Belle Chasse USA (LA) Legacy Flight
Nov 14-15 United States Hangar 24 AirFest Lake Havasu USA (TX) Legacy Flight
Nov 14-15 United States JB San Antonio Air & Space Show Lackland USA (TX) F/A-18F
TACDEMO

Heart of Texas Airshow to be on hiatus in 2020

WACO | The Heart of Texas Airshow will be on hiatus this year for financial reasons, the show’s organisers revealed on Thursday 9th January.

The organisers said: “We are sad to let you know the HOT Airshow will be on hiatus this year. We strive to provide you with the best performers and the best airshow experience. Thank you to all of our performers, sponsors, vendors and to you the spectators for your support. We’ll see you next year!”

The annual airshow had been tentatively scheduled for the 4th-5th April and was due to feature a demonstration by a US Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey. However, the event was unable to secure a jet team and has been cancelled for this year for financial reasons. Shows without a jet team often struggle to attract funding and sponsorship, although it is not clear whether this is among the factors for the event’s cancellation.

The Heart of Texas Airshow 2019 was headlined by the US Air Force’s F-35A Lightning II demonstration and the Thunderbirds, although the weekend was blighted by bad weather and the latter team were unable to perform. The organisers of the airshow said last year’s bad weather – which forced the cancellation of most of the show’s activities – was not related to the decision to cancel this year’s event.

Kirby Chambliss hints at Red Bull Air Race revival

Former Red Bull Air Race world champion Kirby Chambliss has suggested the Red Bull Air Race may soon return to the skies, but without the backing of its former title sponsor.

Chambliss, who competed in every series of the Red Bull Air Race, was appearing on Show Center: The Airshow Podcast on the Tuesday 7th January to talk about his upcoming airshow season when he brought up the future of the racing series.

He said: “I’m hearing rumours that there’s a good chance that the races will be coming back. It won’t be under the Red Bull banner, but third quarter this year, there’s some pretty strong indications that a Chinese investor has taken it over, so we’ll see what happens.”

He also said that he hoped Red Bull North America, his long-time sponsor, would be happy for him to compete in a new series either under their brand, or that of a different sponsor.

Chambliss also said that, with no series this year, he would be stepping up his airshow participation, which sees him fly an Edge 540 as part of the Red Bull Air Force. The American pilot said he is already expecting to fly at 18-20 shows this year, up from 12 last season.

The Red Bull Air Race saw highly skilled pilots race modified race planes around a course of inflatable pylons. There were typically eight races per year in later seasons, in locations such as New York, Ascot, Gdynia, Perth, Indianapolis and Chiba. The series, which began in 2003, was cancelled in 2019 when title sponsor Red Bull withdrew its support, citing a lack of outside interest.

US Navy hopes to step up airshow participation with F-35C, F/A-18F demonstrations

LAS VEGAS | The US Navy is planning to step up its airshow commitments this year, with F/A-18F “Tac Demos”, Legacy Flights and F-35C mini-demonstrations.

Although the headlines have largely eluded the US Navy at the International Council of Air Shows Convention so far, news on the Navy’s 2020 plans came at a session on Wednesday 11th November.

According to AirshowStuff.com, it is now clear that the Navy plan to support 42 F/A-18F Super Hornet Tactical Demonstrations and Legacy Flights in 2020, with Tactical Demonstrations coming from VFA-106 in Oceana, VA, and Legacy Flights from VFA-122 in Lemoore, CA. These will take place at shows which are not due to host the Blue Angels, with the exception of Oceana.

The full schedule is awaiting approval, and is not typically published until the spring. However, it could see an increase in “Tac Demos” from the last few seasons, when the Navy has only been able to support a very small number of displays.

The news also confirms that the Tailhook Legacy Flight program will continue into 2020, although it is not clear whether this will include aircraft other than VFA-122’s F/A-18Fs. The program was resurrected in 2018, and expanded in 2019 to include aircraft from multiple units, such as the T-45 Goshawk, T-6 Texan II and EA-18G Growler, all of which are otherwise rare airshow performers.

Perhaps most exciting, however, is the news that the Navy will be setting up a new F-35C Demonstration Team in 2020, flown by VFA-125 in Lemoore. The news was first released over the summer by ICAS, but quickly rebutted by the Navy, and finally confirmed at the Convention. However, the team will not yet perform a full demonstration profile.

The F-35C has already flown a small number of mini-demonstrations in US Navy hands, most recently at the Fort Worth Alliance Airshow, so next year’s displays may be similar to those previewed this year. However, forming an official demonstration team is a major step towards flying full, regular demonstrations in the future.

Thunderbirds and Blue Angels release schedules up until 2021

LAS VEGAS | The Thunderbirds and Blue Angels released updated 2020 schedules and tentative 2021 schedules at the International Council of Air Shows Convention in Las Vegas.

THUNDERBIRDS 2020 SCHEDULE

Date Show Location Country
Mar 14 United States Laughlin AFB: Fiesta Of Flight Del Rio USA (TX)
Mar 21-22 United States Luke Days Air & Space Expo Glendale USA (AZ)
Mar 28-29 United States March Field Air & Space Expo: Thunder Over the Empire March USA (CA)
Apr 4-5 United States Sun ‘n Fun Fly-in Lakeland USA (FL)
Apr 18-19 United States Maxwell AFB: Beyond the Horizon Air & Space Expo Montgomery USA (AL)
Apr 25-26 United States Wings Over Columbus Columbus USA (MS)
May 2-3 United States Fort Lauderdale Airshow Fort Lauderdale USA (FL)
May 9-10 United States Beale AFB: Winfgs Over Recce Town Marysville USA (CA)
May 16-17 United States Shaw Air Expo: Thunder Over the Midlands Sumter USA (SC)
May 23-24 United States Miami Beach Air & Sea Show Miami Beach USA (FL)
Jun 6-7 United States California Int’l Airshow Salinas USA (CA)
Jun 13-14 United States OC Airshow Ocean City USA (MD)
Jun 20-21 United States Youngstown ARB Airshow: Thunder Over the Valley Vienna USA (OH)
Jun 20-21 United States Rhode Island Airshow Quonset USA (RI)
Jun 27-28 United States Hill AFB: Utah Air Show – Warriors Over the Wasatch Ogden USA (UT)
Jul 4-5 United States Battle Creek Field of Flight Airshow & Balloon Festival Battle Creek USA (MI)
Jul 11-12 United States JB Elmendorf: Arctic Thunder Open House Anchorage USA (AK)
Jul 18-19 United States Duluth Air & Aviation Expo Duluth USA (MN)
Jul 22 United States Warren AFB: Cheyenne Frontier Days Cheyenne USA (WY)
Jul 25-26 United States Ellsworth Air & Space Show Rapid City USA (SD)
Aug 1-2 United States Grand Forks AFB Airshow Grand Forks USA (ND)
Aug 15-16 United States Chicago Air & Water Show Chicago USA (IL)
Aug 22-23 United States Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Armed Forces Airshow Avoca USA (PA)
Aug 26 United States Thunder Over The Boardwalk Atlantic City USA (NJ)
Aug 29-30 United States New York Airshow New Windsor USA (NY)
Sep 5-6 United States Kansas City Airshow New Century USA (KS)
Sep 12-13 Canada Airshow London London Canada (ON)
Sep 19-20 United States Great Pacific Airshow Huntington Beach USA (CA)
Oct 3-4 United States Minden-Tahoe Aviation Roundup Minden USA (NV)
Oct 10-11 United States Edwards AFB: Aerospace Valley Airshow Edwards USA (CA)
Oct 17-18 United States Fort Worth Alliance Airshow Dallas/Fort Worth USA (TX)
Oct 24-25 United States Wings Over North Georgia Rome USA (GA)
Oct 31-Nov 1 United States Central Florida Space & Air Show Sanford USA (FL)
Nov 7-8 United States New Orleans Airshow New Orleans USA (LA)
Nov 14-15 United States JB San Antonio Open House & Airshow San Antonio USA (TX)

BLUE ANGELS 2020 SCHEDULE

Date Show Location Country
Mar 14 United States El Centro Airshow: Wings Over the Desert El Centro USA (CA)
Mar 21-22 United States Los Angeles County Air Show Lancaster USA (CA)
Mar 28-29 United States MacDill AFB: Tampa Bay AirFest Tampa USA (FL)
Apr 4-5 United States Wings Over South Texas Kingsville USA (TX)
Apr 18-19 United States JB Charleston Air & Space Expo Charleston USA (SC)
Apr 25-26 United States Vero Beach Airshow Vero Beach USA (FL)
May 2-3 United States MCAS Cherry Point Airshow Havelock USA (NC)
May 9-10 United States Dyess Big Country AirFest Abilene USA (TX)
May 16-17 United States JB McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst: Power in the Pines Wrightstown USA (NJ)
May 22-23 United States Bethpage Airshow at Jones Beach Wantugh USA (NY)
May 30-31 United States Scott AFB Air & Space Show Belleville USA (IL)
Jun 13-14 United States Chippewa Valley Air Show Eau Claire USA (WI)
Jun 20-21 United States Memphis Air Show Millington USA (TN)
Jun 27-28 United States Dayton Air Show Dayton USA (OH)
Jul 4-5 United States National Cherry Festival Traverse City USA (MI)
Jul 11 United States Pensacola Beach Airshow Pensacola USA (FL)
Jul 18-19 Canada 4 Wing Cold Lake Airshow Cold Lake Canada (AB)
Jul 25-26 United States Milwaukee Air & Water Show Milwaukee USA (WI)
Aug 1-2 United States Seafair Airshow Seattle USA (WA)
Aug 15-16 United States Great State of Maine Air Show Brunswick USA (ME)
Aug 29-30 United States Thunder Over Michigan Air Show Ypsilanti USA (MI)
Sep 5-7 United States Cleveland National Air Show Cleveland USA (OH)
Sep 12-13 United States Maryland Fleet Week & Airshow Baltimore Baltimore USA (MD)
Sep 19-20 United States NAS Oceana Airshow Virginia Beach USA (VA)
Sep 25-27 United States MCAS Miramar Airshow San Diego USA (CA)
Oct 3-4 United States Naval Base Ventura County Airshow Point Mugu USA (CA)
Oct 10-11 United States San Francisco Fleet Week San Francisco USA (FL)
Oct 16-17 United States NAS Pensacola: Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow Pensacola USA (FL)

THUNDERBIRDS 2021 SCHEDULE

Date Show Location Country
Apr 10-11 United States Tyndall AFB: Gulf Coast Salute Panama City USA (FL)
Apr 17-18 United States Space Coast Warbird Airshow Titusville USA (FL)
Apr 24-25 United States Davis-Monthan ARB: Thunder & Lightning Over Arizona Tuscon USA (AZ)
May 1-2 United States Sound of Speed Airshow St. Joseph USA (MO)
May 8-9 United States Barksdale AFB: Defenders of Liberty Airshow Shreveport USA (LA)
May 30-31 United States Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach Watugh USA (NY)
Jun 5-6 United States The Great Tennessee Air Show Smyrna USA (TN)
Jun 12-13 United States Fairchild AFB: Inland Northwest Skyfest Spokane USA (WA)
Jun 19-20 United States Tinker AFB: Star Spangled Salute Air & Space Show Oklahoma City USA (OK)
Jun 26-27 Canada Bagotville International Airshow Bagotville Canada (QC)
Jul 3-4 United States National Cherry Festival Traverse City USA (MI)
Jul 10-11 United States Dayton Airshow Dayton USA (OH)
Jul 21 United States Warren AFB: Cheyenne Frontier Days Cheyenn USA (WY)
Jul 24-25 United States Milwaukee Air & Water Show Milwaukee USA (WI)
Jul 31-Aug 1 United States Oregon International Air Show McMinnville USA (OR)
Aug 14-15 United States Barnes ARGB: Westfield International Airshow Springfield USA (MA)
Aug 18 United States Thunder Over the Boardwalk Atlantic City USA (NJ)
Aug 28-29 United States Gowen Thunder Open House & Airshow Boise USA (ID)
Sep 4-6 United States Cleveland National Airshow Cleveland USA (OH)
Sep 11-12 United States Pease Open House Newington USA (NH)
Sep 18-19 United States National Championship Air Races Reno USA (NV)
Sep 15-16 United States California Capital Airshow Sacramento USA (CA)
Oct 2-3 Puerto Rico Puerto Rico International Airshow San Juan Puerto Rico
Oct 9-10 United States Wings Over Houston Houston USA (TX)

BLUE ANGELS 2021 SCHEDULE

Date Show Location Country
Apr 10-11 United States NAS JAX Airshow Jacksonville USA (FL)
Apr 17-18 United States Sun ‘n Fun Fly-in Lakeland USA (FL)
Apr 24-25 United States MCAS Beaufort Air Show Beaufort USA (SC)
May 1-2 United States Wings Over South Texas Corpus Christi USA (TX)
May 8-9 United States Fort Lauderdale Airshow Fort Lauderdale USA (FL)
May 15-16 United States Dobbins ARB: Wings Over Atlanta Marietta USA (GA)
May 29-30 United States Westmoreland County Airshow Latrobe USA (PA)
Jun 5-6 United States Chennault International Airshow Lake Charles USA (LA)
Jun 12-13 United States Deke Slayton Airfest La Crosse USA (WI)
Jun 19-20 United States Thunder of Niagara Open House Niagara Falls USA (NY)
Jun 26-27 United States Duluth Air and Aviation Expo Duluth USA (MN)
Jul 3-4 United States KC Airshow Kansas City USA (MO)
Jul 10-11 United States Pensacola Beach Airshow Pensacola USA (FL)
Jul 24-25 United States Fargo Airsho Fargo USA (ND)
Jul 31-Aug 1 United States Arctic Lightning Air Show Eielson USA (AK)
Aug 7-8 United States Seafair Airshow Seattle USA (WA)
Aug 14-15 United States Owensboro Airshow Owensboro USA (KY)
Aug 21-22 United States Chicago Air & Water Show Chicago USA (IL)
Aug 28-29 Canada Airshow London London Canada (ON)
Sep 4-5 United States Cape Cod Airshow & Open House Cape Cod USA (MA)
Sep 18-19 United States NAS Oceana Airshow Virginia Beach USA (VA)
Sep 25-26 United States MCAS Miramar Airshow San Diego USA (CA)
Oct 2-3 United States Great Pacific Airshow Huntington Beach USA (CA)
Oct 9-10 United States San Francisco Fleet Week San Francisco USA (CA)
Oct 16-17 United States Northern Colorado Airshow Loveland USA (CO)
Oct 23-24 United States Fort Worth Alliance Airshow Dallas/Fort Worth USA (TX)
Oct 30-31 United States Wings over North Georgia Rome USA (GA)
Nov 5-6 United States NAS Pensacola: Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow Pensacola USA (FL)