Category Archives: Airshow News America

Rob Reider: “Miramar just got the Red Arrows”

MIRAMAR | One of the largest airshows in the USA will feature the RAF Red Arrows this year, according to veteran airshow announcer Rob Reider.

The announcement was made in the fifth episode the Ric, Rob, Matt Air Show Podcast, featuring Ric Peterson, Rob Reider and Matt Jolley.

Towards the end of the episode, Matt says he “just got the word” of a major announcement, adding “I don’t know if it’s public yet.” Rob replies: “You know what, I’m going to say it anyway because Chris Van Stelle got in touch with me. Miramar just got the Red Arrows, so Matt and I will be able to enjoy those guys.”

Chris Van Stelle is the director of the Miramar Airshow, a large-scale military airshow near San Diego scheduled for the 27th-29th September. In addition to the Reds, the show has also confirmed the Blue Angels, USAF F-16 Demo Team and displays from the United States Marine Corps, including the AV-8 Harrier and MAGTF Demo.

The Red Arrows will be engaging in a nine-week tour of North America in August and September this year, with the bulk of the team’s schedule already confirmed. However, there were two open weekends in the schedule, including during the Miramar Airshow.

The Red Arrows are the national aerobatic team of the United Kingdom and fly an attractive 25-minute display with nine Hawk T.1 jet trainers.

US Navy TACDEMO and Legacy Flight schedules

The US Navy will be upping its airshow participation this year, with an increase in the number of shows receiving Super Hornet demonstrations and dozens of events hosting Legacy Flights.

The TACDEMO will this year feature an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, with the phasing out of F/A-18C Legacy Hornets. The team will perform at eight venues, up from seven last year.

Date Show
Mar 30-31 Southernmost Air Spectacular, NAS Key West, FL, USA
Apr 13 Thunder over Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA
May 25-26 Bethpage Airshow, Jones Beach, NY, USA
Jun 29-30 National Cherry Festival Air Show, Traverse City, MI, USA
Jul 13-14 Toledo Airshow, Toledo ANGB, OH, USA
Aug 17-18 Sioux Falls Airshow – South Dakota ANG, Joe Foss Field, SD, USA
Aug 31-Sep 2 Cleveland National Airshow, Burke Lakefront Airshow, OH, USA
Sep 21-22 NAS Oceana Airshow, Virginia Beach, VA, USA

Legacy Flights will also return in considerable numbers, with several dates posted on the Navy Legacy Flight Foundation website. These will feature the F/A-18 Hornet, FJ-4B Fury, T-45 Goshawk, SB2C Helldiver, T-6B Texan II, EA-18G Growler, A-4 Skyhawk and T-2 Buckeye, among others. One show in Canada is also planned.

Date Show Aircraft
Mar 15-17 Space Coast Warbird Airshow, Titusville, FL, USA F4U, T-45
Mar 30-31 Southernmost Air Spectacular, NAS Key West, FL, USA F4U, F-18
Mar 30-31 Melbourne Air & Space Show, Melbourne, FL, USA T-2, F-18
Apr 2-7 Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In, Lakeland, FL, USA SNJ, SNJ, T-2, T-28, T-45
Apr 6-7 Heart of Texas Airshow, Waco, TX, USA SB2C, T-45
May 3-5 Central Texas Airshow, Temple, TX, USA Wildcat, T-45
May 10-12 Chennault International Airshow, Lake Charles, LA, USA SB2C, T-6B
May 18-19 Hangar 24 Craft Brewery AirFest, Redlands, CA, USA FJ-4B, F-18
May 25-26 Miami Beach Air & Sea Show, Miami Beach, FL, USA AD-4, T-6B
Jun 1-2 Offutt AFB Defenders of Freedom Air Show, Bellvue, NE, USA T-2, T-6B
Jun 15-16 Wings Over Northern Michigan Airshow, Gaylord, MI, USA A-4, EA-18G
Jun 22-23 Vectran Dayton Airshow, Dayton, OH, USA A-4, F-18
Jun 29-30 National Cherry Festival Air Show, Traverse City, MI, USA Bearcat, F-18
Jun 29-30 Quad City Airshow, Davenport, IA, USA F4U, T-45
Jul 4 Tacoma Freedom Fair & Airshow, Tacoma, WA, USA AD-4, EA-18G
Jul 6-7 Gig Harbor Wings & Wheels, Tacoma Narrows, WA, USA AD-4, F-18
Jul 13-14 Toledo Airshow, Toledo ANGB, OH, USA F4U, F-18
Jul 22-28 EAA AirVenture, Oshkosh, WI, USA EA-18G, T-45, T-6B & warbirds
Aug 9-11 Abbotsford International Airshow, Abbotsford, BC, Canada A-4, F-18
Aug 17-18 Sioux Falls Airshow – South Dakota ANG, Joe Foss Field, SD, USA FJ-4B, F-18
Aug 24-25 Rochester International Airshow, Rochester, NY, USA F4U, T-6A
Aug 31-Sep 2 Cleveland National Airshow, Burke Lakefront Airshow, OH, USA F4U, F-18
Sep 7 Northern Illinois Airshow, Waukegan, IL, USA T-2, T-45
Sep 12-15 National Championship Air Races, Reno, NV, USA FJ-4B, F-18
Sep 21-22 NAS Oceana Airshow, Virginia Beach, VA, USA F4U, F-18
Oct 4-6 Great Pacific Airshow, Huntington Beach, CA, USA F8F, F-18
Oct 12-13 Atlanta Airshow, Hampton, GA, USA F4U, T-45
Oct 19-20 Wings Over Houston Airshow, Ellington, TX, USA F4U, EA-18G
Nov 1-3 Florida International Airshow, Punta Gorda, FL, USA F4U, T-6B
Nov 1-3 Stuart Airshow, Stuart, FL, USA F4U, T-6A

CF-18 Demo Team drop CIAS, add Atlantic Canada Int’l Airshow

GREENWOOD | The Royal Canadian Air Force’s F-18 Demo Team will no longer perform at the Canadian International Air Show in Toronto.

CIAS said the air force had decided to split their demonstration teams across two shows, scheduled for the same weekend, after the Red Arrows confirmed they would be appearing at the Toronto show.

They said that while they were “disappointed” to announce the change, they would “use the vacant jet block to bring you something you haven’t seen in a while,” adding: “Stand by for G!”

The Atlantic Canada International Airshow, which will be held at CFB Greenwood, NS, said the announcement was “huge news” and “a great addition to what is shaping up to be one of our more memorable editions of #AirShowATL.”

The CF-18 Demo Team is flying at a reduced number of airshows this year due to personnel shortages. The jet is not expected to wear a full special scheme.

The Atlantic Canada International Airshow will be held on the 30th August-1st September, featuring the US Navy Blue Angels.

City announces long-term plan to revive Gary Airshow

GARY | The city of Gary will host fundraisers, including small-scale air displays, over the next two years in an attempt to bring back their popular lakefront airshow.

The last few editions of the Gary Airshow have been cancelled due to lack of funds, including the 2018 show and one scheduled for this July, which was due to host the F-16C Viper Demo Team. The last successful airshow was held in 2016, featuring the Blue Angels.

The city will not be able to host a major jet team until 2021, but will spend the next two years laying the groundwork for the event. This year, there will be a small-scale airshow at Gary/Chicago International Airport, including ground activities and aerial displays. Officials are targeting the third weekend of August.

Next year the show will be brought back to Marquette Park, its traditional venue on the shore of Lake Michigan, featuring well-known airshow performers.

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson told The Chicago Crusader: ““In the midst of a financial recovery plan we started developing in 2018, we have made the decision to not host the larger event this year but to keep working and take steps toward securing strong sponsors and supporters of the city’s signature event in 2019, 2020 and 2021. With this approach, we feel confident that we will bring back one of the U.S. Military squadrons in 2021.”

US Air Force “loses confidence” in F-16 Demo pilot

SHAW AFB | This year’s USAF F-16C Demo Team pilot, Captain Zoe “SiS” Kotnik, was unexpectedly removed from her position on Monday 11th January.

Cpt. Kotnik was to be the USAF’s first female solo demonstration pilot. She was announced as this year’s pilot just two weeks ago.

Col. Derek O’Malley, Commander of the 20th Fighter Wing, said: “I removed Capt. Kotnik from her position as the commander of the Viper Demo team yesterday, because I lost confidence in her ability to lead the team.”

He suggested that Capt. Kotnik had made “mistakes”, but that she was a  “good person” and that he wanted her to have an opportunity to learn from her mistakes without being under public scrutiny. “They’ll be better for the experience, and in turn, we’ll be better as an Air Force,” he said.

“This will be a difficult time for Capt. Kotnik, but she’s surrounded by wingmen that will help her every step of the way.”

The ACC Aerial Events team said the Demo Team are working hard to minimize the impact of Capt. Kotnik’s departure on the team’s scheduled performances. However, the day after Capt. Kotnik’s replacement was announced, the team posted an updated schedule with the team’s participation at Sun ‘n Fun in Florida this April cancelled.

Maj. John “Rain” Waters, last year’s demonstration pilot, will return to fly this year’s displays.

Red Arrows announce long-awaited American tour schedule

SCAMPTON | The RAF Red Arrows have announced a schedule of events they plan to perform at during this year’s US and Canada tour.

The team, who fly nine Hawk T.1A jet trainers, will engage in a nine-week tour taking in major airshows as well as business and STEM engagements. It will be the first time they have visited the continent since 2008 and their first major tour of the region since 1993.

They will wrap up their UK season in on the 19th-21st July at the Royal International Air Tattoo. After a short period of leave, during which maintenance work will be carried out on the jets, the team will cross the Atlantic for the start of the tour.

The first round of events was announced in February, including six major shows. Additional stops were released later in the spring. Further engagements will be announced in due course.

Date Show Notes
Aug 11 Halifax, NS, Canada Enhanced flypast
Aug 11 Parliament Hill, Ottawa, QC, Canada Flypast
Aug 13 Gatineau-Ottawa, QC, Canada Display
Aug 17-18 Chicago Air & Water Show, Chicago, IL, USA Display
Aug 19 Boston, CT, USA Flypast
Aug 21 Thunder Over the Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ, USA Display
Aug 22 New York, NY, USA Joint flypast
Aug 24-25 New York Airshow, Stewart, NY, USA Display
Aug 27 Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, Udvar-Hazy Center, VA, USA Flypast
Aug 28 Niagara Falls, NY, USA/ON, Canada Flypast
Aug 31-Sep 2 Canadian Int’l Airshow, Toronto, ON, Canada Display
Sep 7-8 Spirit of St. Louis Airshow, Chesterfield, MO, USA Display
Sep 20-22 Oregon Int’l Airshow, Hillsboro, OR, USA Display
Sep 26 Vancouver, BC, Canada Enhanced flypast
Sep 26 Victoria, BC, Canada Flypast
Sep 28-29 Miramar Airshow, San Diego, CA, USA Display
Oct 4-6 Great Pacific Airshow, Huntington Beach, CA, USA Display


Ex-Blue Angel gives details on Super Hornet transition

PENSACOLA | The Blue Angels are planning to fly the F/A-18E Super Hornet for the 2021 display season, according to a former pilot.

Cpt. Ryan Bernacchi spoke to Newsradio 1620 recently, giving further details on the team’s upcoming transition from the F/A-18 Legacy Hornet.

Bernacchi said the plan is for 11 modified Super Hornets to enter Blue Angels service at the end of 2020. The Blue Angels are currently scheduled to end their 2020 display season one month earlier than usual. This will allow an extended winter training period during which the team will re-adjust to their new jets before making their Super Hornet debut in spring 2021.

However, the transition is not the US Navy’s priority and could potentially slip beyond 2020.

Cpt. Bernacchi said that the Super Hornet should fit well with the team, although some maneuver will need to be modified – although he said the look of the maneuvers should look similar from the ground. However, one move may have to be dropped entirely, and it has been suggested that the overall length of the demonstration may be marginally reduced.

He said the decision to transition to the Super Hornet, which was made last December, when the Navy evaluated that the cost of modifying Super Hornets would be similar to that of upgrading newer Legacy Hornets being retired from front-line service.

Blue Angels release 2019 practice schedule

PENSACOLA | The Blue Angels have published  the dates for public display practices at their Florida base this year.

Display rehearsals at Pensacola are open to the public and free to attend through the National Naval Aviation Museum.

Practices typically last 55 minutes and are often followed by autograph sessions in the museum.

Date Time Notes
Mar 27 11:30 Orientation flight
Apr 2 11:30
Apr 3 11:30 Autograph session
Apr 9 11:30
Apr 10 11:30 Autograph session
Apr 16 11:30
Apr 17 11:30 Autograph session
Apr 18 11:30
Apr 19 11:30
Apr 23 11:30
Apr 24 11:30 Autograph session
Apr 30 11:30
May 1 11:30 Autograph session
May 7 11:30
May 14 11:30
May 15 11:30 Autograph session
May 28 11:30
May 29 11:30 Autograph session
Jun 4 11:30
Jun 5 11:30 Autograph session
Jun 11 11:30
Jun 12 11:30
Jun 18 11:30
Jun 19 11:30 Autograph session
Jun 20 11:30
Jun 21 11:30
Jun 25 11:30
Jun 26 11:30 Autograph session
Jul 2 11:30
Jul 3 11:30
Jul 16 11:30
Aug 7 11:30 Autograph session
Aug 8 11:30
Aug 9 11:30
Aug 13 11:30
Aug 14 11:30
Aug 20 11:30
Sep 4 11:30 Autograph session
Sep 10 11:30
Sep 11 11:30 Autograph session
Sep 12 11:30
Sep 13 11:30
Sep 17 11:30
Oct 16 11:30 Autograph session
Oct 22 11:30
Oct 23 11:30 Autograph session
Oct 29 11:30
Oct 30 11:30 Autograph session
Nov 5 14:30
Nov 6 14:30
Nov 7 14:30

Second jet team added to Atlanta Airshow lineup

ATLANTA | The Canadian Forces Snowbirds will fly into Georgia this October to fly at the Atlanta Airshow.

The attendance of the nine-ship aerobatic team, who fly the CT-114 Tutor, was confirmed by airshow organisers earlier today. They will perform alongside the USAF Thunderbirds, who joined the lineup last December.

Two Snowbird jets arrived at Henry County Airport this afternoon to plan the team’s performance.

The Atlanta Airshow will be held on the 12th-13th October 2019.

Red Bull Air Race 2019 tour calendar released

UPDATE: In May 2019, it was announced that this year’s race season would be curtailed and the series will not return next year.

SALZBURG  | The Red Bull Air Race will be heading to new venues this year, with races expected across Europe, North America and Asia.

The race season will begin in Abu Dhabi in February for the traditional season opener before spending the next few months in Europe. This will be followed by two races in Asia and one in Saudi Arabia.

The location for the second date of the tour has not been decided, but an NBN news report last week said the series would feature a new venue “over the Mediterranean”.

A second unconfirmed venue is planned in Asia, however in previous years, events marked “Asia; TBC” on the Red Bull Air Race’s preliminary schedule have in fact been relocated to Europe. A number of Asian cities are known to have expressed interest in hosting the air race, including Singapore and Hong Kong, while Putrajaya in Malaysia hosted a one-off race in 2014.

Notably, the air race will not land in Budapest this year. While originally scheduled for July, the Mayor of Budapest refused to grant the organisers permission to hold the event. Instead, it will be staged at a new venue on the shore of Lake Balaton.

Some fans have criticised the air race organisers for the late release of their schedule, which was published just ten days before the first race and is still incomplete.

Dates Location Notes
Feb 8-9 The Corniche, Abu Dhabi, UAE RACE
Mar 21-23 Dammam Corniche, Dammam, Saudi Arabia DEMO
Jun 1-2 Aviatická Pouť Airshow, Pardubice, Czech Republic DEMO
Jun 15-16 Kazanka River, Kazan, Russia RACE
Jul 13-14 Zamárdi, Lake Balaton, Hungary RACE; Moved from Budapest
TBC Europe; TBC RACE; Postponed from May
Aug 10-11 Red Bull Race Day, Grenchen, Switzerland DEMO
Sep 7-8 Makuhari Beach, Chiba, Japan RACE
Oct 19-20 Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, IN, USA RACE
Nov 8-9 Saudi Arabia RACE