Category Archives: Airshow News Military

USAF F-22, A-10, F-35 and F-16 demonstration schedules for 2020 announced

LAS VEGAS | The USAF’s Air Combat Command solo demonstration teams have announced their schedules for the 2020 season at the International Council of Air Shows Convention.

The F-22A Raptor demonstration team will perform full demonstrations at 23 shows, including three overseas appearences: one each in Singapore, Canada and Chile. The F-35A demonstration team, part of the ACC for the first time, will fly at 20 shows, all in the USA. The A-10C, flying at 20 shows, will appear twice in Canada. The F-16C will perform full demonstrations at 20 shows, all in the USA.

No show is currently due to host more than one full display by a USAF solo demonstration team.

Date Show Location Country Aircraft
Feb 11-16 Singapore Singapore Airshow Changi East Singapore F-22A
Feb 16 United States Stars & Stripes Airshow Spectacular Laredo USA (TX) F-16C
Mar 13-14 United States Yuma Airshow Yuma USA (TX) F-35A
Mar 14 United States El Centro Airshow El Centro USA (CA) A-10C
Mar 21-22 United States Luke Days Air & Space Expo Luke USA (AZ) F-35A
Mar 21-22 United States Los Angeles County Airshow Lancaster USA (CA) F-22A
Mar 28-29 United States MacDill AFB: Tampa Bay AirFest Tampa USA (FL) F-22A
Mar 28-29 United States March Field Air & Space Expo March USA (CA) A-10C
Mar 31-Apr 5 Chile FIDAE Santiago Chile F-22A
Mar 31-Apr 5 United States Sun ‘n Fun Fly-in Lakeland USA (FL) F-35A
Apr 18 United States Thunder Over Louisville Louisville USA (KY) F-16C
Apr 18-19 United States JB Charleston Air & Space Expo Charleston USA (SC) F-35A
Apr 25-26 United States Vero Beach Airshow Vero Beach USA (FL) F-16C
May 2-3 United States Fort Lauderdale Airshow Fort Lauderdale USA (FL) F-35A
May 2-3 United States MCAS Cherry Point Airshow Havelock USA (NC) F-22A
May 2-3 United States Planes of Fame Chino USA (CA) A-10C
May 9-10 United States Beale AFB: Winfgs Over Recce Town Marysville USA (CA) F-35A
May 9-10 United States Wings Over Dalton Dalton USA (GA) F-16C
May 9-10 United States Dyess Big Country AirFest Abilene USA (TX) F-22A
May 16-17 United States Atlanta Airshow Peachtree City USA (GA) F-35A
May 16-17 United States JB McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst: Power in the Pines Wrightstown USA (NJ) A-10C
May 16-17 United States JB Langley: AirPower Over Hampton Roads Langley USA (VA) F-22A
May 16-17 United States Shaw Air Expo Sumter USA (SC) F-16C
May 23-24 United States Bethpage Airshow at Jones Beach Wantugh USA (NY) A-10C
May 23-24 United States Millville Wings & Wheels Millville USA (NJ) F-22A
May 30-31 United States Hangar 24 Airfest Redlands USA (CA) F-35A
May 30-31 United States Scott AFB Airshow & Open House Belleville USA (SC) F-16C
Jun 6-7 United States Selfridge ANGB Airshow & Open House Mt. Clemens USA (MI) A-10C
Jun 6-7 United States Wildwood AirFest North Wildwood USA (NJ) F-16C
Jun 13-14 United States OC Airshow Ocean City USA (MD) A-10C
Jun 13-14 United States Chippewa Valley Airshow Eau Claire USA (WI) F-16C
Jun 13-14 United States Wings Over Whiteman Knob Noster USA (MO) F-35A
Jun 20-21 United States Memphis Airshow Millington USA (TN) F-22A
Jun 26-28 United States Rhode Island Airshow Quonset USA (RI) F-22A
Jun 27-28 United States Dayton Airshow Dayton USA (OH) A-10C
Jun 27-28 United States ShrinersFest Evansville USA (IN) F-16C
Jun 27-28 United States Hill AFB: Utah Air Show – Warriors Over the Wasatch Ogden USA (UT) F-35A
Jul 3 United States Dubuque Fireworks & Airshow Dubuque USA (IA) F-22A (HF)
Jul 3-5 United States Battle Creek Field of Flight Airshow & Balloon Fiesta Battle Creek USA (MI) F-22A (HF)
Jul 3-5 United States Fair St. Louis St. Louis USA (MO) A-10C
Jul 4 United States Racine Airshow: Thunder Over North Beach Racine USA (WA) F-22A
Jul 4 United States Tacoma Freedom Fair & Airshow Tacoma USA (WA) F-35A
Jul 4-5 United States Gig Harbor Wings & Wheels Tacoma USA (WA) F-35A
Jul 4-5 United States National Cherry Festival Traverse City USA (NC) F-16C
Jul 11 United States America’s Freedom Fest Goshen USA (IN) A-10C
Jul 11-12 United States JB Elmendorf: Arctic Thunder Open House Anchorage USA (AK) F-22A
Jul 18-19 United States Duluth Air & Aviation Expo Duluth USA (MN) F-22A
Jul 20-26 United States EAA AirVenture Oshkosh USA (WI) F-16C
Jul 24-26 United States Tri-City Water Follies: Thunder Over the River Kennewick USA (WA) A-10C
Jul 25-26 United States Milwaukee Air & Water Show Milwaukee USA (WI) F-22A, F-16C (HF)
Jul 31-Aug 2 United States Seafair Airshow Seattle USA (WI) F-22A
Aug 1 United States Minot AFB: Northern Neighbors Day Minot USA (ND) F-16C
Aug 7-9 Canada Abbotsford Int’l Airshow Abbotsford Canada (BC) F-22A
Aug 14-16 Canada Edmonton Airshow Edmonton Canada (BC) A-10C
Aug 15-16 United States Chicago Air & Water Show Chicago USA (IL) F-35A
Aug 15-16 United States Great State of Maine Airshow Brunswick USA (ME) F-16C
Aug 22-23 United States Offutt AFB: Defenders of Freedom Airshow Omaha USA (NE) F-22A
Aug 26 United States Thunder Over the Boardwalk Atlantic City USA (NJ) A-10C
Aug 29 United States Mattoon Airshow Mattoon USA (IL) A-10C
Aug 29-30 United States New York Airshow New Windsor USA (NY) F-22A
Aug 29-30 United States Thunder Over Michigan Ypsilanti USA (MI) F-35A
Sep 5-7 Canada Canadian Int’l Air Show Toronto Canada (ON) A-10C
Sep 5-7 United States Cleveland National Airshow Cleveland USA (OH) F-16C
Sep 11-12 United States Owensboro Airshow Owensboro USA (KY) F-22A
Sep 12-13 United States Maryland Fleet Week & Airshow Baltimore Baltimore USA (MD) A-10C
Sep 16-20 United States STIHL National Championships Air Races Reno USA (NV) F-35A
Sep 18-20 United States Great Pacific Airshow Huntington Beach USA (CA) F-16C
Sep 19-20 United States NAS Oceana Airshow Virginia Beach USA (VA) A-10C
Sep 25-27 United States MCAS Miramar Airshow San Diego USA (CA) F-35A
Sep 26-27 United States Oregon Int’l Airshow McMinnville USA (OR) F-16C
Oct 3-4 United States California Capital Airshow Sacramento USA (CA) F-35A
Oct 304 United States NVPC Point Mugu Airshow Point Mugu USA (CA) F-16C
Oct 9-11 United States Wings Over Houston Houston USA (TX) F-22A
Oct 10 United States Jacqueline Cochran Airshow Thermal USA (CA) F-35A (HF)
Oct 10-11 United States Edwards AFB: Aerospace Valley Airshow Edwards USA (CA) F-35A
Oct 10-11 United States San Francisco Fleet Week Apple Valley USA (CA) F-16C
Oct 10-11 United States WWII Air, Sea & Land Festival New Orleans USA (LA) A-10C
Oct 17 United States Apple Valley Airshow Thermal USA (CA) F-35A (HF)
Oct 17-18 United States Central Coast AirFest Santa Maria USA (CA) F-35A
Oct 17-18 United States Fort Worth Alliance Airshow Dallas/Fort Worth USA (TX) A-10C
Oct 24-25 United States Little Rock ARB: Thunder Over the Rock Little Rock USA (AR) F-22A
Oct 24-25 United States Florida Int’l Airshow Punta Gorda USA (FL) F-16C
Oct 31-Nov 1 United States Central Florida Space & Air Show Sanford USA (FL) F-35A
Nov 6-8 United States Stuart Airshow Stuart USA (FL) A-10C
Nov 7-9 United States New Orleans Airshow Belle Chasse USA (LA) F-22A
Nov 14-15 United States Hangar 24 AirFest Lake Havasu USA (AZ) F-16C
Nov 14-15 United States JB San Antonio Open House & Airshow San Antonio USA (TX) F-22A

Snowbirds and CF-18 Demo Team publish 2020 schedules

LAS VEGAS | The Royal Canadian Air Force’s main airshow teams have published schedules for the 2020 show season at the International Council of Air Shows Convention.

The Snowbirds, celebrating their 50th season, will make a late start to the season in June, with the exact date depending on training. They will perform at five US shows, including Oshkosh. The CF-18 Demo Team will only fly in Canada.

Date Show Location Country Aircraft
Jun 6-7 United States Selfridge ANGB Airshow & Open House Mt. Clemens USA (MI) Snowbirds
Jun 10 Canada North Bay Armed Forces Day North Bay Canada (ON) Snowbirds, CF-18
Jun 13-14 Canada CFB Borden Armed Forces Day Borden Canada (ON) Snowbirds, CF-18
Jun 17 Canada Snowbirds display Thompson Canada (MB) Snowbirds
Jun 20-21 Canada Manitoba Airshow Portage la Prairie Canada (MB) Snowbirds, CF-18
Jun 24 Canada Aérofête de Beauces Saint-Georges Canada (QC) Snowbirds
Jun 27-28 Canada Waterloo Aerofest Waterloo Canada (ON) Snowbirds, CF-18
Jul 4-5 United States Let Freedom Fly Int’l Airshow Pierre USA (SD) Snowbirds
Jul 11-12 Canada Yellowknife Int’l Airshow Yellowknife Canada (NT) Snowbirds, CF-18
Jul 15 Canada Snowbirds display Whitehorse Canada (YT) Snowbirds
Jul 18-19 Canada 4 Wing Cold Lake Airshow Cold Lake Canada (AB) Snowbirds, CF-18
Jul 23-26 United States EAA AirVenture Oshkosh USA (WI) Snowbirds
Jul 29 Canada Snowbirds display Vancouver Canada (BC) Snowbirds
Aug 1-2 Canada Vanderhoof Int’l Airshow Vanderhoof Canada (BC) CF-18
Aug 1-2 Canada Lethbridge Airshow Lethbridge Canada (AB) Snowbirds
Aug 5 Canada Rocky Mountain House Airshow Rocky Mountain House Canada (AB) Snowbirds
Aug 7-9 Canada Abbotsford Int’l Airshow Abbotsford Canada (BC) Snowbirds, CF-18
Aug 12 Canada Snowbirds fly for CHILD White Rock Canada (BC) Snowbirds
Aug 15-16 Canada Edmonton Airshow Edmonton Canada (BC) Snowbirds, CF-18
Aug 29-30 Canada Air Show Atlantic Debert Canada (NS) Snowbirds, CF-18
Sep 2 Canada Brantford Community Charity Airshow Brantford Canada (ON) Snowbirds, CF-18
Sep 5-7 Canada Canadian Int’l Airshow Toronto Canada (ON) Snowbirds, CF-18
Sep 11-13 Canada Airshow London London Canada (ON) Snowbirds, CF-18
Sep 16 Canada Fort Erie Airshow Fort Erie Canada (ON) Snowbirds
Sep 19-20 Canada Aero Gatineau-Ottawa Gatineau Canada (QC) Snowbirds, CF-18
Sep 26-27 Canada Festival Aérien Gravity Mirabel Canada (QC) Snowbirds, CF-18
Oct 3-4 Canada Bromont Airshow Bromont Canada (QC) CF-18
Oct 3-4 United States California Capital Airshow Sacramento USA (CA) Snowbirds
Oct 10-11 United States Wings Over Houston Houston USA (TX) Snowbirds

Snowbirds resume normal operations; 2020 season to start in June

MOOSE JAW | The Canadian Forces Snowbirds resumed normal operations today, following a crash in October.

The Royal Canadian Air Force said that the team returned to full operations on Thursday 5th December, with their 2020 season slated to begin on the 6th June 2020. The performance schedule will be released at the ICAS Convention in Las Vegas next week.

The team will start their season several weeks later than usual because the accident delayed the start of their training program.

The Snowbirds’ ageing CT-114 Tutor fleet had been on an operational pause following an accident at the Atlanta Airshow on the 13th October. Snowbird 5, Capt. Kevin Domon-Grenier, was forced to eject before the start of the show when his plane’s engine developed problems. There were no significant injuries, but the aircraft was destroyed. An interim report also identified “irregularities” with the ejection sequence.

The full investigation into the crash is ongoing, but the Snowbirds’ return to flight follows a full risk assessment, the Air Force said.

2020 will mark the Snowbirds’ 50th anniversary, with the team flying the CT-114 for the entirety of that period.

French Air Force to stage two-ship Rafale tactical demonstrations in 2020

The French Air Force will launch two-ship Dassault Rafale C tactical demonstrations in 2020, although the display will not be an official demonstration team.

The news, broken by AeroBuzz.fr over the weekend, suggested that a new team known as Rogues Victor would be formed for the 2020 display season. However the Escadrons de Chasse of the French Air Force have since said the new tactical demonstration will be provided by a number of squadrons throughout the year, and will not have a name.

This appears to suggest a similar arrangement to the French Navy’s two-ship Rafale M tactical display, which is provided by pilots from 11 Flotille and 12 Flotille.

The Air Force also said that the new team would not necessarily supplant or replace Couteau Delta, a two-ship Mirage 2000D tactical demonstration team which was suspended after the 2018 airshow season due to operational commitments, but has not been disbanded.

The French Air Force has a long history of two-ship tactical demonstration teams, with previous teams including Ramex Delta flying the Mirage 2000D, Raffin Mike flying the Jaguar E and Voltige Victor flying the Mirage F1.

Since 2009, the French Air Force have also had an established Rafale C solo display team, which is considered one of the world’s top solo jet displays.

Patrulla Aguila could keep C-101 for several years, despite PC-21 procurement

MADRID | Despite the news that the PC-21 will take over from Spain’s ageing C-101 Aviojets from 2021, Patrulla Aguila could keep their C-101s for several years yet.

Spain’s public procurement agency confirmed rumours on Tuesday 26th November that the country has purchased 24 Pilatus PC-21s from Switzerland. Known as the E.27 in Spanish service, the PC-21s will initially replace Spain’s 35 T-35 Pillán aircraft used for elementary flying training and some of Spain’s 64 C-101 Aviojets used for basic jet training.

The first of the 24 new planes will arrive in March 2020, with the last arriving by autumn 2021. They will completely take over elementary and basic flying training from 2022 onwards.

The announcement prompted speculation that Patrulla Aguila, Spain’s main aerobatic team, could switch from the C-101 from the PC-21 within the next few seasons as the Aviojet is phased out. However, the new procurement does not affect C-101s used for advanced jet training, which will remain in service until at least 2027 according to current plans.

Photo: Peter Lawrence

Next decade, Spain is likely to seek a jet-powered training aircraft to replace the remaining C-101s, as well as its F-5B fleet. This type could also be the replacement for Patrulla Aguila’s C-101s. The M345 Master, already earmarked for use by Italy’s Frecce Tricolori, is currently considered to be a frontrunner.

Early this year, it was revealed that Spain and the Republic of Korea were negotiating an aircraft swap which would see Spain swap up to six surplus A400Ms for 30 KT-1 Woongbi turboprop trainers and 20 T-50B Golden Eagle jets from Korea Aerospace Industries. While it was rumoured that the T-50s would be destined for Patrulla Aguila, both types could feasibly be used by the team and are already flown by the Jupiter Aerobatic Team and Black Eagles respectively. Unfortunately, no deal seems to have been reached, and the procurement of the PC-21, which will fulfill the same role as the KT-1, seems to confirm this.

It is also possible that Patrulla Aguila could take on the PC-21, particularly if further examples are ordered in the future. Currently, two aerobatic teams fly the type: the Qatar Display Team and the RAAF Roulettes. However, the current order of 24 aircraft would be severely overstretched if they were to take on both the training and aerobatic role, making it unlikely that any change of aircraft takes place in the near future.

Although the C-101 entered service in 1980, it is far from the oldest aircraft used by a major military aerobatic team. The Hawk T.1 – the type used by the Red Arrows – entered service in 1976, while the CT-114 Tutors used by the Snowbirds came into service in 1963. Both jets have been retired from active duty within the British and Canadian air forces, but have been kept on solely for use with their aerobatic teams. In both cases, the ageing jets are planned to soldier on for at least another decade.

Russian Knights to get four Su-35SM Flanker-Es this month

MOSCOW | The Russian Knights will recieve four Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E jets this month, according to Russian media reports.

The jets will be handed over at a ceremony at Kubinka Air Base, home of the Russian Knights and the Swifts, on Thursday 7th November. However, the team will continue to perform with the Su-30SM for the time being, with the Defence Ministry stressing that the new single-seat Su-35s will supplement the two-seat Su-30s, rather than replace them.

The Russian Knights flew the Su-27 since they were founded in 1991 until 2016, making their debut with the Su-30 at the Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition 2017. In March 2019, it was reported that the team may upgrade to the Su-35, but it was not known how soon this may occur.

Russia’s second major jet aerobatic team, the Swifts, are also awaiting new planes. Their MiG-29A and MiG-29UB Fulcrums are to be replaced with MiG-35, but the timescale of the switch is not yet known. A third aerobatic team, the Falcons of Russia, already fly four Su-35 Flanker Es.

“Very likely” Red Arrows pilot was fatigued during fatal crash

An inquiry into the fatal crash of a Red Arrows jet during a simulated emergency landing has found that the pilot was probably “fatigued and distracted” at the time of the accident.

The Hawk T.1A crashed at RAF Valley on Anglesey while simulating an engine failure on the 20th March 2018. Its pilot, 39-year-old Flt. Lt. David Stark, ejected half a second before the crash following the “dramatic realisation that the aircraft would impact the ground,” the inquiry said. However, there was not time for him to warn his passenger, RAF engineer Cpl. Jonathan Bayliss, 41, who died in the accident.

Flt. Lt. Stark was a first year Red Arrows pilot training for the Red 3 role, with Cpl. Bayliss being a member of the ‘Circus’, an elite team of ground crew who travel with the team, usually flying in the display jets. However, the inquiry found that there was “limited justification” for carrying Circus members during the exercise, and recommended that they are only carried on board the aircraft on sorties “directly associated with their primary role.”

The inquiry identified several human factors as a “contributory factors”, including his work routine and possible fatigue. While heavily redacted in parts, the inquiry revealed that Red 3 had five additional duties ranging from Duty Pilot to Officer In Charge of Rations, which the inquiry described as “not difficult but time consuming”. As a result, Flt. Lt. Stark said he did not have enough time to apply as much thought as he would have liked to consider what he had done during sorties, or what he would do next.

The document summarised: “The pilot’s working routine was detrimentally affecting his morale, not allowing him sufficient time for rest, consolidation and affecting his fatigue levels.”

Other contributory factors included the lack of an artificial stall warning on the aircraft and the low altitude at which the exercise had been undertaken, which the pilot unknowingly performed below the officially recommended height.

The Board also said a radio call from Air Traffic Control moments before the accident, asking Flt. Lt. Stark to confirm his landing gear had been extended, may have distracted and disorientated the pilot in the seconds before the crash.

The family of Cpl. Bayliss, who was killed in the accident, said through their solicitor: “Whilst the inquest into Corporal Bayliss’ death is awaited, we welcome the findings of this report, which attaches no blame whatsoever to Jonathan for this tragic accident.

“Today’s report provides a number of recommendations based on learnings from this accident. The family understand that the MOD and RAF have already begun to implement some of these recommendations and hope that they continue to do so in order to avoid further similar tragedies in the future.”

Flt. Lt. Stark suffered major injuries in the accident and was replaced by former Red Arrows pilot Sqn. Ldr. Mike Ling for the 2018 display season.

Nine injured as GameBird GB1 crashes during Halcones aerobatic team training flight

SANTIAGO | A GameBird GB1 operated by the Chilean Air Force’s aerobatic team crashed in a residential area during a test flight on Saturday 7th September.

The aircraft crashed in Santiago’s El Bosque neighbourhood near El Bosque Air Base. Firefighters confirmed that eight people on the ground were injured in the crash, with one suffering minor burns and seven being hospitalised due to smoke inhalation.

The pilot was identified in a brief statement on the Halcones’ Facebook page as Cristobal Contreras, who has served with the team for several years. The team said he escaped “practically unharmed”, but local media report he suffered minor injuries to his head.

The Halcones are Chile’s national aerobatic team, formed in 1981 on the Pitts Special. The team later upgraded to the Extra 300L in 2003. In March 2019, the Halcones announced the team had selected the GameBird GB1 as their next aircraft, with the first delivery taking place in July this year.

The Halcones are not performing public displays this year while they transition to their new aircraft. They are expected to make their display debut with the GameBird at the FIDAE aerospace and defence show in Santiago on the 31st March-5th April 2020.

An investigation into the cause of the crash has been launched.

WWII-inspired paint scheme for 2020 A-10 Demo Team jet

USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II demonstrations are about to get more exciting, as team’s jet gains a special paint scheme and is allowed to fly closer to the crowd.

Heritage Paint 2019

Back to the Future. Stay tuned…

Posted by Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on Wednesday, 28 August 2019

On the 28th August, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base shared a video showing an A-10 with part-painted green camouflage and the caption “stay tuned”. Our friends at AirshowStuff.com have reported that the scheme is probably inspired by a WWII P-51 Mustang, and the aircraft is the 2020 A-10 Demo Team’s demonstration jet.

Later, AirshowStuff published exclusive photos from inside the paint shop, showing that the aircraft also wears D-Day invasion stripes.

The US-based airshow site also said that the A-10 Demo Team has recently been approved to fly in the “Category II” aerobatic box. There are three sizes of aerobatic box in the US – Category I (1,500ft of lateral separation from the crowd) for the fastest aircraft, an intermediate Category II box (1,000ft) and Category III (500ft) for smaller, slower planes.

This year, the team performed a full demonstration at AirVenture in Oshkosh, despite Oshkosh generally having only Category II and Category III boxes available. Other Category I performers were limited to non-aerobatic “mini-demonstrations”.

The change will allow the team to fly at venues without a Category I box available, and fly 500ft closer to the crowd at those that do.

Patrouille de France suspend displays after jet crashes into road

PERPIGNAN | The Patrouille de France suspended all aerobatic displays after one of their jets crash-landed in a field and crashed into a wall by a main road on Thursday 25th July.

The French Air Force team had just performed a practice display at Saint-Cyprien and were returning to Perpignan – Rivesaltes Airport when ‘Athos 2’ landed in a field near the airport and skidded into a roadside barrier. The pilot managed to eject and was reportedly injured, but the Patrouille de France said there was “no cause for concern” about his health.

The team have halted their displays while an investigation determines the cause of the accident, but posted on Tuesday 30th July that practices and displays had been resumed. They expressed hope that Athos 2 will re-join the team soon, after his recovery.

The Patrouille de France are France’s national aerobatic team, flying eight Alpha Jets. They can trace their routes back to 1931. Today’s accident is the team’s first for almost a decade.