Thursday, June 12, 2008

Showdown: Air Combat series features Dayton pair

June 10, 2008

Showdown: Air Combat series features Dayton pair

Weekly episodes debut June 15 on Discovery Military Channel

(June 10, 2008 – Dayton, OH) - Military Channel takes viewers on an aerial journey in SHOWDOWN: AIR COMBAT, which features recreations of history’s most compelling dogfights by pitting the restored aircraft from every era of aerial warfare against each other in the air. With ten world premier episodes, SHOWDOWN: AIR COMBAT launches on the Military Channel this Sunday, June 15 from 10-11 PM ET.

The show is hosted by USAF Major Paul “Max” Moga, an F-22 Raptor pilot and instructor of the Air Combat Command (ACC) 1st Fighter Wing. Many episodes additionally feature interviews with, and contributions from, two Dayton area men; Robert L. Shaw, a former fighter pilot and Founder and President of FCI Associates, and Ron Kaplan, Executive Director of the National Aviation Hall of Fame.

Major Moga provides play-by-play commentary of the fast paced action from a chase plane as historic warbirds recreate dogfights that defined the annals of air combat. In addition to restored aircraft and computer animation, precise quarter-scale radio-controlled replicas were used to recreate the World War I dogfights. Major Moga introduces viewers to the historical aircraft and the innovative technology each plane employed, the extraordinary pilots who flew these planes on their original missions, and the context of these missions within the greater conflict of each war.

Helping the audience understand the development and use of aerial combat tactics is Beavercreek resident, Robert L. Shaw, founder and President of FCI Associates, which specializes in air-combat tactics, aviation human factors and cockpit design, operational evaluation and other aspects of combat systems testing, training and acquisition. He is also a Vice President of Operations and consultant for JXT Applications, Inc., a small human-factors and training-development firm.

Shaw is a former US Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) Graduate, carrier-qualified fighter pilot, air-combat tactics instructor and Operational Test Pilot/Director (F-14, F-4), and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the USAF Reserves where he additionally flew and instructed in F-16s. He has logged over 5,700 flight hours in over 50 aircraft types, mostly jet fighters. Shaw appears on the first nine of ten episodes.

Each episode of SHOWDOWN: AIR COMBAT is based on the accounts of some of the most famous and innovative air-to-air duels in aviation history. Ron Kaplan, Executive Director of the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) and a resident of Kettering, provides biographical background on three of the ten episodes examining the dogfights of famous fighter aces from the roster of NAHF enshrinees: Richard “Dick” Bong, Dominic “Don” Gentile, and Clarence “Bud” Anderson.

The NAHF also helped producers with research assistance, providing access to historic video, photographs and other reference sources. “Discovery has gone the extra mile to bring this fascinating aspect of military history to life, and has done it as accurately and as spectacularly as possible for a broad viewing audience,” Kaplan explained.

Major Moga is the energetic host that weaves all the action and information together in each one-hour episode. He is currently an instructor pilot for the F-22A based at Langley Air Force Base, and has logged more than 250 combat flying hours including supporting Operation Allied Force over the skies of former Yugoslavia. Selected as one of the first fifteen pilots accepted into the initial F-22A instructor pilot cadre, Major Moga subsequently was selected in 2006 to serve as ACC’s first F-22A demonstration pilot.

In that role, Major Moga will be demonstrating the amazing capabilities of the F-22A at the Vectren Dayton Air Show on July 18-20. The air show weekend coincides with the July 19, 2008 enshrinement ceremony at the Dayton Convention Center at which WWII triple-ace Clarence “Bud” Anderson will be inducted into the NAHF. The SHOWDOWN: AIR COMBAT episode featuring Anderson is set to air on August 3.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity offered by SHOWDOWN to help flesh out the important human side of the show - these courageous and skilled aviators,” said Kaplan, on behalf of the NAHF. “Viewers will get to know and appreciate the people in the cockpits – where they came from, what made them extraordinary in the sky, and why they hold a place of honor in the Hall of Fame and our nation today.”

SHOWDOWN: AIR COMBAT is produced for the Military Channel by Traveling Light Media. Adam Friedman is the executive director and producer; Lee Fulkerson is executive producer and series writer. For the Military Channel, Brian Kelly is the executive producer and Clark Bunting is the executive-in-charge of production. For more information visit,, or

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** Color Artwork, Episode Screeners and Additional Press Materials
Are Available at **

Media Contact: Ron Kaplan, Executive Director National Aviation Hall of Fame T: (937) 256-0944 x16

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