Welcome to Airshow Traveler Magazine's Newsletter, Air Show Weekly, where we take a look at upcoming airshows and showcase current aviation topics.
All air show information listed is accurate as we know it. Still, it is best to check with the individual air show to see if there are any changes. Even then, scheduled aircraft may not appear due to bad weather en route, or because of mechanical breakdown.
If you love the F-16 Fighting Falcon, you've come to the right air base. Luke is home to the 56th Fighter Wing which is comprised of eight active fighter squadrons and one reserve squadron all flying various models of the F-16. One of these squadrons, the 63rd FS, is due to be inactivated this year.
Traditionally, Luke is the first stop for the Thunderbirds air show season and this year is no exception, if you don't count the flyover they did at the Super Bowl. We were at Luke two years ago to cover this air show and it offers up another good one this year. Besides the T-birds headliner, on tap is a F-22 Raptor demo and the CV-22 Opsrey. On the static side, if all the aircraft show up, you can start your own photo album showing a cross-section of aircraft from pre-WWII to today's modern aircraft.
The Osprey is scheduled to perform at Luke AFB like the CV-22B shown below (04-0027) from the 71st Special Ops Squadron at Kirtland AFB, NM. The photo below was taken at the 2006 Aviation Nation air show at Nellis AFB.
Performers & Static
Air Force Academy Wings of Blue Parachute Team
CV-22 Osprey Demo
C-17 Globemaster III Demo
F-22 Raptor Demo
A-10 Thunderbolt II
A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog) Demo
T-6A Texan II
USAF Heritage Flight: F-22, A-10, P-40
Bill Reeseman and his Mig-17
Red Bull Helicopter
Matt Younkin and the Twin Beech
Ed Hamill and his Pitts
Tim Weber and his Extra 300
C-17 Globemaster III
Kirby Chambliss and his Edge 540
The Horsemen P-51 Flight Team
The Stearman Squadron
F-16C Fighting Falcon
Coast Guard HH-60
Beech UC-12F Kingair
Cessna UC-35C Citation
B-17 Flying Fortress
T-33 Shooting Star
Twin Commander 500
Florida International Air Show, March 21-22
Location: Charlotte County Airport, Punta Gorda, FL
Adult Admission, 13 and up: $18 in advance, $20 at gate
The Florida International Air Show at Charlotte County Airport in Punta Gorda is one of our favorite shows. It always offers up a stellar performer lineup and a plethera of static displays. This year the headliner is the Blue Angels. The show offers up excellent photography opportunities, with only some sidelighting early in the morning that gives way to optimum sun position as the day goes on. This, of course, assumes a sunny day.
During WWII, this airport was known as Punta Gorda Army Air Field serving as a training base and a base for anti-submarine patrols. Our friend and WWII ace L. Kirk John took advanced flight training here in a P-40 Warhawk. The base was part of the Third Air Force. Besides the P-40, pilots also trained on P-51 Mustangs and P-47 Thunderbolts. Many of the iron tie-downs that were used to secure these fighter aircraft are now used to secure civilian aircraft at the airport.
The B-25J Mitchell 'Panchito' (44-30734, N9079Z), as seen below, is scheduled to perform at Punta Gorda. I was fortunate enough to fly in this vintage WWII medium bomber. The flight gave me a new found respect for the loss of hearing endured by flight crews in the war. Fortunately I was wearing an advance headset that muffles the roar of the engines. Our veterans had no such luxury to protect their ears.
US Navy Blue Angels
Mike Goulian and his Edge 540
P-51D Mustang 'Quicksilver'
Special Ops Parachute Team
Dan Buchanan and his Hang Glider
F-16 Fighting Falcon Demo
Lockheed 12A Electra Junior
F-15 Eagle Demo
USAF Heritage Flight: F-15, F-16, P-51
Walt Pierce and American Barnstormers Double Trouble Wingwalking
Though we have never been to this show, it is worth the price of admission to see one of the most beautiful aircraft you will see on the airshow circuit. It's a T-33A Shooting Star (58-665, NX556RH) in Thunderbird markings, and it's owned by Fowler 'Big Dog' Cary, Jr. The pilot is our good friend, Colonel Jerry 'Jive' Kerby, who is now retired from the Air Force after flying among other aircraft, the F-4 Phantom. And the narrator for his stellar performance is the lovely LM 'Lunar' Sawyer, who just happens to be Jerry's bride. Yes, I know what the LM stands for, but I am sworn to secrecy :)
The photo below was taken by one of our ace photographers, Howard German, at the 2008 McGuire AFB air show. It also happens to be the cover shot of our Jul/Aug 2008 issue.
Neal Darnell and his Jet Truck
Silver Wings Parachute Team
Kent Pietsch Airshows
Gary Rower and his Stearman
Red Eagle Aerobatic Team
Stryker Personnel Carrier
Parade of Planes
Fowler 'Big Dog' Cary's T-33 Shooting Star
T-33 Shooting Star 'Red Knight'
AMC Museum, Dover AFB, DE
March 27: Hangar Flying Series Showcases the Connie
Photojournalist Ralph Pettersen will discuss his favorite aircraft, the Lockheed Constellation. Ralph is the creator of the website on Connies, www.conniesurvivors.com. The event starts at 5:30 with light hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. Discussion on the Connie starts at 7PM with Mr. Pettersen and two pilots who flew the military version of the Connie, the C-121. No tickets are required for the event, but a $5 cash donation is requested to help defray costs.
March 28: Collectors Show
From 9AM-3PM come out to the free collectors show. We will have a table there showcasing some of our favorite photos, so please stop by.
Fantasy of Flight, Polk City, FL
March 27-28: Living History Symposium Series - WASPs
Women Air Service Pilot's (WASP) Betty Blake, Helen Wyatt Snapp and Bernice "Bee" Falk Haydu will appear to discuss their wartime experiences and interact with guests to the museum. During WWII, the infamous Jackie Cochran founded the WASP program where 1,074 women ferried aircraft from the US to military bases in the Pacific and European theaters. The symposium is part of the admission to the museum which is $28.95 for adults, $14.95 for children ages 6-15, plus tax. AAA card accepted for discount. I know these prices are steep, especially in this economy, but this museum is worth it.
Photos of the Week
With the Thunderbirds starting their airshow season this weekend, I thought a few photos of them in action was in order.
March 28: Riverside Air Show, CA
March 28: American Heroes Air Show, Gainesville, FL
March 28-29: Tyndall AFB Gulf Coast Salute, Panama City, FL
March 28-29: MacDill AFB Airfest, Tampa, FL
March 21-22: Florida International Air Show, Punta Gorda, FL
March 28-29: Tyndall AFB, Panama City, FL
April 4-5: Tuscaloosa, AL
April 18-19: NAS Corpus Christi, TX
March 21-22: Luke AFB, Glendale, AZ
March 28-29: MacDill AFB, Tampa, FL
April 4-5: Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS
April 18-19: Ceiba, Puerto Rico
Thank you for reading the latest issue of our newsletter.
God Bless Us Everyone,
Wayne Matusiak, Publisher Airshow Traveler Magazine
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American Airpower Museum:Republic Airport, Farmingdale, NY. Great aircraft and warm, friendly people. Very knowledgeable staff. A great place to visit any time of year. We thank them for their support over the years.
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