Friday, April 3, 2009

Airshow Traveler - April 1, 2009 Newsletter



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Airshow Traveler's Air Show Weekly

Volume 4, Issue 1 

April 1, 2009


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.


In This Issue

Tuscaloosa Air Show

Thunder on the Bay, Keesler AFB Air Show

Museum News

Photos of the Week

Looking Ahead


Tuscaloosa Air Show, April 4-5


Location:  Tuscaloosa Regional Airport, AL

Admission:  Free

Gates Open:  9AM


I don't know much about the layout at this airshow, but the lineup is certainly stellar with the Blue Angels and the Golden Knights performing.  And the price is right - free.  For you aerobatic buffs, there's Greg Koontz, Tim Weber, Mike Wiskus, Gordon Sanders, and Red Eagle Aerosports.  And the static display list is certainly lengthy.


Expect to see opening ceremonies at Tuscaloosa with a US Army Golden Knight parachuting to show center with the American flag while the Star Spangled Banner is played.

Golden Knight


Performers & Static


Blue Angels

F/A-18C Hornet

Golden Knights

TH-57C Sea Ranger

Aeroshell Aerobatic Team

WC-130J Hurricane Hunter

Mike Wiskus and his Pitts

F/A-18E/F Super Hornet

Red Eagle Air Sports Aerobatic Team

L-39C Albatross

Greg Koontz and the Alabama Boys

T-6A Texan II

F-15C Eagle Demo

P-51D Mustang

Gordon Sanders and his 'Big Red' Texan

O-2A Skymaster

USAF Reserve Jet Car

T-45C Goshawk

A-10 Thunderbolt II Demo

T-34C Mentor

F/A-18F Super Hornet Demo

UH-72A Lakota

Tim Weber and his Extra 300

PT-19A Reliant


ER415 Ercoupe


CF-18 Hornet


B-25J Mitchell


UH-1H Iroquois 'Huey'


T-28C Trojan




C-130H Hercules


J3C Cub


Aeronca L-3


PT-17 Stearman


Pitts S2C


A-10A Thunderbolt II




L-19 Birddog




T-44A Pegasus


T-2B Buckeye


L-17B Navion


Nanchang CJ-6A


Thunder on the Bay Air Show, April 4-5


Location:  Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS

Admission:  Free

Gates Open:  9AM

Keesler AFB is home to two airlift squadrons, the 45th (flying the C-12 and C-21) and the 815th reserve (flying the C-130).  It is also home to the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flying the WC-130J Hurricane Hunter Super Hercules.  Yes, these are planes that fly into hurricanes to gather data.  The 53rd also trains personnel for hurricane hunter duty.  Despite the air base suffering heavy damage from hurricane Katrina, the 53rd never missed a mission.


When you face the flight line you are pointing northwest, so photography opportunities are good with the sun behind you until mid-afternoon when sidelit conditions come into play.


This Vultee BT-13A Valiant (42-89379, N79VV) is expected to perform at Keesler.  The Valiant was the basic trainer flown by WWII pilots.  Its Navy. Marine, and Coast Guard counterpart was designated the SNV.  Photo by Bob and Wendy Dodrill.


 BT-13 Vultee





USAF Thunderbirds

F/A-18 Hornet

US Army Golden Knights

T-1A Jayhawk

B-25 Mitchell 'Special Delivery'

P-51 Mustang

USAF Wings of Blue Parachute Team

L-39 Albatross

Trojan Phlyers Aerobatic Team

EA-6B Prowler

Valiant Echoes and the BT-13 Valiant

DeHavilland CT-142

Gary Rower and his Stearman

C-23 Sherpa

Fowler 'Big Dog' Cary, Jr's Vintage T-33 in Thunderbird Markings

UH-1 Iroquois 'Huey'

C-54 Skymaster 'Spirit of Freedom'

TH-1L Iroquois

KC-135 Stratotanker

OH-58 Kiowa

A-10A Thunderbolt II 'Warthog'

C-47 Skytrain

F-18E/F Super Hornet

PT-17 Stearman

F-15E Strike Eagle

A-10A Thunderbolt II

USAF Heritage Flight: F-15, P-47

T-6A Texan II


C-17A Globemaster III


C-54 Skymaster


CP-140 Aurora


C-31 Troopship


C-130 Hercules


WC-130J Super Hercules


C-45 Expeditor



Museum News


Note:  Clicking on the Museum Name will take you to their website



Dayton Aviation Heritage Park, Dayton, OH


Wright Brothers' Grandniece Presides over Signing

On Tuesday, March 31st, Amanda Wright Lane, grandniece of the Wright brothers, presided over President Obama's signing of a bill that added two Wright brothers buildings to the the list of national historical parks.  Added were the Wright brothers home at 7 Hawthorn Street in Dayton, and the Wright Company factory building on Home Ave.  The park already includes the Wright brothers bicycle shop and Huffman Prairie where the brothers test flew their aircraft.



A very rare B-23 Dragon (39-038, N62G) was purchased by the museum from the Commemorative Air Force in Midland, TX.  It will be transported by truck in April from Midland and be reassembled at the Geneseo, NY museum.  It is scheduled to be on display for the museum's annual 'Greatest Show on Turf' airshow on July 10-11.


The Douglas B-23, based on its DC-3, was supposed to be a successor to the Douglas B-18 Bolo, and in fact was part of the B-18 order, but the Dragon's performance was marginally better at best.  Only 38 were built and none of them ever saw combat.  The first B-23 went to Wright Field, Ohio, in July 1939, with the remaining 37 aircraft assigned to the 17th Bomb Group at March Field, CA, in September 1940.  When the 17th received the B-25 Mitchell, the aircraft were reassigned to the 12th Bomb Group at McChord, WA, and the 13th Bomb Group in Orlando, FL.  After WWII, 19 Dragons were converted to UC-67 transports with the remainder purchased as executive transport, with the most famous buyer being Howard Hughes.  Photo of B-23 Dragon below is courtesy of USAF.





Museum of Aviation at Robins AFB, GA,


March 31-May 6:  Berlin Airlift Exhibit

The museum will host a traveling exhibit honoring the 60th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift.  When a blockade of Berlin was imposed by the Soviet Union from June 1948 to May 1949, the US and Great Britain began an airdrop of much needed food and supplies to the city's residents.  US aircraft included the C-47 and C-54.  The two countries managed to fly 278,228 missions delivering 326,406 tons of food and supplies.  Though the blockade ended in May, flights continued through September 1949.



 Photos of the Week 


During the Vietnam War, the US Air Force discovered that 90% of all combat air losses were during a pilot's first ten days in combat.  In 1975, the Air Force started a combat exercise called Red Flag to counter this trend.  It is held several times a year at Nellis AFB, NV.  Several different aircraft from several different countries participate.  We sent Jim Cardi out to cover Red Flag.


The photos below, taken by Jim, show a B-1B Lancer (86-0095) from the 34th Bomb Squadron based at Ellsworth AFB, SD.





Looking Ahead


Next Week:

April 11: Bluebonnet Air Show, MS

Blue Angels:

April 4-5: Tuscaloosa, AL

April 18-19: NAS Corpus Christi, TX

April 25-26: Seymour Johnson AFB, Goldsboro, NC

May 2-3: NAS New Orleans, LA



April 4-5: Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS

April 18-19: Ceiba, Puerto Rico

April 25-26:  Langley AFB, Hampton, VA

May 2-3: Robins AFB, GA


Thank You


Thank you for reading the latest issue of our newsletter.


God Bless Us Everyone,


Wayne Matusiak, Publisher
Airshow Traveler Magazine

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