Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Performance team features custom messages, precision flying in World War II-vintage planes

Virginia Beach, VA (May 29, 2012) – The GEICO Skytypers are scheduled to perform June 1-3 at the Virginia Beach Patriotic Festival.

The team “types” messages at 10,000 feet with puffs of smoke in dot matrix-style letters.
The GEICO Skytypers use six of the remaining 11 North American SNJ-2 planes left in the world to write messages at an altitude of 10,000 feet.  Each World War II-era plane has been restored and equipped and with a computer that coordinates the smoke puffs from the aircraft.

“The contrast between the advanced technology to produce the messages paired with 1940s vintage aircraft is truly unique,” said Steve Kapur, GEICO Skytypers marketing officer and pilot.  “We consider it a privilege to fly these warbirds on behalf of GEICO at air shows all across the U.S.” said Kapur, who has been flying with the team for more than a decade.

Maneuvering the antique aircraft requires great skill and expertise. Most of the GEICO Skytypers pilots earned their wings in the military and several currently fly for commercial airlines.

During skytyping missions the pilots fly 250 feet apart in a wide “line-abreast” formation. When aligned, the smoke puffs form letters as tall as the Empire State Building.
Skytyping is 17 times faster than skywriting because each pilot can create a letter every four seconds. Entire messages can be as large as 6 to 8 miles wide. Messages are visible for 15 miles in each direction on a clear day.

In addition to skytyping, the team also performs a low-altitude, precision-formation flying routine combined with a thrilling aeronautical demonstration. The six aircraft fill the sky and come from all directions, providing spectators a unique viewing experience.

At this year’s show ,The GEICO Skytypers have a special surprise. They will race their counterpart on the water, The Miss GEICO powerboat racing team. The six-time world champions participate in sanctioned offshore racing events around the world. The world record holding Miss GEICO Mystic will race against one of the pilots from the GEICO Skytypers.  This high-powered vessel has traveled at speeds exceeding 200 miles-per-hour. The GEICO Skytypers will be in the air as the Miss GEICO racing team battles whatever currents, waves, and winds might bring. This is a visual that air show attendees will not want to miss.      

Virginia Beach Patriotic Festival Schedule

11 a.m. Friday, June 1, open to the public (rehearsal)
11 a.m. Saturday, June 2, open to the public
11 a.m. Sunday, June 3, open to the public

For more information about the GEICO Skytypers visit www.geicoskytypers.com.
For more information about the air show, visit www.patrioticfestival.com

About the GEICO Skytypers
The GEICO Skytypers are the only flying unit in the world that performs at air shows typing their messages in the sky. For more information on the GEICO Skytypers, visit geicoskytypers.com. They can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. To request more information or a 2012 Electronic Press Kit, please write or call the contact listed below.

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the third-largest private passenger auto insurer in the United States. GEICO handles auto insurance coverage for over 11 million private passenger auto policies and insures more than 17 million vehicles.
In addition to auto insurance, GEICO offers customers insurance products for their motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for life, boats, homes and apartments is available through the GEICO Insurance Agency. Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.
As a member of the Berkshire Hathaway group of companies, GEICO is rated A++ for financial strength by A.M. Best Company and ranks at the top of several national customer satisfaction surveys. For more information, go to http://www.geico.com.

No comments: