MCAS Miramar Air Show 2008 — “A Salute to Marine Aviation”
MCAS Miramar Air Show 2008
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, located in San Diego, California, is the home of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. It is also home of the largest and best military air show in the United States. The 2007 MCAS Miramar Air Show received the International Council of Airshows (ICAS) award for the best military air show in the United States … the 2008 MCAS Miramar Air Show was even better! The theme for the 2008 MCAS Miramar Air Show was “A Salute to Marine Air Corps Aviation.” The 2008 Air Show focused on the magnificent men and women who are the heart and soul of the Marine aviation. The Air Show showcased the superb inventory of aircraft the men and women of the USMC fly, operate and maintain. These aircraft include the Boeing F/A-18C/D “Hornets”, the Boeing AV-8B “Harrier II”, the Lockheed KC-130J “Hercules”, the Bell-Boeing CH-46E “Sea Knight”, the Bell AH-1W/Y/Z “Sea Cobras”, the Bell UH-1H/N/Y “Iroquois”, the Sikorsky CH-53E “Super Stallion”, the Sikorsky MH-60J “Jayhawk”, the Sikorsky MH-60S “Knighthawk”, the Sikorsky SH-60B “Seahawk”, and many others.
MCAS Miramar Headquarters (left) and Control Tower (right)
The 2008 MCAS Miramar Air Show was divided into three main segments: (1) The Morning Day Show, (2) the Afternoon Day Show, and (3) the Twilight Show. This year, Skytamer Images' John and Carol Shupek attended the two “Day Shows” on Friday, 3 October 2008. This year we viewed the shows from the “Semper Fi Chalet.” Admission to the “Semper Fi Chalet” included, breakfast, lunch, drinks, seats and most important … a “Tent” to get out of the sun. If you've never enjoyed an air show from one of these chalets, it's well worth the price.
John and Carol Shupek of Skytamer Images
Friday (10/3/2008) Morning Day Show
The Morning Day Show included the following: (1) A pre-show Radio-Controlled Aircraft Demonstration, (2) Shockley's “ShockWave” Jet Truck, (3) the “Air Force Reserve Biplane” flow by Ed Hamill, (4) the “Silver Wings” Wingwalking Team, (5) John Collver flying his North American SNJ-5 “Texan” (War Dog), (6) the Red Bull Helo, (7) Dan Buchanan and his Special Effects Hang Glider, (8) the Russian MiG-17F “Red Bull” flown by Bill Reesman, (9) “Sailplane Magic” piloted by Bret Willat, and (10) the “Patriots” Demo Team.
Shockley's “ShockWave” Jet Truck
This truck is driven by Capt. Jeremy Fields, who is also the Captain of the Galena (Kansas) Fire Department. The “ShockWave” made several spectacular runs during the course of the show. This truck has achieved speeds in excess of 400 mph!
Les Shockley's "Super ShockWave" Jet Truck
"The Air Force Reserve Biplane" (Ed Hamill)
Ed Hammel brings you the Air Force Reserve Biplane Show. This beautifully choreographed performance tells a story of Living your Dreams, and takes you on a journey through the last century of aerobatic flying with history of both airshows and the Air Force Reserve. Ed proudly represents the over 70,000 Reservists who serve their country on both a part-time and full-time basis, while increasing the awareness of what the Air Force Reserve has to offer. Ed has been flying airshows full time since 1999, and still serves in the Reserve part time as an F-16 Instructor Pilot. In the Biplane, Ed has performed for over 17 million spectators. In the F-16, Ed has more than 1,800 hrs total time and over 80 hours of combat time.
The Air Force Reserve Biplane, Aviat Pitts S-2C "Special" (N89PS), Piloted by Ed Hamill
“Silver Wings” Wingwalking Team
Today, a new era in aviation has emerged; the era of privately funded space flight. They are barnstormers of space, founded on the Wright Brothers' inspirational first flight in 1903. Just as the pilots and the wing walkers of the 1920s and 1930s introduced a new perspective of earth to regular towns folk and farmers, these pioneers of today have unlocked gates enabling anyone to observe our fragile home and dare to dream beyond the ordinary. The Silver Wings Wingwalking Team preserves the 20th-century traditions of the flying circuses as they honor the 21st century explorers. Against a Backdrop of sky, the silhouette emerges — graceful, stunning, artistic Wingwalker Margaret Stivers and pilot Hartley Folstad entertain and amaze audiences at air shows with a combination of balance, finesse, precision and sport. Together they are the "Silver Wings Wingwalking Team," featured in national and international documentaries, films and commercials. Their vast repertoire includes aerial/safety coordination, location scouting, script consultation and providing planes and talent for the movie and television industry.
Boeing Stearman B75N1 “Silver Wings” (N450SR)
John Collver's North American SNJ-5 “Texan” (War Dog)
With an aviation career spanning more than 35 years, John Collver knows how to keep his aircraft, the North American SNJ-5 "Texan," in control. The North American AT-6/SNJ-5 “Texan” was the strength of the Armed Forces pilot training program during World War II. The “Texan” has been the aircraft choice when it comes to aiding in the instruction of pilots, including former President George Bush, Sr.. Collver's plane, nicknamed “War Dog”, was built in 1944 and was temporary station at Miramar. After the war, the plane served with a Japanese Self-Defense Force. The plane was eventually scrapped and then later rebuilt to its original condition. John Collver has accumulated over 14,000 hours of flight time in more than 50 types of aircraft. He has piloted the Goodyear Blimp and TV's “Air Wolf” helicopter, in addition to teaching and competing in the world of aerobatics. His patriotic performances give audiences a close look at the techniques of U.S. fighter pilots used to win World War II.
North American SNJ-5 “Texan” (“War Dog”, N1038A, BuNo 90917)
“Red Bull” Helo
Many people are surprised to learn that the Red Bull's high performance aerobatic routine is actually performed by a stock helicopter, the BO-105 CBS made by Eurocopter/Messerschmitt Boelkow (MBB). It uses two 425 hp Allison Rolls-Royce C-20B turbine engines that drive composite rotor blades mounted to a solid titanium fixed rotor head. Normal versions can be configured for a variety of flight operations from air ambulance to offshore oil drilling support. What makes Red Bull's BO-105 CBS different from any of the others are the men inside … Rainer Wilke and Charles “Chuck” P. Aaron. Rainer Wilke is the original pilot from the German Army who taught Chuck to fly aerobatics. Rainer has over 20 years of aerobatic experience in helicopters. Chuck is licensed in United States by the Federal Aviation Administration to perform aerobatics in a helicopter, and its classification as an experimental aircraft. The experimental category enables a pilot to push the envelope of an aircraft's own flight capabilities. The Eurocopter BO-105 CBS can carry a load of +3.1g and -1.0g and Red Bull has a new flight demonstration phenomena! The approval process cleared the way to further the BO-105 CBS aerobatic envelope.
MBB BO-105 CBS “Red Bull” Helicopter
The “Red Bull” Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17F “Fresco-C” (Bill Reesman)
Bill Reesman spent 20 years in the military training for combat with the very aircraft he now flies. Reesman's Russian MiG-17F warplane, “Red Bull,” helps him perform demanding 8g maneuvers at speeds approaching 600 mph. In addition to the stunts, Bill also performs the world's only jet-fighter, night-aerobatic, pyrotechnic act, “Red Bull Meteor,” with over 1,000 feet of fire flaming from each wing. His dramatically painted aircraft is capable of pulling 10g and reaching speeds Mach 1.2, or more than 700 mph. Reesman learn to fly at the age of 13 in a Piper J-3 Cub and soloed at the young age of 16. His aviation career as an Air Force and Air Guard fighter pilot includes 320 combat missions over Vietnam in the North American F-100 “Super Sabre,” where he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. He also served as a maintenance and test pilot. Bill Reesman is a former Northwest Airlines pilot and United Airlines instructor. Throughout his expansive career, Reesman has logged over 7,000 hours in more than 50 aircraft. Bill has also logged over 1,000 hours in the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17, more than any other American has ever flown. He is currently sponsored by Red Bull Energy Drink.
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17F “Fresco-C” (Red Bull PZL-Mielec LIM-5, NX117BR, s/n 1C1529)
Flown by Bill Reesman
Patriors Flight Demonstration Team
After painstaking restoration by the Airshows American team and the support of Fry's Electronics, the Patriots Aero Vodochody L-39 “Albatros” jets were modified for use on the air show circuit with upgraded avionics systems for navigation and communications, removal of excess weight for better airshow performance and the addition of a 30-gallon smoke oil system. First debuting in 2003 as a two-ship team, the addition of a third jet in 2004, created a fast pace, high-energy show. With the success of the 2005 season, the Patriots added a fourth jet for the 2006 season. Sponsored by Fry's Electronics, the Patriots have electrified spectators with their patriotic red, white and blue smoke. You'll see fast-paced formation flying and their signature tail slide maneuver where the L-39s actually slide Backwards towards the ground, something you will not see from any other jet demonstration team. Lead Patriots pilot Dean “Wilbur” Wright will lead the right wingman Vlady “Mig” Chetverous and John “Boards” Posson through high-speed precision formation aerobatics then separate into opposing and solo maneuvers not seen flown by jets anywhere in the United States.
The “Patriots” Flight Demonstration Team
Friday (10/3/2008) Afternoon Day Show
The Afternoon Day Show included the following: (1) The Invocation/National Anthem/Flag, (2) Remarks by the MCAS Miramar Commanding Officer, (3) the U.S. Army “Golden Knights” Parachute Team, (4) the Marine Air-Ground Task Force Assault Demo, (5) Sean Tucker flying the “Oracle Challenger,” (6) a flight demo of the Boeing F/A-18F “Super Hornet,” (7) a USN Legacy Flight featuring the WWII Vought F4U-4 “Corsair” and the Boeing F/A-18F “Super Hornet,” (8) a flight demo of the Lockheed Martin F-16C “Fighting Falcon,” (9) a flight demo of the Lockheed F-22A “Raptor,” (10) a USAF Heritage Flight Featuring the North American P-51D “Mustang,” the Lockheed F-16C “Fighting Falcon,” and the Lockheed Martin F-22A “Raptor,” (11) Shockley's “ShockWave” Jet Truck, (12) a flight demo of the Boeing AV-8B “Harrier II,” and (13) the USN “Blue Angels” Demo Team with “Fat Albert.”
Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band
The Third Marine Aircraft wing Band was established for service during World War II. Soon after World War II ended, however, the band was deactivated and its members were sent to serve in Marine units in China and at Marine Corps Air Station, Ewa, Hawaii. In 1952, the Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band was officially deactivated at Marine Corps Air Station Miami in support of the Korean conflict. In 1957, while a Third Marine Aircraft Wing relocated to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in California, the band remained in Miami and was assigned to Marine Corps Air Group 31 until Marine Corps Air Station Miami relocated to Beaufort, South Carolina, and Marine Air Group 31 was deactivated. The musicians of the Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band were integrated into the Air Fleet Pacific at El Toro. The combined band was officially renamed to Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band. The Third Marine Aircraft Wing remained at El Toro until 1997 when Naval Air Station Miramar was converted to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. From 1997 through 1999, all units relocated from Marine Corps Air Station El Toro to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar as part of the base realignment process. The band reported to its current location at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in January 1999. All members of the Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band are combat trained Marines. Annual weapons qualification insures that Marine musicians are as proficient with weapons as they are with musical instruments. With combat veterans in their ranks, they give full meaning to the term “Marine Musicians.”
The Third Marine Air Wing Band signaled the start of the Afternoon Day Show by playing several marches and the “Star Spangled Banner.” The National Anthem was sung by Mezzo-soprano Victoria Robertson.
Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band
National Anthem Singer, Victoria Robertson
U.S. Army “Golden Knights”
Being the goodwill ambassadors for the U.S. Army is a big job, one the U. S. Army's Parachute Team, “Golden Knights” thrives on. Soldiers on the Golden Knights do their best to work at 12,500 feet above the earth's surface, racing to the ground at speeds in excess of 120 mph and landing with smiles, ready to do it all again. For more than 44 years, the U.S. Army Parachute Team has been entertaining both young and old with precision parachute demonstrations. In order to compete in the then Communist dominated sport of skydiving the 13-man Strategic Army Corps Sport Parachute Team was created in 1959. The parachute team performed so well that on June 1, 1961, the Army officially recognized, designated and activated the team as a U.S. Army Parachute Team. A year later the team adopted its nickname, "Golden Knights." Golden, signifies a team's reputation of bringing home gold medals from skydiving competitions. Knights, indicates the team had "conquered the skies" and alludes to the fact that team members are champions of principal and conquest. The team earned a title of the Army's goodwill ambassadors to the world, by proving time and again that they are the best in the world. The Golden Knights have performed more than 14,000 shows in all 50 states and 48 countries. Annually, the team performs more than 27,000 jumps before an estimated 12 million people. The Golden Knights have a three-fold mission: 1) to perform aerial demonstrations to the public and promote the army and its recruitment effort, 2) to compete in national and international parachuting competitions, and 3) test and evaluate new parachuting equipment and techniques for improved operations and safety.
U.S. Army Golden Knights' Fokker C-31 “Troopship” (Army 51608)
U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team
MAGTF (Marine Air-Ground Task Force)
The MAGTF (Marine Air-Ground Task Force) demonstration is an explosive display of Marine Corps power. As Boeing F/A-18 “Hornets” and Boeing AV-8B “Harrier IIs” scream through the air, the helicopter-borne Marines rappel from the sky and infantry platoons moved in on their objective in armored vehicles. In the air and on the ground, the men and women in the United States Marine Corps perform a simulated combat assault for the Air Show audience.
MAGTFs are self-sustaining combined-arms forces organized to accomplish specific missions. Each MAGTF is made up of four elements:
Because it is organized for a specific purpose, a MAGTF is extremely flexible. Within a matter of days, a MAGTF can arrive anywhere in the world and can immediately set out to accomplish its mission. Since the war on terror started, the MAGTF has demonstrated its capabilities of completing a wide range of operations, including crisis response, security assistance and humanitarian assistance. This highly trained team is also an extremely effective disaster relief unit, delivering supplies, offering medical aid, assisting in rebuilding efforts and saving lives. The MAGTF is an ideal rapid response team, able to quickly answer the call of duty, wherever it may take them, until the mission is completed.
USMC MAGTF Team in Action
Sean Tucker and the “Oracle Challenger II”
Having accumulated more than 20,000 flight hours, Sean Tucker has flown more than 1,000 performances in more than 425 air shows.
In 2003, Sean was named as one of the twenty-five “Living Legends of Flight” by the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum — an honor shared with aviation legends such as John Glenn, Neil Armstrong and Chuck Yeager. Sean is the only individual to ever win both the Art Scholl Memorial Showmanship Award and the Bill Barber Award for Airshow Showmanship in the same year; these are the two top honors given in the airshow industry to its performers. In 2000, Sean was the recipient of the International Council of Airshows “Sword of Excellence,” the top award given for service to the airshow industry. Sean is the world's only pilot to perform a triple ribbon cut. He Flies through the ribbons at 220 mph in right knife-edge for the first ribbon, then left knife-edge and finally inverted. The ribbons are only 25 feet off the ground in 750 feet between each set. Sean's performance, known as “Sky Dance,” imposes more G-forces on his body than jet fighter pilots experience — a chest-hammering +10 to -8 G's!
Sean's ever-energetic personality, showmanship and love of flying are contagious. Whether he's talking to experienced pilots or enthusiastic fans, Sean has a way about him that leaves everyone awe-inspired. Millions of Americans have witnessed Sean's one-of-a-kind aerobatic feats at air shows nationwide and returned each year to share in his love affair with the sky.
Sean Tucker performing in his Pitts S-2S “Oracle Challenger II” (N260SP)
Boeing F/A-18F “Super Hornet” (aka “Rhino”)
Skytamer Images' John Shupek has a particular fondness for this aircraft since he retired in 2000 from Northrop Grumman as one of their F/A-18E/F “Super Hornet” Program Directors. The Boeing F/A-18 Hornets are build by Boeing (formerly McDonnell Douglas, St. Louis, MO) and Northrop-Grumman (El Segundo, CA). Fabrication of the F/A-18 Hornets is divided into two main assemblies: (1) the forward fuselage assembly, landing gear, wings, tail surface, etc. are built by Boeing at their St. Louis, MO plant; and (2) the aft fuselage assembly (from the intakes aft) are built by Northrop-Grumman at their El Segundo, CA facility. Final assembly of the Boeing F/A-18 Hornets takes place at the Boeing plant in St. Louis, MO.
For those of you who do not know the genesis of the McDonnell Douglas (Boeing) F/A-18 “Hornets”, here's a little history lesson. The Northrop YF-17 “Cobra” was a prototype lightweight fighter aircraft designed for the United States Air Force's Lightweight Fighter (LWF) technology evaluation program. The LWF was created because many in the fighter community believed that aircraft like the McDonnell Douglas F-15 “Eagle” were too large and expensive for many combat roles. The Northrop YF-17 “Cobra” was the culmination of a long line of Northrop designs, beginning with the Northrop N-102 “Fang” in 1956, continuing through the Northrop F-5 “Freedom Fighter” and “Tiger” families. Although Northrop's YF-17 “Cobra” lost the LWF competition to the General Dynamics YF-16, the Northrop YF-17 “Cobra” was selected for the new VFAX specification. In enlarged form, it became the McDonnell Douglas/Northrop F/A-18 “Hornet” and was adopted by the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps to replace the Vought A-7 “Corsair II” and McDonnell F-4 “Phantom II”, complementing the more expensive Grumman F-14 “Tomcat.” This design, conceived as a small and lightweight fighter, would ironically be scaled up to the Boeing F/A-18E/F “Super Hornet”, which is similar in size to the original McDonnell Douglas F-15 “Eagle.” The Boeing F/A-18E/F “Super Hornets” have replaced the Grumman F-14 “Tomcats” in the USN inventory, and they perform all jet combat aircraft roles in the Navy from attack to fighter, tanker and electronic warfare.
The Boeing F/A-18E/F “Super Hornets” are larger and more advanced variants of the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C/D “Hornets.” An early version was marketed by McDonnell Douglas as “Hornet 2000” in the 1980s. The “Hornet 2000” concept was an advanced version of the F/A-18 with a larger wing, longer fuselage to carry more fuel and more powerful engines. U.S Naval Aviation faced a number of problems in the early 1990s. The A-12 “Avenger II” program, intended to replace the obsolete Grumman A-6 “Intruders” and Vought A-7 “Corsair IIs”, had run into serious problems and was canceled. The Gulf War revealed that the U.S. Navy's strike capability lagged behind that of the U.S. Air Force in certain respects. With no clean-sheet program likely to produce results before about 2020, the Navy considered updating an existing design a more attractive approach. As an alternative to the A-12, McDonnell Douglas proposed the “Super Hornet” (initially “Hornet II” in the 1980s) to improve early F/A-18 models, and serve as an alternate replacement for the Grumman A-6 “Intruder.” At the same time, the Navy needed a fleet defense fighter to replace the canceled NATF, which was a proposed navalized variant of the Lockheed-Martin F-22A “Raptor.”
The McDonnell Douglas (later Boeing) F/A-18E/F “Super Hornet” was first ordered by the U.S. Navy in 1992. The Navy would also direct that this fighter replace the aging Grumman F-14 “Tomcats”, essentially basing all naval combat jets on Hornet variants until the introduction of the Lockheed-Martin F-35C “Lightning II.” The Navy retained the F/A-18 designation to help sell the program to Congress as a low-risk “derivative”, though the “Super Hornet” is largely a new aircraft. The “Hornets” and “Super Hornets” share many design and flight characteristics, including avionics, ejection seats, radar, armament, mission computer software, and maintenance/operating procedures. In particular the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18E/F “Super Hornet” retained most of the avionics systems from the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C/D “Hornets” then current configuration.
The Boeing F/A-18E-1 “Super Hornet” first flew on November 29, 1995. Initial production on the Boeing F/A-18E/F “Super Hornets” began in 1995. Flight testing started in 1996 with the Boeing F/A-18E/F “Super Hornet” first carrier landing in 1997. LRIP (Low-rate initial production) began in March 1997 with full production beginning in September 1997. Testing continued through 1999, finishing with sea trials and aerial refueling demonstrations. Testing involved 3,100 test flights covering 4,600 flight hours. The “Super Hornets” underwent U.S. Navy operational tests and evaluations in 1999, and were approved in February 2000. Initial Operational Capability (IOC) was achieved in September 2001 with VFA-115 at NAS Lemoore, Calif. The Navy considers acquisition of the Super Hornet a success with it meeting cost, schedule and weight (400 lb, 181 kg below) requirements.
Despite having the same general layout and systems, the Super Hornet differs in many ways from the original F/A-18 Hornet. The Super Hornet is informally referred to as the “Rhino” to distinguish it from earlier model “legacy” Hornets and prevents confusion in radio calls. This aids safe flight operations, since the catapult and arresting systems must be set differently for the heavier Super Hornet. The U.S. Navy currently flies both the F/A-18E single-seater and F/A-18F two-seater in combat roles, taking the place of the retired F-14, A-6 Intruder, S-3 Viking, and KA-6D. An electronic warfare variant, the EA-18G Growler, will replace the aging EA-6B Prowler. The Navy calls this reduction in aircraft types a “neck-down”. In the Vietnam War era, the Super Hornet's capabilities were covered by no less than the A-1/A-4/A-7 (light attack), A-6 (medium attack), F-8/F-4 (fighter), RA-5C (recon), KA-3/KA-6 (tanker) and EA-6 (electronic warfare). It is anticipated that $1 billion in fleet wide annual savings will result from replacing other types with the Super Hornet.
Boeing F/A-18E-53-MC “Super Hornet” (Rhino) (BuNo 165661)
United States Navy Legacy Flight
The United States Navy Legacy Flight program was established in 1999. It involves today's state-of-the-art fighters flying in close formation with World War II, Korean War and Vietnam vintage Navy and Marine Corps fighters such as the Grumman F6F “Hellcat” the Grumman F8F “Bearcat”, Vought F4U “Corsair” and the North American FJ “Fury”. Its mission is to safely and proudly display the evolution of United States Naval airpower and to support the Navy and Marine Corps’ recruiting and retention efforts. The services have determined that their recruiting efforts are enhanced by having fly-bys at air shows with vintage naval warbirds and F/A-18 aircraft. Commander-Naval Air Forces, working with Chief-Naval Recruiting work together to determine funding, tasking and assignment of assets. For USN assets, TAC DEMO aircraft and pilots are supplied by the various F/A-18 “Hornet” fighter/strike wings. The vintage warbird USN/USMC aircraft and pilots are provided by their civilian owners. The warbirds participation is only partially funded. Thus, there will be more air shows than funds, and many efforts will depend on voluntary un-funded appearances by the warbirds and the generosity of the public.
The USN Legacy Flight on Friday (10/3/2008) featured a vintage World War II Vought F4U-4 “Corsair” (BuNo 97359, NX240CA) in formation with a Boeing F/A-18F Lot 28 “Super Hornet” (BuNo 166675) “Super Hornet.” These flight are always crowd pleasers!
Vought F4U-4 “Corsair” (BuNo 97359, NX240CA)
Lockheed Martin F-16C “Fighting Falcon” Demo Flight
The Lockheed Martin F-16 “Fighting Falcon” is a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft. It is highly maneuverable and has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. It provides a relatively low-cost, high-performance weapon system for the United States and allied nations.
In an air combat role, the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons' maneuverability and combat radius (distance it can fly to enter air combat, stay, fight and return) exceed that of all potential threat fighter aircraft. It can locate targets in all weather conditions and detect low flying aircraft in radar ground clutter. In an air-to-surface role, the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon can fly more than 500 miles (860 kilometers), deliver its weapons with superior accuracy, defend itself against enemy aircraft, and return to its starting point. An all-weather capability allows it to accurately deliver ordnance during non-visual bombing conditions.
In designing the F-16 Fighting Falcon, advanced aerospace science and proven reliable systems from other aircraft such as the McDonnell Douglas F-15 “Eagle” and the General Dynamics F-111 “Aardvark” were selected. These were combined to simplify the airplane and reduce its size, purchase price, maintenance costs and weight. The light weight of the fuselage was achieved without reducing its strength. With a full load of internal fuel, the Lockheed Martin F-16 “Fighting Falcon” can withstand up to nine G's — nine times the force of gravity — which exceeds the capability of other current fighter aircraft.
The cockpit and its bubble canopy give the pilot unobstructed forward and upward vision, and greatly improved vision over the side and to the rear. The seat-Back angle was expanded from the usual 13 degrees to 30 degrees, increasing pilot comfort and gravity force tolerance. The pilot has excellent flight control of the F-16 through its “fly-by-wire” system. Electrical wires relay commands, replacing the usual cables and linkage controls. For easy and accurate control of the aircraft during high G-force combat maneuvers, a side stick controller is used instead of the conventional center-mounted stick. Hand pressure on the side stick controller sends electrical signals to actuators of flight control surfaces such as ailerons and rudder.
Avionics systems include a highly accurate inertial navigation system in which a computer provides steering information to the pilot. The plane has UHF and VHF radios plus an instrument landing system. It also has a warning system and modular countermeasure pods to be used against airborne or surface electronic threats. The fuselage has space for additional avionics systems.
The General Dynamics F-16A “Fighting Falcon,” a single-seat model, first flew in December 1976. The first operational General Dynamics F-16A “Fighting Falcon” was delivered in January 1979 to the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The General Dynamics F-16B “Fighting Falcon,” a two-seat model, has tandem cockpits that are about the same size as the one in the A model. Its bubble canopy extends to cover the second cockpit. To make room for the second cockpit, the forward fuselage fuel tank and avionics growth space were reduced. During training, the forward cockpit is used by a student pilot with an instructor pilot in the rear cockpit. All General Dynamics F-16 “Fighting Falcons” delivered since November 1981 have built-in structural and wiring provisions and systems architecture that permit expansion of the multirole flexibility to perform precision strike, night attack and beyond-visual-range interception missions. This improvement program led to the General Dynamics F-16C and F-16D aircraft, which are the single-place and two-place counterparts to the F-16A/B, and incorporate the latest cockpit control and display technology.
All active units and many Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units have converted to the F-16C/D. The F-16 was built under an unusual agreement creating a consortium between the United States and four NATO countries: Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway. These countries jointly produced with the United States an initial 348 F-16s for their air forces. Final airframe assembly lines were located in Belgium and the Netherlands. The consortium's F-16s are assembled from components manufactured in all five countries. Belgium also provides final assembly of the F100 engine used in the European F-16s. Recently, Portugal joined the consortium. The long-term benefits of this program will be technology transfer among the nations producing the F-16, and a common-use aircraft for NATO nations. This program increases the supply and availability of repair parts in Europe and improves the F-16's combat readiness.
USAF F-16 multirole fighters were deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1991 in support of Operation Desert Storm, where more sorties were flown than with any other aircraft. These fighters were used to attack airfields, military production facilities, Scud missiles sites and a variety of other targets. During Operation Allied Force, USAF F-16 multirole fighters flew a variety of missions to include suppression of enemy air defense, offensive counter air, defensive counter air, close air support and forward air controller missions. Mission results were outstanding as these fighters destroyed radar sites, vehicles, tanks, MiGs and buildings. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the F-16 has been a major component of the combat forces committed to the Global War on Terrorism flying thousands of sorties in support of operations Noble Eagle (Homeland Defense), Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Iraqi Freedom.
The F-16 Flight Demo on Friday (10/3/2008) was performed by a Lockheed Martin F-16C Block 40 “Fighting Falcon” (AF 88-0533). The following photos are of this aircraft.
Lockheed Martin F-16C Block 40 “Fighting Falcon” (AF 88-0533) Demo Flight
Lockheed Martin F-22A “Raptor” Demo Flight
When Skytamer Images' John Shupek was working for Northrop on the ATF (Advanced Tactical Fighter) YF-23A “Black Widow II” program during the mid-1980s, the below statement was made by the Northrop Program Manager (a retired USAF Brig. General) during a USAF briefing at WPAFB. The ATF class of aircraft is by far the most capable and lethal aircraft ever built. Word to the wise (or not so wise) … if you want to take on an ATF, make sure that your life insurance is paid up!
“The AFT will have the same tactical advantage over the F-15 “Eagle” …
The F-22A “Raptor” is the Air Force's newest fighter aircraft. Its combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities. The “Raptor” performs both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions allowing full realization of operational concepts vital to the 21st century Air Force. The F-22A Raptor, a critical component of the Global Strike Task Force, is designed to project air dominance, rapidly and at great distances and defeat threats attempting to deny access to our nation's Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The F-22A cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft. A combination of sensor capability, integrated avionics, situational awareness, and weapons provides first-kill opportunity against threats. The F-22A possesses a sophisticated sensor suite allowing the pilot to track, identify, shoot and kill air-to-air threats before being detected. Significant advances in cockpit design and sensor fusion improve the pilot's situational awareness. In the air-to-air configuration the “Raptor” carries six AIM-120 AMRAAMs and two AIM-9 Sidewinders. The F-22A has a significant capability to attack surface targets. In the air-to-ground configuration the aircraft can carry two 1,000-pound GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munitions internally and will use on-board avionics for navigation and weapons delivery support. In the future air-to-ground capability will be enhanced with the addition of an upgraded radar and up to eight small diameter bombs. The “Raptor” will also carry two AIM-120s and two AIM-9s in the air-to-ground configuration. Advances in low-observable technologies provide significantly improved survivability and lethality against air-to-air and surface-to-air threats. The F-22A brings stealth into the day, enabling it not only to protect itself but other assets.
The F-22A engines produce more thrust than any current fighter engine. The combination of sleek aerodynamic design and increased thrust allows the F-22A to cruise at supersonic airspeeds (greater than 1.5 Mach) without using afterburner — a characteristic known as supercruise. Supercruise greatly expands the F-22A's operating envelope in both speed and range over current fighters, which must use fuel-consuming afterburner to operate at supersonic speeds. The sophisticated F-22A aerodesign, advanced flight controls, thrust vectoring, and high thrust-to-weight ratio provide the capability to outmaneuver all current and projected aircraft. The F-22A design has been extensively tested and refined aerodynamically during the development process. The F-22A's characteristics provide a synergistic effect ensuring F-22A lethality against all advanced air threats. The combination of stealth, integrated avionics and supercruise drastically shrinks surface-to-air missile engagement envelopes and minimizes enemy capabilities to track and engage the F-22A. The combination of reduced observability and supercruise accentuates the advantage of surprise in a tactical environment.
The F-22A will have better reliability and maintainability than any fighter aircraft in history. Increased F-22A reliability and maintainability pays off in less manpower required to fix the aircraft and the ability to operate more efficiently. The Advanced Tactical Fighter entered the Demonstration and Validation phase in 1986. The prototype aircraft (Lockheed Martin YF-22A "Lightning II" and Northrop YF-23A "Black Widow II") both completed their first flights in late 1990. Ultimately the YF-22 was selected as best of the two and the engineering and manufacturing development effort began in 1991 with development contracts to Lockheed/Boeing (airframe) and Pratt & Whitney (engines). EMD included extensive subsystem and system testing as well as flight testing with nine aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The first EMD flight was in 1997 and at the completion of its flight test life this aircraft was used for live-fire testing.
The program received approval to enter low rate initial production in 2001. Initial operational and test evaluation by the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center was successfully completed in 2004. Based on maturity of design and other factors the program received approval for full rate production in 2005. Air Education and Training Command and Air Combat Command are the primary Air Force organizations flying the F-22A. The aircraft designation was the F/A-22 for a short time before being renamed F-22A in December 2005.
Lockheed F-22A “Raptor” Demo Flight piloted by Major Paul "Max" Moga
USAF Heritage Flight
The USAF Heritage Flight program was established in 1997 to commemorate the United States Air Force's 50th anniversary. It involves today's state-of-the-art fighters flying in close formation with World War II, Korean and Vietnam era fighters such as the North American P-51 “Mustang” and the North American F-86 “Sabre”. The flight's mission is to safely and proudly display the evolution of U.S. Air Force airpower and to support the Air Force's recruiting and retention efforts. There are 18 pilots in this program. The modern Air Force fighters are piloted by the six Air Combat Command (ACC) single-ship demonstration team pilots and the vintage warbirds are piloted by 10 civilians, including former Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine pilots. In addition, two active duty McDonnell F-4 “Phantom II” pilots joined the program in 2005.
USAF Heritage Flight featuring the following aircraft …
North American P-51D-25-NT “Mustang” (“Wee Willy II”, AF 44-84961, N7715C)
Lockheed Martin F-16C Block 40D “Fighting Falcon” (AF 88-0533)
Lockheed F-22A Block 30 “Raptor” (AF 06-4129, flown by Major Paul “Max” Moga)
USN Blue Angels “Fat Albert Airlines”
The Blue Angels Squadron's Transport Lockheed-Martin C-130T “Hercules” (BuNo 164763) aircraft, affectionately known as “Fat Albert”, is the only Marine Corps aircraft permanently assigned to support a Navy squadron. It is flown by an all-Marine Corps crew of three pilots and five enlisted personnel. “Fat Albert” flies more than 140,000 miles during the course of a show season. The Lockheed-Martin C-130T “Hercules” carries 25,000 pounds of cargo, 45,000 pounds of fuel, and transports the squadron's support and maintenance crew to each show site.
“Fat Albert” cruises at 320 knots (approximately 350 miles per hour) at 27,000 feet. Four Allison turboprop-engines producing more than 16,000-shaft horsepower provide the C-130 with the power to land and depart on runways as short as 2,500 feet. At select show sites, “Fat Albert” demonstrates its Rocket-Assisted Take-Off (RATO) capability. Eight solid-fuel rockets are attached to the sides of the aircraft, four on each side. The rockets allow “Fat Albert” to take off within 1,500 feet, climb at a 45-degree angle, and attain an altitude of 1,500 feet in seconds.
“Fat Albert” Blue Angels' Lockheed-Martin C-130T “Hercules” (BuNo 164763)
USN “Blue Angels” Flight Demonstration Squadron
The Blue Angels’ mission is to enhance Navy and Marine Corps recruiting efforts and to represent the naval service to the United States, its elected leadership and foreign nations. The Blue Angels serve as positive role models and goodwill ambassadors for the U. S. Navy and Marine Corps.
A Blue Angels flight demonstration exhibits choreographed refinements of skills possessed by all naval aviators. It includes the graceful aerobatic maneuvers of the four-plane Diamond Formation, in concert with the fast-paced, high-performance maneuvers of its two Solo Pilots. Finally, the team illustrates the pinnacle of precision flying, performing maneuvers locked as a unit in the renowned, six-jet Delta Formation.
The team is stationed at Forrest Sherman Field, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, during the show season. However, the squadron spends January through March training pilots and new team members at Naval Air Facility El Centro, California.
Friday (10/3/2008) Static Displays
In addition to the various flight demonstrations, the 2008 MCAS Miramar Air Show featured numerous static displays. The static displays included current active USMC, USAF, USCG, and US Army aircraft; numerous retired warbirds, museum aircraft, and private aircraft were included as static displays. The following static displays are presented alphabetically by aircraft manufacturer and designation. Behind each thumbnail of all the photos on this page is a six megapixel (3000 × 2000 pixel) photo that you may access. Enjoy!
Aero Vodochody L-29 “Delfin”
Aero Vodochody L-29 “Delfin” (N50DG) — Aero Vodochody L-29 “Delfin” (N37DG) — Aero Vodochody L-29 “Delfin” (N700PB) — Aero Vodochody L-29C “Delfin” (N443KT)
Aero Vodochody L-39ZA “Albatros”
Aero Vodochody L-39ZA “Albatros” (NX397ZA)
Anti-Aircraft 20mm Mobile Gun Mount
Anti-aircraft 20mm Mobile Gun Mount
(Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum)
Beech T-34A “Mentor”
Beech T-34A “Mentor” (Model A45, N34TX) — Beech Model A45 (N44MT)
Beech TC-45G and C-45H “Expeditors”
Beech TC-45G “Expeditor” (AF 51-11602, N2833C) — Beech C-45H “Expeditor” (AF 51-11472, N181MH )
Beech S35 “Bonanza”
Beech S35 “Bonanza” (N5619K)
Beech T-34C “Turbo Mentor”
Beech T-34C “Turbo Mentor” (BuNo 160531)
Beech UC-12F “Huron”
Beech UC-12F “Huron” (BuNo 163561)
Bell 222UT (N416MA)
Bell 407 (N958TR)
Bell AH-1W & AH-1Z “Super Cobras”
Bell AH-1W “Super Cobra” (BuNo 163952) — Bell AH-1Z “Super Cobras” (BuNo 166774)
Bell HTL-6 (Displayed as HTL-4, BuNo 142394 from The Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum)
Bell UH-1H & UH-1N “Iroquois”
Bell UH-1H “Iroquois” (AF 64-13560, N214KK) — Bell UH-1N “Iroquois” (BuNo 158257) — UH-1N “Iroquois” (BuNo 160461)
Bell UH-1Y “Venom”
Bell UH-1Y “Venom” (BuNo 166769) — Bell UH-1Y “Venom” (BuNo 166771)
Bell-Boeing MV-22B “Osprey”
Bell-Boeing MV-22B “Osprey” (BuNo 166391)
Boeing AV-8B+(R)=27-MC “Harrier II” Plus
Boeing AV-8B+(R)-27-MC “Harrier II” Plus (BuNo 165573)
Boeing E-3A “Sentry”
Boeing E-3A “Sentry” (AF 79-0459, NATO OTAN LX-N-90459)
Boeing F/A-18C “Hornets”
Boeing F/A-18C Block 38 Lot 15 “Hornet” (BuNo 164698) — Boeing F/A-18C Block 50 Lot 19 “Hornet” (BuNo 165218)
Boeing F/A-18D “Hornets”
Boeing F/A-18D-31-MC “Hornet” (BuNo 164049) — Boeing F/A-18D-52-MC “Hornet” (BuNo 165684) — Boeing F/A-18D-52-MC “Hornet” (BuNo 165684)
Boeing F/A-18E “Super Hornet”
Boeing F/A-18E-53-MC “Super Hornet” (Rhino) (BuNo 165661)
Boeing F/A-18F “Super Hornet”
Boeing F/A-18F-54-MC Lot 23 “Super Hornet” (BuNo 165805) — Boeing F/A-18F Lot 28 “Super Hornet” (BuNo 166675) — Boeing F/A-18F Lot 28 “Super Hornet” (BuNo 166675)
Boeing GBU-31/32 JDAM & Boeing GBU-31(V)2/B GPS 2000 Lb. “Bunker Buster”
Boeing GBU-31/32 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) — Boeing GBU-31(V)2/B (GPS 2000 Lb. “Bunker Buster” Bomb)
Boeing KC-135E “Stratotanker”
Boeing KC-135E “Stratotanker” (AF 61-0280)
Boeing-Stearman B75N1 “Silver Wings”
Boeing Stearman B75N1 “Silver Wings” (N450SR)
Boeing-Stearman B75N1 (s/n 75-2599, N3188)
Boeing-Vertol CH-46E “Sea Knight”
Boeing-Vertol CH-46E “Sea Knight” (BuNo 154816) — Boeing-Vertol CH-46E “Sea Knight” (BuNo 154816) — Boeing-Vertol CH-46E “Sea Knight” (BuNo 156477)
Bombardier BD-700-1A10 “Global Express”
Bombardier BD-700-1A10 “Global Express” (N901GX)
Budweiser Team “This Buds for You!”
Canadair T-33 “Shooting Star”
Canadair T-33 “Shooting Star” (N933GC)
Cessna 172 (N7010T) — Cessna 172B “Skywagon” (N7596X) — Cessna 172N (N7506X)
Cessna 177RF (N217AF)
Cessna 182 (N265HP)
Cessna 195A (N195WG)
Cessna UC-35A “Citation V Ultra”
Cessna UC-35A “Citation V Ultra” (AF 96-0108)
Cessna UC-35D “Citation V Encore”
Cessna UC-35D “Citation V Encore” (BuNo 166766)
Commonwealth CA-25 “Winjeel”
Commonwealth CA-25 “Winjeel” (NX107PJ)
Douglas AD-4N “Skyraider”
Douglas AD-4N “Skyraider” (Naked Fanny, BuNo 126959, NX959AD)
Douglas C-53D-DO “Skytrooper”
Douglas C-53D-DO “Skytrooper” (AF 42-68830, N45366)
Douglas F4D-1 “Skyray”
Douglas F4D-1 “Skyray” (BuNo 13977, The Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum)
Eastern TBM-3E and TBM-3U “Avengers”
Eastern TBM-3E “Avenger” (BuNo 91521, N4171A) — Eastern TBM-3U “Avenger” (BuNo 53835, N3967A)
Eurocopter AS-350-B2 and AS-350-B3
Eurocopter AS-350-B2 (N971SD) — Eurocopter AS-350-B3 (N709SD)
Fairchild M-62A (N1110R, s/n T42-3872)
Fairey “Firefly” AS-6
Fairey “Firefly” AS-6 (N518WB, s/n 135129)
Fokker C-31A “Troopship”
Fokker C-31A “Troopship” (Army 51680, U.S. Army Golden Knights)
General Atomics RQ-1B “Predator”
General Atomics RQ-1B “Predator” (AF 05-0154)
General Dynamics F-16C Block 40C & block 40D “Fighting Falcons”
General Dynamics F-16C Block 40C “Fighting Falcon” (AF 88-0457) — General Dynamics F-16C Block 40D “Fighting Falcon” (AF 88-0533)
General Electric M61A1 “Vulcan” Cannon
General Electric M61A1 “Vulcan” Cannon
Globe GC-1B “Swift”
Globe GC-1B “Swift” (N78103)
Grumman (Marsch) S-2F3AT “Turbo Tracker”
Grumman (Marsch) S-2F3AT “Turbo Tracker” (N432DF, BuNo 149268)
Grumman E-2C “Hawkeye”
Grumman E-2C “Hawkeye” (BuNo 165649)
Grumman EA-6B ICAP II Block 86 “Prowlers”
Grumman EA-6B ICAP II Block 86 “Prowlers” (BuNos. 16396 and 163522)
Liberty XL-2 (N519XL, s/n 0014)
Lockheed 12A “Electra”
Lockheed 12A “Electra” (NC18906, s/n 1277)
Lockheed AH-64A “Apache”
Lockheed AH-64A “Apache” (ID-NG 00310)
Lockheed-Martin HC-130H “Hercules”
Lockheed Martin HC-130H “Hercules” (USCG 1704)
Lockheed-Martin KC-130J “Hercules”
Lockheed-Martin KC-130J “Hercules” (BuNo 166512)
Lockheed-Martin KC-130J “Hercules”
Lockheed Martin KC-130J “Hercules” (BuNo 167108)
Lockheed-Martin KC-130J “Hercules”
Lockheed Martin KC-130J “Hercules” (BuNo 167111)
McDonnell F-4S “Phantom II”
McDonnell F-4S “Phantom II” (BuNo 157246, The Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum)
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15UTI “Midget”
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15UTI “Midget” (N687, Red Bull)
Nanchang China CJ-6A
Nanchang China CJ-6A N360PT, s/n 4232024)
National Guard “Chopper”
National Guard “Chopper"
North American B-25H-1 “Mitchell”
North American B-25H-1 “Mitchell” (Barbie III, AF 43-4106, N5548N)
North American B-25J-25-NC “Mitchell”
North American B-25J-25-NC “Mitchell” (Executive Sweet, AF 44-30801, N30801)
North American OV-10A “Bronco”
North American OV-10A “Bronco” (BuNo 155401, N409DF)
North American P-51D-25-NT “Mustang” (Lady Alice)
North American P-51D-25-NT “Mustang” (Lady Alice, AF 45-11633, N151MW
North American P-51D-25-NT “Mustang” (Wee Willy II)
North American P-51D-25-NT “Mustang” (Wee Willy II, AF 44-84961, N7715C)
North American SNJ-5 “Texan” (War Dog)
North American SNJ-5 “Texan” (Wardog, BuNo 90917, N1038A)
North American SNJ-5 “Texan”
North American SNJ-5 “Texan” (BuNo 43763, N7300C)
North American T-28C “Trojans”
North American T-28C “Trojans” (BuNo 146254, NX28CQ and BuNo 160662, NX243DM)
Northrop T-38A “Talon”
Northrop T-38A “Talon” (Agressor markings, Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum)
Northrop T-38A-70-NO “Talons”
Northrop T-38A-70-NO “Talons” (AF 67-14831 and 67-14916)
Northrop T-38A-70-NO “Talon”
Northrop T-38A-70-NO “Talon” (AF 67-14951)
Piasecki (Vertol) H-21B “Shawnee”
Piasecki (Vertol) H-21B “Shawnee” (AF 54-4001, N64606)
Piper PA-23-250 “Aztec”
Piper PA-23-250 “Aztec” (N6751Y)
Piper PA-28-181 “Archer II”
Piper PA-28-181 “Archer II” (N3110U)
Pitts S-2B “Oracle Challenger II”
Pitts S-2B “Oracle Challenger II” (N260HP)
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17F “Fresco-C”
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17F “Fresco” (Red Bull, PZL LIM-5, NX117BR)
Raytheon Beech T-1A “Jayhawk”
Raytheon Beech T-1A “Jayhawk” (AF 95-0044)
Raytheon T-6A “Texan II”
Raytheon T-6A “Texan II” (AF 05-812)
Scottish Aviation MDL 120/121 “Bulldog”
Scottish Aviation MDL 120/121 “Bulldog” (N1080V, s/n BH120/245)
Sikorsky CH-53E “Super Stallion”
Sikorsky CH-53E “Super Stallion” (BuNo 161996)
Sikorsky HH-60B “Seahawk”
Sikorsky HH-60B “Seahawk”
Sikorsky MH-60J “Jayhawk”
Sikorsky MH-60J “Jayhawk” (BuNo 163823, USCG 6023)
Sikorsky MH-60S “Knighthawk”
Sikorsky MH-60S “Knighthawk” (BuNo 165759)
Sikorsky SH-60B “Seahawk”
Sikorsky SH-60B “Seahawk” (BuNo 164176)
Sikorsky UH-3H “Rescue 5”
Sikorsky UH-3H “Rescue 5” (Los Angels County, N950DG)
Stinson 108-2 “Voyager”
Stinson 108-2 “Voyager” (Christy Pisty, N381C)
Les Shockley's “Super ShockWave” Jet Truck
USAF Muscle Car
USAF “Muscle Car” … If he wants to race … let him win!!!
USMC Go Carts
USMC “Go Carts"
Vought F4U-4 “Corsair”
Vought F4U-4 “Corsair” (BuNo 97359, NX240CA)
Wacu UPF-7 (NC29962, s/n 5459)
WSK-PZL-Mielec TS-11 “Iskra”
WSK-PZL-Mielec TS-11 “Iskra” (N902BB, s/n 2H0902)
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