Friday, March 30, 2012

TOP STORY >> Air show returns to base this fall

Performers tentatively slated to perform Sept. 8-9 at the Little Rock Air Force Base air show and open house include several top acts.


The Blue Angel’s primary mission is enhancement of Navy and Marine Corps recruiting. The squadron’s air show appearances are Navy and Marine Corps awareness tools.

The Blue Angels are the U.S. Navy’s flight demonstration squadron.It was formed in 1946 by order of Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and is the oldest formal flying aerobatic team. This year marks the 66th year the “Blues” have taken flight.


The Black Daggers are the official U.S. Army Special Operations Command Parachute Demonstration Team. Their mission is to perform live aerial demonstrations in support of Army Special Operations, community relations and recruiting. Made up of volunteers from throughout Army Special Operations, the Black Daggers have diverse backgrounds and are skilled in various military specialties including Special Forces, Rangers, civil affairs and signal and support.


Floyd Rinker pilots a pink SU-26 aerobatic plane named Pink Floyd in honor of his sister, who is a breast cancer survivor. He says it’s not just the wings that keep his plane afloat, it’s the will to survive.


The Skyhawks’ Canadian Forces Parachute Team is comprised of 18 servicemen from a variety of trades and professions within the Canadian Forces’ regular and reserve components. Since their inception in 1969, the Skyhawks have performed over 5000 demonstrations in front of more than 75 million spectators.


Otto the Helicopter offers a unique act that entertains the crowds by blowing bubbles, playing with his yo-yo, racing around barrels and picking them up, shooting smoke in all directions, towing banners and more, all while interacting with the announcer.


The Air National Guard’s new Max Adrenaline Tour stars John Klatt in his Panzl 330 high performance airplane, Bill Kern in his highly modified Extra 300 and Neal Darnell driving his 12,000-horsepower 375 mph ANG Flash Fire Jet truck.


B-25 Mitchell bomber – “Panchito” is a part of the Disabled American Veteran’s Airshow Outreach Program that was developed to increase public awareness of disabled veterans and to serve veterans in communities across the nation.


USO singers from such Broad-way show as “Spiderman,” “Les Miserables,” “Hairspray,” “The Color Purple” and “Circe du Soleil.”


The USAF Heritage Flight showcases the old and the new as formations of current and historical Air Force aircraft take to the skies and make formation passes along the flightline allowing visitors to compare the different eras of warbirds.

The heritage program was established in 1997 to display the evolution of the Air Force history and achievement. In 2010 the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation was formed to keep this popular program flying. Today, the core of the program remains true to its original vision: honor the past, welcome the future, and provide an aerial monument to the achievements of the Air Force. The Heritage Flight is scheduled to be flown with the F-16, F-4, P-47 and P-51.


The combat-proven F-18E Super Hornet is a next generation strike fighter with the newest advances in multimission capability and decades of growth potential. The F/A-18 performs a variety of missions including air superiority, day/night strike with precision-guided weapons, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defense, maritime reconnaissance, forward air control and tanker.

Converting from one mission to another can be done quickly and simply by just flipping a switch. The tactical demonstration team flies the single-seat F/A-18E as close to the “edge of the envelope” as safety and prudence allow. The routine highlights the Rhino’s maneuverability and slow-speed handling characteristics.


The CF-18 Demo Team personifies the excellence required to keep the Royal Canadian Air Force among the best aviation organizations on the planet. The expertise and dedication required by the team, from the pilot to the maintenance crews to the coordinators, reflects the professionalism of all of Canada’s airmen.


“A day in Afghanistan” Coalition Forces will perform a simulated suppression of enemy forces, landing/drop zone seizure and mass personnel drop to secure a forward operating location for troop advancement. Techniques and procedures for this demonstration are the modern day equivalent to the paratroop drops utilized during the D-Day invasion.