Tag: Airshows

A-10 Demo Pilot Narrates Display Routine Step-By-Step In This Crazy Cool Video

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A-10 Demo
A wide angle view from inside the A-10C’s cockpit during the demo. (Photo: Erik Johnston)

“Gator” narrates the flight step-by-step for the viewers to enjoy all the work and dedication behind the demo flights performed across the United States.

The U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II demonstration team is the unit in charge of highlighting the A-10C’s capabilities during airshows across the United States and to recruit, retain and inspire the next generation of Airmen. For the 2022 airshow season, the team, assigned to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, is flying a special color A-10C which was unveiled last year for the 2021 season.

The Team said that the paint scheme was inspired by the F-105 Thunderchiefs that the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing (former designation of the current 355th Fighter Wing based at Davis-Monthan) flew during the Vietnam War. To honor the Prisoners of War, Missing in Action and Veterans, the starboard side of the A-10’s nose features the names of all the unit’s members who lost their lives or were captured during the conflict, accompanied by the National League of Families POW/MIA flag.

The upper surfaces of the A-10C have thus been painted with medium green, dark green and dark tan patches, while the lower surfaces have been painted with camouflage gray, in line with the same colors used by the US Air Force aircraft during the Vietnam conflict. On the fuselage the aircraft also shows the insignias of the 354th and 357th Tactical Fighter Squadrons, which have been redesignated 354th and 357th Fighter Squadrons in 1991.

Our friend Erik Johnston worked with the A-10C Demo Team during the Rose City Airfest at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport, Texas, bringing us an interesting video showing the entire demo routine narrated by the pilot, Maj. Haden “Gator” Fullam, from the preflight briefing to the shutdown at the end of the show. The video was shot over two days, showing both the standard gray and the camo A-10C at work.

After the preflight briefing with the entire team, the show begins, with “Gator” boarding the “Warthog”, preparing the cockpit for the flight. The startup sequence alternates both internal and external views, showing the pilot starting the jet as the ground crew perform the checks with precisely orchestrated movements. An interesting point during the startup is the rollover check, where Maj. Fullam explains that the A-10C does not have parking brakes so, whenever the chocks are removed, he needs to hold the brakes as the aircraft with the throttle at idle has enough power to taxi pretty fast.

After performing a low departure, with the A-10 leveled off at 20 ft above the runway, “Gator” performs a quick site survey to confirm all the references on the ground, before climbing all the way to the top of the reserved airspace to build some energy. The demo is flown almost entirely on max power, with few exceptions, so it is important that the aircraft climbs to get a lot of airspeed (thanks to the exchange between potential energy linked to the altitude and kinetic energy linked to the speed) as the demo has to be flown with whatever energy the A-10 can build up before it enters the show area.

After a quick G-warmup, Maj. Fullam begins a 45° nose low dive to the show center to get as close as possible to the A-10’s max speed, which is 450 kts or Mach 0.75. The show in fact takes the jet to its limits, both for the speed and G-force (for the latter the A-10 is rated at 7.33 G), as the pilot demonstrate the aircraft’s agility. Part of the demo is also dedicated to the tactical capabilities, simulating gun runs on the runway, often accompanied by pyrotechnics.

As we already mentioned, the video continues all the way to the shutdown procedure, showing as the maintenance crew meticulously check the aircraft for any faults before shutting down the engines. These checks are fundamental to guarantee the safety of the flight, making sure that the aircraft is in top shape before the next demo.

About Stefano D’Urso
Stefano D’Urso is a freelance journalist and contributor to TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he’s also studying to achieve a Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Electronic Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT techniques applied to the world of military operations and current conflicts are among his areas of expertise.

United State Navy F-35C as well as U.S. Air Force F-35A Display for First Time at Same Airshow– Report And Interviews

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F-35C demo
The arrival of the very first U.S. Navy F-35C to check out Michigan at the Field of Flight Airshow in Battle Creek. The airplane’s larger, dual-nosewheel touchdown equipment appears in this image.(All pictures credit rating: TheAviationist/Tom Demerly)Two F-35 Demo Teams Showcase as well as Contrast Roles and also Capabilities of Joint Strike Fighter. You obtain to see one or 2 air travel firsts in your life time if you’re fortunate. At the Battle Creek Field of Flight Airshow on July 2-3, 2022, aeronautics lovers reached see 2. The Field of Flight Airshow at Battle Creek Executive Airport, Kellogg Field, in Battle Creek was the very first time the U.S. Navy’s F-35C Demo Team flew at a Michigan airshow. A lot more considerably, it was the very first time both the U.S. Air Force F-35A Demo Team and also the Navy’s F-35C Demo Team flew at the very same program. Both Joint Strike Fighter demonstration groups highlighted the distinctions in between the Navy and also Air Force variations of the F-35 as well as exactly how their special abilities as well as teams enhance each various other.
: Two U.S. Navy F-35Cs got here on Friday at the Field of Flight Airshow in Battle Creek, Michigan, making this the opening night of the F-35C in Michigan and also the very first time the F-35A as well as F-35C has actually flown with each other at an airshow.

The merging of both demo groups offered a beneficial understanding right into the progression of the total Joint Strike Fighter program. This first-ever conference of the F-35 demonstrations likewise showcased the inter-service capacities of the Joint Strike Fighter program.

And, it was a possibility for air travel followers to see 2 magnificent trip demos in spite of the termination of Saturday’s flying as a result of a terrible mishap that asserted the life of U.S. airshow entertainer Chris Darnell in the collision of the Shockwave Jet Truck.

The timing for this double-demo was excellent. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter initially flew 15 years back in December, 2006. The initial functional F-35s were released 9 years later on with the U.S. Marines in July of 2015. The program ended up being a lightning arrester of objection and also financial worry throughout the very first years of screening as well as combination right into functional solution. Much of the mainstream reporting regarding the program was inadequately educated and also greatly prejudiced as prices intensified as well as routines were extended. Throughout this moment, the public had trouble realizing the capacities of the program, a lot of which are complicated, difficulty historic battle airplane standards or continue to be classified.

According to Senior National Security Business Correspondent Lauren Thompson of Forbes, as well as F-35 prime service provider Lockheed Martin, a September 2021 record stated that the F-35 program, “… anticipates to lower its part of the boxer’s expense per trip hr by 40% over the following 5 years, which would certainly follow a comparable decrease over the previous 5 years”.

In addition, device price of the F-35 has actually dropped continually for many years, although this fad in per-aircraft expense decreases is anticipated to level off in coming years.

In a February 19, 2021 post by Defense Analyst as well as Correspondent John Tirpak in Airforcemag.com, Tirpak reported that, “In the Lot 12, 13 as well as 14 bargain, introduced in October 2019, there were 478 airplane, and also Lockheed’s system rate for the F-35A design dropped listed below $80 million each for the very first time. The Lot 12-14 agreement lowered F-35 system costs almost 13 percent over the previous whole lots, and also noted the 6th succeeding year of system rate decreases.”

Tirpak’s short article took place to estimate Lockheed Martin Vice-President of Aeronautics, Gregory M. Ulmer, as stating, “We’re functioning to maintain a cost-neutral setting for the following manufacturing great deals”. Ulmer as well as Tirpak pointed out the brand-new “Tech Refresh 3”, that Tirpak composes will certainly consist of, “updated software program, enhanced core cpu, [and also] brand-new cabin display screen” as aspects for a leveling-off of price decreases in the F-35 program. Lockheed V.P. Ulmer informed Tirpak that, “We’re functioning to maintain a cost-neutral placement” for the following manufacturing great deals.

Also though the at first questionable F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program has actually appreciated considerable financial and also functional battle successes, several experts still have a tough time recognizing the success of the F-35 program, also after a years of strong developments.

“A years earlier was a long period of time earlier,” USAF Major Kristin “BEO” Wolfe informed TheAviationist.com in Battle Creek this weekend break.

Maj. Wolfe is the Commander of the U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team, 388th Fighter Wing, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and also the group’s lead presentation pilot.

Maj. Wolfe took place to state, “Obviously, any kind of program is mosting likely to have its objections beforehand as well as experience its various sorts of battles. Particularly being multi-service, global, you’ve obtained a great deal of hands in the pot attempting to make one solitary plane that make it suitable for everyone.”

U.S Navy F-35C trainer and also demonstration pilot, LTCR. Daniel “Jiggle” Slater, informed TheAviationist.com, “When it pertains to the inter-service part of it, it is wonderful to have a great deal of components commonness. Regarding the layout goes, we assume that the ‘C’ version’s obtained a wonderful system for the Navy with its huge wing, as well as can lug lots of gas. As Navy pilots, we like that. It offers us a whole lot extra tactical gas prior to we need to go max endurance as well as land back on the ship. The F-35’s doing a wonderful task for us until now.”

Slater, that has actually flown catapult launches from warship in the Navy’s big-winged F-35C design, informed TheAviationist.com that very early objections regarding the front touchdown equipment bobbing throughout catapult released were, “Not truly a huge trouble. They changed the [nose touchdown equipment] damping a little bit”.

U.S. Air Force F-35A Demo Team Commander as well as pilot Major Kristin”BEO”Wolfe and also U.S. Navy F-35C Demo Team pilot Lieutenant Commander Daniel “Jiggle”Slater speak with TheAviationist.com at the Field of Flight Airshow in Battle Creek, Michigan. Airshow traveling is various than real-world fight. Accessibility and also preparedness of frontline, functional F-35 systems in both the Navy as well as Air Force have actually additionally boosted dramatically according to pilots Slater as well as Wolfe. And also currently, Air Force,

Marine and also international F-35 drivers like Israel have real-world fight experience in the airplane.”The armada at Hill [AFB] was currently released. An armada simply returned from an additional AOR( Area Of Responsibility ). We’re full-up, all set to go, flying fight planes. These are fight planes that have actually gotten on release,”Maj. Wolfe claimed. When asked if the media and also public still has trouble comprehending the abilities of the F-35, Maj. Wolfe claimed:”Probably. There’s things that you do not see around. Like, you hardly see that we had an armada in Spangdahlem [Air Base, Germany]

, or currently we have an armada in Guam. That truly does not make it bent on the media. No one [in media] truly recognizes what they’re doing available. I can inform you they’re doing their objective that they educated to do-both in Europe as well as in Asia. It’s extremely hush-hush. In some cases that makes individuals a little cynical. “< img data-attachment-id="79981 "data-permalink=" https://theaviationist.com/2022/07/04/f-35a-f-35c-display-same-airshow/jointf35demo_50/"data-orig-file= "https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/JointF35Demo_50.jpg"data-orig-size="

1024,592″data-comments-opened=” 0″data-image-meta=”” data-image-title=”JointF35Demo_50″””data-image-description data-image-caption=”The F-35A Demo Team brought 3 airplane to the Field”of Flight Airshow in Battle Creek,”Michigan.””data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-navy-f-35c-and-u-s-air-force-f-35a-display-for-first-time-at-same-airshow-report-and-interviews-13.jpg”data-large-file=”

https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-navy-f-35c-and-u-s-air-force-f-35a-display-for-first-time-at-same-airshow-report-and-interviews-3.jpg”loading=”careless”course=”size-large wp-image-79981″src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-navy-f-35c-and-u-s-air-force-f-35a-display-for-first-time-at-same-airshow-report-and-interviews-3.jpg”alt size=”706″elevation=”408″srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-navy-f-35c-and-u-s-air-force-f-35a-display-for-first-time-at-same-airshow-report-and-interviews-3.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-navy-f-35c-and-u-s-air-force-f-35a-display-for-first-time-at-same-airshow-report-and-interviews-13.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-navy-f-35c-and-u-s-air-force-f-35a-display-for-first-time-at-same-airshow-report-and-interviews-14.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-navy-f-35c-and-u-s-air-force-f-35a-display-for-first-time-at-same-airshow-report-and-interviews-15.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/JointF35Demo_50.jpg 1024w”dimensions=”(max-width: 706px)100vw, 706px”> The F-35A Demo Team brought 3 airplane to the Field of Flight Airshow in Battle Creek, Michigan. From a historic point of view, resentment in a joint-service, one-plane-fits-all remedy for tactical air fight is well established. Starting in December, 1964, the General Dynamics F-111 was intended to be a one-aircraft suitable for both the Navy and also Air Force. Then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, that originated from an automobile production history as previous President of Ford Motor Company, made use of very early spread-sheet evaluation of expense efficiency to”

confirm” the monetary situation for the joint-service F-111. McNamara had not been a boxer pilot. He was an accounting professional. Which might have been a consider the F-111’s very early issues. The F-111 program began the heels of recurring success with the McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom II, a famous multi-mission battle airplane that at some point offered with every U.S. air arm and also the flying force and also navies of nations worldwide with definite success. 2 flying force, Iran as well as Greece, remain to utilize the multi-mission, multi-service F-4 Phantom II today, making it the initial “Joint Strike Fighter”. McNamara’s F-111 one-aircraft-fits-all monetary idea satisfied with functional catastrophe.

The F-111 never ever did make it right into functional solution with the U.S. Navy. The preliminary implementation of Air Force F-111s to Vietnam was a catastrophe. In March as well as April, 1968, 3 F-111s were shed in Vietnam, likely because of consistent trip control issues. 4 years later on in 1974, after upgrades, the F-111 went back to Vietnam where it did have significant functional success in the later phases of the dispute.

The Navy took place to create its very own airplane with Grumman, the F-14 Tomcat, which was developed as a fleet-defense interceptor. The F-14 did complete its functional solution as a strike airplane nonetheless, nicknamed the “Bombcat”. For the F-35 program, the very first ever before dual-appearance of 2 functional Joint Strike Fighter demonstration groups at one airshow was a watershed minute. And also while, specifically with the F-35 program, the abilities aren’t around aerobatics as well as trip trials, simply the regularity of seeing F-35s flying remarkably in the airshow box has actually moved public assumption in some circles.” Now we’re completely rotated up doing 25 reveals a year,”Major Kristin”BEO”Wolfe informed TheAviationist.com.”Everywhere we go-we have not been way too many locations two times-we see individuals that have actually never ever seen the aircraft fly. They state,’Wow! I did not recognize it can do that!’, even if they‘re reviewing all

the posts and also it’s extremely difficult to inform individuals it’s a really qualified plane. We can not also flaunt whatever in an airshow atmosphere that we in fact do tactically. It’s sort of the crowd-pleasers [at the airshows] versus the battle abilities.”As well as despite the fact that both the Navy and also the Air Force F-35s remain to collect airshow followers with their broadening routine of demonstrations, as Maj. Wolfe

claims, the F-35’s real-world battle capacities are not around airshow efficiencies. They ‘re concerning real-worldbattle, something the F-35 has actually done extremely well at thus far throughout all the solutions. The U.S. Navy F-35Cs made a remarkable entryway in damp, cloudy problems to generate some absolutely amazing visuals with huge vapor cloud shock cones. The Aviationist many thanks Mr. Bretten Bailey and also the whole media group at the Battle Creek Field of Flight Airshow in addition to the U.S. Air Force F-35A Demo Team as well as the U.S. Navy F-35C Demo Team for their kind aid and also gain access to for this record. About Tom Demerly Tom Demerly is a function author, reporter, professional photographer as well as editorialist that has actually composed posts that are released worldwide on TheAviationist.com, TACAIRNET.com, Outside publication, Business Insider, We Are The Mighty, The Dearborn Press & Guide, National Interest, Russia’s federal government media electrical outlet Sputnik, as well as several various other magazines. Demerly examined journalism at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. Tom Demerly offered in a knowledge celebration system as a participant of the U.S. Army as well as Michigan National Guard. His armed forces experience consists of being Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Georgia(Cycle C-6-1)

and also as a Scout Observer in a reconnaissance device, Company “F”, 425th INF (RANGER/AIRBORNE ), Long Range Surveillance Unit(LRSU ). Demerly is a seasoned parachutist, holds sophisticated SCUBA qualifications, has actually climbed up the greatest hills on 3 continents and also saw all 7 continents as well as has actually flown a number of sorts of light airplane.

Antidotum Airshow Leszno 2022: The Biggest Airshow in Poland This Year

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Swiss Super Puma Flares Drop. (All images: Author)

Leszno: A growing gem of the European air show calendar.

We’ve been worryingly observing the Polish air show calendar this year. Leszno has always been and still is, one of its highlights, nonetheless, the cancelation of the LOTOS Gdynia Aerobaltic (caused by the war in Ukraine) has brought in some concern as to what would happen to the second most significant aviation event planned in Poland, at the small Leszno Flying Club. Leszno-Strzyżewice (EPLS) is a small, but growing GA (General Aviation) airport, with a grass strip. Now it also has a hardened runway, and a set of runway lights which is unusual for a Polish GA airstrip, but seems to be a natural way to go, given the fact that the venue is the home of the Antidotum Airshow – currently one of a very few, and certainly the biggest of the Polish air shows that consistently organizes day and sunset/night display programs.

<img data-attachment-id="79892" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/24/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-report/001-2/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/001.jpg" data-orig-size="1280,720" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="001" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Slovenian PC-9.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-18.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-2.jpg” class=”size-large wp-image-79892″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-2.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”397″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-2.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-18.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-19.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-20.jpg 768w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-21.jpg 678w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/001.jpg 1280w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Slovenian PC-9.

The show took place on Jun. 17 and Jun. 18, 2022. It is an afternoon/evening event, with the displays scheduled between 4 PM and 11 PM. The airfield’s location, with the beautiful sunsets providing a stunning backdrop for the spectacle in the air only adds to the spectacular, stunning nature of what was happening in the air.

Not everything according to the plan

Unfortunately, the organizers this year also had to overcome some obstacles.

For instance, neither did the pre-announced A-26 Invader, nor the original Yak-3 come to perform at the show – the owner of both aircraft is still working on the A-26’s transatlantic transit tackling relevant formalities with the FAA. This was somewhat causing distress among the show’s social media crowd, but that matter remained out of the hands of the organizers. They, righteously, focused on what they could have done. Last-minute confirmations resulted in the appearance of the single-seater Lim-2 (MiG-15) and Yak-3UPW in the Leszno sky – so all credit for saving the program gaps go to the Antidotum Air Show team. The Red Bull’s P-38 and B-25 – even though their participation was also confirmed – also could not have made it to Leszno because of technical problems.

<img data-attachment-id="79890" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/24/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-report/1-35/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/1.jpg" data-orig-size="1280,853" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="MiG-15" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Polish single-seat Lim-2/MiG-15 – The only one flying in Europe.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-22.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-3.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79890″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-3.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”470″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-3.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-22.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-23.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-24.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/1.jpg 1280w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Polish single-seat Lim-2/MiG-15 – The only one flying in Europe.

Red Bull Special – Trojan is back

The highlights of the show included the new Red Bull’s T-28 Trojan. The airframe wears its original US Navy livery – and for now, at least – it also does not have the smoke system that was one of the trademarks of the former RB T-28. The Red Bull flying department seems to like the air show at Leszno – despite the tragic accident en route back last year, with the loss of the T-28 – the Austrian aviation heritage restorers came to Leszno in numbers. Apart from the T-28 they also brought the F-4U Corsair and Cessna Push-Pull to perform at Leszno. Red Bull also brought its Piper Carbon Cub with the  Air Race’s Luke Czepiela flying it in a comedy act – copying Kyle Franklin’s drunk pilot comedy routine.

Additionally, the show also included Luca Baumann, who did RC model aerobatics, and Blacky, who performed a hang glider aerobatic routine, with smoke and pyro – an unusual sight at an airshow of any kind.

<img data-attachment-id="79893" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/24/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-report/2-23/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/2.jpg" data-orig-size="1280,720" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="T-28" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Red Bull’s new T-28

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Red Bull’s new T-28

Vintage Delight

In the warbirds department, we also had the chance to watch the OV-10 Bronco display during the day, and night portion of the show as well. The aircraft wore a very special Desert Storm livery, whilst the night display also involved lights and pyro show. It could have come by as a surprise how dynamic that airframe is, and how agile the Bronco can be!

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OV-10 Bronco wearing the Desert Storm Camo

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OV-10 Bronco wearing the Desert Storm Camo

The program also involved skydivers, and they were using a very unique platform in their display – a Hungarian Lisunov Li-2 (Soviet-made DC-3 copy), which is a very unique aircraft, and a rare treat at any air show.

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Lisunov Li-2

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Lisunov Li-2

Helicopter Bonanza

This year’s Leszno helicopters line-up was quite rich, with five very different dynamic displays performed. The first was the Czech Air Force W-3 SAR role display demo. This has to be one of the best SAR/helicopter displays in Europe right now. Not only are the Czechs showing what a proper SAR operation should look like, but the Sokol’s pilot also seems to squeeze every inch of performance out of his ride. The second helicopter display came in a form of the Red Bull’s Cobra – a very challenging aircraft to photograph given its twin-blade main rotor. One needs a slow shutter speed to show it move.

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Swiss Super Puma Flares Drop

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Swiss Super Puma Flares Drop

The show organizers in Leszno like to improvise, and Cobra flew a duo display with Bronco this year. The third helicopter display was the Polish Bolkov Bo-105 display team, with smoke and pyro – the Bolkov did two, fantastic displays solo – at night, and during the day, and also one display together with the British Aerosparx display team – that one was arranged in Leszno ad hoc. If there’s one lesson that this air show teaches its audience, it is that you may expect the unexpected.

The fourth, and the most expected of the helicopter displays was the Swiss Super Puma Demo Team, the display of which also involves a massive flares drop in its final phase – especially spectacular when done in the late part of the show, with the sun beginning to set. The fifth helicopter partaking in the show was a Polish military Mi-17, showing off a spectacular display, showcasing some elements of SOF flying tactics.

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Polish Air Force’s Mi-17 role demo.

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Polish Air Force’s Mi-17 role demo.

Jets – Vintage

Unusually for an “air picnic” at a small GA airport, the Antidotum Air Show distinguishes itself by the fact that jet displays may also be expected. And both vintage aircraft invited to Leszno this year were unique in their own way. The first one – the Polish MiG-15/Lim-2 is unique because it, for now, remains the only single-seat MiG-15 aircraft in Europe. Its participation was unexpected, but the aircraft filled in the gap left in the program by the A-26 – this shows great flexibility and willingness to put on the best show of the organizers – even if one piece of the puzzle disappears, the Leszno airfield team still has an ace up its sleeve.

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The Slovak L-29 Delfin

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The Slovak L-29 Delfin

The uniqueness of the second aircraft stems from the fact that it landed at Leszno, using a grass strip – this refers to the L-29 Delfin. It did this last year as well, but still, seeing a military trainer aircraft land at a small GA airport is a sight to behold.

Jets – Modern

Modern military aviation is not a very usual sight at a small air show – yet, the Antidotum Air Show in Leszno featured two acts of the kind: the Polish Air Force F-16 Tiger Demo Team, and the Luftwaffe’s Eurofighter Demo. Both of these aircraft were reaching the venue flying from the Krzesiny (EPKS) airbase.

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Luftwaffe’s Eurofighter demo team.

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Luftwaffe’s Eurofighter demo team.

The personnel at the Krzesiny base helped the organizers in securing these displays, as both aircraft can be proudly distinguished as members of the NATO Tigers community. The personnel from Krzesiny openly said they were amazed by the air show, and this may be a sign that Leszno would host more military aircraft in the future. Possibly, this could mean that there would be a necessity to reformulate the air show and arrange it as a classic, weekend (Saturday and Sunday) event, but we will see what the future may bring.

Also, one more military highlight came in a form of a Slovenian PC-9 demo – with copious amount of impressive negative G maneuvers being the highlight of the routine.

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F-16 Tiger Demo Team of the Polish Air Force

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F-16 Tiger Demo Team of the Polish Air Force

Gliders and Wilgas

One of the more interesting displays was performed by a trio of Leszno-based Wilgas, towing the Flying Club’s gliders and flying in a 6-aircraft formation. Wilga alone is an exotic sight to behold, three Wilgas towing gliders are a treat. Wilga was also used as a tow plane by Guy Westgate, in his GliderFX act including a pyro-take-off, and roll-on-tow elements. Notably, the Leszno show has its roots in the Glider Picnic series of events held there, and it is nice to see that the organizers are not forgetting their sailplanes heritage. A pair of Alon A2 Ercoupes was another act performed on behalf of the Aeroklub Leszczyński.

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Leszno-based PZL-104 Wilga

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Leszno-based PZL-104 Wilga

Polish Military Props

The Polish 33rd Airlift Base also made a unique contribution to the Leszno program. First, we have seen a dynamic display of the Polish Air Force’s C-130 Hercules and M-28 Bryza STOL aircraft. And this was during the daytime portion of the show. Secondly, the C-130, as it did last year, also has shown its spectacular flares drop, releasing all of its flares at once, in a single pass, leaving the audience amazed. The C-130’s flare display has now, undoubtedly, become a trademark of the Leszno show and no images or videos do it justice – it must be witnessed live.

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Massive flares drop by the Polish C-130

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Massive flares drop by the Polish C-130

Night show

The Hercules was opening the night pyro portion of the show. This part has been a usually spectacular (however ridiculous it may sound) part of Leszno’s magic – AeroSPARX, OV-10 Bronco, and The Flying Dragons Team on paramotors, all performed a stunning, night spectacle. So far the evening/night portion of the show has been the main reason to go to Leszno, it seems now that the organizers are starting to strike the right balance between the night and day sections (with the daytime section now being so expansive and rich).

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Marek Choim’s night display routine

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Marek Choim’s night display routine

Overall, it is great to witness the growth of this small, Polish GA show, to the size of a proper international display. We do hope, and we have our fingers crossed, that Leszno would soon become a solid element of the European air show calendars, attracting more than just the local audiences. A show like that deserves to evolve and grow at a rapid pace, considering the amount of effort and passion the small team of organizers has for this event.

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Aerosparx night show finale, long exposure shot showing the pyros.

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Aerosparx night show finale, long exposure shot showing the pyros.

More photos of the airshow can be found here.

About Jacek Siminski
Standing contributor for TheAviationist. Aviation photojournalist. Co-Founder of DefensePhoto.com. Expert in linguistics, Cold War discourse, Cold War history and policy and media communications.

The Weather Gods Shined Upon This Year’s ‘The second world war Weekend’ Air Show

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WWII Week End Air Show
The CAF’s B-24″Diamond

Lil”cast in the setup sunlight. (All pictures: Author )If you are aircraft fascinated WWII warbirds, you should attend this yearly air program kept in Reading, Pennsylvania USA. 3 wonderful rainfall totally free days, with light temperature levels, offered outright best weather condition as well as trip problems forthis year’s WWII Weekend air program. The Mid-Atlantic Air Museum supervises the air program, which happened from Jun. 3 to 5, 2022. The program acts as the charitable’s significant charity event. Held annual considering that 1990, minus 2020, the program occurs in very early June to accompany the wedding anniversary of D-Day. Special amongst air programs in America, the program is purely restricted to WWII warbirds. Therefore, you will certainly see no contemporary jets neither armed forces trip presentation groups, simply airplane from the Second World War.

Head on shot of a Curtis P-40 Tomahawk as she taxis cab out. The Boeing B-29 Superfortress”Fifi”removes past the group. Constantly a group fave are the hefty bombing planes present, particularly the: Boeing B-29 Superfortress”Fifi”, Consolidated B-24 Liberator”Diamond Lil”, as well as Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress”Yankee Lady”. These very first 2 airplane make up the Commemorative Air Force’s B-29/ B-24 Squadron. Both airplane are significant as one of just 2 airworthy instances of each corresponding bombing plane. While “Yankee Lady “B-17 is the facility

item of the Yankee Air Museum, situated at the Willow Run Airport in Belleville, Michigan USA. The B-24″Diamond Lil”makes a reduced turn and also simply totally fills up the video camera’s sensing unit.”Yankee Lady”, a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, requires to the skies at Reading. The indoor sights, from the”Fifi”as well as”Diamond Lil”, were definitely gratifying. The sight essentially places you in the pilot’s seat. Having actually flown in several warbirds, it is an experience to”stroll”via a warbird instead of pressing right into a limited suitable seat. Ought to you have the possibility, I very recommend your publication a trip with the CAF’s B-29/ B-24 Squadron or Yankee Air Museum’s B-17. Does the cabin of the B-29″Fifi”appearance acquainted? It was the ideas for the cabin of the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars. The B-24 Liberator’s front workplace is remarkably limited for an airplane of this dimension.

Historic reenactment is a vital attribute of WWII Weekend. Registered reenactor systems as well as people are permitted right into the program free of charge, as well as hundreds campout at the occasion each evening. With upwards of a thousand reenactors, it might be the biggest such WWII reenactment celebration in the United States. Friday and also Saturday evenings, there is a cost-free dancing including real-time swing songs. And also, each mid-day there is a” fight”, held in between the path as well as taxiway, where American as well as German soldiers combat it out. This reenactor pair was kind adequate to present for a fired”with a C-47 as the background.” These band of bro reenactors exceeded and also past the telephone call of responsibility by rising prior to dawn, to make this photo feasible. Not that commonly could you see a Bell P-39 Airacobra and even a Bell P-63 Kingcobra, so it was genuinely an unusual occasion to have both these warbirds at the exact same program. While the”P-39 was made use of briefly by””the United States at the””beginning of the battle,”a lot of the P-39s”and afterwards P-63s were sent out as lend-lease airplane”to the Soviet Union”.””” The a little smaller sized P-39 flies the lead as its larger sibling, the P-63, flies

wing. The Commemorative Air Force’s Airbase Georgia device constantly brings a solid set of warbirds to the program. Along with the P-63 Kingcobra they gave Reading, they additionally flew in their attractive North American P-51 Mustang. Marketing flights in the Mustang, the P-51 took component in a solo acrobatic presentation “as well as”the program’s last trip a missing out on male development”.”” This P-51 placed on a sensational solitary ship acrobatic efficiency for the sightseers. Similar to many North American air programs, there were lots of T-6 Texans and also the Navy matching the SNJ, present. This results from numerous

T-6s enduring WWII and also having years of helpful lives as instructors and also ahead air control airplane. The South African Air Force made use of the T-6 till 1995, as well as most of these aircrafts are currently on the warbird circuit. Formation trip of 4 T-6s/ SNJs fly above. The Reading World War II Weekend air program is just one of the finest in the country when it comes to experiencing a big event of WWII warbirds. The only various other programs, that could contrast, are AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and also the Planes of Fame air program in

Chino, California. Need to you have an opportunity to participate in the World War II air program, you will certainly not be dissatisfied.”Fifi “comes in for a touchdown, while a B-25 Michell holds waiting on clearance to go across the path. The B-29 Superfortress”Fifi”roars straight overhanging on a reduced pass. About Randy Jennings Randy Jennings is the pleased kid of battle WWII Mustang pilot, Warner Jennings. From birth, he has actually been stressed by all points aeronautics; past, future as well as existing.As a photographer, he has actually covered air travel occasions in the United States and also Europe. He resides in the Washington DC area with his attractive spouse and also rowdy little girl.

U.S. Air Combat Command Announces Capt. Aimee Fiedler As New F-16 Demo Pilot

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Capt. Aimee Fiedler
The specially painted F-16CM “Viper” Demo Team aircraft and Capt. Aimee Fiedler. (Photo: TheAviationist.com/20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Capt. Fiedler Brings Extensive Military and Civilian Flight Experience to Team as New Commanding Officer.

The U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command has announced that Capt. Aimee Fiedler will lead the ACC F-16 “Viper” Demo Team beginning in this coming 2022 air demonstration season. The announcement was made during the annual Heritage Flight Conference at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona, on Saturday, March 5, 2022.

Capt. Fiedler advances to the position of team commander and lead demo pilot after already serving as a member of the team and following deployments in the F-16 Fighting Falcon that include service in South Korea. Capt. Fiedler replaces former and long-time F-16 “Viper” Demo Team commander, USAF Maj. Garrett “Toro” Schmitz, who served as the team’s commander and lead demo pilot since 2019. Back then, “Toro” took the commanding position from USAF Capt. Zoe Kotnik, the USAF’s first female single-ship tactical demonstration pilot, who was relieved of her command position as the Air Force’s F-16 Demonstration Team pilot after only two weeks in the assignment for a loss of confidence in her ability to lead and command the team.

Capt. Fiedler said in an announcement on the Air Force Heritage Flight website that, “When you travel to air shows, you are meeting the next generation of fighter pilots and Airmen, and that inspires me to do my job better.” Fiedler went on to say that, “They are the ones that are going to be flying alongside me or trained up to take on this mission after my time is done. We get to show the people we meet that this is an attainable goal and as long as they set themselves up for success, they can do this job.”

U.S. Air Force Capt. Aimee Fiedler has been named as the new commander of the Air Combat Command (ACC) F-16 “Viper” Demo Team.
(Photo: 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

The USAF Air Combat Command (ACC) F-16 “Viper” Demo Team inspires airshow audiences and aviation enthusiasts of all ages through flight demonstrations and personal appearances that showcase the Air Force experience and the flight capabilities of the General Dynamic F-16 Fighting Falcon, often referred to by its nickname, the F-16 “Viper”.

The mission of the ACC F-16 “Viper” Demo Team is significant since it serves as a vital recruiting asset for the U.S. Air Force and showcases the performance of one of the most successful and prolific combat aircraft in aviation history.

Over 4,600 General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons have been produced since the aircraft first flew in 1974, and the aircraft is in service with 25 countries in addition to the United States. The F-16 Fighting Falcon has seen combat in service with multiple countries, including Israel, the United States, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Venezuela.

Capt. Aimee Fiedler and the Air Combat Command F-16 “Viper” Demo Team is scheduled to appear at 21 airshows during the 2022 flight demonstration season in addition to other appearances and events.

Tom Demerly is a feature writer, journalist, photographer and editorialist who has written articles that are published around the world on TheAviationist.com, TACAIRNET.com, Outside magazine, Business Insider, We Are The Mighty, The Dearborn Press & Guide, National Interest, Russia’s government media outlet Sputnik, and many other publications. Demerly studied journalism at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. Tom Demerly served in an intelligence gathering unit as a member of the U.S. Army and Michigan National Guard. His military experience includes being Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Georgia (Cycle C-6-1) and as a Scout Observer in a reconnaissance unit, Company “F”, 425th INF (RANGER/AIRBORNE), Long Range Surveillance Unit (LRSU). Demerly is an experienced parachutist, holds advanced SCUBA certifications, has climbed the highest mountains on three continents and visited all seven continents and has flown several types of light aircraft.

Formula One Bans Military Aircraft Flyovers To Reduce Carbon Emissions

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GP Flyover
The Frecce Tricolori carry out the Imola GP airshow in 2021 (Image credit: Italian Air Force)

We won’t see the Frecce Tricolori or Red Arrows flying over the tracks during pre-race displays because they pollute the air.

Beginning in 2022, the Grand Prix organisers will no longer be able to use military aircraft for air displays before the start of the races because they pollute and they are no longer in line with the CO2 emissions reduction objectives of F1 which aims to eliminate the environmental impact by 2030. As reported by the Corriere della Sera on Jan. 19, 2022, local organizers of Gran Prix races all around the world were informed of the ban.

While military aircraft will not be able to take part in GP opening flyovers to support the sustainability goals of F1 organizers, civilian wide-bodies, that have often taken part in pre-race displays in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, as well as some historical aircraft remain permitted, under certain (yet unclear) conditions. For this reason, some believe the cause for the ban might not be related to environmental concerns but prompted by the will of F1 to avoid that the airshows can be considered as “shows of force” and exploited by some countries to flex muscle and fuel propaganda.

As a consequence of the ban, the flyover of the Italian and British Grand Prixs will not take place. In Italy, the flyovers at Imola and Monza (Apr. 24 and Sept. 11) are traditionally carried out by the Frecce Tricolori, the Italian Air Force aerobatic display team. In the past, other Italian Air Force aircraft including the Tornado and the Eurofighter Typhoon have carried out the flyovers of both Formula 1 and MotoGP races: as we already reported back then, on Sept. 13, 2020, four Eurofighter Typhoon jets, two belonging to the 4° Stormo (Wing), based at Grosseto Air Base, and two belonging to the 36° Stormo, from Gioia del Colle, flew over the starting grid of the Grand Prix at the Ferrari-owned track in Mugello, near Florence, in central Italy, to celebrate the 1000th Formula 1 race of the Ferrari racing team.

The Frecce Tricolori perform the Imola GP flyover in 1980 (with the G-91). (Image credit: Italian Air Force)

In the UK, the Red Arrows performed at Silverstone ahead of the British Grand Prix. In the US the 2021 Formula 1 US Grand Prix flyover at Circuit of the Americas was opened by a formation of Dutch helicopters based at Fort Hood (Texas), including AH-64 Apache and CH-47 Chinooks: with the new ban such flight would not be allowed. It’s a pity, considered that in some cases, such flyovers were the most exciting part of the race….

Anyway, the ban of the flyovers is not the only measure put in place to reduce the environmental impact of F1 races: this season a new petrol with 10% ethanol of natural origin will be introduced while in recent years campaigns have been launched to eliminate plastic and reduce waste.

David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.

The Only Time the Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser Testbed 747 Ever Came to an Airshow

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YAL-1 on display at Davis Monthan AFB. (All images: Tom Demerly / The Aviationist)

Davis-Monthan Airshow in 2012, was the only time the public ever got a close look at the most expensive aircraft in history: the Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser 747.

This weekend, Saturday, November 6 and Sunday November 7, 2021, the Thunder and Lightning over Tucson Airshow at Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona will thrill aviation enthusiasts from around the world with a unique mix of aerial and static displays that can only be presented at one of the most unique military aviation installations on earth. But 9 years ago, in 2012, at this same Davis-Monthan Airshow, there was a very special exhibit that only appeared once, and then disappeared forever.

Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona, is adjacent to the famous 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG), the famous aircraft “Boneyard” where retired aircraft are stored for use as parts donors or before their demolition for scrap. In addition to being a massive repository for spare aircraft and parts, the Boneyard is also a living museum, where some of the most fascinating stories in all of aviation sit in quiet repose as their history echoes on into the future long after their demolition.

The Davis-Monthan Airshow is always a special show because of its proximity to unique aviation artifacts and resources like the Boneyard and the Pima Air and Space Museum. But the April, 2012 edition of the show was truly exceptional because of one remarkable, and ephemeral, visitor- a literal “white whale” in aircraft spotting.

The Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser Testbed (formerly Airborne Laser) weapons system, aircraft number 00-0001, the only aircraft of its type ever built, was on static display at the Davis-Monthan AFB air show this one time in 2012 before its demolition. It was the only time the public ever got a close look at the most expensive aircraft in history.

The Author managed to get into Davis-Monthan AFB before anyone else that day in 2012, but the word was out about the YAL-1 being on display and people were already beginning to gather around this remarkable static display.

The YAL-1 was a massive airborne laser weapons system aircraft built on a Boeing 747-400F platform. The fiction-like flying laser cannon was intended to shoot down tactical ballistic missiles (TBMs) and potentially even intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) as part of a theatre and strategic missile defense program that gained momentum during the prior decade in the Reagan administration as a part of the “Star Wars Defense Initiative”.
The program was plagued with complex testing, mixed results and stratospheric cost overruns.

The YAL-1 did, however, eventually experience testing success when, in January 2010, its laser weapon engaged a ballistic missile surrogate simulating a ballistic missile. The test target was called the Missile Alternative Range Target Instrument or “MARTI”. It was “engaged but not destroyed” by the airborne laser fired from the YAL-1 in flight. The program, the most expensive military aircraft in history to date, was beginning to show promise.

The side of the nose of the YAL-1 featured some unique “kill” marks for its engagements with various targets, including actual ballistic missiles, during testing prior to the program cancellation.

On Feb. 11, 2010, the program experienced more success when the YAL-1 engaged two test missile targets with its massive laser-cannon off the California coast in the Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center-Weapons Division Sea Range. During these two tests, the YAL-1 shot down a liquid-fueled ballistic missile and then, only an hour later, “engaged” a solid fuel missile target but did not destroy it because of a “beam misalignment” problem.

An announcement was also made later that, eight days prior to these two tests on February 11, the system had actually engaged and destroyed a solid fuel missile in flight. The results from this round of testing achieved all of the program goals during this phase. The February, 2010 tests of the YAL-10 Airborne Laser Weapons System marked the first time in history that a directed-energy laser weapon was used to destroy a ballistic missile in flight.

The laser weapon turret on the nose of the YAL-1 had been covered in the anti-corrosive wrap used at the AMARG to preserve components of an aircraft before it is dismantled. Even though the weapon wasn’t directly visible, this view gave some sense of scale to the massive laser cannon.

But in December 2011, after $5 billion USD in development and testing, the program was cancelled after being deemed, “not operationally viable” by Air Force Chief of Staff Norton A. Schwartz and from continued budgetary pressure in Washington.

On February 12, 2012, the YAL-1 Airborne Laser Testbed made its final flight to Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona for internment at the AMARG Boneyard and eventual demolition after usable parts and systems were salvaged.

The underside of the tail on the YAL-1 had what may have been a massive decoy or flare ejector system seen here.

At the time the YAL-1 arrived at Davis-Monthan in February, 2012, I was working at a company on the perimeter of the base and just north of the Pima Air and Space Museum. A friend of mine named Eric and I borrowed a step ladder from work and went over to the fence line at Davis-Monthan to try to get photos of the YAL-1’s arrival, but we didn’t time it correctly and, to our disappointment, missed the aircraft’s arrival before it disappeared into the vast AMARG Boneyard.

Throughout March we stepped up our surveillance of the AMARG fields to see if we could catch a glimpse of the massive but, so far, elusive YAL-1. Then, the week before the Davis-Monthan Airshow, my friend Craig arrived at work with reports that the YAL-1 was, “on the move” and being towed from the Boneyard back to the main flight line at Davis-Monthan, likely for one final and remarkable static display at that coming weekend’s airshow. We were ecstatic. After pressing base insiders for details, it was confirmed that the YAL-1 would be a featured static display at the Davis-Monthan Airshow.

I was the very first person in line for admittance into the airshow at Davis-Monthan that morning, screened through after a young and capable Air Force Security Policeman scrutinized my camera bag. I made a beeline to the YAL-1 to try to grab some photos before the air show crowds surrounded the aircraft. News had spread all over Tucson that something special was going to be at the air show that weekend.

The author under the YAL-1 during the only weekend it was ever displayed.

For a few moments, I had the YAL-1 mostly to myself. A few other equally enthusiastic early-bird aviation photographers showed up, and we took turns getting shots of the aircraft. There was no one on hand to describe the significance of the aircraft. As the airshow crowds started to file in and crowd around the aircraft, one of the other photographers graciously offered to shoot a photo of me under the main landing gear of the YAL-1, and I have that photo as a treasured souvenir of this remarkable day at the Davis-Monthan Airshow. It was a truly unique and remarkable weekend at the Davis-Monthan Airshow, and one to never be repeated.

As the Tucson sun set over Davis-Monthan AFB that day in 2012, it was the last time the public would see the YAL-1 intact before demolition.

Watch This Insane Slow Motion Video Of The F-22 Raptor Filmed At 1000 FPS

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F-22 Raptor slow motion video
A screenshot from the video “Phantom of the Raptor”.

‘Phantom of the Raptor’ is a jaw-dropping slo-mo video of the F-22 demo flight.

If you love the F-22 Raptor, then take a seat. You are about to watch what is probably the best Raptor video ever produced. It was filmed in 2020 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska, during a demo flight of the U.S. Air Force F-22 “Raptor” piloted by Maj. Joshua “Cabo” Gunderson.

“Cabo” who took over the role of Demo Team leader from Maj. Paul “Loco” Lopez, took part in the JBER Salutes in March 2020 and the display of the F-22 Raptor Demo Team, the world’s first 5th generation dedicated combat aircraft demonstration unit and the only solo jet, twin-engine, vectored-thrust demonstration unit in the world, was filmed with a Phantom Flex4K at 1000FPS out of the open door of a UH-60 “Black Hawk” helicopter hovering at about 3,000 feet.

1000 FPS is considered super-slow motion: in general, slow motion video works by shooting at very high frames per second (FPS) rate and then playing it back at a much slower rate. This creates dramatic footage where the action is slowed way down.

The end result in this case is a stunning slo-mo footage that shows the F-22 maneuvering over the Alaskan base.

Actually, some parts of the clips, mixed with footage shot from inside the cockpit with a 360-degree camera, had already been included in another work, dubbed “INSANE F-22 Raptor Hype Video”, a footage released by the F-22 Raptor Demo Team on their Youtube channel in November 2020. 

In my opinion, while the previous video was great, “Phantom of the Raptor”, with the slow-motion cinematography by creator Dustin Farrell is simply a work of art.

Take a look and judge by yourself:

David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.

Let’s Focus On The Aerobatic Teams That Took Part In The Frecce Tricolori’s 60th Anniversary Airshow In Rivolto

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All the display teams that took part in Rivolto Airshow. (Image credit: Author, Alessandro Fucito, Midnight Hawks).

Although some had to cancel their participation at the last minute, Rivolto airshow featured teams from all over Europe,

As we reported few days ago, an international airshow was held at Rivolto Air Base, Italy, on Sept. 18 and 19, 2021, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Frecce Tricolori, the display team of the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force). This was the first large-scale airshow in Italy in almost two years, which was initially intended to be held in 2020 as the beginning of year of celebrations which would have lasted until the anniversary on March 1, 2021.

The cancelled 2020 airshow season was then replaced by an unprecedented tour of Italy, named “Abbraccio Tricolore” (Italian for “Tricolor Hug”), which included 21 flyovers in 5 days before the final flight over Rome on June 2 for the Festa della Repubblica, the Italian National Day and Republic Day. When airshows started to be cancelled in 2021 too, the Italian Air Force did its best to avoid postponing again the celebrations for the Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale (PAN, National Aerobatic Team).

In the first part of our report about the airshow, we dissected the highlights of the flight program. The whole airshow was divided in two main parts, both introduced by a flyby of a HH-139A helicopter with an Air Rescueman suspended by the winch and carrying the Italian flag. The first part of the show was reserved to the exhibitions of the foreign aerobatic teams, while the second part was dedicated to the Italian assets, including the Legend formation, a Slow Mover Intercept (SMI) scenario, the technical displays of the Reparto Sperimentale Volo (the Test unit of the ItAF) and a very interesting COMAO (Composite Air Operations) demonstration.

The Orlik Aerobatic Team beginning a formation loop. (All images Author, unless otherwise stated).

In this second part of the report about Rivolto Airshow, we will focus on the aerobatic teams that were invited to the 60th anniversary.

Frecce’s colleagues from all over Europe were invited to join the airshow, with an initial lineup of seven aerobatic teams in addition to the Frecce Tricolori: Red Devils (Belgium), Orlik Aerobatic Team (Poland), Krila Oluje (Croatia), Midnight Hawks (Finland), Patrulla Águila (Spain), Patroulle Suisse (Switzerland), Red Arrows (United Kingdom).

The Red Arrows were the first to be removed from the airshow schedule, as they were expected to perform a flypast over Astey Hall, Chorley for the G7 Speaker’s conference on September 18. At the last minute, the Red Arrows’ cancellation was followed by the one of the Red Devils and Krila Oluje: the reason for their absence is not clear at the moment. The Patrouille de France, who was a guest for the previous anniversaries, was not able to join the airshow this year as, in the same days, the team was already involved in the airshow at the Base Aérienne 116 Luxeuil.

The Orlik Aerobatic Team (Zespół Akrobacyjny Orlik) is one of the two national teams of the Polish Air Force, with the other being the Red and White Iskras (Biało-Czerwone Iskry). The team, which takes the name from its seven PZL-130TC-II Orlik turboprop trainer aircraft, was first established in 1998 and based at the 42nd Training Air Base in Radom, the home of the entire PZL-130 fleet. Later that year, the team took part to its firsts international air show at the Royal International Air Tattoo.

The pilots are flight instructors of the Polish Air Force Academy who volunteered to join the team while still continuing to provide training to the cadets. Unlike other teams, their aircraft do not have any special marking that identifies the Orlik Team, but they fly instead with the standard PolAF livery and just a white smoke generator installed under the fuselage. The 20-minute display includes maneuvers in different formations by the main five aircraft section, with the two solos demonstrating the capabilities of the PZL-130.

The second team to perform at Rivolto was the Midnight Hawks of the Finnish Air Force which, like the Orlik Team, is one of the youngest aerobatic teams in Europe, being established only in 1997. The name comes from the fact the team and its predecessors were permanent performers of the Midnight Sun Airshow in June which, as the name implies, lasts from 7PM to midnight. Like Orlik, the pilots of the Midnight Hawks are instructors of the Air Force Academy who continue to train cadets while being part of the team.

One of the Hawks also showed special tail marking for the 40 years of service of the Hawk aircraft in the FinAF, celebrated last year. The Midnight Hawks introduced this year some new vertical maneuvers to increase the variety and spectacularity of their show, which includes multiple passes in various formations enriched by formation breaks and rejoins by the three aircraft section and the solo.

The Patrulla Aguila taking off for their display at Rivolto. (Image credit: Italian Air Force).

The Patrulla Águila (Eagle Patrol) of the Spanish Air Force was the next performer, flying with its seven specially colored CASA C-101 Aviojet (E.25 in the Spanish military designation) trainer aircraft. The team, established in 1985 at San Javier Air Base, is made by flight instructors of the Academia General del Aire (General Air Academy) and is the only team to use yellow smoke, one of the colors of the Spanish flag, during their shows.

During their 25-minute display routine, the team alternates formation passes of the main section of four aircraft (callsigns Eagle 1 through 4), the solo (Eagle 5) and the pair (Eagle 6 and 7), each with their characteristic aerobatic figures. The Spanish Air Force is replacing the aging C-101 jet trainers with the new PC-21 turboprop trainers, however it has been confirmed that the Patrulla Águila will keep flying as long as possible the Aviojet to represent not only the Air Force, but also the national industry, in absence of a Spanish-made replacement.

The Patrouille Suisse’s solos during the mirror formation pass.

The last team to fly during the first part of the show was the Patrouille Suisse, one of the two aerobatic display teams of the Swiss Air Force (the other being the PC-7 Team) and one of the few teams to operate fighter jets instead of trainer aircraft, flying with six white and red F-5E Tiger II fighters. The Swiss team itself is close to its 60th anniversary, since it was founded in 1964 (three years after Frecce Tricolori).

Since the F-5E has different handling characteristics compared to a trainer aircraft, it also requires more space during the airshow, as the higher speeds lead to a larger turn radius during maneuvers. An example of this is mentioned on the team’s website: the looping requires an entry speed of 460 knots (850 km/h) and about 10,000 feet of altitude (3,000 m). This summer it was announced that the F-35 Lightning II won the Air2030 evaluation program to replace the F-5 and the F/A-18 Hornet, however the Patrouille Suisse will keep flying the Tiger II for the next few years until a decision is made about the future of the team.

The Frecce Tricolori with their trademark tri-colored smokes. (Image credit: Alessandro Fucito)

As tradition, the Frecce Tricolori closed the airshow with the last display on both days. The ten-aircraft display team received a new livery for the 55th anniversary, while this year all jets received special tails to celebrate the heritage of the five teams that represented Italy and its Air Force in the decade before the Frecce Tricolori were officially established: the “Cavallino Rampante”, “Getti Tonanti”, “Tigri Bianche”, “Diavoli Rossi” and “Lanceri Neri”.

The liveries were created by the renowned Italian artist Mirco Pecorari of AircraftStudioDesign, who designed hundreds of liveries for aircraft all around the world. Five MB-339s received the special tails earlier this year, while the remaining aircraft received them before the Rivolto Airshow. As a surprise, the pilots also had their helmets repainted the night before the airshow, featuring the current helmet on one side and the helmet of the historical teams on the other side.

The formation break of the two main formations and the solo of the Frecce Tricolori.

As mentioned by the Frecce Tricolori’s commander Lt. Col. Gaetano Farina, the team is heir and guardian of the aerobatic flight’s tradition, which was born in the 1920s at Campoformido airfield, located a few kilometers north-east of Rivolto. Campoformido was the home of the 1° Stormo Caccia (Fighter Wing) and its commander, Lt. Col. Rino Corso Fougier, had the innovative idea in 1928 that aerobatic flight could be used as an essential part of a military pilot’s training to achieve mastery, sensitivity and coordination in any flight attitude, leading to the maximum effectiveness in the military use of the airplane.

The same year, three pilots flew the first demonstration with the Fiat CR.1 biplane fighters flying loopings in formation. The then Royal Italian Air Force was diffident but gave a go to this idea a year later to welcome the pilots who flew for the first from the United States to Rome. The exhibition was a triumph and Campoformido soon became the home of an aerobatic flight school. The school also created in the 1930s one of the most famous maneuvers still flown today by the Frecce Tricolori, the downward bomb burst.

With the years, the “experiment” was extended also to other units, like the 4° Stormo Caccia, and the number of exhibitions increased, together with the number of the aircraft involved in the formation maneuvers. With the threat of WW2 becoming more incumbent, 1939 saw the last Italian aerobatic exhibitions. The Italian Air Force resumed these activities in 1952 with the “Cavallino Rampante” (Prancing Horse), which flew with four DH.100 Vampire jets of the 4° Stormo.

The two sections of the Frecce Tricolori formation rejoin after the takeoff ahead of the show.

The enthusiasm for this return led to the creation in 1953 of another team flying on four F-84G Thunderjets of the 5^ Aerobrigata (Air Brigade), named “Getti Tonanti” (Thundering Jets). A second team on four F-84Gs, this time from the 51^ Aerobrigata, was created in 1955 and called “Tigri Bianche” (White Tigers). 1957 saw the return of the “Cavallino Rampante”, which in the meantime was converted to the F-86E Sabre MK4. The team became the first to use smoke generators during their shows in Italy.

In the same year there was also a reserve team, the “Diavoli Rossi” (Red Devils) of the 6^ Aerobrigata. The team initially flew on four F-84F Thunderstreaks, which soon became six, including for the first time a solo which had the role to fill the space left by the main formation during its repositioning maneuvers away from the spectators. In 1959 the “Lanceri Neri” (Black Lancers) became the new main team, with “Diavoli Rossi” and “Getti Tonanti” as reserves. The new team flew initially with four Sabres, which were later increased to six.

The success of the five teams though the years convinced the Italian Air Force to better manage the aircraft and human resources, creating on March 1, 1961 the 313° Gruppo Addestramento Acrobatico (Aerobatic Training Squadron) at Rivolto Air Base. The core of the new unit was the “Cavallino Rampante”, which moved to Rivolto with its six F-86E jets (actually Canadian licensed-built CL.13s).

The Frecce Tricolori during the final pass of their exhibition for the 60th anniversary. (Image credit: Alessandro Fucito)

The new Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale (National Aerobatic Team) performed for the first time on May 1 (thus becoming the traditional day of the first exhibition every year), with the six F-86s fitted with smoke generators and painted in a dark blue livery, with a lighter diamond containing a black sword on the sides of the fuselage. A year later, the more famous blue livery with the three green, white and red frecce (arrows) and the yellow tail number was applied for the first time, leading to the name Frecce Tricolori.

In 1963, the now nine-aircraft team received the G.91PAN, a specially modified variant of the Fiat G.91 light fighter aircraft. For the first time since WW2, an Italian aerobatic team was now equipped with Italian-made aircraft, which also allowed a more aggressive display routine and a tighter space required to maneuver. A few years later, in 1966, the solo was added to the formation, with the Frecce becoming the only team in the world to fly with ten aircraft.

In 1982, the MB-339PAN was delivered to Rivolto. Since then, the Frecce begun to fly tours around Europe and the world, winning numerous prizes. Now, after 60 years of history and almost 40 years flying on the MB-339, the Frecce Tricolori are preparing for their next chapter, which will see them flying in a few years on the new M-345, which was delivered at the end of 2020 to the Italian Air Force.

Stefano D’Urso is a contributor for TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. He’s a full-time engineering student and aspiring pilot. In his spare time he’s also an amateur aviation photographer and flight simulation enthusiast.

Dissecting Frecce Tricolori’s 60th Anniversary Airshow And Its Pretty Interesting COMAO Demo

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Rivolto Airshow
Some of the highlights of the Rivolto airshow. (All images: Alessandro Fucito, unless otherwise stated)

The one organized at Rivolto AB was much more than “just” a celebration of the Frecce Tricolori’s anniversary: unlike most of the Italian airshows it was also an opportunity to have a look at some of the Italian Air Force capabilities at work.

As we already reported, the Frecce Tricolori, the display team of the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force), celebrated their 60th anniversary earlier this year. To mark the milestone, an international airshow was held at Rivolto Air Base, home of the Frecce, on September 18 and 19, 2021, representing the first proper airshow in almost two years in Italy. The Covid-19 pandemic, in fact, caused the cancellation of all the scheduled airshows, including the 60th anniversary’s airshow which was to be initially held in 2020 and then postponed to this year.

Even if the 60th anniversary is in 2021, it was initially chosen to hold the airshow in 2020 as a way to begin a year of celebrations which would have lasted until the anniversary on March 1. The cancelled 2020 airshow season was then replaced by an unprecedented tour of Italy, named “Abbraccio Tricolore” (Tricolor Hug), which included 21 flyovers in 5 days before the final flight over Rome on June 2 for the Festa della Repubblica, the Italian National Day and Republic Day.

The Frecce Tricolori with their trademark tri-colored smokes. (Image credit: Alessandro Fucito)

When airshows started to be cancelled in 2021 too, the Italian Air Force did its best to avoid postponing again the celebrations for the Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale (PAN, National Aerobatic Team). Efforts were made to allow a wide participation without compromising the safety and the health, ultimately limiting the access to the air base to 17,500 people over the two days with free admission passes and valid Covid “Green Certifications”. The passes went sold out as soon as the request form was made available online in mid-August, but people who couldn’t get the pass could at least count on the live streaming on the Italian State television RAI1 (where The Aviationist’s editor David Cenciotti was one of the guests providing expert commentary) and the Italian Air Force’s YouTube channel.

International aerobatic teams joined the airshow to wish a happy birthday to the Frecce Tricolori, including the Orlik Team from Poland, the Midnight Hawks from Finland, the Patrulla Aguila from Spain and the Patrouille Suisse from Switzerland. Initially, the Red Arrows from the United Kingdom, the Red Devils from Belgium and the Krila Oluje from Croatia were also expected to join the show, but their participation was later cancelled. The French Patrouille de France could not attend the celebrations in Rivolto as they were already involved in their own airshow at the Base Aérienne 116 Luxeuil.

The airshow with lots of interesting displays and demos, including the flypast of the Legend formation, that made its debut in 9-ship formation at the recent 75th anniversary of the 61° Stormo: the formation is a joint civil-military effort with some privately owned warbirds (T-6, G.46, SF-260AM, MB-326E and MB-326K) along with military aircraft in active service (Siai 208M, M-346/T-346, MB-339A/T-339A and MB-339CD/FT-339C).

We will cover the Legend formation and other displays more in depth in a series of upcoming stories (yes, there’s much more to say) we will publish in the next days. For the moment, let’s focus on the COMAO.

Composite Air Operations demo

In addition to the aerobatic teams, the entire Italian Air Force took part in the celebrations with representatives from almost all aircraft types, including the F-2000 Typhoon, F-35A and F-35B, Tornado, AMX, HH-101, HH-139 (as part of a SMI demo), T-346, T-339A and FT-339C (as part of the Legend formation), C-27J, C-130J, KC-767, G550 CAEW and Predator. The flight displays by the Reparto Sperimentale Volo, the Test unit of the ItAF, were followed by operational demonstrations which included a Slow Mover Intercept (SMI) scenario, with two Typhoons scrambling to intercept a HH-139A, and a COMAO (Composite Air Operations) scenario.

The latter included all the capabilities of the Italian Air Force, with the CAEW (Conformal Airborne Early Warning) and a Predator RPA operating behind the scenes to provide data and share the “picture” so as to achieve the Information Superiority needed by the decision makers in any conflict or crisis operation.

Actually, several different scenarios were merged into a 30 minute demo.

It all started with a demo of the strategic and tactical airlift capabilities of the Italian Air Force: a KC-767A and a C-130J which also airlifted operators from the “Fucilieri dell’Aria” (Air Riflemen) Battalion of the 16° Stormo simulated an evacuation from an airport located in a contested zone. More or less what the service put into practice to evacuate civilians from Kabul during operation Aquila Omnia.

Then, an F-35A simulated a SEAD/DEAD attack on the airfield, targeting a SPADA SAM battery of the local-based 2° Stormo (Wing), the Italian Air Force missile unit. The aircraft showed two GBU-12 Paveway II bombs during the open weapon bay pass.

After the enemy air defenses had been disabled, it was the turn of a package composed by two Typhoons loaded in a swing role configuration with two IRIS-T IR-guided air-to-air missiles and two GBU-48 Enhanced Paveway II; two Tornados (one of those carrying three GBU-32 JDAM bombs) and two AMX to attack the airfield: this phase provided the crowd with a quite rare sight during Italian airshows, with an AMX dropping flares during a simulated strafing run and inert bombs on the Typhoon, F-35 and Tornado.

AMX dropping flares. Quite rare in an Italian airshow. Last time this happened during a large airshow was (probably) at Pratica di Mare airbase in the 2000s.
Typhoon with GBU-48 Enhanced Paveway.
This Tornado appeared to carry three GBU-32 bombs.

The fourth phase fo the demo saw two HH-101 Caesar helicopters arrive on the “scene” to insert a special forces team of the 17° Stormo “Incursori” (Raiders Wing) using the Fast Rope while one Typhoon and an F-35 provided top cover and Close Air Support with glide 10 strafing attacks.

One of the two HH-101A of the 21° Gruppo, based at Grazzanise airbase.

The subsequent phase saw the Raiders exfiltrate a wounded military from a building while one Tornado and one AMX provided armed overwatch flying a Visual Wheel at 1,000 and 2,000 feet.

The next phase simulated a PR (Personnel Recovery) operation: as AMX and Tornado in Sandy role continued to provide cover, the HH-101 Caesar landed to recover the wounded military and egress the combat zone.

Then it was the time for the ItAF F-35B STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) variant of the Lightning II to take the stage: the aircraft approached the field from the North, hovered in front of the crowd at the center of the display line and then landed vertically on the runway.

F-35B banking left.
The F-35B of the 13° Gruppo (Squadron) of the 32° Stormo (Wing) of the Italian Air Force.

The final act of the demo was a flypast of most of the aircraft taking part in the display split into three sections: the first one was a formation made of a KC-767, F-35A, F-2000, AMX, Tornado and G550 CAEW flying at 1,000 feet AGL and 270 knots; the second formation, coming in at 500 feet and 220 knots was a formation with a C-130 and a C-27J while the third and final section, flying at 100 feet AGL, was composed by two HH-101A Caesar helicopters of the 21° Gruppo (Squadron) of the 9° Stormo (Wing).

The KC-767 leading the first section of the final flypast.

Interestingly, while the AMXs landed at Rivolto after the “Composite event”, all the other assets taking part in the flyover flew back to their homebases. Among them the F-35A that carried out AAR (Air-to-Air Refueling) with the KC-767 before heading to Amendola airbase. After all, the demo was also a training opportunity for the involved aircrews and supporting personnel.

Static display and VIPs

A static display of the aircraft in service with the Aeronautica Militare was also available for the public to visit, along with thematic areas dedicated to the Frecce Tricolori’s history, ItAF recruitment and technologies for a sustainable future. Aircraft were not the only protagonists of the static display, as they were joined also by high performance cars of the Italian builder Pagani.

One of the cars in Rivolto was the exclusive Huayra Tricolore, a hypercar of which only three examples have been built expressly for the Frecce Tricolori anniversary and with the astonishing price of about 6 million Euro each. Horacio Pagani, founder and CEO of the company, drove himself the car on the runway for a high-speed drive before the beginning of the airshow, for the delight of the crowd.

Among the authorities arrived in Rivolto for the 60th anniversary there were also the Italian President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella, the President of the Senate Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati and the Minister of Defence Lorenzo Guerini, welcomed by the “homeowners” Gen. Alberto Rosso, Chief of Staff of the Italian Air Force, Col. Marco Bertoli, Commander of the 2° Stormo, and Lt. Col. Gaetano Farina, Commander of the Frecce Tricolori.

President Mattarella arrived in Rivolto on board of the A319CJ of the 31° Stormo, the Italian Air Force One, escorted by two Typhoons. The aircraft was parked away from the crowd, with the President taken by car to the authorities’ official gallery where he enjoyed a center stage seat. At the end of the airshow, the President personally congratulated Lt. Col. Farina and all the members of the team on the flight line, before posing for a group photo and being gifted a special print for the anniversary.

“It is always a sight to see you, well done. It was exciting”, said President Mattarella. “In important ceremonies such as June 2 and other days, your flypast is a highlight, a central moment. You are a magnificent symbol of Italy. Congratulations and thanks. I imagine the work, but the involvement is exciting”. The President later departed on the A319CJ back to Rome, after being saluted by the crowd gathered in Rivolto for the airshow.

“An anniversary full of pride for Italy,” commented the Gen. Rosso. “Italians are the pilots, Italian is the training they received at the Air Force flight schools, Italian is the technology of the aircraft. The Frecce Tricolori are the tip of the iceberg of this airshow but there are many capabilities and assets constantly engaged at the service of the community, to protect our skies and the skies of countries that do not have their own defense system, assets also committed in recent months abroad, in the complex repatriation operation of Afghan refugees, and before that committed to supporting the fight against Covid-19 ”.

The 2021 Frecce Tricolori team poses for the photographers at the end of the airshow. (Image credit: Stefano D’Urso)

“Words are not needed to describe this day”, said Minister Guerini during his salute address. “The emotions experienced thanks to the extraordinary spectacle we witnessed are enough. But beyond the emotion, we saw the purest, most immediate and concrete expression of the peculiarity of our military instrument, based on professional skills of the highest level and high-tech means but firmly anchored to values ​​and traditions “.

The Minister of Defence underlined the importance of teamwork that distinguishes all the excellent departments of the Italian Armed Forces, highlighting that with this anniversary “the result of 60 years of history was celebrated, to be watched with great pride and respect, in which the Frecce Tricolori have sailed the skies of Italy and the world, ambassadors of prestige, traditions and Italian excellence and, before that, of the technical and human skills of the entire Air Force “.

The sun sets over Rivolto while the maintenance crews perform post-flight operations after the airshow. (Image credit: Stefano D’Urso)

The airshow was replicated the next day, with the rain being unable to deter thousands of enthusiast people from enjoying the special day.

Landing on wet runway on Sept. 19, 2021.

The second day of the airshow was also dedicated to the participation of former pilots and members of the 313° Gruppo Addestramento Acrobatico (the official ItAF designation of the Frecce Tricolori), as well as those who were part of the historical aerobatic teams who preceded the official creation of the Frecce, sealing the indissoluble bond that ideally binds all those who have had the honor of representing the Armed Force and the country in this capacity.

This bond was also celebrated with the special tails that were created this year for the anniversary, featuring the liveries of the display teams that in the 1950s were given, on a rotational basis, the task of representing the Air Force at air shows and flyovers in Italy and abroad: the “Cavallino Rampante”, “Getti Tonanti”, “Tigri Bianche”, “Diavoli Rossi” and “Lancieri Neri”. The special tails were initially applied to five aircraft earlier this year, with the other five receiving them before the airshow. As a surprise, the pilots also had their helmets repainted the night before the airshow, featuring the current helmet on one side and the helmet of the historical teams on the other side

David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.
Stefano D’Urso is a contributor for TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. He’s a full-time engineering student and aspiring pilot. In his spare time he’s also an amateur aviation photographer and flight simulation enthusiast.