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Pride, professionalism, dedication: the hallmarks of the Unites States Air Force which was founded 70 years ago in 1947 as a separate branch of the armed forces based on the successes of air power during WWII. The men and women serving in “Air Force blue” take those three words to heart daily as they fulfill the USAF’s straightforward mission “to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace.”
In commemoration of the founding of the U.S. Air Force 70 years ago in 1947, the Pikes Peak Regional Air Show is proud to host the USAF Thunderbirds at the Colorado Springs Airport.
USAF Thunderbirds F-16 Fighting Falcon
The F-16 is a single-engine, highly maneuverable, supersonic, multi-role tactical fighter, performing various missions. The Falcon’s design capability of handling 9-g maneuvers is critical to the demonstrations flown by the Thunderbirds.
The F-16 is the Thunderbird’s ninth aircraft since the elite group’s founding in 1953.
USAF Wings of Blue
Demonstration, competition, instruction are central to achieving the mission of the USAF’s Wings of Blue, whose primary mission is to run the Basic Freefall Parachuting course at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Members of the team are jumpmasters and instructors for this course, devoting most of their time to teaching students about parachuting, and training them to make unassisted freefall skydives. Each year, more than 700 USAF Cadets are given the opportunity to earn their jump wings.
The Wings of Blue has both a demonstration team and a competition team. The demonstration team travels across the country to air shows, sporting events, and other venues to represent the Air Force in precision parachuting. Similarly, the competition team represents the Air Force by competing with teams from around the country.
The Heritage Flight is a salute to those who have gone before, but left a mark of service and honor to be remembered though the generations.
The Pikes Peak Regional Air Show Heritage Flight for 2017 features two remarkable aircraft, the P-38 Lightning and the A-10 Thunderbolt II, honoring one man whose dedication to his pilots and the nation serves as inspiration for all, Col. Francis “Frank” Royal (USAF).
Trojan Phlyers dual T28 Aerobatics
Trojan Phlyers, Inc. is dedicated to preserving the rich history of the North American Aviation Company’s T28 Trojan. Based in Texas, Trojan Phlyers owns and operates two T28B Trojan aircraft. The pilots of Trojan Phlyers perform formation and solo aerobatics, and appear each year at air shows and events across the nation.
The immortal monster of dreams and nightmares takes the form of a new biplane and a thrilling air show act. The tapering fuselage, speed ring cowling surrounding the engine, and sloped windshield bring back key features of the racing bi-planes of the 1930’s. But the modern prop, aerodynamics, and onboard systems are fully 21st century, resulting in a smaller, lighter, significantly more maneuverable and powerful airplane.
The nearly full-span ailerons give the Dracula Demon a roll rate more than 300 degrees per second and the two-color smoke system was custom made for the vampire theme of this act.
P-40K Warhawk Aerobatics
First flown in 1938, the P-40 was conceived as a pursuit aircraft and was agile at low and medium altitudes, but the lack of a two-speed supercharger made it inferior in high-altitude combat. However, between 1941 and 1944, the P-40 played a critical role with Allied air forces in three major theaters: North Africa, the Southwest Pacific, and China and had a significant role in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Alaska and Italy.
It was in Asia that the P-40 achieved fame as the tough and dependable workhorse of the “Flying Tigers”. The Texas Flying Legends’ P-40K is painted to commemorate the “Aleutian Tigers” who fought to protect the islands in close proximity to Alaska.
Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX Aerobatics
This memorable and important British fighter flew missions over many a bedroom of American youngsters building model aircraft. The Supermarine Spitfire earned accolades for its role with the Royal Air Force in protecting England from the numerous Nazi airstrikes during the Battle of Britain.
This Spitfire MkIX flew 60 missions during the war, from May 1944 until the end of combat in the European Theater.
North American B-25 Mitchell
Nearly 10,000 of these twin-engine medium bombers were built by the end of WWII, and the B-25 saw action in every theater of the war, serving as a medium-altitude bomber, low-level ground attack aircraft, and mast-level attack aircraft against ships. The majority of action for the B-25 was in the Pacific Theater.
“Due to constantly trying to improve our air show presentation and unforeseeable personnel / equipment scheduling conflicts this air show performer schedule can change at any time.