Air Force Thunderbirds Announce 1997 Schedule
By Master Sgt. Stephen Barrett, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 1997 As part of the Air Force's 50th anniversary celebration this year, the service's Thunderbirds jet demonstration team will perform at 36 events in 22 states. The team will also perform in the United Kingdom.
The Thunderbirds' demonstration schedule begins April 5 at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., and ends Nov. 9 at Daytona Beach, Fla. More than 280 million people in all 50 states and 55 foreign countries have seen the red, white and blue jets in more than 3,400 aerial demonstrations.
A Thunderbirds air demonstration is a mix of formation flying and solo routines using F-16 Fighting Falcons. The pilots perform about 30 maneuvers in a demonstration and the entire show runs about an hour and 15 minutes.
The Thunderbirds squadron consists of eight pilots (including six demonstration pilots), four support officers, three civilians and more than 130 enlisted personnel in 25 career fields. Officers serve a two-year assignment with the squadron, while enlisted personnel serve three to four.
Besides being the official U.S. Air Force aerial demonstration team, the Thunderbirds are part of the Air Force combat force. If required, team personnel and aircraft can convert into a fighter unit at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Personnel can convert the aircraft to combat status in less than 72 hours.
Officials expect to release schedules for the Navy Blue Angels jet demonstration team and the Army Golden Knights parachute team later this month.
Thunderbirds 1997 Schedule
April 5-6 Air Show, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.
April 12 Air Show, Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Ariz.
April 13 Fresno (Calif.) Air National Guard Open House
April 19 Thunder Over Louisville (Ky.).
April 26 International Air Show, Nellis AFB, Nev.
May 3-4 Air & Sea Show, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
May 17-18 Joint Service Open House, Andrews AFB, Md.
May 24 Air Show, Royal Air Force Base, Mildenhall, United Kingdom
May 28 U.S. Air Force Academy commencement, Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 31 Air Show Colorado, Broomfield
June 1 Air Show Colorado, Broomfield
June 7 Air Force 50th Anniversary Celebration, Scott AFB, Ill.
June 8 Open House, Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind.
June 14-15 Aerospace American International Air Show, Oklahoma City
June 28 Air Show, Battle Creek, Mich.
July 4 Air Force 50th Anniversary Observance, Hickam AFB, Hawaii
July 12-13 International Air Fair, Yakima, Wash.
July 19-20 Air Show, Dayton, Ohio
July 23 Air Show, Cheyenne, Wyo.
July 26-27 Sea 'N' Sky Fest, Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, Wash.
Aug. 2-3 Air Show, Hanscom AFB, Mass.
Aug. 15 Wings of Eagles Air Show, Batavia, N.Y.
Aug. 16-17 Rickenbacker Air Show, Columbus, Ohio
Aug. 23-24 Air and Water Show, Chicago
Aug. 30 Open House, Peterson AFB, Colo.
Sept. 1 Armed Forces Air Show, Randolph AFB, Texas
Sept. 5-6 Community Appreciation Day, Langley AFB, Va.
Sept. 7 Community Appreciation Day, Moody AFB, Ga.
Sept. 13-14 International Air Show, Syracuse, N.Y.
Sept. 20-21 Air Show, Youngstown, Ohio
Sept. 27-28 Wings Over Houston Air Show, Houston
Oct. 4-5 Confederate Air Force Air Show, Midland, Texas
Oct. 11-12 Skyfest '97, Birmingham, Ala.
Oct. 18-19 Open House, Edwards AFB, Calif.
Oct. 25-26 Air Show, New Orleans NAS
Nov. 1-2 Air Force 50th Anniversary Open House, Eglin AFB, Fla.
Nov. 8-9 Daytona Skyfest, Daytona Beach, Fla.