Tuesday, December 18, 2007

US Air Force Thunderbirds 2008 Schedule - Update

Last Update: 1-10-2008

The Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, has announced its 2008 airshow schedule.

The team is scheduled to perform more than 67 shows in 25 states and Canada, as it commemorates the 55th Anniversary of the "Ambassadors in Blue."

Lt. Col. Greg Thomas takes the reigns as the Thunderbirds commander and leader for the 2008 show season.

"The entire team is excited to announce our schedule for 2008," Colonel Thomas said. "It is truly an honor for me to lead the team in commemorating the 55th anniversary of the Thunderbirds."

The Thunderbirds will help commemorate another milestone in North America when the team travels to Québec City to perform June 14 and15, honoring the city's 400th anniversary.

The Thunderbirds, originally known as the 3600th Air Demonstration Unit, out of Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., were activated May 25, 1953.

"Originally, the Thunderbirds were created in the infancy of the jet age," Colonel Thomas said. "At that time the pilots and crews' mission were to give confidence to the Air Force pilots of the day, showing that they too could handle the speed and power of jet aircraft.

"Over the last 55 years, the mission has changed slightly to include recruiting young men and women, retaining the quality Airmen already in service today and representing the 513,000 active-duty, Guard and Reserve members serving at home and abroad," Colonel Thomas said. "The mission might have changed throughout the years, but the pride, professionalism and almost unbelievable attention to detail of our Airmen representing the Air Force's finest has remained unparalleled."

The Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron is an Air Combat Command unit composed of eight pilots (including six demonstration pilots), four support officers, four civilians and about 110 enlisted people performing in more than 29 Air Force specialties.

The 2008 team includes the Air Force's first female lead-solo demonstration pilot, Maj. Samantha Weeks, Thunderbird No. 5, in her second year.

The remaining pilots for the 2008 season include: Maj. Chris Austin, Thunderbird No. 2, left wing; Maj. Kirby Ennser, Thunderbird No. 3, right wing; Maj. Scott Poteet, Thunderbird No. 4, slot; and Maj. Tyrone Douglas, Thunderbird No. 6, opposing solo.

Rounding out the list of officers are: Lt. Col. Rob Skelton, Thunderbird No. 7, operations officer; Maj. Anthony Mulhare, Thunderbird No. 8, advance pilot/narrator; Maj. (Dr.) Charla Quayle, Thunderbird No. 9, flight surgeon; Capt. Amy Glisson, Thunderbird No. 10, executive officer; Capt. Charles Ploetz, Thunderbird No. 11, maintenance officer; and Capt. Elizabeth Kreft, Thunderbird No. 12, public affairs officer.

A Thunderbirds' aerial demonstration is a mix of formation flying and solo routines. The pilots perform approximately 40 maneuvers in a demonstration. The entire show, including ground and air, runs about one hour. The airshow season lasts from March to November, with the winter months used to train new members.

Don't forget to checkout our ninth annual Air Show Guide that will appear in the March 2008 issue of Monitoring Times magazine. It will be loaded with the latest frequencies (for US and foreign teams), combined schedules, and radio equipment recommendations to make your air show experience an enjoyable and pleasurable one.

The web version of our March guide won't be posted to the MT website until mid to late April. This is done as a courtesy to our subscribers and readers who pay the freight. So get your copy of the March issue before it sells out when it is released in the last week of February. Better yet, get a subscription and don't miss a single exciting issue of Monitoring Times magazine.

US Air Force Thunderbirds 2008 Performance Schedule
This schedule is subject to change without notice.

17 Daytona Beach, Florida - Opening ceremonies for the 50th running of the Daytona 500 NASCAR race.

15 San Angelo, Texas
29 Tyndall AFB, Florida - Gulf Coast Salute 2008, Tyndall Air Force Base Air Show

5-6 Punta Gorda, Florida - Florida International Airshow
12-13 Lakeland, Florida - EAA Sun 'n Fun 2008
19-20 Wilmington, North Carolina - Coastal Carolina Airshow
26 Charleston AFB, South Carolina - Charleston Air Expo 2008

3-4 March ARB, California - AirFest 2008
10-11 Langley AFB, Virginia
17-18 Ft. Smith, Arkansas - Fort Smith Regional Airshow 2008
24 Tinker AFB, Oklahoma - Star Spangled Salute
28 U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado. (Invitation Only)
31 McGuire AFB, New Jersey - McGuire/Fort Dix/Lakehurst Joint Base Open House 2008

1 McGuire AFB, New Jersey - McGuire/Fort Dix/Lakehurst Joint Base Open House 2008
7-8 Rockford, Illinois - 3rd Annual Rockford Air Show
14-15 Quebec City, Quebec Canada - Quebec International Air Show
21 Klamath Falls, Oregon - Klamath Falls Air Show 2008
24 Eielson AFB, Alaska
27-28 Elmendorf AFB, Alaska - Arctic Thunder 2008

4-6 Battle Creek, Michigan - Battle Creek's Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival
12-13 Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Milwaukee Air Expo
19-20 McChord AFB, Washington - McChord Air Expo 2008
23 Cheyenne, Wyoming
26-27 Rochester, New York - Rochester International Air Show 2008

8-10 Abbotsford, British Columbia Canada - Abbotsford International Airshow
16-17 Offutt AFB, Nebraska - 2008 Offutt AFB Open House and Air Show
20 Atlantic City, New Jersey - 2008 Atlantic City "Thunder Over the Boardwalk" Airshow
23-24 Kansas City, Missouri - KC Aviation Expo and Airshow
30-31 Travis AFB, California - Travis Air Expo

6-7 Westover ARB, Massachusetts - Great New England Air Show
12-13 Reno, Nevada - US National Championship Air Races
14 Mountain Home, Idaho - 2008 Mountain Home Air Force Base Air Show
20-21 Scott AFB, Illinois - Scott Air Force Base Open House
27-28 Salinas, California

4 Vance AFB, Oklahoma
11-12 Ft. Worth (Alliance), Texas - Fort Worth Alliance Air Show
18-19 Dobbins ARB, Georgia
25-26 Houston, Texas - Wings Over Houston Airshow

1-2 Lafayette, Louisiana
8-9 Nellis AFB, Nevada - Aviation Nation 2008