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ACC... F-22 Only


Did you guys catch this?

F-22 Only for 2012... no F-16, A-10, F-15E

I know flying airshows is not the real task of the AF, but this is sad news.

Yep commented on couple days ago in reply to a thread... very much sucks. Not only do I chose which airshows I go to based primarily on what military aircraft will be flying, but what else hit me was that there goes the USAF Heritage Flight formations at any show that the F-22 isn't at... and I love me some dissimiliar formations. They aren't going to bring in a fighter just for the heritage flight, so this is a double whammy. That means the most you can hope to see is an F-22 or USN demo by the F-18.. thats it!

Ah the gold old days when you could see an F-14, F-15, F-16, F-18, A-10 or Harrier demo depending... sigh.

On a side note, and not that it was a demo nor was it planned... but last month at the Jacksonville NAS airshow on Sunday the weather was for shit which kept several things grounded from flying their routine.. but we had an impromptu civilian/contractor A-4 Skyhawk do several orbits.. and I mean several... while waiting for the F-4 Corsair to get airborne, then they did the USN heritage flight formation.. which was nice!

I'm not from the US, and to be honest I wasn't planning to go to the US any time soon for other reasons. But maintaining the airshow calendars, I was thinking about how great it would be to visit some of the larger shows when these demos and some local unit's aircraft were displaying. Maybe it's just me, but the latter already was reduced to a fly-by or two some years ago? So the demos are closest to real combat aircraft, as the Thunderbirds/Blue Angels aren't that representative imho. Counting out the demos, US airshows seem no longer that appealing. Because for me, like you say, it's more about the military aircraft than the formation teams and other airshow acts. Although it's great the F-100/A-4/F-4 are back, they may not be enough to make the journey. But there's the F-22 luckily, so who knows.

Anyway, I'm not the audience. But just envisaging myself in your situation: hopefully it's temporary and they'll be back in the near future, or organising units will step up to do more in the air at their shows, maybe also inviting other units from nearby bases. Maybe then the sorties can still count as training. Of course they can't be full demos then, but at least there's more real jets in the air at a show.

I'm afraid this change will be quite insignificant compared to what's probably coming...


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