Thursday, March 16, 2017

Military Air Shows

What better way to show support for your country and military than going to an air show. If you've never been, you're missing out on an awesome experience. To see it on T.V. is one thing but to feel the concussion from jet engines at full throttle is quite honestly, a bit scary at times – but what an adrenaline rush. Not only is there entertainment in the sky but also on the ground. Warplanes of various types and years are on display with all but the most 'TOP SECRET' ones offering up-close tours, including walk-throughs. Also on the ground are military-themed concessions where you can purchase food & drink, souvenirs and other goods that help support platoons, battalions, military branches and the military as a whole. The unarguable highlight of any air show is the finale with the Blue Angels or Thunderbirds Flight Demonstration Squadrons. They represent the apex of flying skill and military professionalism. Blue Angels taxiing The Navy Blue Angels consist of 8 beautifully contrasted blue and yellow F/A-18 Hornet warplanes, and a C-130 support plane named "Fat Albert". Blue Angels pilots represent the best-of-the-best in flying skills and military training. Each one has over 1,250 tactical jet flight-hours and an aircraft carrier qualification. Their home base is in Florida but they call California home during the off season. The Blue Angels bring over 70 years of aviation excellence to every show. Their mission is to showcase the pride and professionalism of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps by inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country through flight demonstrations and community outreach. That statement taken from their website definitely earned an, "OO-RAH!". Blue Angel climbing The Airforce Thunderbirds consist of 8 red, white and blue F-16 Fighting Falcon warplanes with a blue Thunderbird on the belly. Like the Blue Angels, they fly in a precisely choreographed six-plane delta formation with sometimes only a few feet from wingtip to wingtip. They also represent the best the military has to offer. Thunderbirds pilots perform approximately 40 maneuvers in demonstrations that last more than an hour at each air show. The main purpose of these military flight squadrons is to instill confidence in our military and support recruiting and retention programs. Thunderbird in flight There are an average of a half-dozen military air shows in California per year, one of the most popular being the Miramar Air Show in San Diego. Most are held on Air Force Bases with some being sponsored by cities. Most air shows span 2 full days on a weekend and here's the best part… they're FREE. Unless you choose to pay for grandstand seating, bring a picnic blanket, cooler with water bottles, folding chairs and sun shade. A hat and sunscreen wouldn’t be a bad idea too – these shows take place in open areas during hotter months. Air shows are a perfect place for children but get them earplugs because it gets progressively louder as the jets come out later in the day. Be sure to show your support and thank the men and women who keep our country safe and those of our allies. Thunderbirds flying Blue Angels Schedule
Thunderbirds Schedule
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