COUNTDOWN TO TAKE OFF
The importance of the Stearman PT-17 to the US war effort cannot be overemphasized. Approximately 50% of all US military pilots, who fought in WW II received their initial flight training in this sturdy aircraft.
The RCAF was supplied with 300 PT-17s in the summer of 1942, to expand its fleet of basic trainers. They served with No. 3 Flying Instructors’ School, Arnprior, Ontario and four Elementary Flying Training Schools, in the Prairies.
The distinctive roar of its turbojet engine announces that the celebrated CT-114 Tutor is passing overhead. As the aircraft flown by the Snowbirds—Canada’s famed Air Demonstration team—the nimble Tutor is a Canadian Air Force icon.
The Tutor was originally procured in the mid-1960s to train student pilots. It was replaced in 2000 by the CT-156 Harvard II and CT-155 Hawk. Today, the Tutor is flown primarily by 431 Squadron’s Snowbirds. However, it is also used in aircraft testing at the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment (AETE) in Cold Lake, Alberta.
The Tutors flown by the Snowbirds are slightly modified from the training version. In addition to show features, the modified version has a more highly-tuned engine to enhance performance during low-level aerobatic flying.
The de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk is a tandem, two-seat, single-engine primary trainer aircraft. It was developed shortly after the Second World War and sold heavily throughout the immediate post-war years, typically as a replacement for the de Havilland Tiger Moth biplane. During the late 1940s and 1950s, the Chipmunk was procured in large numbers by military air services such as the RCAF, RAF, and several other nations’ air forces, where it was often utilised as their standard primary trainer aircraft.
The CT-155 Hawk was selected for the NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC) program because of its similarities to frontline fighter aircraft. Student pilots graduate from the CT-156 Harvard II to this highly advanced jet trainer. Its Rolls-Royce turbofan engine generates more than 6000lbs of thrust and powers the jet to supersonic speeds.
The Hawk’s sophisticated glass cockpit features:
With its superior technology, the jet can perform a wide range of high performance training missions.
NFTC students train on the Hawk during the program’s final stage. Once they’ve logged 125 flight hours, Canada’s student fighter pilots are ready to join 410 Squadron, the Operation Training Unit, which flies CF-188 Hornets.
Canada is not alone in selecting this modern trainer. Fifteen countries, including the British Royal Air Force rely on the Hawk to prepare their pilots for combat. The United States Navy uses its own version—the T-45A Goshawk—as an advanced trainer for carrier operations.
Canada’s student pilots prove their mettle in the CT-156 Harvard II. This agile turboprop trainer is the aircraft of choice for the early stages of the NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC) program.
Boasting an impressive thrust-to-weight ratio, the CT-156 has an initial climb rate of about 1km per minute. It can handle sustained 2G turns at an altitude of 7,500 metres.
The Canadian Forces (CF) Snowbirds, 431 Air Demonstration Squadron are a Canadian icon comprised of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and National Defence Public Service employees. The CF Snowbirds proudly and eagerly uphold the legacy of military aviation excellence as Canada’s Air Demonstration Team.
Serving as ambassadors of the CAF, the CF Snowbirds demonstrate the high level of skill, professionalism, teamwork, discipline and dedication inherent in the men and women of the CAF and they inspire the pursuit of excellence wherever they go in North America.
Your 2019 Canadian Forces Snowbirds reflect the diversity and opportunities available equally to men and women in the Canadian military. Each member of the Snowbirds’ team is a full-time serving member who demonstrates the skill, professionalism, and teamwork essential to achieving aviation excellence.
In their 49th season, the Snowbirds continue to inspire with thrilling aerobatic performances and breathtaking fly-bys over cities and towns across Canada and the United States.
Read more about the Canadian Forces Snowbirds – http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/en/snowbirds/index.page
Brent Handy is an unrestricted, surface-rated aerobatic performer. Born in small town Wyevale, Ontario, Brent knew from a young age that he wanted to spend his time in the air. His air show journey began in 2012 when he flew in the opposing solo position for the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. Expect an adrenaline-filled, heart-pumping series of tumbles, torque rolls, and loops. The Pitts Special is THE air show airplane to inspire young and old to pursue their passions!
When a child dreams and wants something so deeply in their soul, anything is possible. Every detail of their life becomes aligned with achieving their goal. Family gathers in support. True friends are separated from the rest. And when born in a nation so rich with opportunity, the impossible becomes reality!
Read more about Brent’s journey and his team – http://brenthandy.com/
Every year, the Air Force selects a special group of people to make up the CF-18 Demonstration Team. The CF-18 Demonstration Team is a truly national team; all members come from Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) units across the country, and each one is selected for his or her superior performance, dedication to excellence, and the desire to represent Canada’s operational air force. Without the hard work of each and every team member, the CF-18 Demo Hornet would never get off the ground.
The team is comprised of thirteen members including the Demo pilot, eight technicians, three safety pilots and a public affairs officer/narrator. Captain Brian Kilroy is the pilot for the 2019 CF-18 Demonstration Team.
Captain Kilroy will wow audiences around Canada during the 2019 air show season, flying his specially-painted CF-18 Hornet commemorating the RCAF’s pathway to the stars and the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
The supersonic CF-188 Hornet, popularly known as the CF-18, is a multipurpose, high performance twin-engine fighter. This impressive jet generates enough thrust to lift 24 full-sized pick-up trucks off the ground!
Read more about the CF-18 Demonstration Team – http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/en/cf-18-demo-team/index.page
Airshow spectators around the world have been treated to the unique variety of acts performed by veteran pilot and consummate entertainer Kent Pietsch and his Jelly Belly airplanes.
His shows, which include specialty acts designed to thrill audiences of all ages, showcase aerobatic stunts featuring airplanes that lose parts, engines that quit in mid-flight, and landings onto runways mounted on moving vehicles. Kent has enjoyed presenting the fun of flight to air show audiences for 40 years.
Kent’s enthusiasm for flying started in 1967 when, at age 16, he completed his first solo flight. His passion turned into a full-time career just three years later when he began flying commercially. In 2007, Kent took early retirement from a major airline to pursue his real passion of performing in the air show circuit. As a premier air show performer Kent strives to show the freedom of flight. While his acts push the limits of what he and his airplane can do, Kent adheres to strict safety standards making him a true professional in the air show field.
Read more about Kent Pietsch and his colourful Jelly Belly airplanes – http://www.kentpietschairshows.com/
Gord Price sponsored by The Dam Pub has been performing airshows since 1976. He has been a RCAF fighter pilot, an airline captain and represented Canada at 3 FAI World Aerobatic Championships. Not only is Gord an incredibly experienced pilot, he also designed, built and flew the ‘Ultimate ‘series of biplanes. Today, Gord flies the prototype YAK 50 with a newly installed 435 hp engine. This is the only YAK 50 registered in Canada.
Read more about Gord Price and his YAK 50 – http://gordpriceairshows.com/
The Air Combat Command F-16 Viper Demonstration Team at Shaw AFB, S.C., performs precision aerial manoeuvres to demonstrate the unique capabilities of one of the Air Force’s premier multi-role fighters, the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The team also flies in Air Force Heritage Flight formations, exhibiting the professional qualities the Air Force develops in the people who fly, maintain and support these aircraft.
The team’s F-16CM Fighting Falcon, affectionately known as the ‘Viper,” is a single-seat, multi-role fighter with the ability to switch from an air-to-ground to air-to-air role at the touch of a button. With its lightweight airframe and powerful General Electric engine generating 31,000 pounds of thrust, the F-16 can fly at speeds in excess of Mach 2.
Read more about the F-16 Viper Demo Team – https://www.shaw.af.mil/Viper-Demo-Team/
Yellow Thunder is a two ship aerial demonstration team flying ex-Canadian military aircraft, the Harvard. Pilots Dave Watson and Drew Watson skillfully demonstrate aerobatic manoeuvers based on RCAF pilot training. Airshow spectators will see manoeuvers that were taught to advance the pilot’s hand and foot coordination with the airplane. These manoeuvers were also the foundation for dogfighting, which would be used in the next airplane the student would move onto after the Harvard; usually the P-15 Mustang, the Spitfire, or the Hurricane.
The formation content in the Yellow Thunder display is used in pilot training, both pre and post war. Formation tactics that are taught to this day. Their formation demonstration moves past what most military students are taught and include aerobatics such as:
Read more about Yellow Thunder – www.yellowthunder.ca
Kyle Fowler began following his father’s footsteps at a very young age. Looking to his father, Ken Fowler of Team Rocket, as his role model, Kyle moved forward with his dreams of becoming an Aerobatic Pilot by the age of 12, announcing his father’s performance at several airshows. Then at the age of 21, his dreams began to manifest. Kyle obtained his Private Pilot’s License, with Eric Hansen of Team Rocket, as his flight instructor, and began his journey toward his airshow career.
Kyle’s new plane, the Long EZ, is the perfect combination of comfort and style. Though not capable of aggressive aerobatics the Long EZ makes up for it with its unique look in the delta wing canard design. This small tandem seating airplane has an impressive range of 1000nm and cruising at speeds of 160 knots.
Read more about Kyle and the Long Ez – http://longez.ca/
Rob Mitchell, affectionately known as Scratch to his friends, is a third generation military pilot. Originally from Victoria, BC, he wears many hats, balancing flying, acting and producing films and TV. Rob’s guiding principles, “passion, focus and action” have led to more than 6,500 hours in jet aircraft including the CF-18 as a fighter pilot, F-86 for Vintage Wings of Canada, CT-114 Tutor as a Snowbird and more recently the T-33 Shooting Star as an airshow pilot with Ace Maker Airshows.
Rob will be demonstrating his skills at the Saskatchewan Airshow in the T-33 Shooting Star. As America’s first operational jet fighter and trainer, these aircraft represent a piece of American history that ushered us into a new generation, and have helped pave the way for the lives and freedom we enjoy today.
The P-40 is an American single-engine, single-seat, all-metal fighter and ground-attack aircraft that first flew in 1938. The P-40 was used by most Allied powers during World War II, and remained in frontline service until the end of the war. It was the third most-produced American fighter of World War II, after the P-51 and P-47, and played a vital role in winning the War. By November 1944, when production of the P-40 ceased, 13,738 had been built, all at Curtiss-Wright Corporation’s main production facilities at Buffalo, New York.
Warbird pilot Bernie Vasquez is flying the P-40 at the Saskatchewan Airshow. Bernie became fascinated with flight as a young boy. Riding his bike to the local airport, he befriended Steve Seghetti who had a P-51. “He opened his hangar up and I never left! From the first time he let me sit in the P-51 I was hooked! I told him someday I’m going to fly one.” So, at the age of 11, Bernie worked at the local glider port, trading hours for glider lessons. Eventually he went looking for the same trade at the airport and was given the job of fuel boy. He earned enough hours of flight time to receive his private license and soloed on his 16th birthday, when most of his friends were just learning how to drive a car.
Its iconic silhouette, fame from the Battle of Britain, legends of its aerobatic qualities makes the Spitfire the quintessential World War II fighter! The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft used by the Royal Air Force and other Allied countries before, during, and after World War II.
The Spitfire was designed as a short-range, high-performance interceptor aircraft by R. J. Mitchell, chief designer at Supermarine Aviation Works. The Spitfire was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft and was also the only British fighter produced continuously throughout the war.
Experienced pilot Warren Pietsch is flying the Spitfire at the Saskatchewan Airshow. Warren began flying at a young age and soloed on his 16th birthday. He continued obtaining his certificates to fly charter for the family business with his father Al Pietsch. In 1980, after restoration of his T-Craft, Warren joined his father and brother, Kent, in the Air Show industry, performing at shows across the U.S. and Canada. In addition to flying Air Shows, Warren was a captain for a major airline for 20 years, flying Lockheed 1011, B-727, and B-737’s worldwide. Warren has accumulated over 30,000+ hours of flight time in aircraft ranging from gliders, J-3 Cubs, antique aircraft and vintage WWII aircraft. He is qualified for aerobatics in numerous aircraft, including the P-51 Mustang.
The KC-135 Stratotanker provides the core aerial refueling capability for the United States Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 60 years.
This unique asset enhances the Air Force’s capability to accomplish its primary mission of global reach. It also provides aerial refueling support to Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and allied nation aircraft. The KC-135 is also capable of transporting litter and ambulatory patients using patient support pallets during aeromedical evacuations.
The PC-21 is Pilatus’ next generation trainer aircraft. The PC-21 is designed to allow future military pilots to perform most of their training using a single aircraft type. The PC-21 is as benign and easy to fly for the ab-initio student as it is challenging and rewarding for the pilot preparing for the front line.
As an advanced single pilot IFR, seven passenger aircraft with the ability to adapt to diverse demands without compromising safety, and unrivaled service support, the Bell 429 is in a league of its own.
The King Air 350 is part of the world’s most successful and flexible line of business/utility aircraft with a number of mission configurations optimized for VIP transport, ISR and maritime surveillance, air ambulance, and cargo transport. More than 7,000 King Air aircraft have been produced and its technology mirrors aviation industry advancement, resulting in constantly improved features, improving comfort, productivity and performance.
The Beechcraft King Air range of aircraft is the most efficient and versatile in its class currently in production anywhere in the world, offering unrivaled performance, productivity and value, all backed by Textron Aviation’s industry-leading, global product support team. King Airs offer performance advantages when compared with aircraft in this size category – shorter take-off and landing distances, more efficient per-hour operation, comparable speed and range, payload – all at costs much less in terms of acquisition, operation and maintenance.