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Thunderbirds Honor Air Force's 70th Anniversary Plus The 2017-18 Thunderbird Season Show Schedule Is Out!

7 February 2017 by



Photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Boitz

U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron “Thunderbirds”

Lt. Colonel Jason Heard, Thunderbirds Commander/Leader, taxis to the runway at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 7, 2017. In honor of the United States Air Force's 70th Anniversary, the Thunderbirds will fly with the logo displayed on their aircraft for the rest of the year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Christopher Boitz)

Staff Sgt. Aaron Langley sets up the cockpit of a Thunderbirds F-16 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 7, 2017. In honor of the United States Air Force's 70th Anniversary, the Thunderbirds will fly with the logo displayed on their aircraft for the rest of the year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Christopher Boitz)

History of The Thunderbirds

The USAF Air Demonstration Squadron ("Thunderbirds") is the air demonstration squadron of the United States Air Force (USAF). The Thunderbirds are assigned to the 57th Wing, and are based at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Created in 1953, the USAF Thunderbirds are the third oldest formal flying aerobatic team (under the same name) in the world, after the United States Navy Blue Angels formed in 1946 and the prestigious French Air Force Patrouille de France formed in 1931.

The Thunderbirds Squadron tours the United States and much of the world, performing aerobatic formation and solo flying in specially marked aircraft. The squadron's name is taken from the legendary creature that appears in the mythologies of several indigenous North American cultures.

On 1 March 2013, the USAF announced that due to budget cuts, aerial demonstration team performances would cease indefinitely, effective 1 April 2013.  On 6 December 2013 the Thunderbirds announced their 2014 schedule and the resumption of their appearances.

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The Thunderbirds Are Coming To Town!

2017-18 Thunderbird Show Season

The Thunderbirds have the privilege and responsibility to perform for people all around the world, displaying the pride, precision and professionalism of American Airmen. In every hour-long demonstration, the team combines years of training and experience with an attitude of excellence to showcase what the Air Force is all about.

The sharply choreographed, drill-style ground ceremony kicks off the demonstration by showcasing the attention to detail and esprit de corps that defines our enlisted members. As the jets take to the skies and fly only a few feet from wingtip to wingtip, the crowd gets a glimpse of the awesome skills and capabilities that all fighter pilots must possess. The solo pilots integrate their own loud and proud routine, exhibiting some of the maximum capabilities of the F-16 Fighting Falcon – the Air Force’s premier multi-role fighter jet.

The flying unit, officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, will perform its first public flyover of 2017 at Houston, Texas for Super Bowl LI.

2017 Show Season Schedule:

February 5: Super Bowl LI, Houston, Texas (Flyover)

February 26: Daytona 500, Daytona Beach, Florida (Flyover)

March 11-12: Titusville, Florida – “TICO Warbird Air Show”

March 18-19: Waco, Texas – “Heart of Texas Air Show”

March 25-26: Lancaster, California – “Los Angeles Air Show”

April 1-2: Melbourne, Florida – “Melbourne Air & Space Show”

April 8-9: Maxwell AFB, Alabama – “Maxwell AFB Gathering of Eagles”

April 22-23: Tyndall AFB, Florida – “Gulf Coast Salute”

April 29-30: Lake Charles, Louisiana – “Chennault International Air Show”

May 6-7: Travis AFB, California – “Travis AFB Open House”

May 13-14: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – “Wings Over Pittsburgh”

May 20-21: Tinker AFB, Oklahoma – “Star Spangled Salute Air Show”

May 24: USAF Academy, Colorado

May 27-28: Wantagh, New York – “Bethpage New York Air Show”

June 3-4: Open Date

June 10-11: Scott AFB, Illinois – “Scott AFB Air Show & Open House”

June 17-18: Youngstown ANG, Ohio – “Thunder Over the Valley Air Show”

June 24-25: Dayton, Ohio – “Vectren Dayton Air Show”

July 1-2: Traverse City, Michigan – “National Cherry Festival Airshow”

July 8-9: Gary, Indiana – “Gary Air Show”

July 14-16: RAF Fairford, UK – “Royal International Air Tattoo”

July 22-23: Great Falls, Montana – “Flight Over the Falls”

July 26: Cheyenne, Wyoming – “Frontier Days Air Show”

July 29-30: Fairchild AFB, Washington – “Inland Northwest Skyfest”

August 12-13: Westfield, Massachusetts – “Westfield Air Show”

August 19-20: Selfridge ANGB, Michigan – “Selfridge ANGB Air Show/Open House”

August 23: Atlantic City, New Jersey – “Thunder Over the Boardwalk”

August 26-27: Dover AFB, Delaware – “Dover AFB Open House/Air Show”

September 2-4: Cleveland, Ohio – “Cleveland National Air Show”

September 9: Altus AFB, Oklahoma – “Altus AFB Air Show”

September 16-17: JB Andrews, Maryland – “JB Andrews Air Show”

September 23-24: Colorado Springs, Colorado – “Pikes Peak Regional Airshow”

September 30-Oct 1: Grand Junction, Colorado – “Grand Junction Air Show”

October 7-8: Minden, Nevada – “Minden-Tahoe Air Show”

October 14-15: Boise, Idaho – “Gowen Thunder Air Show”

October 21-22: Houston, Texas – “Wings Over Houston Air Show”

October 28-29: Moody AFB, Georgia – “Moody AFB Community Appreciation Day”

November 4-5: JB Lackland-Kelly, Texas – “JB Lackland-Kelly AFB”

November 11-12: Nellis AFB, Nevada – “Aviation Nation Open House”

2018 Show Season Schedule:

February 25: Daytona 500, Daytona Beach, Florida (Flyover)

March 10-11: Open Date

March 17-18: Melbourne, Florida – “Melbourne Air & Space Show”

March 24-25: Dobbins ARB, Georgia – “Dobbins Air Reserve Base”

April 7-8: March ARB, California – “March Field Airfest”

April 14-15: Lakeland, Florida – “Sun-N-Fun Fly-In Expo”

April 21-22: Columbus AFB, Mississippi – “Wings over Columbus”

April 28: JB Charleston, South Carolina – “Joint Base Charleston Air Show”

May 5-6: Fort Lauderdale, Florida – “Fort Lauderdale Air Show”

May 12-13: Laughlin AFB, Texas – “Laughlin AFB Open House

May 19-20: Langley AFB, Virginia – “Airpower Over Hampton Roads”

May 23: USAF Academy, Colorado

May 26-27: Cannon AFB, New Mexico – “Cannon AFB Air Show Air Commandos on the High Plains”

June 2-3: Mountain Home AFB, Idaho – “Gunfighter Skies”

June 9-10: Niagara Falls, New York – “Thunder Over Niagara Military Air Show”

June 16-17: Ocean City, Maryland – “OC Air Show”

June 23-24: Hill AFB, Utah – “Warriors Over the Wasatch”

June 30-1 July: JB Elmendorf, Alaska – “Arctic Thunder Open House”

July 7-8: Duluth, Minnesota – “Duluth Air Show”

July 14-15: Westover ARB, Massachusetts – “Great New England Air Show and Open House”

July 21-22: Milwaukee, Wisconsin – “Milwaukee Air & Water Show”

July 25: Cheyenne, Wyoming – “Frontier Days Air Show”

July 28-29: Latrobe, Pennsylvania – “Westmoreland County Air Show”

August 4: Minot AFB, North Dakota – “Minot AFB”

August 18-19: Chicago, Illinois – “60th Annual Chicago Air & Water Show”

August 22: Atlantic City, New Jersey – “Thunder Over the Boardwalk”

August 25-26: Ypsilanti, Michigan – “Thunder Over Michigan Air Show”

September 1-3: Toronto, Canada – “Canadian International Air Show”

September 8-9: McConnell AFB, Kansas – “McConnell Open House”

September 15-16: Mather, California – “California Capital Air Show”

September 22-23: New Windsor, New York – “New York Air Show”

September 29-30: Salinas, California – “California International Airshow”

October 6-7: Baltimore, Maryland – “Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show Baltimore”

October 13-14: Fort Worth, Texas – “Fort Worth Alliance Air Show”

October 20-21: Huntington Beach, California – “Huntington Beach”

October 27-28: Little Rock AFB, Arkansas – “Little Rock AFB”

November 3-4: Homestead ARB, Florida – “Wings Over Homestead ARB”

November 10-11: Nellis AFB, Nevada – “Aviation Nation Open House”

Admission to air shows at military installations are generally free and open to the public. Cost for attendees at civilian air show sites may vary.

Learn more about The USAF Thunderbirds

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