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Modern Military Airpower in Full Effect at AirVenture 2018
July 12, 2018 - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 will be host to a powerful collection of U.S. Air Force air power unlike anything that has been seen in Oshkosh in years past, according to EAA Director of Flight Operations Dennis Dunbar.
“The Air Force Reserve Command flies just about every type of airframe in the U.S. Air Force inventory, and their support as we celebrate their 70th anniversary has been amazing,” Dunbar said.
The Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) will have multiple aircraft on static display and in the air during the show this year. On Boeing Plaza, Oshkosh attendees will see aircraft such as a McDonnell Douglas KC-10A Extender and Lockheed C-5M Galaxy from Travis Air Force Base, a Lockheed HC-130N Combat King and two Sikorsky HH-60G Pavehawks from Patrick AFB, and two Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptors from Tyndall AFB.
During a special flying tribute linking the Year of the Tanker with the 70th anniversary of the AFRC on Saturday, AirVenture attendees will see a Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker from Grissom Air Reserve Base drag a Rockwell B-1B Lancer from Dyess AFB. This pass will be followed by a KC-10A from McGuire AFB dragging two F-22A Raptors from Tyndall AFB.
Following the two jet-powered tankers will be a HC-130N dragging two HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, all from Patrick AFB. At the conclusion of this parade of tankers, the F-22 Raptors will make a few passes before the B-1 comes back through to begin a 3-pass profile that will be sure to impress. The tankers will also return to make passes in different configurations.
Still on Saturday, the HC-130N and HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters will work together to conduct a simulated long-range search-and-rescue (SAR) mission, at the conclusion of which the mighty Boeing B-52 Stratofortress will emerge for a series of passes demonstrating the capabilities of the legendary BUFF.
Not to be missed on Wednesday evening will be the return of the B-1 Bomber to the twilight skies of Oshkosh. This three-pass profile was a huge hit last year as vapor condensed over the wings to create an amazing visual effect as the B-1 turned away just under the speed of sound.
In addition to the Air Force Reserve, the Air National Guard will also support the year of the tanker this year by having a KC-135R from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on static display with a Lockheed F-16C Fighting Falcon from Madison, Wisconsin. The Milwaukee wing of the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s KC-135s will also be supporting numerous other passes including a flyover to start the Wednesday night air show, where one will climb far above Wittman Regional Airport to enter a refueling track where it will refuel a B-1B at flight level 200. On Friday, the Milwaukee KC-135 will drag a two-ship of AFRC F-22 Raptors over to start the Friday Salute to Veterans air show. Attendees will also see the Milwaukee KC-135s over Oshkosh again on Sunday.
Monday and Tuesday will feature a Fairchild Republic A-10C Warthog out of Selfridge Air National Guard Base with a special paint scheme celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Red Devils 107th Fighter Squadron,. Additionally, the Bayou Militia, aka Louisiana Air National Guard will be sending a McDonnell Douglas F-15C Eagle from the 159th Fighter Wing up for static display.
The U.S. Air Force will also be sending up a flight of two Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning IIs and two Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons from Luke AFB, in addition to a Raytheon T-1 Jayhawk for static display.
This year will mark the return of the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III Demo Team to Oshkosh, where those in attendance can expect to see this workhorse execute its high-performance takeoffs, minimum radius turns, tactical approaches to short-field landings, and three-point turns, where the aircraft uses its reversers to taxi backward, during the air shows on Thursday through Sunday.
The F-16 Viper Demo Team will perform a modified tactical demonstration followed by a heritage flight. The Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation provides dramatic displays pairing modern U.S. Air Force tactical aircraft with warbird fighter aircraft from the World War II, Korea, and Vietnam eras. This year’s heritage flight pilots will be Andrew McKenna, Stuart Milson, and Steve Hinton. Oshkosh attendees will have an opportunity to see John “Rain” Waters flying the F-16 in formation with these legendary warbirds on Wednesday through Sunday, and possibly making one very special pass on Monday.
The U.S. Navy is also getting in on the year of the tanker. Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Nine is sending a trio of Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets and Boeing EA-18G Growlers to Oshkosh this year, where they will simulate a Super Hornet refueling a Growler during the Year of the Tanker show on Saturday. A Super Hornet from Naval Air Station Patuxent River will be on static display showing off the aerial refueling system pod as well.
The Navy will also be bringing a Northrop F-5 from adversary squadron VFC-111 Sundowners, a McDonnell Douglas T-45 Goshawk, and a de Havilland Canada U-1 Otter, the oldest aircraft in the Navy, for static display.
While no longer a Navy asset, NASA will be bringing the only airworthy Lockheed S-3 Viking to Oshkosh for both static display and flyovers. While known primarily as an anti-submarine warfare aircraft, the S-3 was also a force multiplier when serving in the aerial refueling capacity.
The U.S. Army will bring a Boeing AH-64 Apache from the Utah National Guard and a Boeing MH-47G Chinook out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The MH-47G belongs to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) and supports special operations around the globe. The Army is also bringing a Beechcraft C-12 Huron.
The Marine Corps is bringing an MC-12W, a variant of the C-12 Huron, and the U.S. Coast Guard will be represented by both the Eurocopter MH-65D Dolphin and Sikorsky MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter on static display.
In addition to the myriad military aircraft displays already listed, Dunbar said there are still more chances to see them during the week.
“Campers may be woken up early Monday morning by a special arrival, and there will be a surprise in Oshkosh to kick off the Wednesday afternoon air show at 2:30 p.m.,” he said. “You definitely won’t want to miss it.”