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Thunderbirds for RIAT


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The USAF Thunderbirds will be displaying at the Royal International Air Tattoo next July for the USAF 70th anniversary event. That will fill up an hour of the flying display.

 

I've seen them three or four times in the past, and every time the commentator says, "And now the words you've been waiting for! Thunderbirds... light 'em up!" I really wish he would say "Thunderbirds are go!" It would mean more in the UK.

 

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1 hour ago, T7 Models said:

The USAF Thunderbirds will be displaying at the Royal International Air Tattoo next July for the USAF 70th anniversary event. That will fill up an hour of the flying display.

 

I've seen them three or four times in the past, and every time the commentator says, "And now the words you've been waiting for! Thunderbirds... light 'em up!" I really wish he would say "Thunderbirds are go!" It would mean more in the UK.

 

Yes especially as they wear their caps the same as the Thunderbird puppets ;)

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You can almost see the strings.........

 

Seen them in F-100Ds, F-4Es and F-16s. I know what I would like to see them flying.

Curious to see what else is coming.

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The last time the Thunderbirds were at RIAT I wrote my Squadron number in beer foam on the nose of the one that was in the hangar for the Gala Dinner whilst other guys stuck Sqn zaps in all the places that wouldn't be visible during a walk round. There had been quite a bit of free booze.

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12 hours ago, T7 Models said:

The USAF Thunderbirds will be displaying at the Royal International Air Tattoo next July for the USAF 70th anniversary event. That will fill up an hour of the flying display.

 

 

It takes them that long to turn round after each close formation flypast!

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Controversial I know, but I saw the Thunderbirds a decade or so ago at RIAT and I was severely underwhelmed - the display was slow, sometimes minutes between passes.

 

If this is the USAF 70th, I'm hoping we might see the USAF return to RIAT in force - would be nice to see B-52s, B-1Bs etc parked on the apron again. Thats what I will be buying tickets to see :)

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24 minutes ago, PhantomBigStu said:

I'm hoping we get to see more, wishful thinking but a B-1 display and Ill be a happy man also a full f22 display without it breaking down.....

 

I take it it broke down on the second day this year then? Really enjoyed that display and the various F-35s displays on the Saturday :)

 

But yes, a B-1 display would be amazing - I remember it from a decade ago, but it did go from a full display to a single fly over in consecutive years.  

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44 minutes ago, RichardPrice said:

 

I take it it broke down on the second day this year then? Really enjoyed that display and the various F-35s displays on the Saturday :)

 

But yes, a B-1 display would be amazing - I remember it from a decade ago, but it did go from a full display to a single fly over in consecutive years.  

 

Yep, broke down on sunday, took off did a few maneuvers then just landed, very underwhelming, can't remember what they said was the problem....but yes the two f-35's were superb, one hell of a piece of kit......

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2 hours ago, PhantomBigStu said:

 

Yep, broke down on sunday, took off did a few maneuvers then just landed, very underwhelming, can't remember what they said was the problem.......

The weapons doors would not cycle, so they knocked the display off mid show....

 

 

Thunderbird's are good but I think we have been treated in this country by many "Aerobatic teams" where the Thunderbird's claim their's is a demonstration flight.

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I remember seeing the Thunderbirds at a Mildenhall Air Fete sometime in the 80's. A very different type of display from those we were used to. What I do recall was that the solo pilot was called Major Bostic and pronounced the same way as a well known brand of adhesive, thus causing some amusement in the crowd.

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On ‎12‎/‎10‎/‎2016 at 9:05 AM, Shaun said:

Thunderbird's are good but I think we have been treated in this country by many "Aerobatic teams" where the Thunderbird's claim their's is a demonstration flight.

 

 

Indeed - both they and the Blue Angels don't do the same sort of display that you are used to seeing in Europe.

 

They are immensely popular in the US and people tend to congregate at the crowd-line to watch all the rigmarole, then the flight routine, which is impressive in its own way. I regard that precious hour as time to get all my static display shots......:P;)

Edited by Paul Bradley
clarity
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I saw them some time ago at the Salthill Airshow in Galway. Different to the Red Arrows surely but I was awestruck I was seeing them at all, flying over the city I lived in. Sadly that airshow is no more so I suppose I won't be seeing them again anytime soon unless I get to RIAT. On the other hand I have a fancy new Nikon D7200. Seems a shame not to use it at an airshow. Last time I tried to get to RIAT, it was rained off. Maybe it's time to try again.

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Saw them myself in Salthill a few years ago (the infamous year of the Merlin door falling on the crowd), definitely a different philosophy of aerobatics compared to that of most European teams. Excellent formation flying skills, nice passes, a couple good manouvers... and that's it. European teams generally focus more on spectacular manouvers and I guess most of us get bored after the nth tight formation pass. Still, for some reason this seems to be what American teams like and I guess it's not going to change.

Regarding the Thunderbirds maneuvers, they aren't really the ones used in combat but are meant to represent the skills that a combat pilot must have. Speaking of which, I've seen some 1 vs.1 and 2 vs.2 combat demonstrations during an airshow in Australia and even if these may have been toned down compaed to the real thing, it was fantastic ! Very hard to understand what was happening, particularly with 4 Hornets filling the sky, afterburner noise and chaff and flares ejected continuously, but really impressive. Now this is something I'd like to see more often...

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On 12/13/2016 at 10:25 AM, Giorgio N said:

. Speaking of which, I've seen some 1 vs.1 and 2 vs.2 combat demonstrations during an airshow in Australia and even if these may have been toned down compaed to the real thing, it was fantastic ! Very hard to understand what was happening, particularly with 4 Hornets filling the sky, afterburner noise and chaff and flares ejected continuously, but really impressive. Now this is something I'd like to see more often...

The RAF did a role demo a few years ago, Hawk's "red air" against a CAP of Tornado F3's. Quite entertaining and I always thought it looked like the F3's were working hard to keep up with the Hawk who appeared to be a lazy turn with the F-3 clawing its way around in Reheat!  But it did give an insight into to how a CAP and point defense worked.

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On 10/12/2016 at 0:14 PM, PhantomBigStu said:

I'm hoping we get to see more, wishful thinking but a B-1 display and Ill be a happy man also a full f22 display without it breaking down.....

 

Sorry if to make you jealous Stu but I saw a B-1 flying display in concert with a B-52 at Boscombe down. :D Biggest memory of that was the ridiculous smoke trails of the BUFF on take off! Wouldn't mind repeating that experience though....

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I'm surprised you saw the B-52 at Boscombe - when it displayed at Farnborough a few years back, it was actually flying over Blackbushe :doh:

 

When the Thunderbirds displayed at RIAT the last time, I was in the FRIAT enclosure - must have been on the Friday.

 

A large Thunderbirds panel van arrived to our right, the shutters went up and the ground crew started to unload the sound equipment - pretty much like a rock concert - with mixing desks and all sorts of paraphernalia.

 

They then started to erect about six large poles - right on the grass in front of the FRIAT stand - and then proceded to mount huge loudspeakers on the poles - directly in our line of sight !!!!

 

You should have heard the protests from the FRIAT crowd .... telling the Americans where to stick their loudspeakers in no uncertain terms.

 

The speakers and poles were swiftly removed - and the Thunderbirds exited stage right!!!!

 

Ken

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I was at the Langley air show this year in the press enclosure on the flightline and they made us all move about ten yeards to the left as they "simply had to be" dead centre of the crowd.

 

Frankly, i have seen them quite a few times and they are a total waste of time. They never do new formations so once you have seen and photographed them once, that's it. Use the time to take pictures of the static, as has been said above.

 

Yet another reason not to do RIAT next year.

 

Andy

 

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The first time I saw them was at the Upper Heyford Open House in 1971 flying their F-4E's and damn impressive they were too...opposing dirty rolls, all aircraft passing in line abreast in full afterburner and opposing singleton high speed cross overs over the crowd line in full AB, a sight and sound that impressed deeply, (even more so the Blues flying their F-4J's at Bentwaters in 1973).....next time I saw them was 1978 at Patrick AFB flying T-38's, not nearly as impressive but still great to watch with tight formation flying and spirited solo flying, after that it was Waddington 2000 and 2011 and RIAT 2007...... somehow they just weren't the same with long pauses, rather uninspired  routines,  loose formations and bellowing commentary with extremely annoying 'muzac' that managed to drown out the sound of the aircraft ! times had certainly changed.....I guess I was just spoiled as a nipper..

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It's been a hard two weeks with work drifting into the wee morning hours and I am totally bushed so when having a late night trawl through things I missed on here I read the topic header and for a moment thought "what? Gerry Anderson's Thunderbird's at RIAT" a nano second before the brain focussed.  I need a good nights sleep.

 

More seriously have seen both Thunderbird's and Blue Angels teams and they are flying a different style to European teams but not sure I can define it.  More tight perhaps but rigid a very fly by rather than flowing is the best I can do tonight.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I saw them at RIAT 2007. Not all that impressive really. Very American- loud, fast and flashy, with little depth. Much preferred the Red Arrows and Il Frecce Tricolori.

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