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Thunderbirds And Tankers

Fri Jun 03, 2005 10:26 pm

I was watching the T-birds form up for their demonstration at the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony. All 6 were tooling around for a bit, then formed up with a KC-135R and took on gas before they left for the show. I was observing at a turn point that was basically one mountain ridge behind the academy (at work..). Is this common for a display team to do, or was this just because of the low internal fuel capacity of the F-16?
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RE: Thunderbirds And Tankers

Sat Jun 04, 2005 12:39 am

Are you sure the 135 wasn't part of the display or that the 16s weren't doing some opportune proficiency training? Lots of possible explanations other than the F-16s needed gas.....

I'd take a WAG and say they were doing a special display for the Grad Ceremony.....

[Edited 2005-06-03 17:43:49]
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RE: Thunderbirds And Tankers

Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:17 am

The T-birds F-16 are slicked down with no external stores, it probably did take on fuel from a 135, I was at the graduation from the AFA last year when GWB did the conmencement speech and I noticed the T-Bird PA officer and the narrator in the crowd waiting to give the word to the team when it was time to begin, with the handing out of diplomas all times are approximate along with the conmencement speech but they got the timing down perfect.
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RE: Thunderbirds And Tankers

Sat Jun 04, 2005 8:33 am

They were definitely taking on gas, as they were nowhere close to being visible to the ceremonies, and one was always on the boom. The solos later chased down the tanker between Woodland Park and Divide..

I wish I had my camera for the sight! 7 aircraft flying so close together was incredible!
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RE: Thunderbirds And Tankers

Sat Jun 04, 2005 11:07 am

Sounds like since they had to sequence with the end of commencement, they had to take gas to make sure they don't bingo out in the middle of their demonstration.
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RE: Thunderbirds And Tankers

Tue Jun 07, 2005 9:10 am

Or to make sure they didn't plant em in the dirt like they did at Mountain Home...USAFA already has enough a/c on display!  Silly

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