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chrisnh
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Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 2:09 am

The Thunderbirds and Blue Angels have been flying the F-16 and F/A-18 for decades. I know that there's obviously alot of time left before something new comes along. But when that time comes, what will these respective teams be flying? Any ideas?

Chris in NH
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 2:48 am

My guess would be F-35s for the Thunderbirds and F/A-18Es for the Blues.
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
AirRyan
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 3:03 am

Yeah, the Blue Angels are using the oldest legacy Hornets that were first built and used for test and eval - I would be surprised to NOT see them transistion into the same Early first build Super Hornets available as A) they are easy for the pilots to transistion into being of a similar cockpit and flight performance, and B) the USN has put so much of it's image into the Super Hornet that it's really the only logical choice. Add into that the increased maintainability of the Super Hornets, my money is on them in the next 5 years.

As for the T-Birds, I think the F-16 is a great platform and since the JSF's won't be online and all the bugs worked out for most likely 10 years, I think we'll see late model F-16 upgrades before any other platform.
 
ulfinator
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:14 am

I have to agree with AirRyan on the late-model F-16s for the T-Birds. The only other aircraft the airforce has they could use would be the F-15 and maybe the F/A-22 now that it is comming on line. Some thing tells me though that the Raptor is a bit too spendy to use in that capacity though.
 
TedTAce
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:33 am

Quoting Ulfinator (Reply 3):
Some thing tells me though that the Raptor is a bit too spendy to use in that capacity though.

Considering (IIRC) F-15's were NEVER a consideration, that statment is valid.

I think it would be intresting to see them get the latest versions of the planes they are flying now, then the JSF for both, get back to the f-4 days when they had the same A/C so that way you could compare apples to apples when seeing their shows..not the disparity you have now where you know each fighter has capabilities the other doesn't.
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10boomer
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:22 am

Considering that the T-birds are one of most boring air demo teams out there, the AF shouldn't waste money on new jets. I think the T-birds should go back to using trainers, maybe the T-6, I'm sure it's capable of flying the yawn of a routine that they fly now.

[Edited 2005-06-22 01:25:31]
Fly Gucci
 
TedTAce
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 11:31 am

Quoting 10boomer (Reply 5):
Considering that the T-birds are one of most boring air demo teams out there, the AF shouldn't waste money on new jets. I think the T-birds should go back to using trainers, maybe the T-6, I'm sure it's capable of flying the yawn of a routine that they fly now.

OUCH!!! I'm no BIG fan of the t-bird routine, but this is tough.. Maybe this is more rationale to get 'on the same page' as the Blues... See who can REALLY fly the better show..
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10boomer
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 12:08 pm

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 6):
OUCH!!! I'm no BIG fan of the t-bird routine, but this is tough

Stop me when I'm lying. I've seen an Italian C-160 put on a more exciting show than the Thunderbirds. I can't comment on the Blue Angels, I've only refueled them, I've never seen their show.
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TedTAce
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:41 pm

Quoting 10boomer (Reply 7):
I've never seen their show.

Well, I feel sorry for you then, you are missing something. Don't get me wrong it's not the best thing since sliced bread, but I think it is better then the T-birds. I have never seen the "Italian C-160". I can imagine that the next question (in all fairness) begs to be asked.. do you know if the t-bird show you saw wat a 'low' show or a 'high' show? The low show is without a DOUBT coma inducing, but the high show is ok  Smile
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10boomer
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:35 am

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 8):
do you know if the t-bird show you saw wat a 'low' show or a 'high' show?

I've seen just about every routine they've done since they flew T-38s and you're right, OK is about as good as it gets.
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Hamfist
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Thu Jun 23, 2005 10:32 am

Q: What is the mission of the Thunderbirds?
A: The mission of the Thunderbirds support U.S. Air Force recruiting and retention programs and to reinforce public confidence in the U.S. Air Force and demonstrate to the public the professional competence of Air Force professionals. The Thunderbirds also represent the United States and its armed forces to foreign nations and project international goodwill.

Give the quote from their website and the millions who turn out to watch them, I doubt they are overly concerned about the handfull of people who think they are boring. As for comparing apples, going out of their way to have the same jet for both teams doesn't seem to support the cause.
 
10boomer
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Thu Jun 23, 2005 12:58 pm

Quoting Hamfist (Reply 10):
The Thunderbirds also represent the United States and its armed forces to foreign nations

And in doing so they should provide an accurate representative sample of our true capabilities as an Air Force. People seem to forget the underlying agenda at international airshows, it's about checking each other out and seeing who can do what and who has what. When the USAF participates in international airshows we should be providing the global military community a glimpse of our true capabilities and to give pause to those who wish us harm. If we want to do recruiting in our own backyard that's fine but when we take it on the road we need to be the best.
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AirRyan
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Thu Jun 23, 2005 11:55 pm

Yeah, the AF is becoming too politically correct here with the Thunderbirds - they might as well save some fuel and just watch the Blues.
 
TedTAce
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Fri Jun 24, 2005 5:23 am

Quoting Hamfist (Reply 10):
As for comparing apples, going out of their way to have the same jet for both teams doesn't seem to support the cause.

As far as demonstrating the diference in their misions, you are right. Then again (carrier landings aside) what IS the diference? They both have to provide for the defense (ACM) of their base be it an air base overseas or a Carrier god knows where.. They both have to provide some level of ground support and attack, so what do they ultimately do diferently?

Quoting 10boomer (Reply 11):
And in doing so they should provide an accurate representative sample of our true capabilities as an Air Force.

Ummm your KIND of loosing me on this one.. Its bad enough you got F-15 Jocks who run chase for the F-22 making is sound like it's the best thing since the wright flyer, you really want to let everyone know JUST how good we are? I like a LITTLE reserve, infortunately the Thunderbirds are WAY on the wrong side of this one.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 12):
Yeah, the AF is becoming too politically correct here with the Thunderbirds - they might as well save some fuel and just watch the Blues.

I bet you sleep with sheckelstoned don't you?
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10boomer
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Fri Jun 24, 2005 3:08 pm

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 13):
you really want to let everyone know JUST how good we are?

I did say "sample", right? There has to be enough there to command respect but at the same time not showing the whole bag of tricks.
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Hamfist
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Sat Jun 25, 2005 9:21 am

10boomer,

I think you're out in left field with the desire to show capabilities to other nations. Besides, you as an operator should realize that other nations are already keenly aware of our capabilities. Additionally, the fact that the team mission states that they "also" represent the United States does not infer that they are present at airshows to demonstrate specific capabilities--one could hardly expect that to be conveyed in a 45 minute aerial demonstration! It's not like they are going to drop bombs or shoot down drones over a crowded airfield. Lastly, when you consider the team conducts 88 shows per season and only does an international tour every other year, I doubt any team of this nature is going to devote alternate training time for the 10 out of every 176 demonstrations that happen outside the U.S.

The bottom line is that the T'birds fly around this country eight months out of the year primarily to get 18 year old kids interested in the Air Force and to reassure the rest of the professional capabilites of the USAF. If you want bombs and missiles, you could always take some leave and attend one of the airpower demos at Eglin or Nellis.
 
10boomer
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Sat Jun 25, 2005 2:26 pm

Quoting Hamfist (Reply 15):
I think you're out in left field with the desire to show capabilities to other nations.

Correct me if I am wrong, but one of the primary functions of a well trained, well equipped military is to act as a deterrent and it would be rather difficult for a military to act as a deterrent if their capabilities are in question.

Quoting Hamfist (Reply 15):
Besides, you as an operator should realize that other nations are already keenly aware of our capabilities

Are they? When was the last time the USAF engaged in combat operations with a military of any consequence? There are many in the world that have been embolden by the successful attacks on the US and our interests. As I stated before one of the purposes of a powerful military is not having to use it.

Quoting Hamfist (Reply 15):
Additionally, the fact that the team mission states that they "also" represent the United States does not infer that they are present at air shows to demonstrate specific capabilities--one could hardly expect that to be conveyed in a 45 minute aerial demonstration!

When an air demonstration team representing the USAF's best of the best goes to an air show and are blown away by the Red Arrows and the Tricolori, it only stands to reason that some might be left with the impression that we aren't as good as we think we are. Perceptions are everything, when I was at Air Fete in 2000 I saw the Italian Air Force roll a C-160, and as an operator, do you know what went through my head? If these guys can do that in a cargo plane, what can they do in a fighter? When the air demo team from the supposed best Air Force in the world puts on a luck luster performance what do think is going through the minds of the foreign militaries at that show? The United States Air Force by virtue of it's reputation is always under the global microscope and irregardless of what the Thunderbird's mission statement says, they represent our capabilities as an Air Force.

Quoting Hamfist (Reply 15):
It's not like they are going to drop bombs or shoot down drones over a crowded airfield



Quoting Hamfist (Reply 15):
If you want bombs and missiles, you could always take some leave and attend one of the airpower demos at Eglin or Nellis.

Delivering ordnance! Where did that come from? that's ridiculous. I, in no way, shape or form implied that should take place in order to demonstrate our ability.

The Thunderbirds should save the "Ambassadors in blue and the spirit of international goodwill" crap for the brochure, and go out and prove why the USAF is the best damn Air Force in the world, because the wide eyed freckled faced kid from small town USA isn't the only one we need to impress.
Fly Gucci
 
TedTAce
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Sat Jun 25, 2005 11:21 pm

Quoting Hamfist (Reply 15):
It's not like they are going to drop bombs or shoot down drones over a crowded airfield.

(Whiny child voice) Awww, why not!?!?!
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Hamfist
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Sun Jun 26, 2005 1:12 am

10boomer,

I'm mistaken...left field was too generous...you're in the upper deck beyond the foul poll on this one!

So, what you're saying is the the British Hawk aircraft instills fear in the rest of the world? When was the last time that aircraft took out a target?

Or are you saying the T'birds should add more risk to their maneuvers so others fear our capabilities? Well, who (other than German airshow spectators) live in fear of the Italian Air Force?

What next...rolling a cargo plane is the measure of merit for capabilites? Uh-oh...better not mess with us, or we'll start dropping pallets on your @$$! Belive me, nobody at that airshow started shaking in their boots just because they witnessed this. If you think so, you really need to get out of the boomer seat more often.

It sounds to me like you're more concerned with the abililty of these teams to entertain you than to function in their intended roles. It's fine if these other air forces want to take their "STUNTS" to a different level, but not a damn one of them can send a B-2 from Missouri to do a flyover and return home in a single flight. Not a one of them could build nearly 100 B-1's (even though many are not longer used). How many of them could provide the airlift capability of the United States? How many of them could field as many fighters or build an aircraft like the F-22?

Yeah, the military acts as a deterrent...but that doesn't mean every single unit has to spend every moment of every day making deterrence a priority! So, we haven't engaged in anything of consequence recently...well, I know your KC-10 generally stays out of the hot areas, but I bet you wouldn't tell the widow of Captain Eric Das that his mission was not of consequence!
 
HaveBlue
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Sun Jun 26, 2005 3:21 am

They put on a decent, yet tame show. I love watching the TBirds and Angels, but as an avid airshow goer and pilot my complaint has been for years that they, and the F-14/F-15/F-16/F-18 demos are pretty sterile. They are not nearly wringing the peformance out of the planes that they could. I'm not talking about anything earth-shattering, but the F-15 demo for instance is the same low key, cookie cutter style demo that they have been flying since I was a kid 20 years ago. The demo is E X A C T L Y the same each time, and as much as I love to see a fighter fly and hear the engines and all, the routine is weak.

Takeoff. Split S. Immelman. Four point aileron roll. Dirty pass. Photo pass. High speed (not really) pass. Vertical climb while doing aileron rolls. Minimum radius turn. Land. And all the while, very rarely using hardly any power or really 'performing'.

The best F-18 demo I ever seen was at Jacksonville NAS back around 96-98. A Canadian CF-18 did a routine, and man he was working that airplane. He pulled so hard in the low level, high speed turns that he was actually 'skidding' thru them, they weren't rounded curves. It was amazing. I've only once seen an American F-18 do half as good, and I'm very patriotic.

And the same could be said for our 2 teams. They all put on a nice, sterile show. Its all very safe and serene. And I understand that they want it to be real safe, no bad press about accidents or embarrasments and nobody crying for airshows or performances to be banned. And no accidents and safety is of course good and optimal, but the shows just leave so much to be desired. And they never change.

I just wish we could get a comprise between what kind of shows our fighters give, and what fighter demos at Paris and Farnborough give when they're trying to impress prospective buyers. I don't expect our best military test pilots to wring every bit of performance out at an airshow stateside, but somewhere in between a Paris show routine and the yawners we have now would be nice.
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TedTAce
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Sun Jun 26, 2005 4:49 am

Quoting Hamfist (Reply 18):
Uh-oh...better not mess with us, or we'll start dropping pallets on your @$$!

I bet a MOAB drop @ an airshow would make an 'interesting' demonstration  Wink
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DeltaGuy
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Sun Jun 26, 2005 7:02 am

The way it was explained to me by a former Blue Angel (obviously a little biasted), quite a long while, was that-

The Air Farce gives the Tbirds a list (so to speak) of things they CAN do, and that list is about 1" long.

The Navy gives the Blues a list of things they CAN'T do, and that list as well is 1" long....but it leaves alot more room to give a hell of a great show.

We all know the A-10, F-16 and F-15 are very capable aircraft. But when I see them sitting on the airshow ramp before their demo, I almost have to look for a pillow. It's the same 'motivational' AF music, narrated by some Tech Sgt from Oaklahoma or somewhere. It's the same boring routine, no real effort or thought put into it. The jets have tremendous capability, but the public gets the same watered down show every time. We know the Tbirds can put on just as good of a show as the Blues, just gotta let em. At least the Navy can get out there with an F-14 of F-18 and show a thing or two and not worry about having to report to Wing about it a week later.

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
 
HaveBlue
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Sun Jun 26, 2005 7:15 am

True DeltaGuy, in my post I was going to allude to the difference between Navy and AF demos but got sidetracked. I've seen some pretty good F-14 demos, and I've always held that the Blues show is better than the TBirds show, but even with the Navy demos they could do better and still be safe. That being said, the Navy does seem to give their pilots more leeway.

One of the best pictures I ever took was in 1990 at DAB. I was working at the Jet Center fueling planes the day after our airshow, and back then the best part of the airshow was arrival and departure days. Everything, and I mean everything, did a show coming and going. The fighters, the trainers, the tankers, the cargo planes, the helos.. it was awesome. Instead of the airshow routines where theres a bunch of civies and an A-10, F-15 and headliner, you got to see everything do go arounds, burner passes and wing waves.

On this particuliar Monday back in 1990, the F-14, a ERAU grad (same field) was leaving. He did several high speed, and I mean HIGH SPEED passes. I was on top of my fuel truck taking pictures. On his final pass, he was going faster than I'd ever seen a plane go before. I snapped a photo as he got almost abeam me and then let the camera hang from its neckstrap and plugged my ears, something I never do. Because I thought, though I knew it was illegal, that he was supersonic, it just looked that fast.

Well, the picture I took had the F-14 with a perfect, 70' in diameter conical shock wave condensation cone. It started just behind the cockpit, and encompassed the entire aircraft save for the tips of the vertical tails (the rear tip, as they are slanted backwards) sticking out just a bit. Its beautiful.

It is a fact that the pilot lost his Gold Wings for that, as the tower clocked him at .98 Mach. But man, what a pass.
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chrisnh
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Sun Jun 26, 2005 11:11 am

If there is (or has been) a building consensus that the Blue Angels do 'a better routine' than the Thunderbirds, isn't there ANYONE in the U.S. Air Force UPSET by that perception...enough to DO something about it? I mean, geez, my daughter gets pissed when her brother can do a flip on the trampoline and she can't. She's out there trying to equal that feat and better it. And the Air Force just lets this perception ride along??? This is 'Aiming High?' I laugh at car commercials because they are so stupidly overblown in terms of hyperbole about their products. This trumps that.

Chris in NH
 
AirRyan
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Mon Jun 27, 2005 5:30 am

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 13):
Quoting AirRyan (Reply 12):
Yeah, the AF is becoming too politically correct here with the Thunderbirds - they might as well save some fuel and just watch the Blues.

I bet you sleep with sheckelstoned don't you?

Not familiar with who/what that is - is she cute?  Smile

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 22):
It is a fact that the pilot lost his Gold Wings for that, as the tower clocked him at .98 Mach. But man, what a pass.

He very likely could have been on his way out of the Navy anyways and as a fighter pilot, wanted to leave on a good note rather than a mundane, boring one.

I've known a few AF pilots who were otherwise on their last flight piss of the Wing Commander with a few moves - they were actually on their 2nd to last flight and didn't care if this was their last!!  Smile

The bottom line is, and for whatever reason it certainly appears to be the majority opinon that the T-Birds show isn't as good as the Blues. Regardless as that is actually the case or not, perception is often reality and to remember who the targeted audience really is, perhaps a change or two might be in order?
 
TedTAce
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Mon Jun 27, 2005 6:45 am

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 24):
Not familiar with who/what that is - is she cute?

I don't think so; what do you think?
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Hamfist
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:02 am

ChrisNH,

Well, I just recently ended 8+ years as an ATC-type in the Air Force and I'll be the first to admit that I too think the Blue's put on a better show. Additionally, it doesn't really bother me that they do. And I would venture to guess it doesn't bother many Air Force leaders. You see, most every Air Force officer knows the Naval aviation has a more "relaxed" flying mentality. As an ATC officer, I witnessed that on many occasions. That's not to say they are better or worse...simply that the cultures are different.

I'm not sure why that's the case, but I've heard several interesting theories. One suggests that the Navy fighters, by virtue of flying mostly out at sea, don't have to concern themselves as much with public perception. Another suggests that since the core mission of the Navy is not aviation, the top brass of the service doesn't get as involved in day-to-day rule making about aviation. Yet another suggests that it's harder to find pilots who don't mind spending vast portions of their life at sea, therefore a more "relaxed" environment provides an incentive for those who want to fly, but don't want to live in the more rule-rigid Air Force.

So, what does any of that have to do with the T'birds and Blues? Well, I just think they are each a reflection of their respective cultures. And if that's the case, why should either service change their roles (show) if they believe these teams are effectively accomplishing their stated missions -- which, as a few need reminding, isn't to push the envelope just to impress the aviation "junkies". It's simply to be ambassadors for their service (and sometimes their country) and to encourage young men and women to consider careers in the military.
 
HaveBlue
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:20 am

Quoting Hamfist (Reply 26):
which, as a few need reminding, isn't to push the envelope just to impress the aviation "junkies". It's simply to be ambassadors for their service (and sometimes their country) and to encourage young men and women to consider careers in the military.

I know Ham, but when other nations fighter and team demos are a bit more spirited and innovative, it wouldn't hurt to vamp ours up a bit. And I love our teams, don't get me wrong.

And it would be fun for us 'aviation junkies'  Wink
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chrisnh
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Mon Jun 27, 2005 9:41 am

Quoting Hamfist (Reply 26):
Well, I just recently ended 8+ years as an ATC-type in the Air Force and I'll be the first to admit that I too think the Blue's put on a better show. Additionally, it doesn't really bother me that they do. And I would venture to guess it doesn't bother many Air Force leaders. You see, most every Air Force officer knows the Naval aviation has a more "relaxed" flying mentality. As an ATC officer, I witnessed that on many occasions. That's not to say they are better or worse...simply that the cultures are different.

I'm not sure why that's the case, but I've heard several interesting theories. One suggests that the Navy fighters, by virtue of flying mostly out at sea, don't have to concern themselves as much with public perception. Another suggests that since the core mission of the Navy is not aviation, the top brass of the service doesn't get as involved in day-to-day rule making about aviation. Yet another suggests that it's harder to find pilots who don't mind spending vast portions of their life at sea, therefore a more "relaxed" environment provides an incentive for those who want to fly, but don't want to live in the more rule-rigid Air Force.

So, what does any of that have to do with the T'birds and Blues? Well, I just think they are each a reflection of their respective cultures. And if that's the case, why should either service change their roles (show) if they believe these teams are effectively accomplishing their stated missions -- which, as a few need reminding, isn't to push the envelope just to impress the aviation "junkies". It's simply to be ambassadors for their service (and sometimes their country) and to encourage young men and women to consider careers in the military.

Hamfist, that's an excellent and well-thought reply. Thank you for that! You're clearly much closer to all of this than I am...simply an air show enthusiast. Speaking of which, WESTFIELD, MASS. this summer!!

(I wish there were still shows at Pease here in New Hampshire. Now we always have to trek out to western Massachusetts to either Westover or Westfield. In either case, it's always 'West.') haha  wave 

Chris in NH
 
flyf15
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:04 am

I thought something a little different when I read the title of this thread. Anyways, after 15 minutes of work, heres where the Blue Angeles are headed in 2005...

 
10boomer
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Mon Jun 27, 2005 5:44 pm

Hamfist,

It's not about the hawk, it's not about the C-160. It's about having the balls to be the best you can possibly be. You can think I'm crazy, you can refer to me in whatever cute sports analogy you like, I could care less. I still feel that if we expend the time, money and effort for an air demonstration team that represents the USAF and the USA, it should be the absolute best. You may think that not being the best is acceptable, that's fine, that's your opinion, as an aviator I don't have that luxury.
Do me a favor, don't ever quote the name of a dead aviator to me, I think it's in poor taste, I have friends who have died in crashes and I wouldn't want their names tossed around for the purpose of trying to prove a point in an inconsequential discussion.
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Hamfist
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RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 12:12 pm

10boomer,
OK...no sports analogies. Here's something that's more applicable...given the topic, I think you're having trouble seeing the forest because of the trees. You just don't get it! The Thunderbirds and Blue Angels WERE NOT CREATED TO SERVE THE PURPOSE YOU SEEM TO THINK THEY SHOULD SERVE. What part of RECRUITING and REINFORCE PUBLIC CONFIDENCE doesn't make sense to you? I understand what you think they "SHOULD" do, but that's exactly why the top brass in ACC and the HQ/USAF determine the mission and not the United Fraternal Brotherhood of Boomies!

Now, where did I say not being the best is acceptable? I've said nothing of the sort. I've simply acknowledged that the teams do indeed accomplish their stated missions and that they clearly do not try to live up to some pipe dream fantasy of what they "should" be.

Switching gears, I see you use the term "aviator" quite loosely. The last I checked, it's damn hard to fly a plane while facing backwards! Hell, my guys in the tower and rapcon have more input on what your plane does than you do. If just being a part of the crew makes one an aviator, should I apply that term to flight attendants, too?

Lastly, you can climb out of your ivory tower on me using a name in a post. I've got my own list of lost friends and I think my response to your "...nothing of consequence" insinuation was neither inappropriate nor inaccurate.

The bottom line is this...you clearly want these teams to serve some sort of "hey, you better not mess with us" tough-guy routine. However, you (as an "aviator") should know as well as anyone...if the USAF is inclined to flex it's muscle or demonstrate capabilities, it has plenty of avenues to do so without redefining a demo team's mission!
 
AirRyan
Posts: 2398
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:57 am

RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:23 pm

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 25):
Quoting AirRyan (Reply 24):
Not familiar with who/what that is - is she cute?

I don't think so; what do you think?

Damn - what's that?  yuck 

Let's face it gentleman - both teams are a relative waste of gas and time. When's the last time we ever had any "real" recruiting woes for pilots? Anyone of us here can tell you how valuable a flight slot in a C-5 is towards a career in the Airlines someday, and if we REALLY needed help finding pilots to stap on an F-16 or F-18 than our society is in a lot more trouble than what even a little draft would cure!

I grew up wanting to fly since I learned to walk and we all know the coolest planes are those in the military, if we need flight demo teams to convince an 18 year old high school kid to think about flying in the military, than perhaps those aren't the people we should be targeting in the first place?
 
Hamfist
Posts: 606
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 9:40 am

RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Fri Jul 01, 2005 10:58 am

AirRyan,

I agree, the Air Force doesn't need help finding pilots...it just needs help learning how to keep them. Fortunately, with airline hiring like it is right now, it's getting easier to hold on to a few more.

However, the recruiting that I've mentioned is not limited to pilots. It's about all of the potential recruits. You don't have to be a marketing scholar to realize the value of having a team like the Thunderbirds attend an airshow. It's like having Tiger Woods at a PGA event. If either is at their respective venue, the crowds are clearly larger. And larger crowds mean more kids being exposed to the military, which in turn leads to more becoming interested and pursing information about the military.

If you're still not convinced, next time you run into an Air Force enlisted recruiter, ask him what he thinks.
 
TedTAce
Posts: 9098
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:31 am

RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Fri Jul 01, 2005 10:27 pm

Quoting Hamfist (Reply 33):
However, the recruiting that I've mentioned is not limited to pilots. It's about all of the potential recruits. You don't have to be a marketing scholar to realize the value of having a team like the Thunderbirds attend an airshow.

Big point...
Let's just say 'I know'

Show a highschool kid Top Gun for the first time, then introduce him to a navy recruiter. That recruiter will sell them on the idea that he can be an E for a few years(8), then move to the O status and FTS. Some kids buy it...
This space intentionally left blank
 
Duce50Boom
Posts: 723
Joined: Tue May 29, 2001 8:03 am

RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Sun Jul 03, 2005 8:32 am

Wow, I never thought I'd see the day where a "former ATC officer" tries to convey the finer points of being an aviator to someone who is called that from day 1 of training by pilots and various sqdn, grp, and wing commanders. I guess they had it all wrong and you're right on the money......Cute comment about the brotherhood of boomies, BTW. Spoken like a tool

Hamfist, you obviously didn't understand anything that 10boomer seemed to be saying. I'll make a synopsis for you:

The T-chicken's show is a yawner to put it mildly. Yes, the crowds do come out more when the chickens are in town, but what do you expect? Even bad sex is better than no sex at all. They can afford to spice up their routine by a couple big notches. Maybe get rid of the cheesy music, add some kind of rocking soundtrack and get some better maneuvers for Christ's sake! Make the show interesting, not an example of sterility. When the Blues are flying they hold your attention. When the chickens are flying you just hope they do something interesting. But except for the high speed surprise pass by one of the solos (which gets very old) there's nothing there that makes you go "wow, that was cool!"

Yes, their goal is to represent the USAF and to help recruiting, blah, blah, blah. But you know, when people think of the navy they think TOPGUN. When they think of the AF they think of Iron Eagle. 10boomer wasn't saying they should do ACM or drop bombs across the runway from the crowd, just do something that "Makes you go oooooohh". The Italians, Germans, Brits, they all have the "oooooohhh factor". The thunderchickens don't.

Maybe you should've spent more of your time in ATC actually controlling the aircraft rather than sitting behind a desk: Your perspective on reality seems a bit skewed, especially with the remark about Captain Das' widow.
 
Hamfist
Posts: 606
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 9:40 am

RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Sun Jul 03, 2005 12:56 pm

Deuceboomie,

I do understand what 10boomie was saying and I also understand the mission of the demo teams. That's why I'm not the one crying about their routine. They have a job to do and they are obviously accomplishing that job. Not sure why you guys can't understand that the T'bird routine, while maybe boring to the enthusiasts, does enough to draw the crowds. It's that simple.

As for the aviator title, I don't care who calls you whatever you want to be called. You can't change the fact that, ultimately, you are a technician who happens to do his job while the plane is flying. I respect what you do and your decision to serve, but you're no different from the guy turning wrenches when the plane is parked! Or my guy who is giving final approach instructions to your crew. If the title "aviator" makes you feel better about your job, then I'm happy for you. If said title helps you pick up some Friday night fun in the club, then that's just skippy, too!

I'm starting to think you guys have some sort of inferiority complex to the Navy guys. The whole Top Gun / Iron Eagle is what 14-year olds worry about. I'm sure you guys have more important things to concern yourselves -- like, do I make Folgers this time, or would Maxwell House be better. You can knock my controllers all you want, but at the end of the day, there's nothing more complicated about your job than what my controllers have to learn and execute.

As for the comment, your boy 10 is the one who insinuated that Capt Das was participating in something "of no consequence". I am simply pointing out that some people probably see that a bit differently.

Anyway, I'm glad you jumped into the mix. At least I know 10boomie has someone who can hold his hand when he walks out to the jet.
 
Duce50Boom
Posts: 723
Joined: Tue May 29, 2001 8:03 am

RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Mon Jul 04, 2005 2:53 am

ham, who is crying about their routine? All I hear on this thread is that the Blue's show is much more entertaining than the chicken's. When you go to a show that has both the blues and the chickens performing you can ask anyone in the crowd which one they liked better they'll say the blues 9 times out of 10. What effect does that have on AF recruiting? It's a completely different mindset that the navy would sponsor a movie like Behind Enemy Lines or top gun (admittedly crappy, but at least they're entertaining), while the AF sponsors movies like AF1 or the IMAX Op red flag movie, where every airman is portrayed like a boy scout who goes to church 5 times a week. If you can't understand the concept try pulling your head out of your a$$. Say what you want about an inferiority complex, blah, blah. The general consensus in this thread is that they could put on a much better show. Period, dot, end of sentence.

BTW, even though "every AF officer" knows the naval aviation community is more relaxed, apparently not every AF officer has heard the term NATOPS. THAT is the main reason why naval aviation is so much more laid back than the AF's.

Way to go with the coffee remark. What's next, asking me what the inflight movie today is? Simple minds, simple insults. I love having people like you onboard, asking how to use the coffee jug.... "push the button". Say what you want about it, at least I didn't have to wear kneepads to get promoted.

Quoting Hamfist (Reply 36):
As for the comment, your boy 10 is the one who insinuated that Capt Das was participating in something "of no consequence". I am simply pointing out that some people probably see that a bit differently.

Not quite, he wrote:

Quoting 10boomer (Reply 16):
When was the last time the USAF engaged in combat operations with a military of any consequence?

How many fast movers did the AF lose in OIF? less than I can count on a single hand. IIRC it's 1 or 2, depending if you count A-10s as "fast movers". We lose jets in that amount at Red Flag guy. That's an average couple of months in the peacetime AF accident rates, or a thunderbirds performance at Mountain Home.

Who is arguing about being a technician? NOBODY. Who is saying that as an "aviator" I'm better than the chief or specialist busting his a$$ getting the aircraft FMC or the controller sequencing aircraft in the pattern? NOBODY. Who was "knocking my controllers"? NOBODY. If you think the title "aviator" only belongs to pilots, fine, be my guest. But, maybe you should start correcting everyone who applies that term to navs, FEs, booms, loads, WSOs, etc. See what they'll say to you in reply. And thank you for telling me how complicated my job is, I certainly needed your "expert" opinion about how my job is just as complicated as your controllers'. Apples and oranges. Big difference though: When fliers screw up, it's our lives that hang in the balance. When you guys screw up, it's never yours.
 
ebj1248650
Posts: 1517
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:17 am

RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Mon Jul 04, 2005 6:56 am

Response to the following: I have to agree with AirRyan on the late-model F-16s for the T-Birds. The only other aircraft the airforce has they could use would be the F-15 and maybe the F/A-22 now that it is comming on line. Some thing tells me though that the Raptor is a bit too spendy to use in that capacity though.

The F/A-22 is going to be an expensive proposition, as a Thunderbirds airplane, but bearing in mind that the Air Force wants far more F/A-22's than it's likely to get without putting up one whale of a fight, it just might take some of the early production models and give them to the team. Public opinion could have a huge influence on the number of Raptors the Air Force ultimately gets. Granted, this may sound extreme, but bear in mind the Air Force could well take extreme measures to get the airplanes it wants.
Dare to dream; dream big!
 
BigFish
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun May 01, 2005 12:53 pm

RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Wed Jul 06, 2005 11:11 am

Hamfist,
You said:
[quote]You can knock my controllers all you want, but at the end of the day, there's nothing more complicated about your job than what my controllers have to learn and execute.[quote]

I'm having no part in this whole Boomer argument. I've seen what they do firsthand with the Blues, (we dragged them with the Mississippi ANG from Pensy to El Paso. They continued on to El Centro shortly after Ivan.) I have a lot of respect for them. They make getting the long pole into the hole at 26k and .82 look easy. I have been know to have issues with that in a dark room on a flat, stationary bed.

The thing I'm taking exception to is this. In your profile you say you're a FORMER USAF ATC. Your age puts you at 26-30. What's the story? Don't tell me you made E-7, or E-8 in the USAF and bailed. You say "MY Controllers" like you were in ATC Management, or an office goon. But not finishing a career in the Air Force after making E7? Unlikely. You list no current occupation which MAY suggest you are not a Controller anymore, and further suggests you are not employed in aviation. I find this all a bit confusing. You sure spend a lot of time being controversial, but have little in credibility to back it up. Please explain.

Oh, and sorry for the threadjack.
 
HaveBlue
Posts: 2108
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:01 pm

RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Wed Jul 06, 2005 11:39 am

Quoting BigFish (Reply 39):
They make getting the long pole into the hole at 26k and .82 look easy. I have been know to have issues with that in a dark room on a flat, stationary bed.

Pure gold BigFish! And agreed.
Here Here for Severe Clear!
 
Lt-AWACS
Posts: 2120
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2002 2:40 am

RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Wed Jul 06, 2005 1:17 pm

Having seen the Thunderbirds last weekend (while giving static tours) at the TIK airshow I can again say they are not as good as the Blue Angels, who I saw at Carswell some weeks ago. Granted this was the Tbird 5 plane routine but it is not as good. Do people love it, yes, but the Navy puts on a better show.

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Capt-AWACS, Ask me if I care
Io voglio fica ogni giorni da mia bella moglie!
 
HaveBlue
Posts: 2108
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:01 pm

RE: Thunderbirds/Blue Angels: Aircraft Roadmap?

Wed Jul 06, 2005 3:32 pm

And actually last year both teams were going with 5 aircraft shows for the most part, and it definitely leaves a lot to be desired. For their show to have the impact its meant too, they need all 6, either of em.
Here Here for Severe Clear!

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