At the end of World War II, the Chief of Naval Operations, Chester W. Nimitz, ordered the formation of a flight demonstration team to keep the public interested in naval Aviation. The Blue Angels performed their first flight demonstration less than a year later in June 1946 at their home base, Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Florida. LCDR Roy "Butch" Voris led the team, flying the Grumman F6F Hellcat.
By the end of the 1940s, the Blue Angels were flying their jet aircraft, the Grumman F9F-2 Panther. In response to the demands placed on Naval Aviation in the Korean Conflict, the team reported to the aircraft carrier USS Princeton as the nucleus of Fighter Squadron 191 (VF-191), "Satan's Kittens," in 1950.
Today the Blue Angels fly the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet.
Since 1946, the Blue Angels have performed for more than 463 million fans. For more information on the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, please visit www.blueangels.navy.mil.
Transporting Blue Angels maintenance and support personnel, communication equipment and spare parts is a United States Marine Corps C-130T Hercules nicknamed, “Fat Albert Airlines.” The aircraft travels at 320 knots – approximately 360 miles per hour – at an altitude of 27,000 feet. Powered by four turbo-prop engines which produce 16,000 shaft-horsepower, Fat Albert has the power to land and depart on runways as short as 2,500 feet. In past Kaneohe Bay Air Shows, Fat Albert has demonstrated its jet-assisted takeoff (JATO) capability which enables the plane to takeoff from as little as 1,500 feet of runway, climb at a steep 45-degree angle, and attain an altitude of 1,000 feet within 15 seconds. JATO is made possible with eight solid-fuel rocket bottles (four on each side), attached near the rear paratrooper door. This quick departure is a demonstration of the aircrafts’ capability in hostile environments or on short, unprepared runways. For more information on Fat Albert, please visit www.blueangels.navy.mil/aircraft/fatalbert.aspx.
During the centennial celebration of powered flight in 2003, Jacquie B finally quit the humdrum of a white-collar profession and realized her dream as an air show performer, becoming the first female pilot to launch a solo aerobatic career at the age of 50. She started off with her one-of-a-kind Pitts Special biplane, and is now flying an Extra 300 monoplane. Jacquie B has made the switch from a biplane of many years to something new. Her beautiful red Extra is faster, more capable of gyroscopic maneuvers, and has two seats!
With more than 2,800 flight hours and 1000 coast-to-coast air show performances behind her, Jacquie B has proven that she has the talent, stamina, discipline, and guts to reach beyond the limits placed on her by naysayers. In fact, she broke even more stringent cultural boundaries when she became the first female solo pilot to perform at the 2010 Al Ain Aerobatic Show in the United Arab Emirates. Jacquie B is a powerful inspiration to the millions of fans who realize that they too can accomplish great things in life. For more information on Jacquie B., visit www.jacquiebairshows.com.
Hank Bruckner was always captivated by aircraft and flying. As a kid growing up in Mexico City, he built model airplanes. After graduating from Tulane University, Bruckner joined the U.S. Air Force and served throughout the Pacific, including Vietnam. While serving in the Air Force, he took flying lessons and first soloed in 1972. Bruckner became a flight instructor shortly before retiring in 1990, and eventually started his own flight school, Kaimana Aviation, where he currently teaches aerobatics, unusual attitude recoveries, spins and tail wheel transition training.
Bruckner first began flying aerobatics in 1993, acquiring his CAP-10B in 1996 with his wife Linda. His CAP-10 was the first in the U.S. to be upgraded with the new wing that features greater strength, larger ailerons, and a significantly greater roll rate. With the new wing, it is now a CAP-10C. Bruckner is a director for the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor and has been an advocate for general aviation and aviation safety for many years. He's performed at the last four Blues on the Bay air shows at Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay. Bruckner has logged more than 10,800 flight hours.
Dan Buchanan's hang glider has no engine, so he is towed by his pickup truck and a winch with 2,500' of 1/8" Spectra towline. His crew chief, Jason Pearson, operates the tow winch from inside the trailer.
Buchanan lives near Carson City, Nev., but is on the road for months at a time, performing at 25 air shows around the world. He has been flying hang gliders and sailplanes for 35 years, and some of his flights have lasted for more than 6 hours and to altitudes of 24,000 feet, all without an engine.
Buchanan uses a wheelchair due to an injury 34 years ago, when a hang glider hit him hard on the helmet after he landed in very stormy weather in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Despite not being able to walk, his tenacity returned him to flying in just 6 months and subsequently earning his Private & Commercial Pilot certificates. Buchanan has since accrued more than 3,600 hours of flight time in hang gliders and sailplanes. For more information on Dan Buchanan, visit www.danbuchananairshows.com.
Rob Holland is one of the most decorated, respected, and innovative aerobatic pilots and air show performers in the world today. Flying the Window World MXS-RH, an all carbon fiber, competition-ready, single-seat aerobatic airplane designed and built by MX Aircraft, Holland brings an unrivaled performance to air shows across North America, thrilling millions of spectators with his dynamic and breathtaking display. Now in his fourteenth year as a full-time air show pilot, Holland has established an enviable legacy as an innovator, a focused and decorated aerobatic competitor, and, most of all, an electrifying and inspiring air show performer.
Holland distinguished himself by blazing a trail of innovation, developing maneuvers never before seen at an air show. He's is the winner of four consecutive U.S. National Aerobatic Championships and two World Freestyle Aerobatic Championships. Holland is also a recipient of the International Council of Air Shows prestigious "Art Scholl Memorial Showmanship Award," the highest honor any air show pilot can receive. In 2015, Holland teamed up with Window World to help bring his passion for aviation to audiences at air shows across North America, hoping to inspire people to pursue their dreams. For more information on Rob Holland, please visit www.ultimateairshows.com.
The United States Navy Parachute Team, commonly known as the Leap Frogs, is the parachute demonstration team of the United States Navy. It consists of an all volunteer team of active-duty personnel drawn from Naval Special Warfare (NSW), including Navy SEALs, Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) and support personnel. The team is sanctioned by the Department of Defense and recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration.
After performances, the Leap Frogs enjoy signing autographs and making themselves available to answer questions about what it's like to be a Navy SEAL or SWCC.
Alan Miller’s lifelong passion for aviation began while growing up at Barber’s Point Naval Air Station in Hawaii. The son of a career Navy sailor, Alan earned his wings piloting a Cessna solo at age 16 and becoming a Hawaiian Airlines pilot by age 23. He has honed his skills throughout 30-plus years piloting a variety of aircraft from an antique 1929 Bellanca to the state-of-the-art Airbus A-330, and has accumulated over 20,000 flight hours. His airshow experience includes showcasing World War II-era aircraft throughout the United States and Canada. Alan instructs in gliders, experimentals and other light aircraft and serves as an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner.
The star of Alan’s show is his 1946 Aeronca “Champ,” powered by a 65 horsepower engine. Possessing no electrical system and lacking even a starter, the airplane must be “hand-propped” to start it up – just as in old classic films. Performance and maneuverability are demonstrated as Alan coaxes the little Champ to perform old school stunts at low altitudes, concluding with a speeding truck-top landing.
Mike has accumulated more than 24,000 flight hours and has qualified in more than 40 aircraft. He keeps a very busy schedule flying for Corporate America as well as keeping a full time air show schedule flying the Lucas Oil stunt plane April through November. “It is incredible to be part of the Lucas Oil Team. Their products as well as their integrity make what I do even more rewarding.”
Mike’s air show career is a testimony of how dreams really can come true. As a 2002 U.S. National Aerobatic Champion, and a member of the 2004 U.S. Aerobatic Team, Mike has traveled the World with the same aircraft you will see him performing in at your air show. His excitement for aviation and willingness to share his experience with people around the country is nothing short of contagious in his attempt to help encourage kids of all ages, to not only dream, but to live their dreams and never give up! To learn more about Mike Wiskus, visit http://www.lucasoilairshows.com.
After enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1966, Col. John Bates (ret) trained as both an infantryman and a machine gunner, deploying to Vietnam. Bates now performs as an experienced Military Free-Fall parachutist with the Flying Leathernecks and as a civilian U.S. Parachute Association PRO-D licensed skydiver. After his retirement from the U.S. Marine Corps, Bates became the COO for the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and served as the Executive Director for the Honolulu Armed Services YMCA. In his free time Bates shares his passion for skydiving by mentoring and teaching Marines of the Wounded Warrior Detachment West, Maine Corps Base Hawaii. The Flying Leathernecks are a group of skydivers who share a passion for jumping.
In addition to demonstrating the capabilities of the MAGTF, we are proud to be joined by the U.S. Air Force, who will showcase the cutting edge technology and venerable might of several strategic Air Force aviation assets. We welcome the U.S. Army 25th Infantry Division "Tropic Thunder", along with elements of the Stryker Brigade and the 25th Aviation Brigade "Wings of Lightning." The U.S. Navy will represent with P-3 and P-8 demonstrations and with a Special Operations display. And finally the U.S. Coast Guard will show us why their recognized as a worldwide maritime leader during a Search and Rescue demonstration.
The Wildcat was one of a series of fighters named after big cats and designed by Grumman during World War II. Grumman made roughly 2,000 Wildcats designated as the F4F. Eastern Aircraft Division of GM, however, made about 5,900 designated FM-1s and FM-2s.The GM-built FM-2s were more powerful and are often referred to as the “Wilder” wildcat.
As the main fighter for the Navy and Marine Corps at the start of World War II, Wildcats fought in all major Pacific battles, including in Wake Island, Guadalcanal and Midway. During the Battle of Midway, Medal of Honor recipient Butch O'Hare shot down five Japanese bombers that had been attacking the carrier “Lexington”, making him the first U.S. Navy Ace. You may have seen a Wildcat honoring him at the Chicago airport that bears his name.
Eight Wildcat pilots received the Medal of Honor during World War II; seven of those recipients were Marine Corps pilots. Maj. Gen. Marion Carl, for which Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay is named after, was the Marine Corps' first ace.
Greg's Wildcat flew at a couple California Naval Air Stations during the war, most likely towing targets. In 1946, it went on display at a high school in Montana. In 1956, it was sold for use in aerial photography. Following that, it had several different owners and was then displayed at the Lone Star Flight Museum for 15 years before being acquired by Greg in 2006.
Brad Deckert's TBM AVENGER is one of a very few Warbirds that fly today to actually see combat in World War II. It served in 1945 with Marine Torpedo Bombing Squadron 234 on the USS Vella Gulf during the Battle of Okinawa. After the war, it was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Hawaii, in December 1945. In 1946 it was stationed at Barbers Point, Hawaii for a brief tour. Deckert now tours the country at airshows and aviation events to show his historical aircraft and honor the men who flew and maintained Her. We are honored and excited to bring Her home to Hawaii. For more information, visit www.tbmavenger.com.
Bruce Mayes is the founder of Pacific Warbirds, offering a unique Pearl Harbor historical aviation experience in a North American Aircraft USN, SNJ aircraft. He is an active professional pilot with 42 years and more than 21,000 flight hours of experience in the aviation industry. Mayes has flown more than 60 types of aircraft, and is one of a handful of pilots to hold eight National Aeronautic Association and Federation Aeronautique Internationale world records in multiple types of aircraft, including single engine aircraft, air transport jets, and helicopters.
Mayes' airborne expertise started as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot, then continued as a U.S. Coast Guard pilot flying search and rescue missions in HH-52 and HC-130 aircraft. The last 10 years, he has performed in his T-6 airplane at the Reno Air Races as the "Flyin' Hawaiian." Mayes has seven of the eight Certified Flight Instructor certificates issued by the FAA. In addition to the Airline Transport Pilot certificate in airplane and helicopter, he has certificates for commercial operations in single and multi-engine seaplanes, gliders, and gyroplanes.
*Performers and performances are subject to change.
SkyTalker Danny Clisham is ready to entertain you. From a grass strip flying a Piper Cub to a flight test pilot on the Evergreen Boeing 747 Supertanker, the SkyTalker will keep you in the "Top Fun" zone. You are listening to the announcer with more awards and honors than any other announcer in the history of shows, including the Clifford Henderson Award, the ICAS Sword of Excellence, the Art Scholl Showmanship Award, the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship, Honorary Canadian Forces Snowbird, and the ICAS Foundation Airshow Hall of Fame. Now fasten your seat belts, folks... you're going for a ride!