Tinker AFB , OK 2017 Open House

May 20th and 21st marked the open house for Tinker AFB, OK named Star Spangled Salute Airshow. Tinker AFB located in central Oklahoma by MIdwest City. Tinker is the headquarters of the Air Force Materiel Command’s (AFMC) Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center (OC-ALC), which is the worldwide manager for a wide range of aircraft, engines, missiles, software and avionics and accessories components. The host unit at Tinker is the 72d Air Base Wing (72 ABW) which provides services and support for the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center and its tenant organizations.






Team Tinker houses the trio units all flying the Boeing 707 jet.

  • 552nd Air Control Wing that flies the Air Combat Command E-3 Sentry AWACS. The E-3’s radar and other sensors provide deep-look surveillance, warning, interception control and airborne battle management. The 552 ACW encompasses 3 groups: 552d Operations Group, 552d Maintenance Group and 552d Air Control Group.
  • 507th Air Refueling Wing is the Texaco in the sky providing round the clock aerial refueling flying the KC-135 Stratrotanker
  • US Navy Strategic Communications Wing One flying the E-6 Mercury. The E-6B Mercury enables the President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense to directly contact submarines, bombers and missile silos enforcing the country’s national security through nuclear deterrence. The wing also operates alert facilities for E-6B aircraft at Travis AFB, California and Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

This Airshow we came specifically for Team Tinker which flies all 3 aircraft types namely E-3, E-6B and KC-135

B2 Spirit Stealth Bomber made a 4 pass appearance. During the pass both pilots piloting the B2 is doing their last flight from the active unit base in Whitman AFB. Unfortunately the B2 only did a straight in pass and way high that we could not get any dynamic shots. Kind of a boring straight pass except the last pass that gives a small hint of bank! but very slight.

US Navy VFA-106 Gladiators base in NAS Oceana , VA showed up with two Legacy FA-18C for the Tactical Demo display.

USAF Heritage flight was performed by a single P-51 Mustang and F-35A Lightning II 61st FS “Top Dogs” from Luke AFB … We could see the low speed handling of the F35 with the WW2 era P51 and on the final 2 passes, the F-35A did a full Afterburner bank which shows the raw power of this new 5th Generation fighter of ours.

Notable Warbird Display came from a single De Havilland Vampire painted in the RAF 1950s Suez Canal Campaign camouflage pattern. The jet made some graceful passes and shows the maneuverability of this fighter made of plywood.  2nd came from a single P40, C-47 and F-4U WW2 fighter. Finally we have the Vietnam war warbird demo that consists of the Cessna Forward Air controller FAC O2, the De Havilland Caribou, and 2x A-1 Skyraider demonstrating rescue of downed pilots.

USAF Flight Demonstration team Thunderbirds made her appearance with the F-16 Blk 52 jets. Unfortunately due to the geographical location and the lighting condition, we were shooting in a really bad backlid situation when Tbirds perform ….

Airwingspotter always cover the Static display, Tinker show of force with some pretty good static display of warbirds and military aircraft.  This year also spot the US ARMY air defense artillery and Artillery pieces.

Photographs and Article by

Dave Chng