Denton Municipal Airport ( KDTO) host their annual summer airshow last weekend ( June 20th , 2015) Interestingly, they have both the USAF F-16 Viper Demo and US Navy Super hornet West Demo both doing their single ship demonstration. We did not miss this opportunity but instead of giving an airshow blog like in the past, this report will be focus mainly on the 2 demostration teams and the USAF Heritage flight.
A. US Navy Super hornet Demonstration Team VFA-122 Flying Eagles
VFA-122 or ( VA-122) was an Corsair II A-7E unit until after the 1st Gulf war in 1991 where they were deactivated . The introduction of the Superhornet F-18E/F calls for a 2nd fleet replacement squadron which gives new life to the Flying Eagles now base in NAS Leemore , CA . VFA-122 being appointed to be the west coast replacement squadron while the VFA-106 Gladiators holds the honor of the East Coast fleet replacement squadron. With the new designation VFA over the older VA which denotes both air to air and air to ground mission for VFA-122. The squadron’s role remains the same as it was on the 29th of JUNE 1959: to train replacement aircrew and maintainers for combat operations in a new and challenging aircraft. Currently flying 60 super hornets of both E and F models training the best of the best…… Naval Aviators.
Currently US Navy have 2 Super hornet Tac Demo team namely Super hornet Tac Demo East and West. This faithful Saturday we see VFA-122 on the hot ramp of Denton Municipal Airport (KDTO) , one Single F-18E and one F-18F 2 seater.
The Single seater 250-168469 F-18E did the demo on this day with clean configuration . From the hot ramp he taxi towards runway 36 for the northerly departure. Due to the humidity of this afternoon, the F-18E produces some spectacular vapor trails. The highlights came from the high speed pass that produces the “cotton balls” and the “vapor cone”. For the Superhornet demo we always see the advantage of the low speed handling of the F-18 and the more than 1:1 aspect ratio of the F-18. The Demonstration also included a simulated carrier touch and go.
Tactical F-18E Demo
B. USAF F-16 Demonstration 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw AFB
The 20th Fighter Wing is based at Shaw AFB, South Carolina. Home to three F-16 squadrons, the 55th, 77th, and 79th Fighter Squadrons. Currently they are flying the F-16C Blk 50/52 with the CCIP configuration. CCIP (Common Configuration Implementation Program) was planned to enhance the cockpit and avionics of block 50/52 F-16s in the USAF inventory. CCIP provides several improvements, including full-color MFD displays,new computers, data link systems, and the Joint Helmet-Mounted cueing system ( JHMCS) , the most obvious modification externally that we can see is the addition of the four “bird-slicer” AIFF antenna mounted directly in front of the cockpit as you can see from the pic of those F-16. The F-16 Viper Demonstration team have been consolidated in 2015 and gone were Viper East and Viper West ( Hill AFB) .
F-16 Demo Taxi shots
F-16 Tactical Demo
C. USAF Heritage Flight
An HF performance involves a current USAF fighter piloted by an Air Combat Command trained military HF pilot and flown with a historical warbird piloted by a trained and certified civilian HF pilot. The HF formations of modern fighters flying with World War II, Korean, and Vietnam era fighters such as the P-51 Mustang and F-86 Sabre, dramatically display our U.S. Air Force air power history and proudly support our Air Force’s recruiting and retention efforts. In 2010, the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation (AFHFF) was formed to keep this popular program flying. The Heritage not only bring the old and the new together but also the Historical significance of air power we as American should be all proud to be. For the Denton Airshow we suppose to have a Korean era F-86 but due to maintenance issue, a WW2 P-51D was use in conjunction with the F-16 Demo team from 20th FW.
D. Airshow Participants.
These are the unique participants of the show that made this a success. Salute to all the maintainers , crew chief, aircrew for keeping our aviation heritage alive.
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