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F-22 Raptor Demo Team releases 2017 airshow schedule

LANGLEY, Va. — The only operational fifth-generation fighter aircraft will launch into the start of its 2017 air show season in March with a schedule highlighted by popular visits across America and include four international show sights.

The Aerial Combat Command, based at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, released their official F-22 Raptor schedule on Thursday, one week prior to the official start of the air show season. The news gave the selected show sites cause to celebrate as they took to social media to celebrate the news.

Air Force Major Dan Dickinson will again lead the 19-member F-22 demo team this season as the lead pilot — the only pilot — of the $140 million aircraft of the demo team. To date, Maj. Dickinson has logged nearly 900 hours flying the F-22.

The schedule will see a pair of Raptors visit 23 cities between March through November, and a fly-over only of the Air Force Marathon at Wright-Patterson AFB in September. Four international stops will include Quebec, Canada in June; RAF Fairford, UK in July; Toronto, Canada in September; and Seoul, South Korea in October. The Raptor’s public affairs officials did add that visits to the UK and Korea are subject to change at this time.

In the United States, the F-22 Demo will launch their season on Georgia’s warm golden coast as the team performs over the Wings Over the Golden Isles air show. The inaugural show was a major triumph for the Brunswick community.

“The F-22 Raptor joins the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the AeroShell Demonstration Team and many other performers to give the Wings Over Golden Isles event a world-class lineup,” John Cowman, president of JLC AirShow Management, said following the announcement. “We couldn’t be more excited about hosting this amazing team in Brunswick.”

The next show stop April 22 and 23 will see the Raptor soar over the proclaimed “Home of Air Dominance”, Tyndall AFB, located just east of Panama City Beach, Florida. The two day air show will include the Air Force Thunderbirds.

“For this year’s show we’ve pulled out all the stops and will feature performances by the Thunderbirds, the F-22 demonstration team, and many more,” Colonel Michael F. Hernandez, Commander of Tyndall’s 325th Fighter Wing said. “On behalf of the more than 5,000 Airmen of Team Tyndall, it is my pleasure to invite you to the 2017 Gulf Coast Salute open house and air show.”

Two weeks later, the fully fueled F-22 will perform over the McEntire JNGB near Colombia, S.C. on May 6 and 7. An F-16 and F-15 will join the Raptor for the free air show event.

Summertime will later usher in demonstrations over Pittsburgh, Miami Beach, Seattle, Chicago, and Jacksonville. The Raptor team will conclude its ambitious season with the Thunderbirds at the Nellis AFB Open House in November.

For the F-22 Raptor’s complete schedule, visit http://www.acc.af.mil/Home/AerialEvents/F-22ADemoTeam/F-22Demoschedule.aspx.

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Written by Charles Atkeison

Charles Atkeison

Charles A Atkeison is a long time aerospace journalist having covered both military and civilian aviation, plus 30 space shuttle launches from Cape Canaveral. He has produced multimedia aerospace content for CNN, London's Sky News, radio, print, and the web for twenty years. From flying with his father at age 5 to soaring as a VIP recently with the Navy's Blue Angels and USAF Thunderbirds, Charles continues to enjoy all aspects of flight.