HAMPTON, Ga. — North America’s top two Air Force demonstration teams will come together this weekend to perform above the only aerial stadium during the Atlanta Air Show.
The thrust of America’s Air Force Thunderbirds and the Royal Canadian Snowbirds will join top aerobatic aircraft at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Nearly 90,000 guests are expected to attend the third annual Atlanta Air Show on October 12 and 13.
“This will be a really unique experience for spectators watching from the grandstands,” Atlanta Airshow Chairman Bryan Lilley said on Tuesday. “The elevated view will both look and feel like no other air show, as the jets come from behind the grandstands, almost framing each maneuver.”
As the jet teams perform their high speed maneuvers, their thrust will resonate across the cone style layout of the stadium. The vibration will give an added dimension for attendees.
“The afterburner from the jets projecting on the stands will make them vibrate and fans will feel the noise – almost like you’re flying in the back seat with them,” Lilley added.
Top Demonstration Teams to Perform Over an Aerial Stadium
The Thunderbirds six F-16C Fighting Falcons, led by Lt. Col. John Caldwell, will perform a nearly 40-minute demonstration each afternoon. The sleek red, white, and blue jets’ formations and maneuvers will highlight the abilities of the Air Force’s popular aircraft.
“It’s rare to see the Thunderbirds and Snowbirds perform at the same show together anywhere, let alone in a major city where neither of them have been seen in a long time,” added Lilley. “We’re expecting a really big turnout.”
The Canadian Snowbirds seven and nine-plane formations will demonstrate the graceful maneuvers of their CT-114 Tutor jet aircraft. The Warriors of the Air will perform nearly 40 maneuvers — both low level and launching skyward smoke-on.
The GEICO Skytypers Air Show Team, famous for their low level maneuvers and huge sky-typed messages, will add to the two-days of excitement. The Skytypers’s six Navy SNJ-2 aircraft will demonstrate the dog-fight flying styles and maneuvers flown by the “Greatest Generation” nearly 80 years ago.
“It’s a very dynamic demo with a lot of things happening very quickly with some maneuvers a tribute to the era of the generation of these World War II airplanes,” Squadron Leader Larry Arken told AvGeekery. “Other things are done for the spectators view like a heart or a bomb burst, and other maneuvers are tactical maneuvers which the military still uses.”
The team’s 18-minute flight demo may include some sky writing during the show. If the weather permits, the Skytypers will create a massive dot matrix sky-written message above the airfield — a message to guests which can be seen from five miles away.
Tickets remain available online and will also be sold at the gate each day. The Atlanta Motor Speedway is located 29 miles south of Downtown Atlanta. Follow I-75 south to the Tara Blvd. exit and travel south to Speedway Blvd.
Air show officials state that unlike NASCAR races which are held at the stadium, there will be no tailgating or loitering allowed in the parking lot. The aircraft aerobatic box is the main reason for the rule which will be enforced.
(Charles A Atkeison reports on aerospace and technology. Follow his updates via social media @Military_Flight.)