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Planes for an aerobatic team - your choice?

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dr wogz

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Recently, one of our beloved Snowbirds had a small fire and was forced to land. This makes the third, if I recall, 'situation' in as many years with our national aerobatics team.

For those that don't know, we (Canada) fly the CT-114 Tutor. Some believe it's way overdue for a replacement.. it is, after all, pushing 50!!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadair_CT-114_Tutor

So, with that said, if you could re-equip a national aerobatics team, what would you choose? Remember, we're a NATO ally, and (thanks to an old PM in the late 50's) don't really have a current / up-to-date advanced air weapons development program.. So, anything is open! And, we're not talking about the need for cutting edge current technology. Something from the past 20 or so years would do us well. Remember, highly maneuverable (even with a bit of modifications) and full performance at low altitudes.. (so, the U2 is out..)

BAE Hawk is a thought, as well as the Aermacchi or even a SAAB Grippen.. A Eurofighter Typhoon even!

I would have also wanted an F-16, or even use our aging fleet of CF-18's (when we get their replacements!!), but they are claimed by US teams.. but would that really matter?!
 

ksaves2

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Can't use it anymore but hands down the F4E Phantom jet with the two J79's is the most impressive demonstration jet I've ever seen. I remember reading on the Thunderbird's site some years ago when they asked the current pilots which of the past jets
they would like to fly in demonstration, many replied the Phantom. Those two J79's in burner on a vertical climb are just freaking ground shaking awesome. I saw a practice run out in Wyoming in 1971 and one of those guys did a low level pass that was so
fast we could see him coming but not hear him until he was long past us along with a bang that shook my guts and then engine noise. If that wasn't break'in Mach it was sure flirting with it. I never saw them do that before at a show near a more populated
area. I saw them starting with the F-100's, the F-105B they had for a few shows, the Phantoms, the T-38 "wimp jet" (ok energy crisis and it's a trainer) and the F-16 (which is "ok" but only one engine)

I also witnessed the two jet knife edge head-on pass which I think they don't do anymore and I believe it was in the F-100. That was a long time ago in the early 60's and I was a little kid then. I noticed the maneuver wasn't performed at the next shows I caught.

In the town I currently work in, I've been told that "homeboy" astronaut Steve Nagel buzzed his hometown in an F4 in his early days in the air force. I would'a loved to have been around then to witness that! Kurt
 
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MClark

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Agree with ksaves2
I still remember the Blue Angels flying F-4s over the crowd.
Today's jets may be higher performance but unless they show up with SR-71's I will take F-4s
 

dr wogz

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Yes!! the old F-5 / F-20 / T-38 would be a super choice too! (we still have one or two somewhere!)
 

Rex R

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the F5(E or G) would work nicely on a budget. they are designed for ease of maintenance and reliability.
Rex
 

hornet driver

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Well, it sounds like the USAF is committed to dumping the F-15 fleet (unbelievable)!! The CAF should grab some with spares before everyone else snaps them up!--2f15overcoast.jpg--THAT would be a show bird!!
 

georgegassaway

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Not so aerobatic (or available), but... cool! Imagine 4 to 6 of these doing some "gentle" aerobatics together (and also ignore the cockpit visibility issues, among so many problems).





Just...... no close formations with little jets, like F-104's..... :(
 
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Flyfalcons

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Chile used Extra 300s for their Halcones demo team. That was pretty awesome to watch.
 

Screaminhelo

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Not so aerobatic (or available), but... cool! Imagine 4 to 6 of these doing some "gentle" aerobatics together (and also ignore the cockpit visibility issues, among so many problems).





Just...... no close formations with little jets, like F-104's..... :(
If you want a big bird, go for the BONE! It is aerobatic but will need a little more space than The Tutor. I got to see one do a Cuban 8 once...AMAZING!

Now, back to reality. I think that the T-6A could make a good mount for an aerobatic team and would fit well with the low show the the Snowbirds are known for. Sure, it doesn't have the wow factor of a jet but it would allow for a close show that would surprise a lot of folks. Those little planes turn on a dime, have lots of power for the job and there would be lots of glorious noise from that big ol' prop.

My favorite team is the Aeroshell in, what else, a T-6!
 

ksaves2

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A "Bull" Stearman with a big ol' 400hp Pratt in the nose makes a lot of prop noise if going for the heavy internal combustion metal sound. The slow aerobatics are fun to watch too. Kurt
 

terryg

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I saw F4's in an airshow when I was kid in the 60's. I am not sure whether they were the blue angels or the thunderbirds, but they were awesome.
 

ksaves2

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Agree with ksaves2
I still remember the Blue Angels flying F-4s over the crowd.
Today's jets may be higher performance but unless they show up with SR-71's I will take F-4s
A 71 low and slow would be messy as heck with the JP7 leaking from the 'frame as probably a "mist". I don't think it would be that maneuverable but holy cow, light those J58's in burner and I'd bet that would be a Mach diamond show.
Plus don't expect a Mach 3 pass at low level, I don't believe that was possible in the thicker low level air. Kurt
 

georgegassaway

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I saw F4's in an airshow when I was kid in the 60's. I am not sure whether they were the blue angels or the thunderbirds, but they were awesome.
I figure you mean you do not recall which Team's F-4's you saw. As at one time, they both flew F-4's.

For those who did not realize that:

Blue angels 1969-1974



Thunderbirds from 1969-1973



Thing is the Phantom was not designed for Dogfighting, intended as a missile platform with guns added very reluctantly. Not nimble. Almost the "Poster Child" of what the military did NOT want for the next generation of fighters, as the F-15, 16, and 17 were much better at dogfighting, more aerobatic.

Impressive sound, but not exactly a great choice for precision close formation aerobatics. I used to hear F-4's flying around the Birmingham area in the 1970's thru early 90's when the Alabama Air National Guard stopped flying them (RF-4's).
 
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Tim51

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English Electric / BAC Lightnings. As a child I saw one do its characteristic vertical ascent. My Dad worked on the Avon engines.
 
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SwingWing

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Erm, they're know as Harvards north of the border.
One of the most impressive shows I have seen is the aeroshell team at night.
If you want a big bird, go for the BONE! It is aerobatic but will need a little more space than The Tutor. I got to see one do a Cuban 8 once...AMAZING!

Now, back to reality. I think that the T-6A could make a good mount for an aerobatic team and would fit well with the low show the the Snowbirds are known for. Sure, it doesn't have the wow factor of a jet but it would allow for a close show that would surprise a lot of folks. Those little planes turn on a dime, have lots of power for the job and there would be lots of glorious noise from that big ol' prop.

My favorite team is the Aeroshell in, what else, a T-6!
 

adrian

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For those that don't know, we (Canada) fly the CT-114 Tutor. Some believe it's way overdue for a replacement.. it is, after all, pushing 50!!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadair_CT-114_Tutor

So, with that said, if you could re-equip a national aerobatics team, what would you choose? Remember, we're a NATO ally, and (thanks to an old PM in the late 50's) don't really have a current / up-to-date advanced air weapons development program.. So, anything is open! And, we're not talking about the need for cutting edge current technology. Something from the past 20 or so years would do us well. Remember, highly maneuverable (even with a bit of modifications) and full performance at low altitudes.. (so, the U2 is out..)

BAE Hawk is a thought, as well as the Aermacchi or even a SAAB Grippen.. A Eurofighter Typhoon even!
The Hawk, specifically the CT-155 variant, would be the logical choice as it has replaced the Tutor as the Canadian Forces' jet trainer. Our Red Arrows switched from the Folland Gnat to the BAe Hawk ages ago for similar reasons - the Gnat was outdated, the Hawk replaced it as the RAF's trainer, so the Red Arrows started using Hawks and are still using them. From the point of view of the Canadian Forces, using one of their standard aircraft for the Snowbirds would make most sense as they could more easily get spare parts, and besides their pilots (and mechanics) will already be trained on it.
 

OverTheTop

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How about an L39 Albatross if you want a cheaper alternative? I flew some aerobatics in one a few years back. Good fun. Lacking a little in power-to-weight though, which probably takes it out of the equation for a national team.

1416117.jpg
 

TALON

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To me the logical choice would be the T-38. But I would love to see F-15Cs in a demonstration team, with F-15Bs (two seat) for media/VIP rides.
 

fyrwrxz

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Yes!! the old F-5 / F-20 / T-38 would be a super choice too! (we still have one or two somewhere!)
I agree with the Doctor-this is an excellent platform for airshows with a low cost easy to maintain airframe and good fuel use. These can be wicked dogfighters and I think the Snowbirds used a variant? They are exciting to watch and my wife still makes fun of me whenever I'm trying a stupid stunt by imitating the leader's dry aerobatic execution order of "Now" to syncronize the manoeuvers.
 
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