Langley AFB, Virginia
May 5-7, 2006 Airshow report written on May 9, 2006.
Airshow report written on May 9, 2006.
This is the first of the new formats for the airshow reports featured on Steve's Airshow World. Instead of a full airshow report (which in some cases took weeks to put together), I will have a comprehensive list of static displays and will feature at least one performer who was at the show that I hadn't seen in the past. In the event of a show that has performers I have seen in the past, I will still feature a performer that I have seen, but not as often as the others. For Langley, I was going to do something on the Red Eagle Aerobatic Team, but I will save that for Willow Grove. I am still doing videos as well as pictures, so don't worry! Aircraft listed on the static display will have a picture, if possible. Also, the new format will allow me to get the videos up on the site at a faster rate than I've been putting them up the last two years. Please take the time to e-mail me any additions to the static displays that I may have missed and/or any corrections that are needed.
Performer Brief - F-22A Raptor
Performer Brief - F-22A Raptor
The 2006 AirPower Over Hampton Roads airshow was the first airshow to feature the F-22A Raptor, since Langley will be home to two squadrons of Raptors. The 27th Fighter Squadron currently has a full compliment of Raptors, with twenty-five aircraft, while the 94th Fighter Squadron has two Raptors at the time the airshow report was written. The 2005 show had one Raptor in the airshow, which was flown by Major Michael "Dozer" Shower, and was only flown for the Heritage Flight. Dozer was unable to fly anything more than a takeoff and one pass after the Heritage Flight because of limitations set by ACC for Raptor airshow profiles. This year, the Raptor has been approved for flybys along with Heritage Flights, with Dozer being the only Raptor pilot approved to fly the Heritage Flight. In the airshow, two F-22s formed up with two F-15 Eagles for the flyby and the pattern work that is part of a traditional Langley airshow.
Later on in the Saturday and Sunday show, another Raptor took to the air. This one was flown by Dozer and it was time for him to really show off what the Raptor is capable of. The F-22's takeoff roll was covered in about 2,000 feet, followed by a near vertical climb to about 4,000 feet and bleeding off the airspeed rapidly while in the climb. At the top, airspeed was dropped to zero, and Dozer put the Raptor into a tail slide. Recovering from the tail slide, Dozer and the F-22 went out behind the crowd to loiter and wait until it was time for the Heritage Flight. On Saturday, while Bondo and the F-15 Eagle were performing, the crowd's attention was not drawn to the Eagle, but to the Raptor that was behind the crowd and making a ton of noise. Dozer had the F-22 at an altitude of about 5,000 feet, nose high, traveling about 100 miles per hour. Even though he was at least a mile or two away from the runway, he was still visible to everyone. Dozer proceeded to steal the show from Bondo by making a lot of noise, putting the F-22 into maneuvers I have never seen any jet fighter perform in my entire life (seeing video of the MiG-29 and Su-27 family doesn't count). The Raptor went through several simultaneous pirouettes, several micro-loops (these were the smallest loops I have ever seen flown in any jet-powered aircraft) that seemed to be flown along the aircraft's center of gravity, and a lot of negative-G pushovers. Dozer got into some trouble from the F-15 Demo Team for stealing the show, but he also did the same stuff on Sunday - only this time he did it when Ed Shipley made his passes with his F-86 Sabre.
Following the A-10 and F-15 demos, Dozer joined up with the two modern-day fighters plus Ed Shipley for the Heritage Flight. The Heritage Flight consisted of four passes, with the last pass being a formation break, followed by each aircraft making a pass down runway 26. Friday evening's passes for Dozer and Bondo featured a lot of visible afterburner because of the overcast. Noise-wise, the F-22 in full burner is a lot louder than the F-14, F-15, F-16, and F/A-18F. As the A-10, F-86, and F-15 landed, Dozer was still in the air and was ready to show off the F-22 a little more. He was at about 3,000 feet, 45º behind and to the right of show center, with the first pass being a banana pass flown in full afterburner. Dozer repositioned the F-22 around from the left for a high speed, full afterburner flat pass. The third and final pass came from show right, with the aircraft slowed down a little and powered back. As Dozer approached show center, he applied more power and afterburner, taking the F-22 into a near vertical climb and performing a pull-over to set up for landing on runway 26. On Saturday and Sunday, Dozer decided to add an extra vertical climb, coming out of a low approach to the runway before landing. Following the four fighters, Dozer stopped in front of where I was positioned and bowed to the crowd, which I felt was a really nice way to show appreciation to the crowd for the aircraft.
After the Saturday show, I met up with Dozer and we (three other friends of mine had joined the conversation) got a lot of nice information from him. What Dozer did behind the crowd that day was only about a tenth of what the plane is really capable of performing. Those maneuvers will (hopefully) be incorporated in the F-22 demonstration, when it comes online in 2007 or 2008. When that comes, the F-22 demonstration will blow away the Super Hornet demonstration, which is currently the most advanced demonstration of a US aircraft on the North American airshow circuit. The F-22, even at $330 million a pop, is "America's insurance policy for the next thirty years" and while I don't like the fact that the aircraft is so expensive and the Air Force is only buying 183 aircraft, the Raptor is the most capable fighter ever built. In simulated dogfights between one F-22 and about half a dozen or more F-15s, the F-22 was able to shoot down each F-15 well before the Eagles were able to get a lock on the F-22.
If you are able to get to an airshow where the F-22 will be performing flybys, get to it. If not, work around a schedule so you can see it fly somewhere this year. Trust me - this is an aircraft you will want to see.
2006 AirPower Over Hampton Roads Static Display Aircraft
|Aircraft||Squadron/Wing||Home Base||Registration||Other Notes|
|B-1B Lancer||28th BW||Ellsworth AFB, SD||3, 6|
|B-25J Mitchell||Rag Wings and Radials||44-30734, N9079Z|
|B-52H Stratofortress||2nd BW||Barksdale AFB, LA||60-0022||3|
|Bell 206L-3 JetRanger||WAVY-TV||N210TV||6|
|C-17 Globemaster III||437th AW||Charleston AFB, SC||95-0104||6|
|C-130H Hercules||179th AW, OH ANG||Mansfield, OH||90-1794||3|
|Cessna 172P||Civil Air Patrol||N98326|
|CF-18A Hornet||425 Squadron||CFB Bagotville, PQ||188711||Demo jet, 5|
|CF-18B Hornet||425 Squadron||CFB Bagotville, PQ||188939||Backup jet, 5, 6|
|Cirrus SR22||NASA Langley||N507NA|
|DeHavilland Tiger Moth||T-5525, N6463|
|E-3D Sentry AEW1||8 Squadron/23 Squadron, Royal Air Force||RAF Waddington, UK||ZH103||Departed Sunday, 5|
|F-15C Eagle||1st FW, 71st FS||Langley AFB, VA||1, 5|
|F-15C Eagle||1st FW||Langley AFB, VA||82-0022||4|
|F-15E Strike Eagle||4th FW||Seymour-Johnson AFB, NC||87-0205||1, 6|
|F-16C Fighting Falcon||192nd FW, VA ANG||Richmond, VA||86-0246||1, 6|
|F-22A Raptor||1st FW||Langley AFB, VA||5|
|HL-20 Lifting Body||NASA Langley|
|KC-135R Stratotanker||434 ARW||Grissom ARB, IN||60-0314||1, 3, 6|
|OV-10 Bronco||NASA Langley||N524NA|
|Panavia Tornado||Holloman AFB, NM||45-73||1|
|Panavia Tornado||Holloman AFB, NM||46-07||1, 6|
|T-1A Jayhawk||12 FTW||Randolph AFB, TX||92-0359||2, 3, 6|
|T-6A Texan II||Laughlin AFB, TX||04-0714||1, 6|
|T-28B Trojan||138245, N65491|
|T-37 Tweet||Vance AFB, OK||67-14740|
|T-38C Talon||Laughlin AFB, TX||68-0147||6|
|UH-1H Huey||NASA Langley||N535NA|
|Val Replica||Commemorative Air Force||N56867||1|
|Yak-52 Taildragger||Williamsburg Aeronautics||Williamsburg/Jamestown Airport, VA||N12XX|
1: Aircraft arrived Friday while I was on base.
2: Aircraft has special markings for Commander's bird
3: Aircraft has nose art
4: Weapons load demonstration aircraft
5: Aircraft was roped off
6: Aircraft was open for tours
Military Demonstration Teams
Tentative Military Demonstrations
Announcer: Major Jon "Jughead" Counsell
Gates Open: 5:00 PM Friday, 9:00 AM Saturday and Sunday
Showtime: 5:00 PM Friday, 10:00 AM Saturday and Sunday