The Thunderbirds of the United States Air Force will be the featured act at the Minnesota Air Spectacular 2015 on June 27 and 28 at the Mankato Regional Airport. This will be the Thunderbirds only performance in Minnesota in 2015.
The Air Force Thunderbird legend was born in 1953, just six years after the creation of the U.S. Air Force, when the Air Force's official air demonstrations team designated the 3600th air demonstration unit.
Millions of people have witnessed the Thunderbirds demonstrations, and in turn, they've seen the pride, professionalism and dedication of hundreds of thousands of Airmen serving at home and abroad. Each year brings another opportunity for the team to represent those who deserve the most credit: the everyday, hard-working Airmen voluntarily serving America and defending freedom.
The sharply choreographed, drill-style ground ceremony kicks off the demonstration by showcasing the attention to detail and espirit de corps that defines their enlisted members. As the jets take to the skies and fly only a few feet from wingtip to wingtip, the crowd gets a glimpse of the awesome skills and capabilities that all fighter pilots must possess. The solo pilots integrate their own loud and proud routine, exhibiting some of the maximum capabilities of the F-16 Fighting Falcon - the Air Force's premier multi-role fighter jet.
In airshow flying, Sean Tucker is one of the world's premier performers in terms of entertainment value, piloting skill and most importantly, professionalism. He has been flying airshows world-wide since the mid-70's and has won numerous aerobatic competitions. In that time, Sean has flown more than 1000 performances at more than 425 airshows, in front of more than 80 million fans. In the upcoming season alone, Tucker and Team Oracle will entertain nearly 10 million fans at 15 shows throughout North America. The level of professionalism and excitement in Sean's airshow displays is no coincidence. He practices his airshow routine three times every day. Sean has devoted his entire adult life to exploring the art of aerobatic flight and after over 10,000 life-time practices, his passion continues to grow. He is more inspired by the magic and discipline of flight every single year and he continues to improve his skills as an aviator. Sean's airplane, the Oracle Challenger bi-plane, has also continued to improve each year. Sean started with a factory built Pitts Special 30 years ago and modified it each year. After reaching the limits of the Pitts, Tucker's team designed a one of a kind airplane that could do anything that Sean asked of it. This resulted in the most high-performance aerobatic aircraft in the world, the Challenger II biplane.
U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team
The United States Army Parachute Team, nicknamed “The Golden Knights,” is the U.S. Army’s official aerial demonstration team. The Team travels around the United States, performing parachute demonstrations at air shows, major league football and baseball games, and special events, connecting the Army with the American people.
Dave Dacy / Tony Kazian Wingwalking
Whether performing a solo aerobatic routine, or with wingwalker, Tony Kazian, ‘on board’, the Super Stearman brings to crowd center the thrill, excitement, smoke and noise of true airshow entertainment! In a low level, aggressive aerobatic display of barnstorming maneuvers Dave Dacy’s self-styled routine in the Super Stearman continues to be a ‘front page’ story, captivating the attention of event attendees, sponsors and media alike. The incredible talents and capabilities of two highly skilled professionals come together as Dave Dacy and Tony Kazian present a tremendous aerobatic wingwalking performance that is ‘second to none’.
John Klatt - Jack Links Screamin' Sasquatch Jet Waco
Lt. Col. John Klatt is one of the top aerobatic performance pilots in America. He has thrilled millions of air show spectators for the past decade, with his own unique blend of precision, power and performance. He has served in the Air National Guard for more than 20 years - flying combat, air support and humanitarian missions throughout the world in the F-16 "Fighting Falcon" and the C-130 "Hercules" aircraft.
John's Air National Guard career and service has equipped him with some of the finest flight training in the world, and it is a tremendous honor for him to use those skills to entertain air show fans, and encourage them to learn more about the outstanding opportunities and benefits available in the Air National Guard.
Kent Pietsch / Jelly Belly Airshow
While most aerobatic performers have one basic program, Kent executes three storied acts that leave spectators mesmerized. These include a dead-stick (turning the engine off) routine from 6,000 feet and a rooftop landing on a moving RV! However, Kent is best known for a comedy act that features a detached aileron (wing flap) and a mesmerizing wingtip-scraping pass down the runway that you must see to believe. When Kent is at the controls of his plane, it is impossible not to watch him perform.
Navy TAC Demo Team
Wall of Fire
Designed as a living history lesson, "Tora! Tora! Tora!" is the Commemorative Air Force's recreation of the Japenese attack on Pearl Harbor that signaled the beginning of the American involvement in World War II. The "Wall of Fire" is intended as a memorial to all the soldiers on both sides of WWII who gave their lives for their countries. The "Wall of Fire" was created by the Tora Bomb Squad and will be ignited by the B-25 Miss Mitchell.