Category Events

The Robert A. “Bob” Hoover Celebration of Life Ceremony

By: Category: AirshowsEventsFriendsMilitary

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A pair of F-86s, Hoover’s favorite aircraft, fly formation with an F-22.

Report and Photography by Bob Shane

October 25, 2016 marked the passing of R.A. “Bob” Hoover at age 94. He was one of the most accomplished and skilled aviators of our time. The really good pilots are referred to as a “Pilot’s Pilot.” This characterization is the definition of who Bob Hoover truly was. A fighter pilot, test pilot, flight instructor and air show pilot extraordinaire, Hoover did it all to perfection. Throughout his flying career he played an important role in the achievement of milestone projects such as breaking the sound barrier. He is widely considered the founding father of modern aerobatics...

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A Grand Phinale at Holloman AFB

By: Category: EventsMilitaryWarbird

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Lt. Col. Ron “Elvis” King taxies QF-4E 74-1638 back to the ramp

Photography by Scott Zeno and Alice Leong

The U.S. Air Force retired its final McDonnell Douglas/Boeing QF-4 Phantom IIs on December 21, 2016. The jets were the last of the line… more than four thousand airframes of various versions were manufactured for the Air Force. The first version flew in 1963, and for more than half a century, the jets and their crews performed air defense, attack, reconnaissance, Wild Weasel, and ultimately remote control drone service.

The final QF-4Es in service were operated by Detachment 1, 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron, based at Holloman AFB in New Mexico. The 82 ATRS reports to the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group at Tyndall AFB, FL. Holloman AFB sits close to the White Sands Missile Range, where live fire exercises against unmanned drone aircraft are routinely accomplished. The final unmanned Full Scale Aerial Target (FSAT) mission was flown there on August 17, 2016, although manned missions, carrying various test payloads, lasted into December of that year.

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Looking Back to 2015, Looking Ahead to 2017’s Avalon Airshow

By: Category: AirshowsEventsMilitary

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2015 AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL AIRSHOW AT AVALON

Editor’s note: The Australian International Aerospace and Defence Exposition 2017 and the 2017 Australian International Airshow will occur between February 28th and March 5th. Here’s a look back at the last event, two years ago, from photojournalist Dion Makowski’s visit…

Avalon. My hometown airshow. If you can visit Australia, turn south from Sydney and continue down towards Geelong, near Melbourne.

The Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition are two concurrent events; an exhibition and trade show followed by a public airshow. Starting in 1992, this airshow is held biennually in the odd-numbered years, negotiated to fit in with the calendar of fabulous events in the great state of Victoria.

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This year’s show ...

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Fire Air Assets Ready for Summer

By: Category: AirtankersEventsHelicoptersUncategorized

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What isn’t generally realised is that by the time of the disastrous and deadly 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, Australia already had a nascent but established response to more effectively share aerial fire fighting resources where they were needed most.

National Aerial Firefighting Centre, a commonwealth and state government initiative, is the body thus entrusted, and a significant part of what they do is to facilitate the co-ordination and procurement of a specialised fleet of aerial assets for use by the states and territories of Australia during the fire season.

We were invited to attend the media day at Avalon Airport, where Victorian Deputy Premier and Emergency Services Minister, Mr James Merlino and Emergency Services Commissioner, Mr Craig Lapsley, addressed the media.

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The ...

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