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Air Shows - USAF upstaged by export customers?

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posted on Apr, 18 2007 @ 02:40 AM
Ok, first off this is not intended to be a slight on the USAF so no kicking off one one please! My observations come from years of attending UK airshows, particularly Fairford Royal International Air Tattoo.

I would be interested if anyone can comment on the following observation:

USAF aircraft demonstrated at (certainly UK) airshows are subject to a very formulaic display pattern, which tends to be rather uninspiring. This is often accompanied by some USAF officer giving us a rather bland monotone commentary over the PA.
However, these same aircraft (e.g. F-16, F18) when placed in the hands of export countries, give absolutely superb displays, pushing the aircraft much closer to their flight parameters (computers permitting ). The Finnish airforce presentation of the F-18 I saw a few years ago made it look like a far superior aircraft to that the USAF demo'd last year.

Likewise, the non-US aircraft are usually given a good showing, especially the ex-soviet block aircraft (ok, we don't need another argument about practicality of exotic manoveurs).
(Sorry must add - loved the Typhoon at Kemble 2 years ago, stood on its tailpipe and pretty much pirouetted around a small area between taxi lanes).

So the big question is... are the USAF 1) deliberately holding back for overseas airshows, 2) not allowed to "over-present" the aircraft, 3) very unimaginative, or 4) have I been watching seagulls by accident.

P.S. Looking forward to seeing the Thunderbirds at Fairford this year, lets hope I am proved wrong.

posted on Apr, 18 2007 @ 03:55 AM
I've seen many F-16's and F-15's at airshows, and there displays are almost identical and are pretty boring. I have however, seen US Navy Super Hornets. WOW! They are a million times better than USAF displays! RAAF F-18 Hornet displays were also pretty good....

posted on Apr, 18 2007 @ 10:46 AM
I have heard people with about the same gripe about USAF Thunderbirds vs USN Blue Angels.

posted on Apr, 18 2007 @ 10:56 AM
Here in Chicago they flip flop the main acts each year. I think ill stay away this year, considering the last time the thunderbirds were in Chicago they clipped wings and almost killed people by loosing a missile rail over the audience thank god it fell into the buffer zone between the beach and the huge crowd of boaters.

My fav is when the B1-B comes in low and fast full afterburner screaming down lake shore drive wings swept back, DAMN that thing is loud!!

posted on Apr, 18 2007 @ 11:27 AM
Years ago the USAF pushed the envelope hard at airshows, and it resulted in several crashes, and mechanical problems. They decided that they'd rather show the planes off and do some routine maneuvers rather than risk the planes and crowds.

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