2018 AIR & WATER SHOW NARRATION BY
WORLD-CLASS ANNOUNCER HERB HUNTER

As of June 1st, 2018

Many of the world’s top air and water show performers, including aerobatic champions, and long-time Milwaukee show favorites, the United States Air Force Jet Demonstration Squadron, Army Golden Knights and Navy Leapfrogs military parachute teams, the US Navy F/A-18 Hornet Tactical Demonstration Team and other military and civilian performers, have made commitments to fly during the 2018 Milwaukee Air & Water Show, now set for July 21-22, at Milwaukee’s beautiful lakefront. More exciting performers are yet to be announced in the coming weeks ahead!

 

U.S. AIR FORCE THUNDERBIRDS AIR DEMONSTRATION SQUADRON –
“America’s Ambassadors in Blue”

The Milwaukee Air & Water Show is proud to host the 2018 USAF Thunderbirds!   The squadron’s mission is to plan and present precision aerial maneuvers to exhibit the capabilities of modern, high-performance aircraft and the high degree of professional skill required to operate those aircraft. The Thunderbirds squadron is an Air Combat Command unit composed of eight pilots (including six demonstration pilots), four support officers, four civilians and more than 100 enlisted personnel. Thunderbirds air demonstration is a mix of formation flying and solo routines. The four-jet diamond formation demonstrates the training and precision of Air Force pilots, while the lead and opposing solo aircraft highlight some of the maximum capabilities of the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The pilots perform approximately 40 maneuvers in a demonstration.  Through selfless dedication, a desire to excel and a constant commitment to improvement, these leaders have channeled their efforts into making the Thunderbirds what they are today. More than 120 enlisted personnel, representing nearly 30 career fields, form the backbone of the Thunderbirds.

U.S. ARMY GOLDEN KNIGHTS PARACHUTE TEAM

The United States Army Parachute Team, nicknamed and commonly known as the Golden Knights, is a demonstration and competition parachute team of the United States Army. It consists of demonstration and competition Parachutist teams, drawn from all branches of the Army. Members must demonstrate excellence in parachuting.   The two Golden Knight demonstration teams travel the United States(and occasionally overseas), performing for public audiences at venues ranging from relatively small civic events to nationally and internationally televised events (such as Monday Night Football games, NASCAR races, and large international airshows). The two, 12-member teams travel around 240 days per year, and use the team’s two Fokker C-31A Troopship jump aircraft as their primary means of transportation, and sometimes the UV-18C Twin Otter Series 400 made by Viking.

United States Navy Seals Parachute Team – The Leapfrogs

The United States Navy Seals Parachute Team, nicknamed and commonly known as the Leapfrogs, is a demonstration and competition parachute team of the United States  Navy, and demonstrates professional Navy excellence by performing precision aerial maneuvers throughout the United States in support of Navy public outreach.  The Elite Frogs parachute team is comprised of U.S.Navy SEALs. Whether in the sea, air, or on land, the U.S. Navy SEAL teams are the most feared and respected commando force in the arsenal of the U.S. military special forces, maybe even the world. The United States Navy’s “Sea, Air, and Land” Teams, commonly abbreviated as the Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy’s primary special operations force and a component of the Naval Special Warfare Command.

USAF F-15E “STRIKE EAGLES” – 2-SHIP FORMATION
4th FIGHTER WING, SEYMOUR JOHNSON AFB

The F-15E Strike Eagle is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. An array of avionics and electronics systems gives the F-15E the capability to fight at low altitude, day or night, and in all weather. The aircraft uses two crew members, a pilot and a weapon systems officer. Previous models of the F-15 are assigned air-to-air roles; the “E” model is a dual-role fighter. It has the capability to fight its way to a target over long ranges, destroy enemy ground positions and fight its way out.  The F-15E is powered by two Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 or 229 engines that incorporate advanced digital technology for improved performance. For example, with a digital electronic engine control system, F-15E pilots can accelerate from idle power to maximum afterburner in less than four seconds, a 40 percent improvement over the previous engine control system. Faster engine acceleration means quicker takeoffs and crisper response while maneuvering. The F100-PW-220 engines can produce 50,000 pounds of thrust (25,000 each) and the F100-PW-229 engines 58,000 pounds of thrust (29,000 each).  The F-15’s superior maneuverability and acceleration are achieved through its high engine thrust-to-weight ratio and low-wing loading. It was the first U.S. operational aircraft whose engines’ thrust exceeded the plane’s loaded weight, permitting it to accelerate even while in vertical climb. Low-wing loading (the ratio of aircraft weight to its wing area) is a vital factor in maneuverability and, combined with the high thrust-to-weight ratio, enables the aircraft to turn tightly without losing airspeed.

ANNOUNCING A NEW 2018 AIR SHOW ACT!
USAF T-38 “TALONS” – 2-3 SHIP FORMATION

The Milwaukee Air & Water Show is proud to host USAF T-38 Talons flying in the air show over the Milwaukee Lakefront. The Northrop T-38 Talon is a two-seat, twin-jet supersonic jet trainer. It was the world’s first supersonic trainer and is also the most produced. The T-38 remains in service as of 2018 in several air forces.   The United States Air Force (USAF) operates the most T-38s. In addition to training USAF pilots, the T-38 is used by NASA. The U.S. Naval Test Pilot School is the principal US Navy operator (other T-38s were previously used as USN aggressor aircraft until replaced by the similar Northrop F-5 Tiger II). Pilots of other NATO nations fly the T-38 in joint training programs with USAF pilots.   As of 2018, the T-38 has been in service for over 50 years with its original operator, the United States Air Force.

U.S. AIR FORCE A-10 WARTHOG FORMATION

The Milwaukee Air & Water Show is proud to announce THE RETURN OF THE A-10 WARTHOG!   See up to TWO A-10 Warthogs flying in formation over the Milwaukee Lakefront!! The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II jet aircraft was developed  for the USAF, and is commonly referred to by the nicknames “Warthog” or “Hog”, and its official name comes from the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, a World War II fighter-bomber effective at attacking ground targets. The A-10 was designed for close air support (CAS) of friendly ground troops, attacking armored vehicles and tanks, and providing quick-action support against enemy ground forces. It was designed around the 30 mm GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannon, and its airframe was designed for durability, with measures such as 1,200 pounds (540 kg) of titanium armor to protect the cockpit and aircraft systems, enabling it to absorb a significant amount of damage and continue flying. The A-10 served in the Gulf War(Operation Desert Storm), the American intervention against Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, where the A-10 distinguished itself. The A-10 also participated in other conflicts such as Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, and against Islamic State in the Middle East. With a variety of upgrades and wing replacements, the A-10’s service life may be extended to 2040; the Air Force has no planned retirement date as of June 2017.

U.S. NAVY F/A-18 Super Hornet Tactical Demonstration Squadron

The Air & Water Show welcomes back the US Navy’s F/A-18 Tactical Demo Team! The teams are made up of actual Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) instructors flying the same jets used to train new students. The primary mission of an FRS is to train newly designated aviators, as well as transition aircrew into the F/A-18A-F Hornet and Super Hornet. The Tactical Demonstration or “TACDEMO” is designed to highlight the mobility, versatility and power of the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet for the citizens who look to the Navy for the defense of freedom.  Our mission is to enhance Navy recruiting and demonstrate the awesome capabilities of Naval Aviation and its aircraft.

U.S. NAVY P-8 ‘POSEIDON MARITIME PATROL AIRCRAFT

The Milwaukee Air & Water Show is proud to host, FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME, a U.S. Navy P-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft, from the “Fighting Tigers” of Navy Squadron VP-8. The P-8A Poseidon is an aircraft designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. The “Fighting Tigers” of VP-8 were commissioned in September 1942 as Patrol Squadron 201 in Norfolk, Virginia. During World War II, VP-201 flew the sea-based PBM Mariner in combat missions against German submarines that threatened Allied shipping throughout the Atlantic. In September 1948, the squadron received its current designation, VP-8. From 1962 through 2016, the Fighting Tigers deployed the P-3 Orion in multiple conflicts and operations in support of American interests around the world. Throughout its history, VP-8 has answered the call to serve in a number of capacities, from monitoring Soviet submarines during the Cuban missile crisis, providing 24-hour support to two carrier battle groups in both maritime and overland combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom, to conducting direct support of relief operations in response to the 2010 Haitian earthquake. For over 50 years flying the P-3 Orion, the Fighting Tigers and other maritime patrol squadrons successfully demonstrated their pre-eminent ASW, SUW, and ISR capabilities in every ocean of the world. In March of 2016, VP-8 began its inaugural deployment in the P-8A Poseidon, one of the newest aircraft in the Navy’s warfighting arsenal. Designed to continue the work-horse tradition of the P-3C Orion, the P-8A provides the fleet with more combat capability, responsiveness, and interoperability with both traditional manned forces and evolving unmanned sensors.   Since transitioning to the P-8A, the Fighting Tigers have demonstrated continued excellence in all operational capabilities.   Whether in direct support of the strike group, conducting long-range reconnaissance, anti-surface or antisubmarine warfare, the P-8A is firmly in place as an extension of the eyes and ears of the fleet.   The pride and professionalism of every squadron member serves as a reminder to all of VP-8’s dedication to excellence and service to our nation.

WISCONSIN AIR NATIONAL GUARD KC-135 Stratotanker

The Air & Water Show welcomes back the 128th Air Refueling Wing’s Boeing KC-135 – Air Refueling Stratotanker aircraft to perform in the air show, on both days, SAT and SUN! The 128th Air Refueling Wing is “Milwaukee’s Hometown Air Force.” The Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker is a military aerial refueling aircraft. It and the Boeing 707 airliner were developed from the Boeing 367-80 prototype. It is the predominant variant of the C-135 Stratolifter family of transport aircraft. The KC-135 was the US Air Force’s first jet-powered refueling tanker and replaced the KC-97 Stratofreighter. The KC-135 was initially tasked with refueling strategic bombers, but was used extensively in the Vietnam War and later conflicts such as Operation Desert Storm to extend the range and endurance of US tactical fighters and bombers.

PAUL WOOD – Warbird Heritage Museum Foundation
NAVY A-4D Skyhawk Jet Tach Demo

In the photo above, Paul Wood climbs the A-4 with the moon in the background during the 2015 Air & Water Show. The A-4 Skyhawk was a post Korean War U.S. attack aircraft intended to be operated from aircraft carriers. It was designed by Douglas Aircraft to satisfy the U.S. Navy’s need for a jet powered replacement for the A-1 Skyraider. The Skyhawk was successfully used by both the USN and USMC, with the first model entering service in October of 1956.   Skyhawk’s were the Navy’s primary light bomber during the early years of the Vietnam War. A-4’s carried out some of the first U.S. air strikes of the war and a Marine Skyhawk is believed to have dropped the last US bombs on the country. Some of the notable A-4 pilots during the war were Vice Admiral James Stockdale and then LCDR John McCain. The Skyhawk continued in service throughout the war, with a total of 362 being lost. The Warbird Heritage Foundation is a 501(c)-3 not-for-profit foundation created in December, 2003. The Foundation was organized for the purpose of acquiring, restoring, displaying, and demonstrating various antique aircraft of historic military significance.   The Foundation’s focus is on preserving its aircraft in flying condition, demonstrating these aircraft at air shows and other special events, and promoting public interest in historic military aircraft.

AEROSTARS FORMATION AEROBATIC TEAM

The Aerostars are a precision aerobatic demo team whose aerial ballet captivates air show audiences large and small. The team is composed of Team Lead Harvey “Boss” Meek, who currently flies for a major international airline, American Airlines Captain David “Cupid” Monroe in the Right Wing position and Left Wingman Paul “Rocket” Hornick, who currently flies for a privately-held corporation. They fascinate the crowd with a combination of graceful aerobatics flown in tight formation, spectacular breakaways followed by breath-taking opposing passes and awe-inspiring inverted maneuvers. The team performs in the Yak 52 TW, a former Soviet designed, Romanian built, WWII-type aerobatic trainer. The deep roar of their 400 horsepower, supercharged, nine cylinder radial engines singing in harmony is a true crowd-pleaser. The Aerostar’s performance is the embodiment of teamwork, professionalism and commitment to excellence.

FIREBIRDS X-TREME TEAM
Air Show Formation Team

The Firebirds Xtreme are a Nationally and Internationally renowned Aerobatics team. Members Bill Stein, Jack Knutson, Matt Chapman, and Rob Holland thrill crowds from around the world with their breath-taking stunts, and precision formation flying. The Firebirds flight demonstration combines the precision of formation aerobatics with radical gyroscopic tumbles and heart stopping head-on madness guaranteed to keep you on the edge.

BILL STEIN – SOLO AEROBATICS

Bill Stein puts on a thrilling performance in his unique Edge 540, the paint scheme of which changes color dependent on lighting and the location of the airplane is respect to Bill’s spectators. Bill began flying aerobatics while he was still a student pilot, and has since logged more than 5,000 hours of aerobatic and formation flight. He has been part of the air show performance scene since 1995, and enjoys mentoring new air show pilots as a way to give back to the aviation community Bill Stein has logged over 5,000 hours of aerobatic and formation flight. Bill began flying aerobatics when he was still a student pilot and has been dedicated to perfecting his skills ever since. Since 1995 Bill has performed at air shows all across the United States and has entertained millions air show fans.

ROB HOLLAND – SOLO AEROBATICS

Over the years, he completely immersed himself in aviation, spending time as a corporate, commuter, and ferry pilot, a banner tower, and a flight instructor, all while running his own aerobatic school. He is the only pilot to ever have achieved the titles of three-time, consecutive World Four-Minute Freestyle Champion and seven-time U.S. Four-Minute Freestyle Champion, making him one of today’s decorated air show pilots. In his 15th year performing at air shows full time, Rob continues to push himself in his one-of-a-kind MXS-RH to develop maneuvers never before seen.

MIKE WISCUS – LUCAS OIL

Mike Wiskus has been performing airplane stunts for 26 years, and flies a Lucas Oil Pitts Plane and said stunts will include loops, rolls, hammerheads and other visually appealing tricks. Wiskus was also was a 2002 U.S. National Aerobatic Champion and a member of the 2004 U.S. Aerobatic Team. Like many of the show pilots, Mike’s passion for aviation started when he was very young. Mike’s Dad took him to his first air show at their hometown in Iowa at the age of 10. That show made an everlasting impression so deep that at 14, Mike rode his bike to the airport for two weeks straight and bugged the owner for a job washing airplanes and cleaning hangars just to be around airplanes. In school, Mike had a teacher tell him he would never be a pilot. His grades weren’t great and he got into trouble. Later that year a tutor gave him the book The Little Engine that Could, by Watty Piper. It changed his attitude and it helped Mike believe in himself. He traded his work of washing airplanes for flying lessons and received his Pilot’s License on his 17th birthday.

U.S. COAST GUARD HELICOPTER SAR DEMO
HH-60J – Jayhawk Rescue Helicopter

Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City was established in 1946 and is a part of the United States Coast Guards Ninth District, and is situated on the southern end of Grand Traverse Bay in northern Michigan. Since 1995, Air Station Traverse City has controlled and manned Air Facilities throughout southern Lake Michigan The Coast Guard completed upgrades to its fleet of 45 MH-60J Jayhawk medium range recovery helicopters in August 2016. Redesignated as MH-60Ts, the upgraded helicopters received new flight instruments and avionics, communications and navigation equipment. Air Station Traverse City is now transitioning back to the HH-60J this summer of 2017. The Milwaukee Air & Water Show is once again proud to feature U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich.

ADDITIONAL 2018 AIR & WATER SHOW PERFORMERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED SOON.