Lackland Air Force Base, Texas —
Lackland AirFest 2006 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting and breathtaking show ever at historic Kelly Field.
The Air Force Thunderbirds and the Army's Golden Knights will headline the two-day event Nov. 4 and 5.
The Thunderbirds, flying F-16 Fighting Falcons, will perform close formations, tight turns and solo head-on passes. For the first time in U.S. history, the Thunderbird team includes a female pilot, flying Thunderbird 3, as the right wing pilot in the diamond formation.
For more than 44 years, the Golden Knights, the Army's elite parachute demonstrate team, have been entertaining audiences at air shows and competitions with their aerial acrobatics, and most recently, with high-profile tandem jumps.
"We are excited about this year's Lackland AirFest," said Lt. Col. Andy Sanchez, AirFest director. "We expect it to be the best AirFest we've ever had. The flying will be nonstop and the public will be able to meet and share stories with the dedicated men and women of the armed forces as our Airmen demonstrate the equipment and training that makes them the number one military in the world."
The U.S. Navy Parachute Team "Leap Frogs," composed of SEALs and Frogmen, is also scheduled to perform.
Aerial flight demonstrations will include the F-15 Eagle, A-10 Thunderbolt II and the F/A-18 Hornet.
In other action, "Tora! Tora! Tora!" a re-enactment of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, will feature eight to 10 replica aircraft flown by Commemorative Air Force members. The show includes about 60 pyrotechnic effects.
Other famous warbirds will include the B-25, B-17 and the Heritage P-51 Flight. A warbird is a former military aircraft that is no longer owned by the government but instead is owned by a private individual or a museum.
Entertainment for the entire family will be provided by Otto, the performing helicopter. Otto does aerobatics to mimic the airplanes, plays with a 75-pound yo-yo and races barrels like a horse. Helicopter rides also are provided.
More than 30 aircraft static displays will be on hand, allowing visitors an up-close look at today's U.S. military airpower. Aircraft lining the flightline will include the F-22 Raptor, C-17 Globemaster III, F-16 Fighting Falcon and UH-1 Huey.
There will be food and activities for the whole family. The event is free and open to the general public. Gates open at 9 a.m. both days.
For more information, go to www.lackland.af.mil/airshow or call the AirFest hotline at 210-671-NEWS.