Chicago Air and Water Show — Performers

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Performers are not listed in order of appearance. The schedule is decided the morning of the show by the pilots.

Performers are subject to change.

 

(click on images to enlarge) 

Headliners

 

Blue Angels (Photo Credit: Cmdr. Tom Frosch, flight leader and commanding officer of the U.S. Navy flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, leads the formation above Chicago during a practice demonstration)U.S. Navy Blue Angels

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels have been astounding audiences since 1946 with their commanding presence and aerial maneuvers in their F/A–18 Hornets. As role models for men and women of all ages this elite group of Navy pilots defy gravity with their famous diamond formation and precision flying. the team has thrilled more than 427 million fans choreographed aerobatic and high altitude performance maneuvers. In their F/A–18 Hornets, the six-jet team is known for its six-jet Delta Formation, as well as the graceful maneuvers of its solo pilots.

For more information on the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, visit www.navy.mil/local/blueangels/

 

U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden KnightsU.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights

Jumping out of an aircraft 12,500 feet above the earth's surface, racing to North Avenue Beach at speeds exceeding 120 mph and landing with smiles, ready to do it all again; all in a days work for the Golden Knights. For more than 50 years, the U.S. Army Parachute team has amazed and thrilled audiences with their precision parachute demonstrations in more than 14,000 shows in all 50 states and 48 countries.

For more information on the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights, visit www.goarmy.com/events/golden-knights.html

 

 

 

Special Honored Guests

 

Royal Air Force Red ArrowsThe Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team – Red Arrows

For over a hundred years the Royal Air Force has defended the skies of Britain and projected Britain’s power and influence around the world.

Today the RAF is engaged in 15 missions on 4 continents in 22 countries.

For more information on the Royal Air Force Red Arrows, visit www.raf.mod.uk/display-teams/red-arrows/

 

Military Demonstrations

 

U.S. Air Force F-22 RaptorUSAF F–22 Raptor Demo

The F–22 Raptor defines air dominance. The 5th Generation F–22’s unique combination of stealth, speed, agility, and situational awareness, combined with lethal long-range air-to-air and air-to-ground weaponry, makes it the best air dominance fighter in the world.

For more information on the USAF F–22 Raptor, visit www.lockheedmartin.com/us/products/f22.html

 

U.S. Air Force F-16 (A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon Block 40 aircraft after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft during a mission over Iraq on 10 June 2008. This F-16 is assigned to the 34th EFS Balad Air Base, Iraq and is deployed from the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway/Released)USAF F-16 Viper Demo

The General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine multirole fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force (USAF). Designed as an air superiority day fighter, it evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft. Over 4,500 aircraft have been built since production was approved in 1976. The Fighting Falcon's key features include a frameless bubble canopy for better visibility, side-mounted control stick to ease control while maneuvering, an ejection seat reclined 30 degrees from vertical to reduce the effect of g-forces on the pilot, and the first use of a relaxed static stability/fly-by-wire flight control system which helps to make it an agile aircraft. The F-16 has an internal M61 Vulcan cannon and 11 locations for mounting weapons and other mission equipment. The F-16's official name is "Fighting Falcon", but "Viper" is commonly used by its pilots and crews, due to a perceived resemblance to a viper snake as well as the Colonial Viper starfighter on Battlestar Galactica which aired at the time the F-16 entered service.

For more information on the USAF F-16 Viper Demo, visit www.shaw.af.mil/Viper-Demo-Team/

 

USMC Osprey DemoUSMC MV-22 Osprey Demo

The Osprey is an American multi-mission, tiltrotor military aircraft with both vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capabilities. It is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.

 

 

A-10 Thunderbolt IIUSAF A–10 Thunderbolt II

The A–10 Thunderbolt II is the first Air Force aircraft specially designed for close air support of ground forces. They are simple, effective and survivable twin-engine jet aircraft that can be used against all ground targets, including tanks and other armored vehicles.

For more information on the A–10, visit www.af.mil

 

KC-135 StratotankerUSAF KC–135 Stratotanker

The mainstay of the U.S. Air Force’s strategic aerial refueling fleet, the KC–135 Stratotanker is a military version of the 1950s-era 707 commercial passenger jet. The Air Force inventory of 732 aircraft are more than 50 years old and have been retrofitted several times with new engines, avionics and structural upgrades.

Four turbofans, mounted under 35-degree swept wings, power the KC–135 to takeoffs at gross weights of up to 322,500 pounds. A cargo deck above the refueling system can hold a mixed load of passengers and cargo. Depending on fuel storage configuration, the KC–135 can carry up to 83,000 pounds of cargo.

www.military.com/equipment/kc-135-stratotanker

 

U.S. Coast Guard MH-Dolphin HelicopterU.S. Coast Guard MH–65 Dolphin Helicopter

U.S. Coast Guard MH–65D Dolphin Helicopter Search and Rescue Demonstration An MH–65D "Dolphin" helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City will perform a simulated air-sea helicopter rescue. Watch as the helicopter's rescue swimmer free-falls from 30 feet into Lake Michigan, recover a simulated survivor, and is hoisted back to safety. U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Michigan was established in 1946 and is a part of the United States Coast Guard's Ninth District, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. The Air Station is responsible for a 24/7 watch over the Great Lakes with its five MH-65D helicopters. In addition to its year round rescue capability in Traverse City, the Air Station currently operates a seasonal Air Facility in Waukegan, Illinois from Memorial Day to Labor Day each summer. Air Station Traverse City's area of operations includes all of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and Lake Huron.

For more information on the U.S. Coast Guard, visit www.gocoastguard.com

 

Civilian Teams

 

American AirlinesAmerican Airlines

American Airlines is committed to reinvesting in its products and services to improve the travel experience for its customers. American's investment in its fleet is the latest in a series of strategic investments the company believes are necessary to enhance the overall customer experience, as well as maintain and grow market share.

For more information on American Airlines, visit www.aa.com

 

Bill SteinBill Stein Aerosports

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.

For more information on Bill Stein, visit www.billsteinairshows.com

 

Chicago Fire Department Air/Sea Resue boatChicago Fire Department Air/Sea Resue

The Air Sea Rescue Unit was established in 1965, where they provide search and rescue services for 37 miles of lakefront, an extensive river system, numerous lakefront venues, and the largest harbor system in the U.S.

Chicago’s busy lakefront offers the Air Sea Rescue Unit unique emergency challenges including, assistance to boats in distress, water rescues and air search missions. Divers assigned to the Air Sea Rescue Unit are trained under public safety rescue diver guidelines specific to Chicago’s needs and particular environment. Air pilots are trained in helicopter search and rescue, and hoist rescue techniques patterned after nationally recognized standards. The Air Sea Rescue Unit uses two (2) Bell 412 EP helicopters to aid in their efforts. This equipment is used for multi-mission roles, which include administrative, law enforcement, and primarily search and rescue flights. The unit also has dive rescue vehicles equipped with the latest available communications devices, full facemask and dry suit dive equipment, and lighting for night operations. They also have a dedicated swimming pool for training the members.

 

Chicago Police Department HelicopterChicago Police Department Helicopter

The focus of these aircraft is to provide an additional resource to ground units. The use of Helicopters as resources enhance the capabilities of first responders through the deterrence and prevention of crime, by hardening of targets through focused aerial patrol, increasing response time – by quickly delivering personnel and equipment to the incident scene, and assisting in command and control by outfitting the aircraft with necessary equipment to provide critical communications across multiple jurisdictions.

chicagopolice.org

 

Sean D. Tucker & Team OracleSean D. Tucker & Team Oracle

Sean D. Tucker’s life is marked by a search for excellence and perfected skill. He is not satisfied unless he is learning, refining a skill, or conquering a fear. Whether he is heli-skiing, cave SCUBA diving, golfing, or flying his one-of-a kind aerobatic dream machine, Sean D. Tucker is full-throttle and extremely accomplished.

In airshow flying, Sean is the world’s premier performer 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 addition to being a phenomenal aviator, Sean is also a larger than life character who touches the heart of his fans and inspires millions of Americans.

 

James J. Versluis Center Point Boat (Photo credit: Will Van Dorp)James J. Versluis Center Point Boat

The James J. Versluis is a tugboat operated by the Chicago Water Department. She is 90 feet (27 m) long, and built in 1957.

She was named after a former director of the Water Department. Although she was built to service the Water Department's facilities she mounted a water cannon capable of pumping a modest 800 gallons of water a minute.

One of her primary tasks is helping service five water intake structures, called "cribs", several miles off-shore. The cribs are equipped with barracks, for maintenance workers, and were once staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The James J. Versluis was the worker's main link to the shore, and would have to make its way to the cribs even when the lake was frozen over.

While both the tug and the Fire Department's much newer fireboat Christopher Wheatley were designed to be capable of breaking the ice on Chicago's rivers, this task falls mainly to the James J. Versluis. Keeping the river's navigable is important for fire services, so fireboats can arrive quickly at waterfront fires. In addition other city departments have maintenance vessels that travel the rivers to maintain bridges and other infrastructure—even in winter.

 

Susan DacySusan Dacy in the Super Stearman

Susan is one of only a few females performing airshows in a biplane, and is the only woman flying exhibition in the Super Stearman. Attending airshows as a child, Susan remembers being in awe of the big, loud, smoky biplanes. As a teenager, yearning to fly, Susan felt the only way to fly a Stearman was to have one of her own. At the family airport, located in Harvard, Illinois, Susan worked in the office, fueled planes, and eventually acquired a re-buildable Stearman Project. While in high school, every spare hour was spent restoring the aircraft, which she still owns and operates today.

At sixteen Susan learned to fly in a Piper Cub (her Stearman wasn’t yet ready). She attended Southern Illinois University, where she earned a degree in Aviation Operations and Systems, along with aircraft mechanic’s licenses. Following college, Susan pursued flying jobs throughout the country. Scurrying cancelled checks before midnight deadlines in twin engine airplanes, flying for commuter airlines, and even pipeline patrol was eventually rewarded with a job offer from American Airlines. Susan is a Chicago based International Captain, currently flying 777. Susan has flown more than sixty different types of aircraft, and has logged more than 33,000 hours.

For more information, visit dacyairshows.com

 

The Firebirds Delta TeamThe Firebirds Delta Team

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.

 

 

 

Matt Chapman AirshowsMatt Chapman Air Shows

Matt Chapman is recognized as an extraordinary aerobatic pilot who thrills millions of airshow fans each summer. He began flying aerobatics in 1984 and quickly worked his way up to the highest level of competition aerobatics – the Unlimited category. Recognized for his skills, he won one of only five slots on the U.S. Unlimited Men’s Aerobatic Team in 1996 and 1998.

Matt also won the prestigious International Aerobatic Club Championships in 1994 and the Fond du Lac Cup in 1995.

Matt’s exciting competition aerobatics led him to airshow performing. Matt is both a solo performer and flies formation in a thrilling show with fellow performer Mike Mancuso.

Matt is also a respected airline captain with tens of thousands of flight hours.

 

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