by Preston Sims, student writer
|Two of the world’s most renowned
aviation teams will be coming to Hawai’i in 2007.
On September 12-15 Hawai‘i will be hosting Air Force Week to celebrate
the Air Force’s 60th anniversary. Hawai‘i is only one of the six
cities in the nation to be selected for this event.
“ We are proud and excited that Honolulu has been chosen to host Air Force
Week as we enter the year of celebration for the Air Force’s 60th anniversary,” said
Gen. Paul V. Hester, Pacific Air Forces commander. “Honolulu is what we
call the Air Force headquarters of the Pacific and the governor’s and mayor’s
offices in Honolulu are absolutely excited about Air force Week Honolulu—they
have their arms wide open.”
Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornet
Length: 56 ft.
Height: 15.3 ft.
Wingspan: 40.4 ft. (with missles)
Speed: 1,200 mph
First Flight: Nov. 1978
Combat radius: 500 plus nautical miles
Fuel: 11,000-16,000 lbs.
Maximum takeoff weight: 56,000 lbs.
Cost: $18 million
Air Force week will include a performance by the famous aerial
team The Thunderbirds over the Waikiki beachfront. The Thunderbirds
are a team of elite aviators who perform aerial acrobatics
in the F-16. During routines five to six Thunderbirds perform
stunts at a roaring average speed of 400 mph. Some of the
maneuvers include: fast passes, barrel rolls, and inverted
tricks. The Thunderbirds’ signature move is called
the “bomb burst” where the planes fly in a formation
resembling the explosion of a bomb.
Other activities will include unique ground displays, performances by the Air
Force’s top traveling band Tops in Blue, and public speaking engagements
by senior Air Force Leaders.
In October 2007 the Navy’s Blue Angels will perform a show at Kane‘ohe
Bay marking their first appearance since 2004 in Hawai‘i.
I remember seeing the Blue Angels when I was younger,” says HPU student
Jonny Minder, “they were awesome.”
The Blue Angels are a team of six world-renowned aviation specialists. They rip
through the air at speeds of up to 700 mph in the F/A-18 Hornet performing acrobatics
and aerial maneuvers for crowds of thousands across the globe.
We are very excited that the Blue Angels are coming back to Kane‘ohe Bay,” said
Col. Mark A. Dungan, Deputy Commander, MCBH. “The 2004 show was a very
positive event, and we are happy to again have the opportunity to thank the community
for their support and show them some of the amazing things the Navy-Marine Corps
Team can do.”
A Blue Angels’ show demonstrates approximately 30 aerial maneuvers in a
1 hour 15 minute spectacle.
The degree of difficulty flying within three-feet wingtip to wingtip is extreme
and much more difficult than it appears from the ground,” said Commander Allan Palmer,
a director at the Aviation museum of the Pacific. “Today’s Naval
Aviators and Naval Flight Officers are some of the best aviators in the world.
[I will be] looking forward to their performance and precision.”
More information about these events can be found at www.pacaf.af.mil or www.blueangels.com.