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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.”


Fast Facts

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.

Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved.

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