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Chicago Air & Water Show lineup


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Updated: August 23, 2012 9:59AM


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.

U.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 day’s work for the Golden Knights.

U.S. Navy Parachute Team Leap Frogs: A typical Leap Frogs performance consists of fourteen jumpers leaping out of an aircraft at an altitude of 12,500 feet.


Aeroshell Aerobatic Team: The AeroShell Team has been performing for over 20 years, amassing thousands of hours in front of air show fans all over North America.

Kirby Chambliss in the Red Bull Edge 540: Kirby Chambliss has spent so much time flying his Zivko Edge 540s he now jokes that the plane controls and wings are a mere extension of his own arms. (See sidebar)

Sean D. Tucker & Team Oracle: Tucker is a leader in the air show business as well as the larger aviation industry and has been named one of the Living Legends in Aviation, recipient of the Crystal Eagle Award, the inductee at the 2001 USAF Gathering of Eagles and named one of the Living Legends of Flight.

The Red Bull Air Force: The team is an elite group of skydivers.

Dave Dacy in the Super Stearman: Dacy has been performing in air shows and special events throughout the United States and Canada since the early 1970s. Soloing in a Aeronca Champ at the age of 16, Dacy was in the cockpit of a 220 H.P. Stearman teaching himself aerobatics by the time he was 20.

The Firebirds: The Firebirds flight demonstration combines the precision of formation aerobatics with radical gyroscopic tumbles and heart stopping head-on madness.

Lima Lima Flight Crew: The team demonstration is flown with six airplanes and includes several formation configurations, from the six-ship wedge and double arrowhead, to the basic finger four and diamond formations.

Matt Chapman Aerobatics: Chapman is recognized as an extraordinary aerobatic pilot. Recognized for his skills, he won one of only five slots on the U.S. Unlimited Men’s Aerobatic Team in 1996 and 1998.

Bill Stein Airshows: Stein has logged over 5,000 hours of aerobatic and formation flight, including performing in air shows since 1995. He began flying aerobatics when he was still a student pilot and has been dedicated to perfecting his skills ever since.

Chuck Aaron in the Red Bull Helicopter: “Malibu” Chuck Aaron is the first and only civilian pilot ever to be licensed to perform helicopter aerobatics in the United States; he’s one of only three pilots permitted to execute the dangerous maneuvers internationally.


Heritage Flight: The U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight (HF) program presents the evolution of USAF air power by flying today’s state-of-the-art fighter aircraft in close formation with vintage fighter aircraft.

KC 135 Stratotanker Aerial Refueling: The Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker’s primary mission is to aerial refuel compatible U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps aircraft. It also provides refueling support to compatible allied aircraft when required.

USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon: The F-16 is a multirole jet fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force (USAF). Designed as a lightweight day fighter, it evolved into a successful, all-weather, multirole aircraft.

USAF T-38 Talon: The T-38 Talon is an American twin-engine supersonic jet trainer. It was the world’s first supersonic trainer and is also the most produced. It remains in service as of 2011 in air forces throughout the world.

USAF T-6 Texan: The T-6 Texan is used by the United States Air Force for basic pilot training and by the United States Navy for Primary and Intermediate Joint Naval Flight Officer (NFO) and Air Force Combat Systems Officer (CSO) training. It has replaced the Air Force’s T-37B Tweet and is replacing the Navy’s T-34C Turbo Mentor.

F-4: The F-4 is a tandem, two-seat, twin-engine, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor fighter/fighter-bomber originally developed for the United States Navy by McDonnell Aircraft.

U.S.N. F-18 Super Hornet Demo: A twin-engine carrier-based multirole fighter aircraft. The Super Hornet has an internal 20 mm gun and can carry air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface weapons.

U.S. Coast Guard: The U.S. Coast Guard is one of the five armed forces of the United States and the only military organization within the Department of Homeland Security. Since 1790 the Coast Guard has safeguarded our Nation’s maritime interests and environment around the world.

Chicago Fire Department Air/Sea Rescue : Established in 1965, 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.

E-2C Hawkeye: During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the E-2C Hawkeye has supported numerous naval engagements, including the 1985 intercept of the aircraft containing the hijackers of the liner Achille Lauro, the strikes against Libya in 1986 and the Persian Gulf War.


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