The Canadian Air Force Snowbirds that is. OK so maybe that wasn’t what you wanted to hear in the midst of all this wet and rainy weather we have been having. So, hopefully it will come as consolation that so far the weather looks clear for the air show. Sorry no photos of Snowbird yet, they will not be here until sometime on Wednesday afternoon.
We are now less than 5 days (counting today) away from the Rhode Island Air show at Quonset Point. The show, as I said in my last post, will feature the US. Navy Blue Angels and the Canadian Air Force Snowbirds. The Snowbirds had been grounded over an ejection seat problem for the past two weeks, but are back in action now. The F-22 Raptor as I mentioned in my last post will be there, actually there will be two. This year they will actually land in Quonset, although they will be under armed guard and likely put in a hanger. They will again perform the heritage flight. However this year there will be no F-15 strike Eagle, because the F-15 fleet was grounded in 2007 over some structural problems, and all of them still have not returned to service. So they will instead have the F-16 Falcon in formation with the F-22 and a P-51 Mustang.
This year they are slated to have a V-22 Osprey flight. However given the checkered past of the Osprey there is a chance it may not fly. It is reportedly having some trouble with the hydraulic mechanisms that control the tiltrotors. If it does fly it will certainly be a source of pride, as the Osprey is very revolutionary in concept, it is just very unfortunately that it lacks a little in mechanical design and innovation. In addition, if it flies it will be a source of pride to Rhode Island as the Osprey squadron is represented by one of Rhode Island’s own young men right from Burrillville.
The combined arms demonstration is also back this year except without the A-10 Thunderbolts (aka warthogs). They will be missed this year. The A-10 is an extremely survivable plane with a large Gatling gun in the front which fires depleted uranium round capable of destroying tanks. The Gatling gun earns the plane its second nickname: the “tank buster”. Nonetheless, they will still have the Black Hawks, which will likely fire the simulated rounds.