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USAF THUNDERBIRDS 3600th Air Demonstration Squadron Nellis AFB, Nevada Cadet 4th Class Ashley Copes.

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Presentation on theme: "USAF THUNDERBIRDS 3600th Air Demonstration Squadron Nellis AFB, Nevada Cadet 4th Class Ashley Copes."— Presentation transcript:

1 USAF THUNDERBIRDS 3600th Air Demonstration Squadron Nellis AFB, Nevada Cadet 4th Class Ashley Copes

2 Overview â History and Background â Selection Process and Job â The Air Show

3 History and Background b Officially activated 25 May 1953 b Luke AFB, AZ b 3600th Air Demonstration Squadron b Original Name StardustersStardusters Only used during first six showsOnly used during first six shows

4 History and Background b Native American Legend b Thunderbird was looked upon to grant victory in battle b Air Force found it a better emblem

5 History and Background b First Plane (1953-1955) b F-84G Thunderjet b First appearance: 1 June 1953 at Nellis AFB, NV b 1st public appearance: 23 June 1953 in Cheyenne, WY b Last used 7 February 1955 at Webb AFB, TX

6 History and Background b Second plane b F-84F Thunderstreak b Only used for part of 1955

7 History and Background JUNE 1956 b Home of Thunderbirds relocates to Nellis AFB b Simultaneous transition from F-84 series to F-100C Super Sabre

8 History and Background b Fourth plane commissioned: F-105B Thunderchief b Only used for 6 shows

9 History and Background b Fifth plane: F-100D b 13 years (minus stint with F-105) of F-100 jets performing as Thunderbirds

10 History and Background Sixth Plane (1969-1973) F-4E Phantom II

11 History and Background b Seventh Plane (1974-1983) b T-38A Talon b Switch made because of oil embargo b First supersonic trainer aircraft used

12 History and Background b Eighth Plane (1983-1992) b F-16A (widely used in Operation Desert Storm)

13 History and Background Ninth Plane (1992-present) F-16C Fighting Falcon

14 History and Background Nearly 48 years of performance b Every US State b 57 Countries world-wide b More than 3500 demonstrations J There has never been a show cancelled due to maintenance problems!

15 Selection Process and Job Ê Applicant Ë Semi-Finalist Ì Finalist Í The Job Intense Competition with Multiple Phases

16 Selection Process and Job b Job Performance Record b Communication Skills b Appearance b Written Recommendations b A pilot must have a minimum of 1,000 flying hours in high- performance aircraft before applying. Every Applicants Background is Intensely Reviewed

17 Selection Process and Job Semi-Finalist b Deploys with the team b Experiences travel conditions and rigorous demands of job

18 Selection Process and Job Finalist b Travels to Nellis AFB, NV b Many personal interviews b Extensive medical examinations

19 Selection Process and Job If Chosen: b Officers are required to serve 2 years on the Thunderbird team b Enlisted personnel are required to serve between 3 and 4 years

20 Selection Process and Job Pilots b Incur 3 1/2 months of vigorous training b Away from home for demonstrations 200-250 days a year b Each position is unique and NOT interchangeable with other pilots

21 The Air Show b Season lasts from March to November b Winter season used to train new members

22 The Air Show Personnel Involved b 8 Pilots (6 Demonstration) b 4 Support Officers b 3 Civilians b 130+ Enlisted Personnel

23 The Air Show b 6 aircraft perform over 30 maneuvers b F-16C Fighting Falcon b Multi-role fighter (tactical bomber and/or air-to-air combat) b Slightly modified for Thunderbird model Smoke-generating system in place of 20mm cannon in the rearSmoke-generating system in place of 20mm cannon in the rear Thunderbirds colors painted instead of normal gray/blue colorThunderbirds colors painted instead of normal gray/blue color

24 The Air Show b Begins with 4 aircraft taking-off in tight diamond-formation b Continues with a series of different maneuvers

25 The Air Show Tight Diamond Formation

26 The Air Show Arrowhead Loop b While in Arrowhead Formation, 4 planes roll as one unit b High-speed rolls are also performed by the solo planes

27 The Air Show Maximum Performance Turn b 9 Gs acting upon pilots body (solo maneuver) b 9 times pilots body weight while making a 360-degree turn in a 3,000 foot radius

28 The Air Show Tactical Surprise b Solo pilot sneaks up to diamond formation at very high speed b Solo pilot must be cautious not to break sound barrier!

29 The Air Show Calypso Pass One plane inverts itself atop another plane

30 The Air Show Cross-over Key idea: Traveling at Very High Speeds

31 The Air Show Each show consists of a series of maneuvers that every Air Force fighter pilot learns in his or her initial training. The only difference is that we fly them in tighter formation and closer to the ground. -SSgt. Charles Ramey

32 The Air Show Ê How close to each other do they fly? Ô 18 to 3 between inner wing-tips Ë How close to the ground are they? Ô As low as 75 feet!

33 Conclusion b Thunderbirds used 9 different aircraft, currently using F-16C. b The selection process is difficult. b The demonstration/air show is amazing with stunts that are not only difficult but very beautiful in their art.

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