While sequestration has grounded all U.S. military aviation demonstration teams, the Royal Canadian Air Force's Snowbirds and its CF-18 demo team are getting ready for a busy season and they got some high flying public relations help this week.
With a little help from the weather, they were able to launch a 12-ship formation with a smoke trail over the ocean off Vancouver Island at the precise moment the International Space Station was orbiting 250 miles overhead. ISS Commander Chris Hadfield, himself a former RCAF CF-18 pilot was able to snap a photo out the window. "During the two minute photo window, as the ISS passed overhead at 28,000km/h, Cmdr Hadfield was able to see the smoke lines with only his eyes by just looking out the window 370 km above the earth," says a posting on the Snowbirds' Facebook page.
The formation included 11 CT-114 Tutor jets from the Snowbirds (nine performance aircraft and two support) and the CF-18. All the Snowbirds were emitting smoke. The flight took place just offshore from RCAF base Comox where the teams do their final rehearsals before heading out on the air show circuit.
For American air show enthusiasts, the Canadian teams will offer really the only military jet demonstrations this season. The Snowbirds will perform in Sidney, Montana on May 22 before returning to Canada for four months. Shows are planned for Sacramento Oct. 5-6, Redding CA on Oct. 9 and El Paso Oct. 12-13.Source: AVweb, Russ Niles
Gravity always wins!