Defense

August 8, 2018
 

Raptor Demo zooms across Canada

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Senior Airman Kaylee Dubois
Cold Lake, Canada

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Alex Niccum, F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team dedicated crew chief, performs a ground show at the Cold Lake Air Show at Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, Canada, July 21, 2018. The Raptor is part of the Air Combat Command F-22 Demonstration Team and performs precision aerial maneuvers to demonstrate its unique capabilities.

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team, based out of Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., performed at the Cold Lake Air Show at Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, Canada, July 21-22.

Throughout the weekend, the team showcased the jet’s air superiority and interacted with the crowd. They also celebrated the 60th anniversary of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the bi-national military agreement between the U.S. and Canada to monitor and defend North American air space.

As the only appearance of the F-22 Raptor in Canada this year, individuals from throughout Alberta gathered in Cold Lake for the aerial performance. Approximately 20,000 people attended the show during the open-public-days.

“Every two years we put on an air show to engage with the public,” said Canadian armed forces Master Corporal Adam Pfeifer, air show liaison. “Our base is far away from most of our towns around here and putting on these air shows encourages people to come see what we do and why we do it.”

U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team pilot/commander, Maj. Paul “Loco” Lopez, flies alongside the P-51 Mustang, “Val-Halla” flown by Greg “B.A.” Anders for a heritage flight during the Cold Lake Air Show at Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, Canada, July 21, 2018. During this flight, Anders achieved 1,000 hours flying the P-51 Mustang.

Spectators were given the opportunity to witness the fifth-generation, multirole fighter’s thrust vectoring, super cruise, stealth, maneuverability and weapons load features during each demonstration.

“Having the F-22 in our line-up has definitely been the highlight of the air show this year,” said Pfeifer. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some people in Canada to see an F-22 up close. Having the opportunity to see the Raptor perform is mind-blowing and has drawn the largest crowd I’ve seen at an air show in years.”

Accompanying the demo team was a multitude of U.S. aircraft and Airmen to showcase the importance of each aircraft’s mission capabilities and day-to-day operations.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Israel Davila, F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team dedicated crew chief, performs safety checks on the jet during the Cold Lake Air Show at Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, Canada, July 21, 2018. The F-22 is designed to project air dominance, rapidly and at great distances, to defeat threats attempting to deny access to U.S. armed forces.

“This weekend just proved the positive relationship and bond we share with the Canadian people,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Alexander Niccum, F-22 Raptor Demo Team dedicated crew chief. “We couldn’t have asked for a better show and better people to work with.”

The 13-member F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team has nine state-side shows left in the season to showcase American air power.

“We would like to say thank you to everyone who made the air show weekend the smoothest we have had all season,” said Niccum. “We had a blast showcasing our aircraft, sightseeing and meeting some incredible people. We hope we can return again in the future.”
 

Greg “B.A.” Anders, Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation P-5-1 Mustange pilot, poses for a photo in his aircraft, “Val-Halla” during the Cold Lake Air Show at Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, Canada, July 21, 2018. Anders graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1985.

 

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Alex Niccum, F-22 Raptor Demonstration dedicated crew chief, signals Maj. Paul “Loco” Lopez, F-22 Raptor Demo commander/pilot during the Cold Lake Air Show at Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, Canada, July 21, 2018. The Raptor demo team relies on hand signals to convey messages while the aircraft is running on the flight line.

 

U.S. Air Force Maj. Paul “Loco” Lopez, F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team commander/pilot, performs a stiff pitch during the Cold Lake Air Show at Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, Canada, July 22, 2018. This was the first time the Raptor performed at the Cold Lake Air Show.

 

U.S. Air Force Maj. Paul “Loco” Lopez, F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team commander/pilot, taxis down the runway during the Cold Lake Air Show at Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, Canada, July 22, 2018. The air show is estimated to have drawn 20,000 visitors over the two-day event.




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