The Luke Air Force Base Open House and Air Show, “Storm on the Horizon,” is just two months away, and the team organizing the event is getting ready for a jam-packed weekend that occurs just once every two years.
“We’ve been working hard as a team since July to bring the people of the valley a memorable open house and air show,” said Lt. Col. Bill Engelson, open house director and F-16 pilot. “There’s still work to be done, but when March gets here, we’ll be ready to show everyone a wide range of their military’s aerial capabilities from not just the Air Force, but the Navy and Marine Corps as well.”
Confirmed aerial acts for the March 16 and 17 event so far include the Air Force’s Aerial Demonstration Team, the Thunderbirds, and the Marine Corps’ AV-8 Harrier Demonstration, a close air support aircraft that can take off vertically, among a host of others.
Another recently added performance is the Wings of Blue, the Air Force Academy’s Parachute Team. The group performed in the Phoenix area Dec. 29 when they parachuted into Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium with the American Flag during pregame ceremonies of the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. More than 44,000 fans in attendance greeted the team with a standing ovation.
“Even more aircraft and performances will be confirmed in coming weeks, and we’re excited to showcase the best of the air show industry here at Luke,” said Maj. Dave Snodgrass, open house air operations director. “As participating aircraft are confirmed, we will update Luke’s website so everyone can follow along.”
Just a few of the aircraft scheduled to be on display include the F-22 Raptor, B-52 Stratofortess, KC-135 Stratotanker, and a German air force Tornado. The Raptor is a fighter jet, the Stratofortress is a long-range bomber, and the KC-135 is a refueling aircraft that serves as an on-the-fly gas station. The Tornado is a European-built ground attack fighter that uses an automatic terrain-following system to fly at very low altitudes.
A full list of aerial performances and aircraft that are scheduled to be on display can be found at the open house and air show website. For more information, visit http://www.luke.af.mil/units/2013openhouseandairshow.asp. Many of the aircraft listed on the site have links to their respective factsheet describing the capabilities of that airframe.
Another place to get daily updates is to check out the 56th Fighter Wing’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Luke56thFW. Spectators can ask questions to public affairs and see answers to other commonly asked questions online.