Friday, January 30, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Travis lines up 2 days of aviation excellence

thunderbirds 2011

United States Air Force Thunderbirds advance crew directs one of the planes on the runway during their last visit to Travis in 2011. (Daily Republic file)

By
From page A1 | April 24, 2014 |

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE — The Thunderbirds, the Air Force’s premiere aerial demonstration team, will headline a wide selection of aviation acrobatic acts, military aircraft demonstrations and displays of both modern and historic airplanes when Travis Air Force Base opens its gates to the public May 3-4.

“There will be something for everybody,” said Capt. Jamie Leenman, the Air Expo’s assistant air operations officer. “It will be a rare opportunity to see the Thunderbirds and to see the Army Golden Knights.”

This year’s two-day Air Expo will be the only one of its magnitude in California, as well as one of the few places in the state where the Thunderbirds will perform. If you miss the Thunderbirds here, you will have to travel all the way to the California International Airshow at Salinas on Sept. 27-28.

The Thunderbirds will not only dazzle the audience both days with 3 p.m. shows, but the pilots will also be available after their performances to talk with the crowd and sign autographs.

Travis is also one of only four Air Mobility Command bases to have an air show this year, according to organizers.

“The whole purpose of the show is to open our doors to the public,” said Maj. William Kerr, the Air Expo’s deputy director, of the base’s traditional open house to show off its capabilities and thank the public for its support.

Called Thunder Over Solano, the Main Gate will open at 9:30 a.m. both days. Security forces and base personnel will direct visitors to designated parking areas close to the show area.

With the warm weather expected, visitors are encouraged to bring sunscreen, hats, clear containers with water and earplugs. There will be plenty of concessions run by on-base squadrons selling food, refreshments and souvenirs.

The Army’s Golden Knights parachute demonstration team is expected to open the show each day, jumping onto the flight line with an American flag.

Civilian aerial acrobatic performers include Spencer Suderman flying a Meteor Pitts, Kent Pietsch flying an Interstate Cadet, Bill Cornick flying a Pitts S-2C, Eddie Andreini flying both a Stearman and Yak-9U, Melissa and Rex Pemberton flying an Edge 540, Greg Colyer flying a T-33, Vicky Benzing flying an Extra Flugzeugbau 300S, Matt Younkin flying a BE-18 and Steve Stavrekakis flying an IAR-40.

Some of the performers will park their aircraft near the crowd after the performance and take the opportunity to talk with spectators.

The very loud and very fast Smoke-N-Thunder jet car will also return to the Air Expo to race Sunderman in his Meteor Pitts.

Visitors will be able to compare two of the most successful fighter aircraft of the past and present when a World War II-era P-51 Mustang will fly in unison with an F-16 Fighting Falcon, otherwise called Viper by its pilots. The flight is part of Air Combat Command’s Heritage Flight program.

Travis fliers will put in their own aerial appearances with flyovers of the C-17 Globemaster, the C-5B and C-5M Galaxy, and the KC-10 Extender, all of which are stationed at the base.

The C-5B and the newer C-5M will put on a capability demonstration to show how much more viable and efficient the C-5M is to serve the Air Force and save money.

Not only will Travis’ fliers show their skills, but organizations such as Travis’ civil engineering squadron, its fire department, security forces and contingency response wing will show off their equipment and put on demonstrations. The Travis security forces K-9 unit will share a demonstration with the Fairfield Police Department’s K-9 unit.

More than three dozen modern and vintage military aircraft will be on display on the flight line, with crew members on hand to answer questions.

These include current aircraft such as the A-10 Thunderbolt, the MQ-1 Predator, F-22 Raptor and the F-16 Fighting Falcon sharing the flight line with vintage aircraft such as the B-25 Mitchell bomber, the P-51 Mustang fighter and the Douglas C-39 transport.

An exhibit honoring the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II will be set up on the flight line. There will also be a display of historical military vehicles on hand.

The Travis Heritage Center will be open both days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will offer open aircraft such as the C-133 Cargomaster, the C-7 Caribou, the C-124 Globemaster and the C-119 Boxcar to tour in addition to its current exhibits on the history of Travis Air Force Base and military airlift.

A free shuttle will take people from the flight line to the Heritage Center and back.

For younger visitors, there will be a large kids’ play area complete with activities such as a bounce house, a rock-climbing wall and a zip line.

Residents living or driving near Travis on May 2 may even get a little taste of the show, when some of the civilian aerobatic performers and their aircraft will practice over the base in the morning while some of the Thunderbirds conduct a practice in the afternoon.

For the latest information about the Air Expo, go to www.facebook.com/TravisOpenHouse.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic. He is an avid military history buff, wargamer and loves the great outdoors.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Rich GiddensApril 23, 2014 - 3:52 pm

    With such a strong military, why hasn't the war been won?"And how much longer will the fruitless war drag on with us bearing the burdens of a global empire but not reaping the benefits thereof?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Solano summit focuses on ways to end poverty

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Teens earn right to perform with symphony

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
From classical to Queen: Chamber Players are ready

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Photographer has a passion for color

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
Cadets learn skills for future careers

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Sports aircraft company CEO recalls effort to locate in Solano

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
‘Souper Bowl’ coming to Solano County

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

 
SolTrans announces changes to bus routes

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Suisun City police log: Jan. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Jan. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12, 2 Comments

.

US / World

California’s snow survey shows far less snow than last month

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
State to move more than 2,000 inmates

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Boy Scouts reaches settlement in sex abuse case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Protestors shun sister-city relationship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
City event criticized for Mexican mafia connection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Tech advances lower chance that driver will die in car crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Police: Family killed man over child custody dispute

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Killer says his ideas influenced family suicide

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NASA astronaut memorial stirs memories for shuttle veteran

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

‘Anonymized’ credit card data not so anonymous, study shows

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Fort Hood gunman Hasan says he wants to keep top lawyer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Attorney General nominee wins GOP endorsements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Indonesian investigators: Crashed AirAsia flown by co-pilot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Gas blast at Mexico children’s hospital, at least 2 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Families plead for lives of IS hostages as swap hopes fade

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Simultaneous attacks in Egypt’s Sinai kill 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Deadly San Francisco blaze spurs look at fire alarms

By T. Burt McNaughton | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 30, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
 
 
.

Living

Today in History: Jan. 30, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Jan. 30, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
My cousin’s 14-year-old son sleeps in the same bed as his grandma

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Jan. 30 through Feb. 5, 2015

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
‘The Thorn Birds’ author Colleen McCullough dies at age 77

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Hilary Duff, George Lopez help in search for stolen dog

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Justin Bieber apologizes for bad behavior in online video

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Musician Geezer Butler arrested in Death Valley altercation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lil Wayne sues mentor’s record label for $51M, seeking split

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jim Parsons to play God in Broadway’s ‘An Act of God’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande to pay tribute to Stevie Wonder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Review: A tired gimmick weakens thriller ‘Project Almanac’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bernie Mac widow drops malpractice lawsuit against doctor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment Calendar: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Desert stars: Celebs converge on Phoenix for Super Bowl 49

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Vanden boys pull away from feisty Fairfield 86-66

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B7

 
Serena aims for 19th major in Aussie final vs. Sharapova

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Marshawn Lynch talks about why he doesn’t talk to the media

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Gronkowski and Chancellor make for must-see Super Bowl matchup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 30, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Signups for Friday, Jan. 30, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
.

Business

Chevrolet polishes its mid-size truck

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Prospect of Chinese cars in US still remain years away

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Senate passes Keystone XL bill, battles loom

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
McDonald’s under siege as new CEO steps in

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Obama seeks spending spike for defense, domestic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11, 1 Comment

 
Who wants a bite of Hershey…jerky?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

Anthony Neal Hunley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Joseph Phillip Raiff

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

Frank Z. Perez

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dzhon Athanc

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Gloria Elizabeth Neal

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9