Greg "Wired" Colyer will be making his Battle Creek debut in 2017. He will be performing in the T-33 Shooting Star known as "Ace Maker II".
Greg is an extremely experienced and talented pilot. He took his first flight at the age of 7 and has been hooked on flying ever since. He earned his pilots license in 1982 while serving in the Army and then served as an Air Traffic Controller for the FAA from 1988 to 2015. During this time, he would fly an occaisonal airshow in a Beech T-34 Mentor and then a Russian L-29 Delfin that he imported in 2003. However, he soon became hooked on the T-33 and set his sights high on an upgrade. He acquired the original "Ace Maker" in 2008, began performing airshows and also founded the non-profit (501c-3) T-33 Heritage Foundation to help in the preservation of the type. He, of course, acquired a second T-33 ("Ace Maker II", the one performing in Battle Creek) so now the foundation can even have further reach.
The Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star was the first jet trainer developed for the United States Air Force (Army Air Corps when originally developed). The aircraft is a variant of the P-80 Shooting Star, the first jet to be active in the United States Military inventory. The aircraft was originially planned in 1943. The aircraft was designed by famous aircraft designer Clarence "Kelly" Johnson. The aircraft was, notably, the first aircraft designed by the team that would become known as the "Skunk Works" division at Lockheed (going on to develop other major aircraft such as the F-104, SR-71, U-2 & F-117). The XP-80 was designed as a jet fighter and first flew before World War II was even over, on January 8, 1944. Eventually, the design needed a variation so pilots could learn to fly the newer jet aircraft. The T-33 first flew on March 22, 1948 and went on to train many of our flying aces of the Korean War. P-80s themselves met many MiG's over the area of northwest Korea known as "MiG Alley". The very first jet vs. jet victory occurred during the Korean War when a MiG-15 was downed by a P-80.
T-33's were designed themselves to become operational, if needed, in active fighting.
Greg "Wired" Colyer will take to the skies in the nation's #1 Classic Military Solo Demonstration during our air shows July 1 - 4.