Duncan Aviation’s Support Team for the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival
“We have so many great sponsors and volunteers that give so unselfishly to the success of the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival, that it can be overwhelming at times,” stated Barbara Haluszka, Executive Director.
The Businesses and T-Hangar Tenants on the actual Airport also give and show their support for this great community event. Those include WMU College of Aviation, FAA, The Tower, WACO, Michigan ANG and of course Duncan Aviation. “Duncan Aviation has gone above and beyond with the Team they have put together to assist with our Air Show,” stated Barbara Haluszka. “They handle all the fueling, parking, and maintenance for all our civilian performers; which will be five solid days of interruption to their normal schedule,” stated Haluszka. “And, what fun to have them be excited, happy, friendly, professional and always willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done,” stated Haluszka.
Congratulations Duncan Aviation and Team for being outstanding in every way! “Ben Hammond and Kelly Leece your friendship just puts the cherry on top,” stated Haluszka.
Scroll down below to see our WONDERFUL Air Show acts that will be performing for you during our TWO Air Shows...adding up to FOUR days of spectacular aerial entertainment!
Our Weekend Air Show this year will feature classic military aircraft, re-enactments, aerial salutes and more! On June 30th & July 1st, you will not want to miss it as Warbird Formation Acts take to the skies along with rare aircraft you may not see again. This show will come complete with Hollywood style pyrotechnical explosions and will serve as a "Salute to Veterans". Take a look below at our “Warbird Salute” lineup, and make sure you don’t miss it on June 30th & July 1st.
- Commemorative Air Force "Prowlers of the Pacific" Re-Enactment (SB2C Helldiver, SBD Dauntless, Corsair, Kate Replica) & Pyro
- United States Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey Tilt-Rotor Aircraft Demo
- United States Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet Demo (VFA-106)
- United States Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II Demo Team
- United States Air Force Heritage Flight (A-10C/TF-51D Mustang "Bum Steer" flown by Charles "Tuna" Hainline)
- United States Navy Legacy Tailhook Flight (F/A-18F with the "Korean War Hero" F4U-4 Corsair flown by Jim "Torc" Tobul)
- Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team
- Vampire Airshows featuring Jerry Conley in the DeHavilland DH-115 Vampire
- Class of '45 with the TOP GUNS of World War II
- Jim Tobul in the "Korean War Hero" F4U-4 Corsair
- Scott "Scooter" Yoak in the P-51D Mustang "Quick Silver"
- Redline Airshows in their RV-8s
- Susan Dacy in the Super Stearman "BIG RED"
- Bill Stein in the Zivko Edge 540
- Pyro provided by the TORA Bomb Squad led by Michigander Gordon Webb
- Phil Dacy Air Show Announcer
- AirBoss Ryan Seiler & Assistant AirBoss Bretten Bailey
Fireworks are always the tradition on the 4th of July. We’ll offer those at dusk (on July 4th). But we will celebrate Independence Day “in-style” in 2018 with a Special Air Show! Complete with military demo teams, Warbirds, all-star civilian aerobatics and more, this is an air show you will NOT want to miss. As America’s Largest 4th of July Air Show, we promise a holiday you will never forget! Fast & Furious and action through and through...you'll want to make sure you're here for July 3rd & 4th. Don't miss our Twilight & Night Air Show on July 3rd either!
- United States Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II Demo Team
- United States Air Force Heritage Flight (A-10C/TF-51D Mustang "Bum Steer" flown by Charles "Tuna" Hainline)
- United States Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet Demo (VFA-106)
- United States Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey Demo
- Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team
- Phillips 66 Aerostars in their Extra 300s
- Redline Airshows in their RV-8s
- Randy Ball in the FIGHTERJETS MiG-17F
- Michael Goulian in his Extra 330SC
- Bill Stein in the Zivko Edge 540
- Phil Dacy Air Show Announcer
- AirBoss Ryan Seiler & Assistant AirBoss Bretten Bailey
You asked for it, and you got it! Back by popular demand, our Night Air Show will return in 2018 after a few years absence. On the evening of July 3rd, we will present an “Evening of Magic”. As the sun begins to set and Twilight takes over the airport, some of the best performers in North America will take to the skies. With the sun setting and offering different views of the acts, it is truly a unique experience. As it gets darker, aircraft will take to the skies with special lights on their aircraft. But we won’t stop there! After the sun sets, the action heats up again. Bob Seger said it best in his song, “Night Moves”, and now we will present a Spectacular Night Air Show featuring Aircraft with Lights & Pyro. Flying fireworks displays at their finest. If you have never experienced a Night Air Show before, July 3rd is the time to!
The famous A-10 Thunderbolt II will be returning to Battle Creek in 2018. A-10s are well known to those in the Battle Creek area as they were previously stationed at the 110th Fighter Wing (now the 110th Attack Wing) right here at W.K. Kellogg Airport from 1991 to 2009.
The A-10 Thunderbolt II, affectionately known as the "Warthog", is an aircraft that was designed by Fairchild Republic for a close-air support role. The aircraft, originally designed to improve on the performance of the A-1 Skyraider, was designed around the 30 mm GAU-8 Avenger rotary gatling gun that protrudes from the nose of the aircraft. The pilot essentially sits in what is known as a "titanium bathtub", made with 1200 pounds of titanium armor. This protects the cockpit and aircraft systems, which essentially means the A-10 was designed to absorb significant amounts of damage yet still continue to fly. One such story has a connection to Battle Creek. While serving in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, Major Gary Wolfe was piloting an A-10 from the 110th in Battle Creek when Major Gary Wolfe's aircraft was struck by an enemy surface-to-air missile. The missile impacted one of the engines. Major Wolfe was able to get the aircraft back to Talil Air Base, a testament of how great these aircraft were designed. This moment is still remembered in the halls of the 110th with memorabilia, and the outer cowling of the engine that was struck can be seen at the AIR ZOO just down I-94 in Kalamazoo/Portage.
The aircraft is given the nickname of "Warthog" because it has no problem "getting down and dirty". The aircraft provides close air support of friendly ground troops, attacking armored vehicles and tanks and providing extremely quick and efficient support against ground forces of the enemy. Being able to fly low, with the durability of the aircraft and its support close to the action, it definitely lives up to its name. In addition, with its quiet turbofan engines that provide a whistling noise, the A-10 can sneak up to targets.
The A-10 coming to Battle Creek hails from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona and will be flown by Captain Cody Wilton. During the display of its full aerobatic tactical demonstration (which hasn't been performed at air shows since 2011), you'll see the aircraft's attack capabilities, combat maneuvers, as well as slow & high speed flight characteristics. Don't miss your chance to see this modern day military display of firepower at the 2018 Field of Flight June 30 - July 1 as well as July 3 - 4
Charles "Tuna" Hainline United States Air Force Heritage Flight (A-10/TF-51D "Bum Steer") (June 30, July 1, July 3, July 4)
Charles "Tuna" Hainline will fly the TF-51D Mustang "Bum Steer" and join up in formation with the A-10C Thunderbolt II Demo Team to form the United States Air Force Heritage Flight.
The Heritage Flight, first flown in 1997, feature modern fighter and attack aircraft flying alongisde World War II, Korean and Vietnam-era planes in a dramatic display of our nation's air power history. The formations serve as a living memorial to the men and women who have served - or are currently serving - in the US Air Force and they proudly fly in support of Air Force recruiting and retention efforts.
The Heritage Flight actually has a Michigan connection. Warbird aircraft never really flew alongside top-line fighter/attack aircraft until 1985, when the High on Kalamazoo Air Show in Kalamazoo, Michigan (about 20 minutes from Battle Creek) debuted the historic Grumman Cats Flight. This rare flight, consisting of the F-14 Tomcat and the other Grumman "Cat's" line was the first time the public had ever seen a flight showcasing history by putting the old with the new. This opened the doors to the US Navy Legacy Tailhook Flights and the US Air Force Heritage Flights we see today!
Charles "Tuna" Hainline, US Air Force Heritage Flight pilot, has been flying since he was 18 years old. After graduating from Oregon State University, he was accepted to US Air Force Officer Training School and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in October 1986. After pilot training, he flew the A-10 in Korea and Louisiana, where they started calling him "Tuna". He soon started flying the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk (Stealth Fighter) at Tonopah Test Range and Holloman AFB, New Mexico. His experience also took him into the US Navy as an exchange officer, where he flew the F/A-18 Hornet for VFA-106. AS a RAG (RTU) instructor, he was carrier qualified with 101 traps. After the exchange, Tuna ended up flying F-117s again and saw combat action over Belgrade in the Kosovo conflict. He then flew the F-4F Phantom with the German RTU at Holloman AFB, then finished his career flying the QF-4, becoming the first F-4 West Heritage Flight Pilot.
"Tuna" retired in 2006 as a Lieutenant Colonel and command pilot with over 5,000 total hours in numerous aircraft and receiving many major military decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross. After retirement, he was hired by Southwest Airlines and flies the 737. He spends his spare time working on his airplanes and also flies for the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, Texas. Even after his stint flying the QF-4 Phantom in the US Air Force Heritage Flight, he still flies the Heritage Flight today.
The aircraft Tuna will be flying is the TF-51D Mustang "Bum Steer". Following World War II, all P-51s were redesignated to the United States Air Force with the fighter designation of "F", so all P-51s were designated as F-51s. The TF-51D is actually a dual seat and dual control P-51 with four guns versus six guns. "Bum Steer" was constructed as a TF-51D by Cavalier Aircraft Corporation (converted from a North American P-51D Mustang). Only three TF-51D's were ever converted from old P-51D models, so "Bum Steer" happens to be a really rare aircraft! (Note: While Cavalier only constructed three TF-51s, some other companies have converted P-51s to dual controlled P-51s since, so there are other TF-51s out there, just not all of them are the original three). The particular airframe that "Bum Steer" is was procured by the United States Air Force and exported to Bolivia under the Peace Condor Program where it flew with the Fuerza Aeria Boliviana until 1977. It returned to North America in 1978. This particular Mustang also flew to Great Britain in 2003 to take part in air shows in the United Kingdom. In 2017, the aircraft, while it had been painted in the USAAF DF-X markings, was christened as "Bum Steer". The TF-51 looks different than your traditional Mustang, with a larger cockpit to accomodate a second person.
The US Air Force Heritage Flight showcases over 70 years of Air Force Heritage, putting in the air the top-line aircraft of yesteryear with the amazing aircraft the Air Force has in their arsenal today. You will NOT want to miss this awesome pairing of the A-10C Thunderbolt II and the TF-51D Mustang "Bum Steer". The Heritage Flight will be flown on June 30, July 1, July 3 & July 4.
A demo never before seen in Michigan, the United States Marine Corps will be sending an MV-22 Osprey Tilt-Rotor aircraft to perform a demo in Battle Creek. The United States Marine Corps only selects FOUR shows a year to showcase the MV-22, and Battle Creek was selected to host this RARE Demo!
Introduced into service in 2007, the MV-22 is a tilt-rotor aircraft (the first tilt-rotor aircraft to enter production) designed in a partnership between Bell Helicopter & Boeing. The aircraft can function as both an aircraft, flying normally, as well as like a helicopter. This is accomplished by the rotors themselves tilting between configurations. Primarily used as a troop & cargo transport, the aircraft can be fitted with armament.
With STOL (Short Takeoff or Landing) and VTOL (Vertical Takeoff or Landing), the Osprey can enter any zone quickly and efficiently and deploy or extract anything necessary. During the demo, you will not only see an amazing takeoff, but you will see the aircraft transition from "helicopter mode" to "airplane mode". The show will conclude with a hover right at show center and an amazing vertical and short-field landing. This RARE Demo will perform during BOTH of our air shows, June 30th - July 1 & July 3rd - 4th. The Osprey performing in Battle Creek is coming to us from MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina.
Hailing from Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia, this year's F/A-18F Super Hornet is part of Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106) known as the "Gladiators". The F/A-18F Super Hornet was developed, along with the E Model Super Hornet from the older F/A-18 Hornet models. The plane was planned back in the 80's by McDonnell Douglas under the project name "Hornet 2000". McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) decided to initially call it the "Hornet II" to improve early F/A-18 models and serve as an alternate replacement for the aging Grumman A-6 Intruder attack aircraft. The Navy had planned on getting a naval version of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, which was the Navy Advanced Tactical Fighter.
However, that program was cancelled, so the "Super Hornet" was proposed. The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a twin engine, carrier-capable, multi-role fighter aircraft that is based off of the design of the F/A-18 Hornet. The aircraft was initially designed by McDonnell Douglas and first flew in 1995. Full-scale production began in 1997 and the Super Hornet entered service in 1999 to aid in replacing the Grumman F-14 Tomcat. The Super Hornet serves in the fleet alongside the Legacy model Hornets. While the Super Hornet and original Hornet share many similar characteristics, the Super Hornet is a beast in itself, coming in at 20% larger and 7,000 pounds (empty) heavier than the original F/A-18 models. In fact, the Super Hornet weighs only 11,000 pounds less than the massive F-14 Tomcat that it replaced. The Super Hornet is also designed for a heavier payload and higher range and is capable of refueling other aircraft via a system known as “buddy store”. In addition to it filling a tactical airborne tanker role, the aircraft has a payload almost matching the mighty Grumman F-14 Tomcat.
The Super Hornet is sometimes referred to as the “Rhino” to distinguish itself from the earlier model Hornets. The Super Hornet is powered by the General Electric F414 Engine, which provides the loud thunder that you will hear over Battle Creek. Those engines also help propel the aircraft to fly at speeds almost twice the speed of sound.
The Super Hornet is one of the most sought after military demonstrations on the air show circuit each year. In 2018, they are only performing at six different show sites. Battle Creek is proud to have been selected to showcase this amazing demonstration on June 30th, July 1st, July 3rd & July 4th.
US Navy TAC Demo Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/US-Navy-Tac-Demo/140116396072816?fref=ts
It has been years since the US Navy Legacy Tailhook Flight has been flown. In 2018, the program put on by the Navy Tailhoo Legacy Flight Foundation, returns to the skies!
Watch in awe as the F4U-4 Corsair "Korean War Hero" flown by Jim "Torc" Tobul joins up in the skies above Battle Creek with the F/A-18F Super Hornet from VFA-106. The flight will help showcase the lineage of Naval Aviation, as this WWII frontline fighter joins up with the main frontline fighter flown by the US Navy today. Through preservation, the history of the Naval Aviation continues to be told through warbirds and the Legacy Flight. These are the aircraft that our heroes flew and they will continue to tell their great stories well into the future as long as we can keep them flying!
As you see this historical flight take place, remember to think about those who have served and continue to serve in the Armed Forces. US Navy Legacy Tailhook Flight
"Prowlers of the Pacific" - A WWII Re-Enactment Presented by the Commemorative Air Force (June 30 & July 1)
Last year, we presented TORA TORA TORA, the re-enactment of the attack on Pearl Harbor. This year, we present "Prowlers of the Pacific" a re-enactment that exhibits the aerial warfare witnessed at the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway, two events that changed the course of the war in the Pacific. Prowlers includes the World's ONLY flying Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, a RARE SBD Dauntless dive-bomber, the famous gull-winged FG-1D Corsair fighter and a Japanese Kate (replica) torpedo bomber that represent the best of the Pacific War.
World War II for the United States of America started on that infamous Sunday, December 7th 1941 (what TORA re-enacted). We were a nation asleep and not prepared for a war defending our freedom or that of the entire world. While fighting continued on in Europe, the United States also took to the Pacific. The Pacific Theatre was over 62 million square miles of ocean, with only a few thousand square miles of islands...just small dots in a massive blue sea. We had to take the fight to the enemy and the aircraft carrier became the chess piece used to move across the Pacific Theatre. The mighty aircraft carrier had already proven itself in less than a year of war and became our spearhead as we island hopped across the Pacific, pushing the enemy back towards their homeland. The sleeping giant had been awakened and the Arsenal of Democracy started to produce new fighters and bombers, like the ones seen in the act.
Like TORA TORA TORA, the "Prowlers of the Pacific" act is dedicated to The Greatest Generation who volunteered to defend our freedom in those dark days. To those that sacrificed their lives thousands of miles from home and those that fueled the arsenal of democracy and kept the home fires burning! The "Prowlers of the Pacific" is a joint effort between the Dixie Wing and the West Texas Wing of the Commemorative Air Force. The museum, the largest flying museum of World War II aircraft with units across the United States, are dedicated to preserving the memory of those that fought and sacrificed to ensure our freedom!
"Prowlers" will come complete with Hollywood style pyrotechnical explosions provided by the Commemorative Air Force TORA Bomb Squad (the same team that provided our pyro for the 2016 event) led by Michigander Gordon Webb. Don't miss your chance to see another terrific re-enactment complete with some of the rarest aircraft still flying today. The show will be performed on June 30th & July 1st. Mark your calendars and make sure you are here to see it!
ABOUT THE AIRCRAFT:
- Curtiss SB2C Helldiver: world's ONLY flying example
The SB2C Helldiver was the final purpose-built dive-bomber to enter the Navy inventory. The Helldiver was a troubled beast, and often bore the brunt of derisive jokes from its crews. When called upon, however, the aircraft and its committed crews were certainly capable of making an impact on history. Known for its night strike on the Japanese fleet during the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the successful mission was followed by many aircraft running out of fuel and having to ditch at sea. Almost three quarters of the crew were successfully rescued. The SB2C was a workhorse in the Pacific Fleet. It is known for its distinguished look, long fuselage, long cockpit and large wings. This SB2C Helldiver is the only flying Helldiver left in the world today!
- Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless Dive Bomber: Extremely RARE flying example
The Northrop Corporation first developed the SBD before World War II. It was first flown in July 1935, but considered obsolete by December 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Douglas Aircraft purchased the SBD contract and the SBD-1 was first delivered in late 1940. Over 5,000 aircraft were built and production of the carrier-based scout, dive and torpedo bomber ceased in July 1944.
The Dauntless helped turn the tide of World War II at the Battle of Midway on June 4th, 1942. The Dauntless sunk four major aircraft carriers of the Japanese Navy, ceasing Japanese expansion of the Pacific. The aircraft was also the ONLY U.S. Combat aircraft to serve from the beginning of World War II to the end and also the first U.S. Aircraft to shoot down a Japanese Zero fighter. It is considered the most destructive air weapon of the U.S. Navy, having sunk over 300,000 tons of enemy ships, a greater tonnage of Japanese shipping than any other Allied aircraft during the war. It earned the nickname "Slow, But Deadly!" After the war, the US Marine Corps continued to use the SBD, and in the 1950s, the French Air Force used SBDs in its war in Indo-China.
Some SBD's remain on display, but this is one of only a few still flying today. The AIR ZOO, just down I-94 about 20 minutes in Kalamazoo, Michigan, has an SBD Dauntless on display that spent 10 years in restoration after spending 50 years on the bottom of Lake Michigan. They are also currently restoring another SBD that sat on the bottom of Lake Michigan for over 60 years (along with an FM2 Wildcat). It is worth checking out after the Field of Flight is over with!
- Goodyear FG-1D Corsair
The Corsair, originally developed by Chance-Vought, and produced by Goodyear and Brewster under license, has become one of the most popular Fighter aircraft of the Second World War. However, its original debut as a Carrier-borne fighter was less than spectacular. The airplane had been intended to replace older naval fighter variants, but its difficult carrier landing characteristics caused the Navy to pass many of the airplanes off to the Marine Corps' land based air support units. The Marines gladly accepted the Corsair and groups like the "Black Sheep" squadron and the "Jolly Rogers" tore up the skies. The carrier landing quirks were eventually worked out, allowing the Corsairs to return to the Fleet's aircraft carriers - just in time to participate in some of the most grueling engagements in the war...The Palaus, Iwo Jima & Okinawa. It was here that the airplane earned a reputation as a "Mudfighter"...getting down and dirty to support troops on the ground. It's impressive performance characteristics also earned it a reputation as a Kamikaze hunter in those dark days. The gull winged fighter, today, is one of the most recognizable World War II Warbirds.
- Nakajima B5N "KATE" Torpedo Bomber (Replica)
The Nakijima B5N (Allied Reporting Name "Kate") was the standard carrier torpedo bomber of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) for much of World War II. Although the B5N was substantially faster and more capable than its Allied counterparts, it was nearing obsolescence by 1941. Nevertheless, the B5N operated throughout the whole war, due to the delayed development of its successor, the B6N. The B5N achieved particular successes at the battles of Pearl Harbor, Coral Sea, Midway and Santa Cruz Islands. The aircraft that will be taking part in the show is actually a replica, and shares a history much like those seen in last years TORA TORA TORA act here in Battle Creek. The aircraft was built in 1969 for the movie Tora! Tora! Tora! by combining the air-frame of a North American SNJ-4 with the tail section of a Vultee BT-13. With its 600 horsepower Pratt & Whitney R1340-AN engine, its performance is actually equivalent to that of an original Kate. In addition to its role in Tora! Tora! Tora!, this Kate has appeared in the movies "The Battle of Midway", "The Flying Misfits", "War & Remembrance" and the TV Series "Black Sheep Squadron". A terrific act headlined by many great and RARE aircraft. Don't miss it June 30 - July 1.
Back in October of 2013, Jim Tobul & Scott Yoak, pilots of the "Korean War Hero" and "Quick Silver" respectively, were discussing the Heritage & Legacy Flights of the US Air Force & Navy. They soon began discussing doing a formation flight of their own to honor the service personnel who flew and maintained these legendary American fighters! Both aircraft were the pinnacle of military technology at the time, technology that helped win the war in the European and Pacific Theaters in World War II, and went on to continue to defend our freedom in the Korean War.
Both the "Korean War Hero" F4U Corsair & the P-51 "Quick Silver" were built in 1945. Now, the "Class of '45" showcases these TOP GUN Aircraft of World War II in an amazing aerial salute! Both Jim Tobul & Scott Yoak are major in the Warbird movement today, thanks to their late fathers Joe Tobul & Bill Yoak, whom made huge marks in the Warbird movement. The passion the two had rubbed off on Jim & Scott and that passion has turned into the showcase of two of the greatest fighters ever made to defend our nation.
The Class of '45's mission is to preserve and honor the service of the American military men and women, both then and now. Seeing these legendary machines in flight, we remember their service, their contributions, and our obligation to never let their sacrifices be in vain. As the thunder of their engines fade into the distance, remember that freedom is not free and liberty is everyone's responsibility to preserve. Don't miss these two AMAZINGLY restored TOP GUN Warbirds of World War II in flight on June 30th & July 1st!
Our neighbors to the north will be making their Battle Creek debut in 2018. The Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team, based out of Woodstock, Ontario, is a professional 4-plane formation aerobatic team which flies as a tribute to the veterans of World War II, and to inspire others through teamwork and passion. The team flies 3 Canadian Built Harvards and 1 American built Harvard. The Harvard is a Pratt & Whitney powered, dual tandem seated, low winged metal monoplane (with the exception of fabric covered control surfaces). Originally used as advanced trainers by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) for the purposes of night, formation, aerobatic, light bombing and gunnery (later rocketry) training. We know the Harvard by the name of the T-6 Texan or SNJ in the United States. The 4 aircraft the team flies today were all built between 1941 and 1952. They have been in continuous service for over 60 years due to the care and support of their operators.
The Team Members of the CHAT are:
- #1 Pete Spence (a twenty year air show veteran)
- #2 Dave Hewitt (A twenty year air show veteran)
- #3 Kent Beckham (A pilot with a major Canadian airline, twenty year air show veteran and Hollywood Stunt Pilot for ‘Iron Eagle IV')
- #4 Marco Rusconi (Originally from Italy, he had a career with the Royal Canadian Air Force and served 4 years on the Canadian Forces Snowbirds team)
To not only see yellow Harvards against a blue sky billowing light smoke, but hear and feel their pulse is an incredible experience shared with Air Show spectators. The combination of subsonic, transonic and supersonic sections of the prop release a roar that is the music of the Harvard. It’s all about energy management. Potential energy (altitude) being traded for kinetic energy (airspeed) and back again results in a beyond belief show larger than your stationary field of vision. You’ll have to crane your neck to take in the full experience. Mouths will be agape, and tonsils will be sunburned. Unlike jets which pass for a fleeting moment, CHAT dominates center stage without dead sky limited only by the surface of the Earth itself.
Although Pete, Dave, Kent & Marco use these three-ton aircraft masterfully to perform a tight aerial sequence with upbeat background music, better modern aircraft exist that would make the task much easier – but they just wouldn’t have the same presence in the afternoon sky. If it was that easy, everyone would be doing it. Don’t miss the Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team, coming to America from Canada to perform at one of the BEST Air Shows in North America right here in Battle Creek for BOTH Air Shows, June 30 – July 1 AND July 3 - 4.
Jerry Conley has performed in Battle Creek before (back in 2010 in his Viper 29 as part of the “Red Star & The Dragon” act), but he will be bringing a rare and historic aircraft to BC for the first time! The deHavilland DH-115 Vampire was the World’s FIRST Single Engine Jet Fighter. Development of the aircraft began during the Second World War in 1943 as an aircraft suitable for combat that harnessed the new innovation of jet propulsion; it was quickly decided to opt for a single-engine, twin-boom aircraft equipped with the Halford H.1 turbojet engine, which was later known as the deHavilland Goblin. Originally ordered as an experimental aircraft only, the decision to mass-produce the aircraft as an interceptor for the Royal Air Force (RAF) was finalized in May 1944. In 1946, the first production aircraft entered service with the RAF, months after the conflict had come to a close. The Vampire was the second jet fighter, after the Gloster Meteor, operated by the RAF, and it was the service's first to be powered by a single jet engine. The Vampire was quickly used to replace many wartime piston-engine fighter aircraft. The RAF operated it as a front-line fighter until 1953. About 3,300 Vampires were manufactured. Today, very few remain and they are even more rare to see perform in the United States. We will have one of the best looking Vampires out there performing during our 2018 show.
Jerry “Vlad” Conley is chief pilot and the President of Vampire Aviation, LLC. His flying career started at 8 years old when he got a kids book titled “Jerry the Jet” and the rest is history. Jerry holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from The Florida State University, College of Engineering. He graduated in the top of his class and was chosen to present his class’s Senior Aerospace design project for NASA/USRA at NASA. Jerry then entered military service and is proud to have served our country. After service, he served as the CEO of Wildcat Fuels, Inc. for 25 years before selling his company in 2013 to pursue airshows full time. He has performed at airshows across the country flying high performance jet aircraft for over 13 years. He will be making his second appearance in Battle Creek and the first time in the Vampire.
The Vampire is an extremely historic aircraft that set a lot of records that deserves its place in history. The Vampire was the first single engine jet fighter to take off and land on a carrier. It was also the first RAF jet fighter with a top speed in excess of 500 mph. It was the first jet aircraft to fly across the Atlantic Ocean when six Vampires of No. 54 Squadron arrived in Goose Bay, Labrador. Don’t miss Jerry Conley performing an amazing aerobatic display, complete with a terrific smoke system in this rare and historic aircraft during our June 30-July 1 Air Show in 2018.
Jim Tobul and the "Korea War Hero" F4U-4 Corsair are an exciting tribute to the men and machines that fought to defend democracy and freedom in the Korean Conflict from 1950-1953. Jim tells the story of this celebrated aircraft with a dramatic aerial display that no one will ever forget. "Korean War Hero" was built by Vought with the Bureau Number 97143, registration N713JT and manufactured in August of 1945. The aircraft has a legendary history. She served two tours on two different carriers and has the distinction of flying over 200 combat missions. December through May of 1951, she served aboard the USS Valley Forge as part of VF653 Naval Reserve Squadron from Akron, Ohio. She served aboard the USS Boxer as part of the squadron known as the "Bitter Birds" (VF884 Naval Reserve Squadron from Olathe, Kansas) from June-October, 1951. The "Bitter Birds" flew 1519 missions in Korea, dropping 750,000 pounds of bombs and firing 3800 rockets and also 1.4 million pounds of ammunition. The fighting did take its terrible toll. Eight pilots of VF884 were killed or listed as missing in action, including the squadron's skipper Lcdr. G.F. Carmichael USNR. Following the time in the Korean War, the aircraft served as part of the Honduran Air Force from 1960 to 1970. In 1970 she was sold to an American Airline pilot and brought to the USA. In 1981, Joe & Jim Tobul purchased the plane and started the very long rebuilding project. 10 years later, in December of 1991, the "Korean War Hero" proudly flew again.
Jim Tobul is the pilot for the "Korean War Hero" Corsair. He doesn't view himself as an owner though, but rather a caretaker of this beautiful Warbird and her storied history. Jim began flying at the age of 9 years old flying his dad’s Stinson 108 and acquired his pilot’s license in the mid ‘70’s. His dad purchased a 1943 North American SNJ-4 in 1980 and Jim started to fly that plane in 1981. Since that time, Jim has flown many different Warbirds such as the B-25, T-28, L-5, B-17, P-51, F-18 Super Hornet, PBY-5 and others. Currently, Jim flies his Mitsubishi MU-2 Solitaire all over the US and has flown this type since 1987. In 1991, both Jim & Joe begin flying the "Korean War Hero" after a lengthy restoration. Unfortunately, however, Joe was lost in a crash in the plane in November 2002. Jim stored the wrecked plane for six years, then decided to put it back to flying condition. After two years, with some help from Bill Klaers of Westpac Restorations, "Korean War Hero" took to the skies once more. Now, Jim and the famed "Korean War Hero" F4U Corsair, is one of the most sought after Warbird acts on the airshow circuit! Don't miss the famous "Gull-Winged Bird" in a terrific aerial salute during our Air Show June 30 - July 1.
Scott "Scooter" Yoak will be making his Battle Creek debut in 2018 in the beautifully restored P-51D Mustang "Quick Silver".
"Quick Silver" is looked at as "The Resurrected Veteran". The P-51 Mustang itself is one of the most famous aircraft of World War II, and is known today as one of the most celebrated fighters of all time. The P-51 is a celebration of our nation's armed forces. Every aspect of the paint on "Quick Silver" represents those who have served, and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. From the cape and veil that represent freedom and the eagle that has flown with every aviator; to the black paint with tiny sparkling stars that represents the American Veteran that served our great country. The silver ring behind the spinner represents the shining halo of the guardian angel that guides service, those that gave the ultimate sacrifice, to their final resting place. The black and white invasion stripes on the wing represent the markings that were on all allied aircraft on D-Day. "Quick Silver" also showcases the post war version of the stars and bars, which represent the Armed Forces. All United States Fighter planes carry the symbol, and "Quick Silver" carries the post war version because it was never a part of a unit until after World War II. All the bare metal of the P-51 is polished, that way you can look closely into it, see your reflection and see for whom our veterans fought. The late Bill Yoak (Scott's father), an individual with a love and passion for this type aircraft did all of the metal work. The re-manufactured parts are handmade. Unlike the hurried war effort parts, these are made with the skill and care of a master craftsman, and obtain the utmost attention to detail necessary to restore this Mustang to a condition better than factory new in 1945.
Scott "Scooter" Yoak is the pilot for "Quick Silver". Scooter is a 2008 graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach Campus with a major in Aviation Maintenance Science. While attending school at ERAU, Scott obtained his Commercial Single and Multi Engine Land, Single Engine Sea, Flight Instructor, and Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic. In between all of the school flying, he built hours by banner towing and instructing in the family T-6 Texan before checking out in the P-51 at the age of 20. After Graduation, Scooter moved back to West Virginia, obtained his Inspection Authorization, and has picked up the family restoration and fabrication business. He currently holds a Surface Level Aerobatic waiver in the P-51 and performs in 20-25 shows a year. His current Total time is 6,500+ hours and over 1000 in P-51’s. As this silver bird quickly streaks across the sky, Let Us Not Forget Those Who Served, Sacrificed, And Gave Their All!! Don't miss this salute on June 30 - July 1.
We welcome Susan Dacy to the Field of Flight, returning after her debut here in 2016. She'll be roaring into our skies with a Golden Age Salute to Barnstorming performance in her Super Stearman known as "Big Red". Susan Dacy is one of only a few females performing airshows in a biplane, and is the only woman flying exhibition in the Super Stearman. Wanting to fly all of her life, and working at her family's airport in Harvard, Illinois, Susan began working on her Stearman project. At the age of 16, she learned to fly in a Piper Cub. After graduating from Southern Illinois University, she pursued flying jobs throughout the country. She has amassed more than 28,000 hours of flight time in more than 60 different types of aircraft.
Finally, her Stearman was ready. "Big Red" started life as a World War II trainer for young naval aviators. Originally powered by a 220 horsepower engine, "Big Red" is now outfitted with a powerful Pratt & Whitney 450 horsepower, supercharged engine. This plane is designed for barnstormin', classic style aerobatics and is "at home" both right side up and upside down.
So don't miss your chance to step back in time as Susan Dacy puts her 450 horsepower, Super Stearman, "Big Red", through its paces with a dazzling display of barrel rolls, slow rolls, Cuban eights, hammerhead turns, loops and much more, in a style reminiscent of the barnstorming era of flying. Barnstorming will be recreated right here in Battle Creek on June 30 - July 1
Making their Battle Creek debuts in 2018 will be Redline Airshows. Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, Redline is a dynamic 2-ship formation aerobatic performance team that flies an exciting formation show that thrills the crowd with displays of skill, nerve and showmanship. The team consists of pilots Ken Rieder, an aerobatic and multi-engine flight instructor and Jon Thocker, a retired airline captain and licensed A&P. They fly two Van's RV-8s, a 2 seat tandem aircraft that is extremely versatile, can reach speeds of 230 miles per hour and land short at a slow speed. The RV-8s that Redline flies have 200 horsepower engines and are equipped with Hartzell Advanced Structural Composite propellers.
The team, while being new to Battle Creek, has taken the world by storm recently, having performed at some of the most major Air Shows in the country, performing in the Dominican Republic, Acapulco, Mexico and everywhere in between. Now they can add one of the Top Three Air Shows in the United States to their list....the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival. Don't miss Redline performing during BOTH Air Shows at the 2018 event. You also will want to make sure you see their AMAZING Night Air Show featuring pyrotechnics. That is some real night magic!
Bill Stein is one of the most-experienced and sought after pilots on the air show circuit. Bill began flying aerobatics when he was still a student pilot and has been dedicated to perfecting his skills ever since. He has been performing air shows since 1995 and has entertained millions of air show fans. For years, he performed as a member of the world famous Red Baron Stearman Squadron (including right here in Battle Creek). He also mentors and coaches many future aerobatic pilots including being a coach for the famed "Stars of Tomorrow" team.
Bill also serves as an Aerobatic Competency Evaluator, proving his dedication to aerobatic safety. When it comes to professionalism, there isn't anyone quite like Bill. He'll take to the Battle Creek skies in his Zivko Edge 540 aircraft. This aircraft is popular among aerobatic pilots, but Bill's plane is different! His Edge 540 uses cutting edge paint technology, Bill has designed the spectacular look of his airplane using a paint that continuously changes color based on the constantly varying angles between the spectators, airplane and the lighting. The plane can be any one color and even be a mix of colors numerous different times during the performance, changing from green, purple, blue, gold, yellow, pink, orange and everything in between. See how many colors you can count during our air shows on July 4th, 5th, 6th & 7th.
Michigander Gordon Webb will be returning to Battle Creek in 2018 to provide PYRO for our Warbird Salute Air Show on June 30th & July 1st. Gordon, who is the Pyro Lead for the Commemorative Air Force's TORA Bomb Squad Pyro Team, first got involved with Air Show Pyro many years ago up in Muskegon, Michigan. Today, he is one of the foremost authorities and go-to guys in the Air Show industry when it comes to Hollywood-style pyrotechnical explosions.
Gordon and his team will be providing numerous pyrotechnical explosions during our 2018 event. From small explosions and strafing runs to the MASSIVE WALL OF FIRE where you will surely feel the heat! You certainly will not miss the attention-getting fireballs that the Bomb Squad team will be providing on June 30th & July 1st. The team will be providing tons of Hollywood style pyrotechnics for "Prowlers of the Pacific".
The #1 Vintage Solo Jet Act in North America will be performed at Battle Creek in 2018 courtesy of famed MiG-17 pilot Randy Ball.
The MiG-17F was made famous by the Vietnam War. It was the primary enemy aircraft engaged in the skies over Vietnam by U.S. Aircraft such as the A-4, A-7, F-8, B-52, F-100, F-105 & its primary nemesis, the F-4 Phantom II. During Vietnam, and up until the F-16 entered service, it was the tightest-turning fighter in the world. Powered by a VK-1F after-burning engine was one of the first of its kind in the world. The sleek design of the swept-wing fighter allowed it to carry bombs, rockets and extra fuel tanks under its wings. Its lower nose carried some of the largest guns ever used for air-to-air combat -- two 23mm cannons and one 37mm cannon. The MiG-17F can maintain 8G turns, attain a maximum speed of 715 miles per hour and can climb to 30,000 feet in only 3 minutes, with an initial rate of climb better than 14,000 feet per minute.
The MiG-17F was a very nimble fighter that could prove deadly unless respected when engaged by pilots with superior training and tactics such as those used by the US Navy & Air Force. One moment's complacency when fighting against the MiG-17F could prove fatal. It was flown by over 20 countries, three of which still fly it. Because of its famous heritage and great maneuverability, it makes one of the best air show jets in the world, able to stay in front of the fans while still flying at great speeds.
Randy Ball's own MiG-17F, #1611, entered service with the Soviet bloc in March 1960 and wasn't withdrawn from service until May 1990. It was then brought to America and spent almost four years in restoration. It is one of only a handful of vintage jets flying the North American Air Show circuit. It has an authentic paint job and is the ONLY MiG available for ground display with fully restored guns. The aircraft has appeared on the Discovery Channel and History Channel, where it performed as the enemy aircraft versus the F-4 Phantom.
Randy W. Ball is North Americas Premier Jet Demonstration pilot. He has performed well over 1000 performances to date, in which no other North American Jet Demo pilot even comes close to that number. He also has over 1000 hours in Russian Jet Fighters, the highest of any pilot in the Western World. He is the ONLY Jet Demo Pilot (military or civilian) to be granted both a day and night unlimited aerobatic rating in jet fighters by the FAA. He grew up around aviation, his Great Uncle Gilbert Ball flew 56 missions over Europe in a B-17 in World War II. Randy volunteered for his first Air Show in 1982 and ended up flying in his first Air Show more than 26 years ago. He now performs throughout North America, from Canada to Mexico.
The demo that Randy performs in the MiG-17F is the premier jet demonstration in North America. Complete with high speed passes, tons of afterburner, profile passes, maneuvers showing the agility of the aircraft and even a high speed pass where he is just feet of the ground. This is a performance you will NOT want to miss. Don't miss Randy Ball performing in Battle Creek on July 3rd and 4th.
The Phillips 66 Aerostars will be returning to Battle Creek for the first time since 2013. The last time they appeared here, they were flying 3 Yak-52TW's. This year, they will be flying FOUR Extra 300s. The Phillips 66 Aerostars are an Illinois based aerobatic team that flies a terrific formation aerobatic performance. The show is filled with formation maneuvers, solo maneuvers and head-on, breathtaking opposing passes. The Aerostars fly a unique show that you won't want to miss. They'll perform July 3rd-4th at the Field of Flight.
MEET THE PILOTS:
- Aerostars Lead is Harvey Meek, a very experienced former military pilot. Meek has flown a wide variety of aircraft, from light sport aircraft, to the F/A-18 Hornet, to the mammoth 747. Presently, he flies for a major international airline.
- Aerostars Left Wing is Paul Hornick. Paul Hornick has flown aircraft from the Piper Cub to Airbus A300 (in which he is type rated in). Paul is also type rated in the Gulfstream G200. Presently Paul flies for the airlines in addition to serving as a flight instructor.
- Aerostars Right Wing is David Monroe, a Minneapolis native that grew up in an airline family. Dave is presently a B-767 Captain for a major airline, is also a Certified Flight Instructor as well as being very experienced in the world of aerobatics (Certified Aerobatic Judge & Advanced Aerobatic Competition Pilot).
- Aerostars Slot & Solo is Gerry Molodor, the newest and oldest member of the team. He'd also be the one to say he's the most "experienced" if you were to ask him. He is the Director of the International Aerobatic Club and was the Captain for the 1997 US Advanced Aerobatic Team (which won the Gold Medal).
The Phillips 66 Aerostars have been performing together, side by side at around 250 mph, for more than a decade. And while these guys are precision aerobatic pilots, they stay pretty well grounded. Like many of us, they have a passion they take very seriously: engines. Whether it’s the car they commute in, a vintage restoration project, or the engine in their beloved Extra 300L, they know how to protect them to ensure a long life. From flying high to Sunday drives, these aerobatic superstars trust Phillips 66 Lubricants to keep their world running smoothly.
Returning to Battle Creek after an absence of more than 10 years, is none other than RedBull Air Race and Aerobatic Superstar Michael Goulian!
Michael Goulian is a multi-disciplined aerial demonstration pilot. Beginning his career in the competitive world of aerobatics, Goulian earned the distinction of becoming one of the youngest pilots to ever win the United States Unlimited Aerobatic Championship at the age of 27. His signature air show performance combines the heart-stopping gyroscopic tumbling of modern display flying with the crisp, aggressive, demands of precision competition aerobatics. Not only is he an aerobatic superstar, but he has been seen on the world stage as part of the RedBull Air Race World Championship. Competing as Team #99, Goulian and his team are engaged in a battle of technology, skill, and execution against 13 of the world's fiercest competitors. He presently has flown 7 years as a Master Class competitor in the RBAR World series and won the 2009 race in Budapest as well as received the DHL Fastest Lap Award in 2017 at the race in Abu Dhabi. In addition, he is a certified flight instructor and focuses on increasing the awareness of safety and proficiency among the general aviation pilot community.
Awards & Highlights:
2011 ICAS Sword of Excellence
2009 Bill Barber Award for Showmanship
2006 Art Scholl Showmanship Award
3 Time Member of the US National Unlimited Aerobatic Team
1995 & 1990 United States National Advanced Aerobatic Champion
Mikey G is also extremely active outside of the cockpit, serving on the Board of Directors for the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) as well as the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). He also serves on the Board of Advisors and Board for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the Mass Air & Space Museum. He is also a part of the FAA Safety Team.
Goulian performs in the one of a kind Extra 330SC, designed specifically for the demanding show that he flies. This steel tube fuselaged aircraft with carbon fiber wings is powered by a 350 horsepower Lycoming Thunderbolt AEIO-5480 engine and is capable of pushing 12 G's. With a roll rate of 420 degrees per second, you will see some hardcore aerobatics! Do not miss aerobatics at its finest performed by Mr. Michael Goulian July 3rd & 4th, 2018 as part of the Field of Flight!
"It is with the saddest heart that we must announce the loss of our dear friend and amazing performer Dan Buchanan. Dan passed on Saturday, June 2nd after an accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with all his family and friends. On July 3rd, we will be dedicating the Field of Flight Twilight & Night Air Show to Dan in honor of his zest for life" - Barbara Haluszka, Executive Director
Dan Buchanan is a master showman who has won many awards over his years as an airshow performer. Beyond that, Dan is a very inspirational man. Dan was a New York & Connecticut home builder and flat-track motorcycle racer who then moved to Lake Tahoe where he enjoyed the thrill of flying off mountain tops. While working on getting his private pilots license. However, in 1981, Dan was involved in a serious sporting accident. This accident lead to a spinal injury leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Losing his ability to walk, he returned to college to pursue a career in mechanical engineering. Despite his new handicap, Dan returned to flying within 6 months and amassed numerous hours in hang gliders & sailplanes. He was able to complete his Private & Commercial Pilot training as a wheelchair user and goes on motor-less recreational flights often. These flights usually last 3-6 hours and he sometimes flies as high as 18,000 feet over the western desert & mountains.
Since his first airshow performance in 1989, Dan has performed over 1260 times, has won THREE Distinguished Honors from Airshow Organizations including the Art Scholl Showmanship Award, the Bill Barber Showmanship Award & the ICAS Special Achievement Award. Dan serves as an inspiration to many people who want to live their dreams but feel there is something in the way. He is living his dream. When asked why he flies, his usual response is said with a smile: "I have to fly, you see, I can't walk".
Dan's Hang Glider was designed by NorthWing of Wenatchee, Washington and is registered as an Experimental Aircraft with N numbers under the FAA. Dan gets to altitude during his act via a custom winch system on the back of a truck. Dan eventually climbs to 1200-1800 feet in altitude while he "stair-steps up" via challenging aerial water ski-turns as the tow vehicle makes U-Turns on the runway to ensure that he stays in sight the entire time. When he gets to the altitude and it's time for the show to begin, the tow-line is released and a small ram air parachute is automatically deployed. The line is rapidly rewound electrically back onto the winch without the line ever falling to the ground. That in itself is amazing. During the course of Dan's performance, the colorful hang glider will perform many maneuvers, all with colorful smoke and colorful streamers hanging from the aircraft. One can't help but feel super patriotic as the craft is also flown with a giant American flag on top of it. When his airspeed runs out, Dan lands the glider and his wheelchair is delivered to him.
Back by popular demand will be Mr. Phil Dacy, "The Voice of the Field of Flight Air Show". This is the 12th Field of Flight that this award winning announcer will be announcing (and he'll be announcing both shows!). Phil will set the pace for the air show and provide announcing that is 'second to none'. Phil not only provides some of the highest energy announcing on the air show circuit, but he backs up that energy with incredible knowledge. After being on the air show circuit for so long, Phil definitely knows the performers, knows the performances and knows his stuff. Phil is a very experienced pilot in his own right with over 8000 hours of flight time in all different types of aircraft. Even today, when not announcing, he is the Chief Pilot for Priester Aviation out of Chicago, Illinois. Phil will help bring you the ULTIMATE Air Show Experience and he'll even announce our Twilight & Night Air Shows!
The AirBoss for the 2018 Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival will be none other than Ryan Seiler. Ryan has served as the Battle Creek AirBoss since 2004, and was Assistant AirBoss for many years prior to that. Ryan is a pilot himself, serving as Lead Flight Instructor at the Western Michigan University College of Aviation (his Alma Mater) right here in Battle Creek. He is also the Head Coach for the nationally recognized Sky Broncos flight team, who have continually placed in national competitions for the better part of a decade. In the Air Show world, Ryan is known for his commitment to safety and putting together an almost five hour flying sequence (multiple days) that runs well and transitions smoothly. As the conductor of the air show, it takes a lot of focus to be able to put together a sequence that runs with minimal downtime (except for scheduled downtime) and keep the action going, all while maintaining the highest focal point of safety. With his 14 years of experience as AirBoss, Ryan is an experienced AirBoss that is well liked by all the performers that perform in Battle Creek.
The Assistant AirBoss for the 2018 Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival will be Bretten Bailey. Bailey will be stepping in to fill the shoes of usual Assistant AirBoss Ken Glidden, who has prior commitments during the 2018 event. Brett is known throughout the air show world for usually working on the production side of the events and taking care of media/promotion. While still doing both for the 2018 Field of Flight, he'll also be assisting Ryan Seiler. Bailey grew up in the Air Show world and has been attending shows ever since he was a baby before finally getting involved with the industry in 2001. He graduated from the Western Michigan University College of Aviation as well as the College of Arts & Sciences with a double major. Brett has been involved with the Field of Flight for numerous years, serving as the Media Director for the event. When not working air shows/balloon festivals, he works for a Delta Global Services (a wholly owned subsidary of Delta Air Lines) as well as for the Air Zoo (the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum) in Kalamazoo, Michigan.