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Randy Ball's own MiG-17F, #1611, entered service with the Soviet bloc in March 1960 and wasn't withdrawn from service until May 1990.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.