report by: Harry Morrow
Langley Air Force Base’s biennial air show, took place May 18-20, 2018. The air show was open to the public beginning Friday evening, and all day Saturday and Sunday. The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Team, the Thunderbirds, were scheduled to headline the air show. Other highlights included the Air Combat Command F-22 Demonstration Team, the Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, Rob Holland Ultimate Air Shows, and a Friday night act including Twin Beech 18 flyer Matt Younkin, just to name a few. Langley AFB is the home of the 1st Fighter Wing operating and maintaining the F-22 Raptor. To accomplish their mission, the men and women of the 1st Fighter Wing work in one of two groups: the Operations Group or the Maintenance Group. Eight squadrons comprise the two groups, which includes two fighter squadrons: the 27 FS known as the Fightin’ Eagles and the 94 FS known as the Hat-in-the-Ring Gang.
The F-22 Raptor is the Air Force’s newest fighter aircraft. Its combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities. The F-22, a critical component of the Global Strike Task Force, is designed to project air dominance, rapidly and at great distances and defeat threats attempting to deny access to our nation’s Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft. The F-22’s characteristics provide a synergistic effect ensuring F-22A lethality against all advanced air threats.
The T-38 Talon is a twin-engine, high-altitude, supersonic jet trainer used in a variety of roles because of its design, economy of operations, ease of maintenance, high performance and exceptional safety record. Air Education and Training Command is the primary user of the T-38 for joint specialized undergraduate pilot training. Air Combat Command, Air Force Materiel Command and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration also use the T-38A in various roles. Air Education and Training Command uses the T-38C to prepare pilots for front-line fighter and bomber aircraft such as the F-15E Strike Eagle, F-15C Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, B-1B Lancer, A-10 Thunderbolt and F-22 Raptor. The Talon first flew in 1959.
The 27th Aero Squadron, one of the oldest fighter squadrons in the Air Force, was organized on June 15, 1917. At the beginning of the United States’ involvement in World War II, the 27th Fighter Squadron (redesignated in 1942) briefly served in anti-submarine duty at San Diego NAS and defense duty at Reykjavik, Iceland. The 27th’s highest scoring Ace of WWII, Lt. Thomas E. Maloney, endured one of the grittiest personal episodes of WWII. In 1950, the squadron was redesignated the 27th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. . In July 1975, the TFW transferred from MacDill to Langley and the 27th FS became the first combat ready F-15 Eagle squadron in the Air Force. In 2003, the 27th Fighter Squadron was announced as the first operational squadron to fly the Raptor — a continuation of the squadron’s historical legacy. The first F-22A arrived in late 2004 and reached Full Operational Capability in December of 2007.
The 94th Fighter Squadron is the second oldest fighter squadron in America’s history. They are tasked to provide air superiority for the United States and allied forces by engaging and destroying enemy forces, equipment, defenses or installations for global deployment as part of the 1st Fighter Wing. The 94th flies today’s advanced air dominance fighter, the F-22A Raptor. . December 16, 2005 marked another historic marker for the 94th Fighter Squadron with the final flight of the F-15 Eagle and began the transition to the F-22A. The 94th Fighter Squadron today stands as a cohesive combat experienced team ready for any call to support our nation’s security requirements. Air dominance — anytime, anywhere! The 192nd Fighter Wing, Virginia Air National Guard, mission is to provide a fully-trained organization of volunteer-Airmen dedicated to protect and defend the vital interests of the nation, state and community. The 192nd FW is headquartered at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. In addition to state missions, the wing associates with the regular Air Force, spanning three major commands, and performs standalone federal missions. In 2017, they mobilized for six months to support Operation Inherent Resolve. During this deployment, they flew 534 F-22 Raptor flights, 4600 combat hours and dropped 263 bombs, executing a critical role in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Among those in attendance were four full-sized airplanes, a couple of unmanned aircraft systems and a number of displays from NASA’s Langley Research Center just across the airfield from the Hampton, Virginia, base. The last two airplanes going over to Langley AFB for the air show taxied across the airfield under their own power The last two airplanes going over to Langley AFB for the air show taxied across the airfield under their own power. “Both of our facilities are about to celebrate our 100th birthday,” said Michelle Ferebee, the NASA Langley Centennial Steering Team chair. “We both started at Langley Field, where the air force base is now. The Air Force recognizes its Langley centennial in December 2016 when the deed to the land was signed. We officially celebrate our establishment in July next year, which marks the 100th anniversary of the groundbreaking of our first building.” But both the Air Force and NASA will have a number of events to recognize their 100 years in existence before the actual anniversaries.
Air Power Over Hampton Roads is the first. It’s being advertised as “100 years of airpower.” A lot of airpower will be roaring above the heads of the crowd during the air show’s two-and-a-half day run. Among the scheduled performers are the USAF Thunderbirds, the F-22 Raptor Team, the U.S. Army Golden Knights. . NASA Langley’s four aircraft were showed on the ground close to the flight line along with tents featuring science, space and aviation exhibits. The planes include the Vietnam War-era Ov-10A Bronco, the former U.S. Coast Guard HU-25C Guardian, the Cirrus SR22.Air Power Over Hampton Roads provided an outstanding performance. Globalairpower would like to thank all the Airshow staff for their great help in the preparation of this report.