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19 August 2017 Air Shows » Air Shows Abroad » Defenders of Freedom, Offutt AFB  
 

Defenders of Freedom, Offutt AFB, 24-25 August

If the Defenders of Freedom airshow is typical of post 9/11 shows at USAF bases, then I can only advise you to be early at the gate. All baggage is checked, and everyone has to pass through a metal detector frame similar to that found at airports. This invariably leads to queues forming and delays.

Once through, however, there was a lot to see. The full might of the US AF is on display, T-2 Buckeyes, T-34 Mentors, Cessna T-37, the new US AF trainer, the turbo-prop RAC T-6 Texan II, as well as the Navy’s T-45 Goshawk (Americanised BAe Hawk) were on display along side F-15s, F-16s, A-10s and an F/A-18. Transports included a C-130H and the new C-130J, KC-135, KC-10 and C-17 (all open to the public), as well as Lockheed U-2 and a Royal AF 201 Squadron Nimrod.

Helicopters included amongst others, US Marine Corps Sikorski CH-53, and US Army UH-64s.

Warbirds were well represented with P-51s being the more numerous, including a Canadian example, CF-IKE (no, that’s not a typing mistake), and a “Tuskegee Airmen” P-51C. Other warbirds included a T-28 Trojan, Stinson L-5s, Vultee BT-13s, Harvards (including NX60DJ, modified as a Mitsubishi Zero) TBM-3, P-47, B-25, B-17, and a DC-3 representing an AC-47 gunship.

Apart from the US Navy’s Blue Angels, there was also the Aeroshell team, composed of four North American T-6 Texans. Don’t let the WWII-vintage aircraft fool you – the team gave an impeccable performance!

Not all of the aircraft on display were accessible to the public, and these included the E-4 (B.747), RC-135 and F-117 Stealth bomber.

The show started by the C-21, RC-135 and the E-4 making fly-bys, followed by each aircraft performing a maximum braking full-stop landing, which was very impressive with the E-4.

The DC-3 then circled overhead, with small explosions on the ground represented the mini-guns being fired, and a major explosion signifying a “hit on target”. This was followed by “strafing runs” by F-16s, and further “bombing runs” by the B-17, B-25 and DC-3 and a B-1B.

Other displays were by the four T-6 Texans of Aeroshell, simulated dogfights involving the TBM Avenger, “Zero”, P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang, the US AF Heritage Flight (F-15 with P-51 and P-47), Pitts S-2B, the US Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, and of course, the US Navy’s Blue Angles.

If you are visiting on your own, it is advisable to decide whether to look around at the static aircraft and jot down serials/registrations, or find a good position to photograph the aircraft taxiing out for take-off as well as the actual display itself. The crowd line is uneven, parts of it is closer to the display line than others, and empty spaces are quickly taken up.

Sun Position. The sun starts in front of you to your right, but by 11.15 is directly overhead, and passing behind you, so it isn’t too much of a problem. Expect delays when leaving, both to pass through the gate, and drive off the base (it took me twenty minutes). This could be a good time to look around the aircraft, allowing the crowds to depart.
        
 



AIRCRAFT OPERATOR REG. C/N REPRESENTING MILITARY ID NOTES
L. 1049H Save-A-Connie Inc. N6937C 4830 T.W.A.    
Aero L-39 Wahoo Warbirds Inc. N9196N 591330 Russian AF 47  
B. B-17 Texas Aviation Hall of Fame N900RW     238050 “Thunderbird”
Canadian Car & Foundry Harvard IV   NX60DJ CCF-4-264     Converted as “Mitsibushi Zero”.
Ce. O-2 Patrol Squadron Colorado N51680   US AF 69-7669  
Douglas DC-3C EAA Warbirds of America Squadron 143 N2805J 20835 US AF 43-770/EN Representing an AC-47.
Gr. TBM Avenger   N7001C   US Navy    
NA B-25J   N27493        
NA P-51C Commemorative Air Force N61429       “Tuskegee Airmen” colours.
NA P-51D   CF-IKE     473210 “Miracle Maker”
NA P-51D   NL6327T     472197 “Donna Mite”
NA P-51D Commemorative Air Force N5428V       Flew as part of US AF Heritage Flight w/P-47 & F-15.
NA T-28 Trojan   N70743   US AF 49-1646  
NA AT-6G   N884TA     49-3190  
NA SNJ-5 Henley Aviation Inc. N3267G   Aero Shell 51971 Fin no. 1, with Aero Shell titles.
NA T-6G Henley Aviation Inc. N8044H     5114791 Fin no. 2, with Aero Shell titles.
NA T-6   N7462C       Fin no. 3, with Aero Shell titles.
NA T-6C McAviation Inc. N991GM       Fin no. 5, with Aero Shell titles.
P. Navajion   N6589D   US AF    
Stinson L-5B   N22422     44-17191  
Stinson L-3   N48411       The FAA web site gives this aircraft as a Fairchild 24R-40.
R. P-47   NX4747P   USAAF 433240 “Tarheel Hal”, flew as part of US AF Heritage Flight w/P-51 and F-15.
V. BT-13A   N63884   US Navy 41-1833 SNV-1
B. T-34 US AF 00-574        
B. T-34C US Marines 162303       TAW-5
B. B-52 US AF 60-0026       23 BW
B. C-17 US AF 00174 62       McChord AFB
B. E-3 US AF 81-0005        
B. E-4 United States of America 31677       Opened airshow with C-21 & RC-135, performed maximum braking on landing.
B. K-135 US AF 61-2670       “Open Skies” titles.
B. KC-135 Nebraska ANG 37991       155 ARW
B. RC-135 US AF 62-131       Opened airshow with C-21 & E-4.
B. T-45C US Navy 165487/44       UT-7, Americanised BAe Hawk, see Visitors-Mil page.
Ce. T-1A Jayhawk US AF 95-056       14FTW, Columbus AFB, MS
Ce. T-37B US AF 59-280        
Ga. C-21 US AF 40090       Opened airshow with RC-135 & E-4.
Gr. F-14B US Navy 163222        
HS Nimrod Royal AF XV248       201 Squadron
L. EC-130H US AF 73-581/DM        
L. C-130J AFRC 97-5305        
L. F-16 US AF 85-548       Sioux City titles, “Twouble Trouble” nose art.
L. F-16 US AF 85-565       Sioux City titles.
L. F-16 US AF 85-568        
L. F-16 US AF 92-902       “Swamp Fox”
L. F-117 US AF 85-836       9 FTW
L. F-117 US AF 83-807       Display
L. U-2S US AF 80-099       99RS
McD E-8C   95-0122       93 ACW/WR
McD F-15 US AF 79-073       523 FW
McD F-15 US AF 80-020        
McD F-15 US AF 81-028        
McD F-15 US AF 81-1027       325FW
  US Navy 163757       John C. Stennis
McD F/A-18 Blue Angels ______/1, 161983/2, 161942/3, 161948/4, 161863/5, 161966/6       
McD KC-10 US AF 20191       60/349 AMW
N. F-5B US AF 68-8114       CB/14 FTW
N. F-5B US AF 64-217        
R. B-1B US AF 86-0121        
RAC Texan II US AF ?        
R. T-39N US Navy 165511        
R.I. T-2 US Navy 159721        
R.I. T-2C US Navy 159721       VT-9
B. 206 Omaha Police N109PD       This helicopter is actually an OH-58A, p.i. 71-20455.
B. OH-58A US Army 70-15602        
S. AH-64 US Army 00-5198        
S. AH-64 US Army _2-1556        
S. CH-53 US Navy 162510        
Extra Flugzeugbau EA300/S Rocky Hill Airshows Inc. N46EX       America On Line titles.
Ce. Skylane   N5191E        
Ce. Skylane   N5191F        
Ce. Skyhawk   N3532F        
Pitts S-1   N20PA        


        
 
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