2007 AirPower Over Hampton Roads

Langley AFB, Virginia

April 27-29, 2007

Airshow report written on May 9, 2007.

While this airshow report is supposed to go into a bit of detail about a single act or two rather than the show in general, I would like to deviate from the norm for this airshow report.  For the fourth year in a row, I have started off my airshow season at Langley AFB, which is roughly a five and a quarter hour trip from my home.  Add to the fact that I was coming from school made the trip an hour longer, since I go to school another hour closer to New York City.  I had been watching the weather closely all week and presumed that I was going to be hitting some pretty bad storms on the way down that Friday morning.  I was somewhat correct in that assumption, since I woke up to a thunderstorm at home, drove down in the remnants of that storm, and got hit and miss showers as I was traversing through Delaware.  Maryland was foggy and once I hit Virginia, things started to clear up pretty nicely.  I planned on hitting up NAS Oceana prior to going to Langley that Friday, and did just so.  There was still a low scud deck, which stuck around for the majority of the time I was there.  That lifted for some nice skies, but that was as I was leaving.  As I entered Langley, it was a nice, sunny day and it had warmed up very nicely.

However, the storm clouds rolled in, and the Thunderbirds were forced to fly an abbreviated practice.  Prior to their practice, they joined up with Major Paul "Max" Moga, who flew his F-22 in formation with the Thunderbirds for a couple flybys (an F-15D provided chase as a photo plane).  The Thunderbirds timed their practice perfectly - a freak thunderstorm rolled through Langley AFB, dumping about three or more inches of rain in the span of less than an hour.  Luckily I had set up shelter in the Silver Wings Chalet for the storm and contemplated moving to the Air Show Central office, but decided not to, since I was keeping an eye on the storm's movement on my cell phone (I downloaded a program that can give me pilot reports and radars and so much more for any airport, but have to pay $10/month for it).  The storm cleared out VERY nicely, and in time for two F-117s and a T-38 from Holloman AFB to arrive, as well as a B-1B Lancer from Dyess AFB.  However, more storm clouds remained in the distance, but did not affect the first portion of the night show.

Speaking of that night show, all of the TACDEMOS at Langley AFB flew.  April 27, 2007 goes down as the day when the first ever F-22 Raptor full-up demonstration was flown in front of a public crowd.  This year's demo pilot is Major Paul "Max" Moga from Minnesota, and he's got a real treat of a demonstration to show everyone.  The Raptor, being a fifth-generation jet fighter, is capable of flying maneuvers that no other jet fighter is capable of, especially with its capabilities.  The F-22 demonstration is not able to show off about 85% of the jet's true capabilities, which include stealthiness, supercruise, advanced avionics, weapons integration, and higher maintainability.  However Max is able to show off its superior maneuverability, which is demonstrated in the new demonstration profile.  As strange as it sounds, I believe that the Raptor demonstration is actually a lot better with a high cirrus cloud deck, as it will give a good perspective on the maneuvers that the aircraft is being put through.  One of the maneuvers that is highlighted in the demonstration is called a power loop, which is flown with the aircraft in level flight, pitching up as if it was a normal loop, and once over the top, the jet follows the remainder portion of the loop by following a point on its nose.  It might not make sense when you read it but when you watch it, it will amaze you.  The power loop will result in the F-22 ending the maneuver much higher than its starting altitude, all due to the use of thrust vectoring (the adjusting pitch of the exhaust nozzles).

The night show was cut short as a thunderstorm loomed in the distance and was making its way towards Langley AFB as the Kansas concert was coming to an end.  As soon as I had left Langley and gotten onto I-64, heading towards Newport News, all hell broke loose, as I had to drive through a gigantic thunderstorm - probably the same magnitude thunderstorm I had to go through earlier in the day.  Talk about an interesting day for weather!  Saturday's weather was a bunch of mixed blessings, with the clouds clearing out somewhat for the Thunderbirds, but not enough for them to fly their entire high show.  Sunday looked to be very nice, but a cloud deck moved in from the northwest, which cleared up very nicely in late morning until the Thunderbirds flew, in which case the clouds rolled back in and forced the team to fly another low show.  Overall, Langley's show in 2007 was up to par with the 2006 show, but the weather was not quite being the best in the world.

On a final note, there have been a few tributes to LCDR Kevin "Kojak" Davis present during the weekend.  Rob Reider, who announced the show this year instead of Jughead (who was deployed in South Korea) mentioned a missing man formation that the Skytypers flew at MCAS Beaufort the week before Langley, as well as giving Kojak a tribute during the Raptor dedication pass.  The Thunderbirds dedicated their performances to the memory of Kojak and flew a Blue Angel flag from their communications cart each day.

Static Displays at the 2007 AirPower Over Hampton Roads Airshow

Aircraft Squadron Home Base Registration Notes
A-10 Thunderbolt II 23rd FG Pope AFB, NC 80-0175  
A-10 Thunderbolt II 23rd FG Pope AFB, NC 80-0223  
AH-64D Apache Longbow   Ft. Hunter, GA 01-5283 Longbow radar removed
AH-64D Apache Longbow   Ft. Hunter, GA 01-5278 Longbow radar removed
Aero Commander 200D   Poquoson, VA N2919T  
B-1B Lancer 7th BW Dyess AFB, TX 86-0105  
B-17 Flying Fortress     41-24485, N3703G Memphis Belle markings
B-25J Mitchell Rag Wings and Radials   44-30734, N9079Z Panchito
B-52H Stratofortress 2nd BW Barksdale AFB, LA 60-0024 No markings
Bell 206 JetRanger WAVY-TV   N210TV  
C-17 Globemaster III 60th AMW Travis AFB, CA 06-6161 Recently delivered
CH-47D Chinnok     0-24338  
Cessna 172   Civil Air Patrol N818CP  
Cessna 172     N733RV  
Cessna 206   NASA Langley N504NA  
Cirrus SR-22   NASA Langley N501NA  
DeHavilland Chipmunk   Virginia Beach, VA N559WK  
E-3B Sentry   Tinker AFB, OK    
F-15C Eagle 1st FW, 71st FS Langley AFB, VA 84-0021  
F-15C Eagle 1st FW, 71st FS Langley AFB, VA 84-0022  
F-15E Strike Eagle 4th FW Seymour Johnson AFB, NC 89-0488 Boss jet
F-16C Fighting Falcon 149th FS Richmond, VA 86-0223 Boss jet
F-22A Raptor 1st FW, 94th FS Langley AFB, VA   1st OG markings
F-117 Nighthawk 49th FW Holloman AFB, NM 84-0825  
HC-130P Hercules   Pope AFB, NC 65-0981  
MH-53E Sea Dragon   NAVSTA Norfolk, VA 163067  
N2S-3 Stearman   Virginia Beach, VA N41EE  
OV-1 Mohawk   Richfield, NC 25874, N1171Y  
OV-10 Bronco   NASA Langley N636NA  
Schweizer 269   Chesapeake, VA N3275M  
T-6A Texan II   Columbus AFB, MS 05-0779  
T-28B Trojan     138245, N65491  
T-37 Tweet   Sheppard AFB, TX 65-10825  
T-38 Talon 100th FTS Randolph AFB, TX 70-1951 Boss jet
T-38 Talon   Holloman AFB, NM 68-8186  
Tiger Moth   Virginia Beach, VA N6463  
WC-130J Hercules   Keesler AFB, MS 98-5308  
WC-135C Constant Phoenix   Offutt AFB, NE 62-3582  

Military Demonstration Teams

Tentative Military Demonstrations

Civillian Demonstrations

Participating Organizations

Announcer: Rob Reider

Gates Open: 5:00 PM Friday, 9:00 AM Saturday and Sunday

Showtime: 5:00 PM Friday, 10:00 AM Saturday and Sunday

2007 AirPower Over Hampton Roads Home Page