Introduced in 1976, the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle remains the prototypical jet fighter for air forces across the world, especially in the United States and Israel. This twin-engine, all-weather fighter is undefeated in air-to-air combat, with more than 100 aerial combat victories. Its two engines provide 58,000 pounds of thrust, which enable it to exceed Mach 2.5. The F-15 has a max ceiling of 70,000 feet and a maximum unfueled range of 2,600 nautical miles. The Eagle’s electronic systems and weaponry can detect, acquire, track and attack enemy aircraft while operating in friendly or enemy-controlled airspace. Production will cease in this year.
Officially named the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, everyone knows this single-seat, straight-wing aircraft as the “Warthog.” Developed for the U.S. Air Force, the A-10 Thunderbolt II is primarily used as a low-altitude, close air support aircraft. The A-10 is perhaps best known for its fearsome GAU-8 Avenger 30mm Gatling gun mounted on the nose. The GAU-8 is designed to fire armor-piercing depleted uranium and high explosive incendiary rounds. Developed in 1972, the A-10 Thunderbolt II has excellent maneuverability at low speeds and altitude.
CH-47 US ARMY
The CH-47D Chinook is the U.S. Army’s primary heavy troop and supply transport aircraft. Originally fielded in the Vietnam War, the CH-47 has undergone a series of upgrades to increase lift and airworthiness in combat environments.
UH-60 US Army
The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter is the U.S. Army’s primary medium-lift utility transport and air assault aircraft. It is a twin-engine medium-lift utility helicopter. It is equipped with a single 4-bladed rotor and a single 4-bladed tail rotor. The basic crew complement for the UH-60A is three: pilot, co-pilot and crew chief. The titanium-cored rotor blades are resistant to AAA (anti-aircraft artillery) fire up to 23mm and are equipped with pressurized sensors capable of detecting loss of rotor pressurization (damage).
T-41, T-51 & T-53 | USAF Academy
The USAF Academy powered flight fleet consists of the Cirrus SR-20 (T-53A Kadet II), the Cessna 150 (T-51) and the Cessna 172 (T-41 Mescalero). The T-53s represent the backbone of the Academy’s Powered Flight training program in which over 500 cadets participate annually. The T-41s and T-51s are used exclusively by the Academy’s Flying Team, a nationally recognized team of cadets who compete with other flight training schools throughout the United States.
Powered by four Pratt & Whitney PW2020 engines, each with more than 40,000 pounds of thrust, the C-17 is appropriately nicknamed the “Globemaster III” for its capabilities in difficult terrain anywhere in the world. Built to carry heavy equipment, supplies and troops, this T-tailed military aircraft was first flown in 1991 with a full roll-out in 1995. The C-17 can takeoff from a 7,740-foot airfield and carry a payload of up to 164,900 pounds. With no payload, the C-17 can fly 6,230 nautical miles and can refuel mid-flight. It is currently in use by the U.S. Air Force and in six other nations, including Great Britain, where it is used as an airborne hospital.
F-16, USN Aggressor: The F-16 is a single-engine multi-role fighter jet. It is highly agile and proven in air-to-air, as well as air-to-surface. The U.S. Navy’s version was the F-16N Viper, which was mainly used as a “bad guy,” or the aggressor role at Top Gun, Miramar, California. This allowed pilots to train in different combat situations. The F-16N was eventually replaced by the F-18 Hornet.
U-2 | Beale AFB
The “Dragon Lady” is a high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft that has been operated by
USAF or CIA since the 1950s. The U-2s are based at Beale AFB in California, but are routinely sent worldwide to operational detachments. There are currently only 33 in the Air Force’s active force inventory. The U-2 will launch and recover out of Stead for their flyover demo, but guest will be able to see it on the “Hot Line” before and after their flyover demo.
C-130 H3 USAF
The Nevada Air National Guard C-130 is a fan favorite. Making the short hop from Reno to Stead, this massive C-130 features a loading ramp and door in the tail that can accommodate palletized loads, vehicles and troops. This beast serves both as a troop transport workhorse and a firefighting stalwart. When fighting fires, it can discharge 3,000 gallons of water/fire retardant in less than 5 seconds and cover an area one quarter of a mile long by 100 feet wide, refilling in just 12 minutes. A walk-through (starting from the tail, of course) shows the absolute breathtaking scale of this aircraft.
F-35 USAF | Luke AFB
The F-35A Lightning II is the Air Force’s latest fifth-generation fighter. It will eventually replace the F-16 Fight Falcon and A-10 Thunderbolt as the primary fighter aircraft. This aircraft is highly versatile and features some of the top stealth technology to give it an edge when on missions. Powered by one Pratt and Whitney F135-PW-100 turbofan engine this aircraft can reach speeds of Mach 1.6 or 1,200 MPH.
T-38 USAF | Beale AFB
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.