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Blue Angels to headline expanded Great Tennessee Air Show

Great Tennessee Airshow will feature several dynamic civilian aerobatic pilots and suped-up Shockwave Jet Truck this weekend over the Smyrna Airport.
Great Tennessee Airshow will feature several dynamic civilian aerobatic pilots and suped-up Shockwave Jet Truck this weekend over the Smyrna Airport.
Photo courtesy Darnell Racing Enterprises, used with permission

SMYRNA, TN -- America's Blue Angels are back in the air set to perform high precision aerobatic flights this weekend over the Great Tennessee Air Show.

America's Pride, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, and several civilian aerobatic acts will perform this weekend over central Tennessee.
Charles Atkeison

The Blue Angels will perform air shows on June 14 and 15, as both the Blue's C-130 aircraft known as Fat Albert, and the Delta Team of F/A-18C Hornets perform precise military maneuvers.

"We are proud to welcome back the Blue Angels," said Smyrna-Rutherford County Airport Executive Director John Black at the site of the Great Tennessee Air Show. "They are world-renowned and represent the best of the best out there defending our freedom. Their demonstrations are a thrill for everyone to witness all that they can do.”

Lead by Angel 1 team "Boss" CDR Thomas Frosch, the Angels Delta Team includes LCDR John Hiltz, LCDR Nate Barton, Capt. Brandon Cordill, LCDR David Tickle and Lt. Mark Tedrow.

The fan-favorite C-130 transport aircraft will perform several combat styled maneuvers by the all-Marine crew including a few specialized passes low over the airfield.

Bert's crew includes pilots Capt. A.J. Harrell, Major Mike Van Wyk, Capt. Dusty Cook, and five support team members.

Fat Albert will conclude it's demonstration with a steep approach to the runway to show how the massive C-130 can drop into a hostile region or mountainous terrain and quickly land.

In addition to the Blues, the Air Force classic P-51D Mustang and several civilian aerobatic aircraft will take to the blue skies over the Smyrna Airport.

The Lucas Oil Skydivers will introduce America's colors as the air show opens. The precision parachute demonstration team will give Old Glory a high altitude salute as our nation's national anthem is heard across the field.

The post-World War II P-51D "Quicksilver" is flown by pilot Scott Yoak in a celebration to America's armed forces. The aircraft will fly with black and white stripes on her wings in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Allied D-Day invasion at Normandy, France.

One 1929 WACO biplane will speed over the air show crowd after having swapped it's normal prop engine for two jet engine power plants.

"The Screamin' Sasquatch" will perform aerobatic stunts including vertical climbs at high speeds while it's jet engines provide nearly 4,500 pounds of thrust.

The incredible airshow excitement will take place not only in the air but also out on the runway.

Celebrating it's 30th anniversary is the dynamic "Shockwave Jet Truck" which will speed down the airstrip at over 340 m.p.h. while shooting out enormous fireballs skyward.

The jet truck uses three J-38 jet engines to produce 36,000 horse power to create it's high velocity run down the runway, sometimes while racing an aircraft soaring one hundred feet above.

Mr. Black also added that a set of aircraft-styled inflatables at the air shows Kid Zone "will keep your child entertained throughout the entire day" with activities, several slides and a bounce houses.

This weekend's airshow will mark only the third visit by the Blue Angels to the Smyrna Airport since 2008.

Ticket prices vary and are still available for sale online.

Travel directions to the Smyrna Airport can be found on the air shows site.

(Charles Atkeison reports on aerospace, science and technology. Follow his updates via Twitter @AbsolutSpaceGuy.)