Latest Articles Appearing On Classic Warbirds..

Classic Colors, RIAT Tiger Meet Participants 1997

f5 1Twenty years ago, the Royal International Air Tattoo was fortunate to assemble a quantity of NATO aircraft which were participants in that year’s annual Tiger Meet.  The NATO Tiger Association is a group of squadrons which feature cats, usually the “big cat” family of tigers, panthers, cheetahs, etc. in their heraldry, crests, and/or unit names and logos.

They gather to swap information about tactics and training, as well as to boost morale within the NATO ranks. Usually, one or two aircraft from each unit is emblazoned with some special color scheme to emulate the “big cat” prowess as hunters, or leaders of the pack. A motto of the group is “Hard to be Humble”, and their aircraft markings sometimes make full use of the bravado it carries!

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There are some 24 squadrons worldwide who are full members, with a number of honorary members too. Other memberships have ended, normally when a squadron has been disbanded. The organization can trace its roots back to a 1960 meeting between a USAF and RAF squadron, although the official website of the NATO Tigers casts some doubt upon the early years’ story.

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On the Road to Oceana!

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OK, it’s September and you’re planning to head down to NAS Oceana in Virginia Beach for their big Air Show. There must be more to do than just driving down US-13 on the DelMarVa peninsula to get to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge by 6 PM. Well, actually there is a lot of fun stuff to do along the way before you hit the bridge, and a lot of it is aviation stuff, if you leave a little early and allow some recon time!

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Valiant Air Command’s TICO Air Show Reaches Forty!

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Air shows are a driving force behind the public’s interest in aviation. I’ve chosen a handful of long-running events to preview in 2017, and offer some of the venues’ history too. The Valiant Air Command’s Fortieth TICO Airshow is just around the corner!

The Space Coast Regional Airport (TICO comes from the Titusville – Cocoa Airport Authority name) sits across the Indian River from Cape Canaveral, Florida’s historic rocket launching and Space Shuttle landing facility. A few years before the Shuttles began to fly, the Valiant Air Command, a warbird museum that operated several flying and static aircraft, began a series of annual air shows. Drawing from the awesome Florida, Georgia and other nearby warbird communities, their spring air shows occurred a bit before the big Sun N Fun convention. The Florida warmth attracted many spectators, pilots and planes to bask in the sunshine and partake in the flying after a long, cold winter to the north – along the Atlantic seaboard. In many circles, this was the first air show of the calendar year.

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Forecast Calls for Aluminum Overcast

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Once again the EAA’s B-17 Aluminum Overcast is on tour. The west coast swing will land in the Southwestern U.S. during the first months of 2017.

The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a World War II bomber used primarily in Europe. B-17s from the Eighth Air Force participated in countless missions from bases in England, often lasting for more than eight hours, and struck at targets deep within enemy territory. Because of their long-range capability, formations of B-17s often flew into battle with no fighter escort, relying on their own defensive capabilities to insure a successful mission.

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