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US Airforce to be part of Warbirds for the first time

Press Release – Warbirds Over Wanaka

The United States Air Force has confirmed it will be part of the flying display at Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow for the first time in the 28 year history of the event.27th November 2015

US Airforce to be part of Warbirds for the first time

The United States Air Force has confirmed it will be part of the flying display at Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow for the first time in the 28 year history of the event.

The Pacific Air Forces C-17 Globemaster III Demonstration Team is hosted by the 15th Wing of the USAF at Joint Base Pearl Harbour-Hickam in Hawaii. It will be attending the airshow over Easter next year (March 25th, 26th, 27th).

The visit to Wanaka has been confirmed by Brigadier General Gregory M. Guillot who says the US Air Force is excited about coming to Wanaka and to be showing off the capabilities of the aircraft.

Warbirds Over Wanaka General Manager, Ed Taylor, says this is great news for the airshow. “The C-17 is a big aircraft and it’s going to be fantastic to see it put through its paces in the skies above Wanaka Airport.”

Ed says the airshow display will be impressive. “A C-17 demo team is made up of a four-person team. Being a member of the demo team requires a high level of experience in the C-17. Veteran pilots who have been instructors, evaluators or aircraft commanders are selected.”

“Airshows take flying these large aircraft to the next level with precision and speed required to put on a proper demonstration for the public. Although the flying profile is not much different from an operational mission, it is very fast-paced and the pilots need to have additional training to ensure safety and precision flying,” says Ed.

The last involvement by the United States Air Force at Warbirds Over Wanaka was in 2010 when an LC-130, the polar version of the C-130 cargo plane, attached to the US Antarctica programme, was on static display.

The C-17 Globemaster has been suggested as one of the possible replacements for the RNZAF’s aging Hercules C-130 fleet.

C-17 Globemaster III specifications

Wingspan 52 m

Length 53 m

Range 10,390 km

Weight 128,100 kg

Cruising Speed 830 kph

Engines 4 x Pratt and Whitney PW2000

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