The Canadian Forces Snowbirds, one of the most popular military aerial demonstration teams in the world, announced EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is part of its 2016 schedule, which would be the first time in more than 30 years that the team would be back at Oshkosh.
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, the 64th annual Experimental Aircraft Association fly-in convention known as the “World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration,” is July 25-31 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The Snowbirds are currently scheduled to have a public practice session over the grounds on Friday, July 29, with full performances as part of the daily afternoon air show on Saturday and Sunday, July 30-31.
The Snowbirds, officially designated as 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, were created in 1971 and have a nearly 40-year connection to EAA, as they were the first military team to perform at Oshkosh when they flew over the EAA fly-in during the 1970s. They have not appeared at Oshkosh since 1983, as their primary schedule commitment each year is to Canadian air shows.
“It is truly thrilling to have the Snowbirds schedule an appearance at Oshkosh for the first time in more than 30 years, and we can now begin working through the logistics necessary to host the team,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member services, who coordinates AirVenture features and attractions. “Longtime EAA members and Oshkosh attendees speak fondly of the elegant precision aerobatics that the Snowbirds brought to the EAA fly-in, and have often asked when they would return. We were very happy to discover that EAA AirVenture 2016’s dates and the Snowbirds’ schedule availability aligned and we could welcome them back to aviation’s family reunion at Oshkosh.”
The Snowbirds fly Canadair CT-114 Tudor jets in approximately 60 air shows each year. The nine aircraft used in the performances are piloted by experienced team members from the Royal Canadian Air Force. During the show, the pilots fly at speeds ranging from 110 to 465 mph (180 to 750 km/h) and in formation with distances as close as four feet of wing overlap. Comprised of exciting loops, rolls and solo passes as well as graceful nine-jet formations, the Snowbirds’ show includes more than 50 different formations and maneuvers over each 35-minute performance.