JBLM Airshow & Warrior Expo 2016 – USAF Thunderbirds

The USAF Thunderbirds hold a proud history of military demonstration flying that dates back to 1953 at Luke AFB in Arizona when they first flew the Republic F-84 Thunderjet. Over the years they progressed through jet technology to the Republic F-84F Thunderstreak in 1955, North American F-100C Super Sabre from 1956 to 1964, Republic F-105B Thunderchief for just 6 shows between April and May 1964, then following an accident involving the F-105 they flew the F-100D Super Sabre until 1969, the McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II then took over until 1974 when the fuel crisis hit and they had to “downgrade” to the cheaper to run Northrop T-38 Talon trainer until 1982 when the first General Dynamics F-16A Fighting Falcon was delivered.

USAF Thunderbirds early years - F-84G Thunderjet, F-84F Thunderstreak, F-100C/D Super Sabre & F-105 Thunderchief
USAF Thunderbirds early years – F-84 Thunderjet, F-84F Thunderstreak, F-100C/D Super Sabre & F-105B Thunderchief (Photo Source: USAF)
USAF Thunderbirds early years - F-4E Phantom II and T-38 Talon
USAF Thunderbirds early years – F-4E Phantom II and T-38 Talon (Photo Source: USAF & Northrop-Grumman)

Today they are based at Nellis AFB in Nevada and continue to thrill crowds flying the stunning looking F-16 in the red, white and blue with a huge Thunderbird painted on their undersides. Their demonstration at Joint Base Lewis McChord on the Saturday of the JBLM Airshow & Warrior Expo 2016 (August 28-29, 2016) was another great show with plenty of action and great formation flying.

USAF Thunderbirds General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons JBLM Airshow 2016
The USAF Thunderbirds General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons await their turn to fly
USAF Thunderbirds formation takeoff JBLM Airshow 2016
USAF Thunderbirds formation takeoff
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Thunderbird pass
Solo USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Solo high speed pass
USAF Thunderbirds head on pass JBLM Airshow 2016
Head on pass!
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Move into position
USAF Thunderbirds diamond pass JBLM Airshow 2016
Diamond pass
USAF Thunderbirds mirror pass JBLM Airshow 2016
USAF Thunderbirds mirror pass
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
USAF Thunderbirds
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
A stunning formation pass
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Thunderbirds are go!
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
USAF Thunderbirds
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Nice tidy pass
Slow pass USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Slow and smokey
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
High angle of attack
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Coming through!
Dirty pass USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Dirty pass
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Six ship incoming!
Six ship pass USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Six ship pass
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Reach for the sky!
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Six ship high formation
Solo USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Solo coming in hot!
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
four ship top pass
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Magnificent!
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Love their work!
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Smokin’
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Four ship diamond pass with smoke
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Dark and moody
Upside down solo USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Upside down and fast
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
High pass
USAF Thunderbirds break JBLM Airshow 2016
Right place, right time!
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Break!
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Formation break one
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Formation break two
USAF Thunderbirds JBLM Airshow 2016
Whoosh!
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