Academy’s Glider Team to perform at Aviation Nation

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  • U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- The Air Force Academy’s Aerobatic Demonstration Team will showcase their talents to the Las Vegas community for the first time in several years at Aviation Nation at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Nov. 16-17.

One of the larger airshows in the country, Aviation Nation traditionally draws crowds of more than a quarter-million people over the two-day event.

“The sheer size of Nellis makes this special,” said Maj. Jamison Richart, 94th Flying Training Squadron supervisor of flying. “It has participating Air Force units from every aircraft in the inventory and aircraft from several other countries, as well as civilian stunt and demonstration aircraft.”

The aerobatics team uses the TG-16A Glider, a two-seat, engine-less glider. The glider is towed to a designated altitude by a Piper Super Cub tow plane before being released and soaring in-flight by using thermals and prevailing winds.

“At Nellis, the team will be performing advanced aerobatic maneuvers to demonstrate the capabilities of the aircraft,” Richart said. “It is standard for us, but to other professional aviators it will be an impressive sight, because no other aircraft in the Air Force can do them.”

Not even the F-22, F-35, or F-16 can reproduce some of our aerobatics, Richart added.

Although cadets on the Academy’s Aerobatic Demonstration Team routinely perform in airshows and competitions around the country, instructors from the 94th FTS will be the one’s flying at Aviation Nation.

In addition to the aerial performance, there will be a static display of the gliders that airshow goers will get to see as well as interact with a small group of cadets. Each of the cadets in attendance have been upgraded to instructor glider pilots as part of the Academy’s airmanship program.

“It’s fascinating that we train a young cadre of cadets to train other cadets to fly,” Richart said. “In no other realm do you place so much trust in individuals [at such a young age] to now fly with others, only one or two years younger, to takeoff, fly with a $500K aircraft and land safely.”

The full airshow will be available via livestream on Facebook: