USAF A-10C Thunderbolt II Demo Team
The A-10 is the Air Force's premier close air support aircraft, providing invaluable protection to troops on the ground. The Air Combat Command A-10C Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team, stationed out of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, brings the aircraft to air shows around the country to showcase the unique combat capabilities of the A-10 "Warthog." They perform precision aerial maneuvers while highlighting the mission and professionalism of the men and women of the United States Air Force. Additionally, the team brings attention to the Air Force's proud history by flying formations with historical aircraft in the Air Force Heritage Flight.
When it comes to super-aggressive, tear-up-the-sky aerobatics, nothing says “extreme” better than Hangar 24’s very own Jon Melby! Flying the Hangar 24 Muscle Bi-Plane, Jon is back for his 7th consecutive Hangar 24 AirFest… and he plans to get even wilder in the skies over Redlands this year! With over 20 years as an aerobatic pilot, Jon is the master at wringing PERFORMANCE out of his 350-horsepower aircraft, and he will pull over 8G’s positive and 4G’s negative during his routine… that’s more G’s than the F-35 can pull! An Air Force veteran who flew classified special operations missions on the MC-130, Jon is an outgoing people-person, and we are proud to have him back on the Hangar 24 Team for 2018.
Jon “Huggy” Huggins – AirFest Announcer and Ringmaster
On the mic, in his seventh year at AirFest, will be Jon Huggins. No stranger to airshows, Huggy has spent his ‘spare’ time the past 30+ years hanging around airshows as a flying performer, static display, and all-around aircraft bum. His interests include not only the popular civilian and military airplanes currently on the airshow circuit, but also the many spectacular classic warbirds and experimental aircraft flying today. In 2007 he put his knowledge to use and started announcing airshows on the West Coast – receiving great reviews from the general public and seasoned performers alike.
Huggy is a former Air Force pilot with over 7000 military pilot hours and 4100 flights. He was only the 4th person in history to achieve 2500 hours in the U-2 while on active duty and has had the opportunity to fly over 100 different military and civilian aircraft.
As an aviation enthusiast, Huggy enjoys learning the history of just about anything aviation related, and loves to hear the personal stories of all pilots, famous or not. The breadth and depth of his aviation knowledge comes out on the microphone, and gives the crowd a unique insight to the spectacle in front of them.
10,000 horsepower…6,500 pounds of thrust…20-foot afterburner flames…0-400 mph in just 9 seconds…
It’s fast and loud…
A distinguished veteran, Bill retired from the military after a 20-year career in the US Air Force Reserves, where he served as Loadmaster on the C-141 and C-130 aircraft, and accumulated over 2,700 flight hours, and 150 hours of combat time.
Bill has a bit of rivalry going with one of our aerial performers, and we are expecting that it will culminate in a jet car versus airplane drag race before the weekend is over! You don’t want to miss this!!
Ralph Royce- Air Boss
The AirFest “Air Boss” is person that is the “conductor and choreographer” of the entire day of performances. With 2018 being his 43rd year producing, managing, and running airshows, Ralph brings his unique knowledge and professionalism to Hangar 24, and ensures the event will be as spectacular as it is safe.
With a flying resume that is simply too long to describe, he has an unlimited piston-powered letter from the FAA; founded the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame; was a former Executive Director of the Commemorative Air Force; and former Director of the Lone Star Flight Museum. Since he will be directing the AirFest activities from start to finish, you won’t see much of Ralph during the show… but you’ll definitely see the fruit of his labor!
The T-38 is the world’s first supersonic jet trainer. It’s trained Air Force fighter and bomber pilots for half a century, plus every single NASA Astronaut. Oh… it’s also what U-2 pilots train in… but we can’t talk about that. Check out those sleek lines that make it look fast when it is just sitting on the ground. It looks even faster when it is painted jet-black and going 400+ mph at AirFest. Wanna know more? Then talk to the U-2 pilots that will be in the crowd. This weekend at AirFest....Tickets available at the Redlands Tap Room (save the online fee!), or click here to get them in your hands RIGHT NOW: https://tinyurl.com/y9vneg7v
Stay tuned for more 2019 Aviators to be announced SOON!!