Chicago Air & Water Show banner
Supporting Information Facts

Department:

City Services

Follow us on:

facebook twitter YouTube  

Chicago Air and Water Show - Performers

DCASE Homepage  >  Chicago Air & Water Show  >  Performers

 

Headliners are not listed in order of appearance. The schedule is decided the morning of the show by the pilots.

 

(click on images to enlarge) 

Military Teams

 

Blue Angels flying over Lake MichiganU.S. Navy Blue Angels

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels have been astounding audiences since 1946 with their commanding presence and aerial maneuvers in their F/A-18 Hornets. As role models for men and women of all ages this elite group of Navy pilots defy gravity with their famous diamond formation and precision flying. the team has thrilled more than 427 million fans choreographed aerobatic and high altitude performance maneuvers. In their F/A 18 Hornets, the six-jet team is known for its six-jet Delta Formation, as well as the graceful maneuvers of its solo pilots.

For more information on the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, visit www.blueangels.navy.mil

 

U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden KnightsU.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights

Jumping out of an aircraft 12,500 feet above the earth's surface, racing to North Avenue Beach at speeds exceeding 120 mph and landing with smiles, ready to do it all again; all in a days work for the Golden Knights. For more than 50 years, the U.S. Army Parachute team has amazed and thrilled audiences with their precision parachute demonstrations in more than 14,000 shows in all 50 states and 48 countries.

For more information on the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights, visit armygk.armylive.dodlive.mil

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Navy Parachute Team Leap FrogsU.S. Navy Parachute Team Leap Frogs

A typical Leap Frogs performance consists of fourteen jumpers leaping out of an aircraft at an altitude of 12,500 feet. During free fall, jumpers reach speeds of 120 mph and can accelerate up to 180 mph by pulling their arms to their sides and straightening their legs into what is called a "track."

The jumpers typically open their parachutes at around 5,000 feet by releasing a smaller pilot chute which deploys their main blue-and-gold canopy. After deploying their chutes, the Leap Frogs fly their canopies together to build dramatic canopy-relative work formations.

For more information on the U.S. Navy Parachute Team Leap Frogs, visit www.leapfrogs.sealswcc.com

 

U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor  (A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft belonging to the 1st Fighter Wing out of Langley Air Force Base, flies in a training mission during Red Flag 12-3 over the Nevada Test and Training Range March 13, 2012)U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor

The F-22 Raptor is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation supersonic supermaneuverable fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. It was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but has additional capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is the prime contractor and is responsible for the majority of the airframe, weapon systems and final assembly of the F-22. Program partner Boeing Defense, Space & Security provides the wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and training systems.

 For more information on the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor, visit www.military.com

 

Marine MV-22 OspreyMarine MV-22 Osprey

With the speed and range of a turboprop, the maneuverability of a helicopter and the ability to carry 24 Marine combat troops twice as fast and five times farther than previous helicopters, the Osprey greatly enhances the advantages Marines have over their enemies. The Osprey's impact was felt immediately upon its arrival in Iraq. Commenting on its advanced expeditionary capabilities and staggering operational reach, a top Marine commander went as far as to say it turned his battle space "from the size of Texas into the size of Rhode Island."

For more information on the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor, visit www.marines.com

 

 

Civilian Teams

 

AeroShell flight team in performance over Lake Michigan

AeroShell Aerobatic Team

The AeroShell Team has been performing for over twenty years, amassing thousands of hours in front of airshow fans all over North America.

 

 

 

 

 

Sean D. Tucker & Team Oracle, photo by: Gerry SouterSean D. Tucker & Team Oracle

Sean D. Tucker’s life is marked by a search for excellence and perfected skill. He is not satisfied unless he is learning, refining a skill, or conquering a fear. Whether he is heli-skiing, cave SCUBA diving, golfing, or flying his one-of-a kind aerobatic dream machine, Sean D. Tucker is full-throttle and extremely accomplished.

In airshow flying, Sean is the world’s premier performer in terms of entertainment value, piloting skill and most importantly, professionalism. He has been flying airshows world-wide since the mid-70’s and has won numerous aerobatic competitions. In that time, Sean has flown more than 1000 performances at more than 425 airshows, in front of more than 80 million fans. In addition to being a phenomenal aviator, Sean is also a larger than life character who touches the heart of his fans and inspires millions of Americans.

 

The Firebirds Delta TeamThe Firebirds Delta Team

The Firebirds flight demonstration combines the precision of formation aerobatics with radical gyroscopic tumbles and heart stopping head-on madness guaranteed to keep you on the edge.

 

 

 

 

Chuck Aaron in the Red Bull HelicopterChuck Aaron in the Red Bull Helicopter

“Malibu” Chuck Aaron is the first - and only - civilian pilot ever to be licensed to perform helicopter aerobatics in the United States. In fact, he’s one of only three pilots permitted to execute the dangerous maneuvers internationally.

Chuck is also the first helicopter pilot to be presented with the Art Scholl Showmanship Award, an honor bestowed by the International Council of Air Shows to recognize the world’s most outstanding air show performers, and was inducted in 2011 to the prestigious Society of Experimental Test Pilots.

But the blond, mustachioed pilot isn’t one to brag - or to rest on his laurels. Chuck takes to the road much of the year, piloting the one-of-a-kind Red Bull Helicopter through breathtaking air show choreography including backflips, 360-degree rolls, and a heartstopping tumble called the Chuckcilvak. “People can’t believe what they’re seeing, Chuck laughs. “How can a helicopter do all those crazy things?”

 

Matt Chapman AirshowsMatt Chapman Airshows

Matt Chapman is recognized as an extraordinary aerobatic pilot who thrills millions of airshow fans each summer. He began flying aerobatics in 1984 and quickly worked his way up to the highest level of competition aerobatics – the Unlimited category. Recognized for his skills, he won one of only five slots on the U.S. Unlimited Men’s Aerobatic Team in 1996 and 1998.

Matt also won the prestigious International Aerobatic Club Championships in 1994 and the Fond du Lac Cup in 1995.

Matt’s exciting competition aerobatics led him to airshow performing. Matt is both a solo performer and flies formation in a thrilling show with fellow performer Mike Mancuso.

Matt is also a respected airline captain with tens of thousands of flight hours.

 

Dave DacyDave Dacy in the Super Stearman

Dave Dacy has been performing in airshows and special events throughout the United States and Canada since the early 1970s. Soloing in a Aeronca Champ at the age of 16, Dave was in the cockpit of a 220 H.P. Stearman teaching himself aerobatics by the time he was 20.

In addition to his over thirty years of experience in the airshow industry, Dave has also lent his talents to movies and commercials, having landed his aircraft on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago as part of an IMAX promotion for the Science and Industry Museum.

Performing on the airshow circuit today in the 450 H.P. Super Stearman, Dave has also performed airshows in a stock 220 H.P. Stearman, a modified 300 H.P. Stearman and the German designed Bucker Jungmeister. As a professional and respected member of the Airshow Community, Dave is an ICAS (International Council of Airshows) ACE (Aerobatic Competency Evaluator.

 

Team AerostarsAerostars

The Aerostars are a precision aerobatic demo team whose aerial ballet captivates aor show audiences large and small. They fascinate the crowd with a combination of graceful aerobatics flown in tight formation, spectacular breakaways followed by breath-taking opposing passes and awe-inspiring inverted maneuvers. The team performs in the Yak 52 TW, a former Soviet designed, Romanian built, WWII-type aerobatic trainer. The deep roar of their 400 horsepower, supercharged, nine cylinder radial engines singing in harmony is a true crowd-pleaser. The Aerostar's performance is the embodiment of teamwork, professionalism and commitment to excellence.

For more information on Team Aerostars, visit www.teamaerostars.com, facebook.com/TeamAerostars, twitter.com/TeamAerostars and youtube.com/TeamAerostars.

 

A-4 Skyhawk JetWarbird Heritage Museum Foundation

A-4 Skyhawk

The A-4 Skyhawk was a post Korean War U.S. attack aircraft intended to be operated from aircraft carriers. It was designed by Douglas Aircraft to satisfy the U.S. Navy's need for a jet powered replacement for the A-1 Skyraider. The Skyhawk was successfully used by both the USN and USMC, with the first model entering service in October of 1956.

Skyhawk's were the Navy's primary light bomber during the early years of the Vietnam War. A-4's carried out some of the first U.S. air strikes of the war and a Marine Skyhawk is believed to have dropped the last US bombs on the country. Some of the notable A-4 pilots during the war were Vice Admiral James Stockdale and then LCDR John McCain. The Skyhawk continued in service throughout the war, with a total of 362 being lost.

For more information on A-4 Skyhawk Jet, visit warbirdheritagefoundation.org

 

Team AeroDynamixTeam AeroDynamix - 12 Plane Aerobatic Team (NEW)

Team AeroDynamix flies RV aircraft from different series designed by Richard Van Grunsven. RV aircraft are kitplanes, as most of the team's planes are home built by the pilots themselves. Every aircraft has a different color scheme, but all of them are equipped with white smoke generators. The pilots are from Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. The team's main practice base is Anderson, South Carolina, USA.

Today the Team AeroDynamix is the largest aerobatic team in the world flying 12 aircraft, most of them RV-8, but also RV-7 and RV-8A types.

For more information on Team AeroDynamix, visit aerobaticteams.net

 

Chicago Fire Department Air/Sea Resue boatChicago Fire Department Air/Sea Resue

The Air Sea Rescue Unit was established in 1965, where they provide search and rescue services for 37 miles of lakefront, an extensive river system, numerous lakefront venues, and the largest harbor system in the U.S.

Chicago’s busy lakefront offers the Air Sea Rescue Unit unique emergency challenges including, assistance to boats in distress, water rescues and air search missions. Divers assigned to the Air Sea Rescue Unit are trained under public safety rescue diver guidelines specific to Chicago’s needs and particular environment. Air pilots are trained in helicopter search and rescue, and hoist rescue techniques patterned after nationally recognized standards. The Air Sea Rescue Unit uses two (2) Bell 412 EP helicopters to aid in their efforts. This equipment is used for multi-mission roles, which include administrative, law enforcement, and primarily search and rescue flights. The unit also has dive rescue vehicles equipped with the latest available communications devices, full facemask and dry suit dive equipment, and lighting for night operations. They also have a dedicated swimming pool for training the members.