Six Fun Facts About USAF Thunderbirds Featured at the Owensboro Air Show
It's Owensboro Air Show weekend which means that the skies over town (and surrounding counties) are going to be full of aircraft the next few days. This year's event is headlined by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. If you've ever seen the Owensboro Air Show or been anywhere near town when they're doing their practice runs, you know this. They're fast and they're loud.
My friend Chris Conley- who served in the U.S. Army Airborne Infantry- lives here in Owensboro and is incredibly excited for the teams to fly into town. Not only does Chris know a lot about military aviation, he has years of experience photographing teams like the Thunderbirds (and the Blue Angels) at air shows around the country. This year, he's going to be perched high atop the Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown and will have a bird's eye view of the action. He'll be capturing nearly every moment.
To help Owensboro Air Show fans get ready and excited about this year's event, Chris just shared some interesting facts about the USAF Thunderbirds that you may not know. Heck, back in 2015 I flew with the team. I've been in one of the planes, flipped upside down in, rolled in it, but had no clue about the aircraft I was actually flying in.
Courtesy of Chris, here are some fun and interesting facts about the planes you're going to see and hear flying over Owensboro this weekend.
1) The Thunderbirds fly in Lockheed Martin F-16C/D (Block 52)) fighter jets.
2) The Block 52s have an upgraded avionics package that brings the Thunderbird fleet into alignment with the rest of the worldwide F-16 fleet.
3) The F-16C/D (back in 1998) had a cost- per unit- of $18.8 million dollars.
4) The cost per hour of flight in an F-16 is roughly $22,000 to $24,000.
5) The maximum speed of the aircraft is 1,353 mph at 40,000 feet. At sea level, the max speed is 921 mph.
6) The G-Force limits are +9.0
The Owensboro Air Show is set for Saturday, September 16th and Sunday, September 17th. The show runs from 1pm to 4pm each day and is FREE of charge.
There is also a preview event set for 4:30pm, Friday, September 15th at the Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport. Here's the schedule for that event, which is also open to the public for a charge.
And here are some examples of Chris' aviation photography. In 2021, the Owensboro Air Show was headlined by the Blue Angels and Chris captured these incredible shots!
25 Photos of the Blue Angels That Will Blow Your Mind