Why do we rarely see bombers flying during air shows?

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Why do we rarely see bombers flying during air shows?

Post by Nighthawk117 » Wed May 16, 2018 11:16 am

I've been going to airshows since the 90’s, and I've always wondered why some aircraft, especially bombers, were never performing on weekends. I know there is no official demo like the F-22 or the F-16, but some heavies like the C-17 or the KC-135 still fly regularly in shows, but never in almost 30 years I have seen B-52s, B-1Bs, B-2 or C-5s flying, to name a few. I am always surprised because these planes are already regularly present for static .

Why do not they fly?
The organizers of the shows do not ask them?
The costs to fly them is too high?
The US Air Force refuses to let them fly during shows?

I know that in Canada, despite the lack of CC-117, regularly the Globemaster does in-flight demos at Canadian air shows, I think that with the number of aircraft in the US, they should not have too many problems on this side, has fewer exceptional events that requires the aircraft for operational use. I'm curious to know the reasons, as a airshow fanatic and who unfortunately has never had the chance to see these beautiful planes in flight…
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Post by yyz64 » Thu May 17, 2018 3:45 am

I think that the operations tempo prohibits a lot of bomber participation at shows. Not to mention the constant upgrade programs and maintenance they need.Look at the age of the B-52 and C-5 .They probably require a lot of maintenance as well as the B-1 which apparently costs a lot per flight hour.B-2 's there aren't that many . Imagine at one time how many are actually operational when they aren't getting upgrades and depot repairs.

Besides a C-5 and KC-135, I don't see many bombers around even for static anymore.
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Post by Chris S » Sun May 20, 2018 8:39 pm

Well, it seems like the show just has to have the right contact at the Air Force Global Strike Command,
like the Miami Air Show has, because the Miami show is next weekend and they've got Bomber flyovers
scheduled by the B-1B, B-2 AND B- 52 !!!!! :D :shock:

Here's the line-up on the Miami Air Show thread >>>
JeancarloRuiz wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 3:50 pm
I received an email this morning, so drumroll please. . .
Good morning,

I wanted to inform you about the 2018 Miami Beach Air and Sea Show. The following performers have been confirmed to perform (but are subject to military operational availability.)


- US Navy Tac Demo Team F-18 Super Hornet Demo
- USAF F-16 Viper Demo Team
- USAF F-35 Lightning II Heritage Flight Team
- USAF Para-Rescue Demo Featuring A-10 Warthog, HH-60 Pavehawk, and HC-130 Hercules
- USCG SAR Demo Featuring MH-65 Dolphin & HC-144 Ocean Sentry
- US Custom Demo Featuring DHC-8 & UH-60
- USAF Heritage Flight Featuring P-51 Mustang
- US Army Golden Knights Full Team Demo


- USAF B-2 Spirit
- USAF B-1B Lancer
- USAF B-52 Stratofortress
- USAF KC-135 Stratotanker
- USAF C-17 Globemaster III
- USAF T-38 Talon
- USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon


- USMC MV-22 Osprey Demo
- USAF F-15 Eagle
- USAF F-22 Raptor


- USMC F-35B Lightning II Mini Demo
- USAF C-5 Galaxy
Who has a better lineup than this? I'll wait. . . Well here it is of course this can change for the better or the worst and perhaps we get a few surprises.

Thank you.
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Post by RyanD » Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:29 am

Hmmm, I've never thought of it
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Post by Fullback_34 » Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:12 pm

It looks like Trump was actually impressed by the French Bastille Day parade with its tanks and howitzers parading down the Champs-Elysées and started bringing out the big stuff! It's still hard to outdo Russia in terms of military parades, with its strategic bombers flying over all of the country's notable cities on the 9th of May (I myself have a couple pics of Tu-95s, 160s and refuelers flying over the main street of the city my in laws live in, I have to dig them up) but it's still a big step forward.

However, the previous administrations were not unjustified in being shy in terms of bomber displays. The B-52s are ridiculously huge, not fit for most airstrips, and are often being upgraded or overhauled, B-1 flight time is expensive and they're heavily needed all over the world anyways, and there are no more than 20 B-2s in existence since one crashed on Diego Garcia island; due to their rarity, extremely high performance and price, even the USA can't afford to lose another one to a crash.

Actually, since it's an order of magnitude higher than the price of other military planes, let's talk a little about the price of the B-2 bombers. They cost $2.2 BILLION, that's more than the GDP of some countries, 22 tons of $100 bills (these weigh 1 gram each), enough to fund the 10 most expensive films in history, buy a second French Charles de Gaulle CVN, buy 58 Su-30 Flankers (or at least 30-35 with lots of weaponry and pilot training), and finally, such a sum would buy enough flats and villas to create a real estate empire on the Costa Blanca or any other popular tourist spot or buy every citizen of the USA a decent car ; and that's the price of ONE bomber.

So, seeing one live is an once-in-a-lifetime experience that you'd better appreciate as much as you can if one of you guys have the occasion to do so!
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Post by wendovertom » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:09 pm

Ditto on everything already said - as a show organizer I can attest to many of the scheduling difficulties as well.
Funny thing about the B-52 - the wing tip "bogie" landing gear have a nasty habit of being just the right distance from the runway center line to whack off the runway lights as the B-52 taxies down a runway or down a taxi strip that is not wide enough :D

Tom P.
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Post by AvgeekJoe » Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:12 am

Going to Travis' show for several reasons. One of which is to see the C-5 Galaxy fly out of its own base.

But yeah, it'd be wonderful if the B-1B would come to say... Abbotsford International to sit static and then take off Departure Monday. PLEASE.
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Post by TooTallDean » Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:16 am

AvgeekJoe wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:12 am

But yeah, it'd be wonderful if the B-1B would come to say... Abbotsford International to sit static and then take off Departure Monday. PLEASE.
AIAS did have the B-1 do a demo many years ago, probably early 90's.
And the B-2 did a fly-past one year also. 1997, according to this.
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Post by SR71Habu » Sun May 19, 2019 7:17 pm

Was fortunate to have seen a KC-10 Extender and 2 B-1's doing a simulated re-fueling at the McGuire AFB Joint Base Airshow in NJ around 2006. It was awesome!! I also would be playing golf at nearby Hanover Country Club with my father and brothers, and they would have to keep yelling at me to play golf and not watch the C-141 Starlifters flying in and out of McGuire!
Last edited by SR71Habu on Sun May 19, 2019 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by mkoeh475 » Tue May 28, 2019 12:20 pm

I feel really lucky now that EAA had the b1, b52 and a b2 flyover a few years ago. I'm just starting to get into airshows so I had no idea at the time.
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