US Army Aviation at Airshows?

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Ken91
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US Army Aviation at Airshows?

Post by Ken91 » Tue Apr 27, 2021 5:56 pm

Does anyone know why the US Army doesn't have some helos or other aircraft perform at airshows? I'd love to see an AH-64 Apache demo. Why not use airshow performances as a recruiting tool? Just curious.
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RyanS
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Post by RyanS » Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:37 pm

Ken91 wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 5:56 pm Does anyone know why the US Army doesn't have some helos or other aircraft perform at airshows? I'd love to see an AH-64 Apache demo. Why not use airshow performances as a recruiting tool? Just curious.
I have always thought this and I think I made comments on this topic in another recent thread.

In 15 years of airshows I have seen exactly two Apache "demos" from the US Army. I have also seen what I would call mini-demos by National Guard Blackhawks at a few small shows.



When I went to the Sanicole show in Belgium, the helicopter demos absolutely blew me away! The use of flares didn't hurt, of course. Imagine the excitement of seeing this at a US show:





Many years ago, someone told me that the top brass in the Army mostly came from the infantry side of things, so they shut down any attempts to recruit using aviation or armor. I'm not sure if that's true or not but it certainly feels like it could be.

Perhaps the Army likes the parachute teams because they focus more on people than machinery, but while the teams do offer a cool element to a show, most people passively watch them then jam the fence when a cool aircraft taxies out. On the plus side for the parachute teams, they also perform jumps into stadiums and smaller events that don't have any airshow component. The Golden Knights do a lot of competition work too that isn't all that well publicized I don't think.

One draw back to establishing some sort of helo demo team is the difficult logistics of traveling between shows. The jet demo teams can easily crisscross the country but it'd take forever in a helicopter. You would likely need many regional demo teams to cover a majority of the country, and at that point you're talking a large investment in training them.

The Army did contract with the Skysoldiers for a brief time, allowing them to perform a four ship Cobra routine at shows in the Army colors. The show was fantastic and something I'd kill to see today. Sadly the plug was pulled pretty quickly.

If you want to see the Skysoldiers demo team (in terrible quality) you can download a video of the show here:
http://www.airshowstuff.com/Website%20V ... rmance.wmv
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Ryan Sundheimer
www.AirshowStuff.com

awal2049
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Post by awal2049 » Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:48 pm

I feel very lucky to have been at the 2017 SC Guard Show at JNGB McEntire. They had some Army National Guard AH-64's participate in a Combined Arms Demo like no other. Admittedly the quality of this video is pretty bad, and I was still new to recording videos. But yeah, performances like this are one-off and once in a blue moon.

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Ken91
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Post by Ken91 » Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:27 pm

Thanks for the info and commentary, Ryan & awal2049.

It does make sense that it would be harder for helicopter teams to cross the country for airshows. In any case, I'd still love to see some demos, mini-demos, flybys sometime in the future.
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