MEET THE PERFORMERS
United States Air Force Thunderbirds
The Thunderbirds have the honor of representing nearly 700,000 active duty, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, and civilian Airmen across America and deployed around the world.
Flying JBER F-22's, the Air Combat Command F-22 Demonstration Team at Langley Air Force Base performs precision aerial maneuvers to demonstrate the unique capabilities of the world's only operational fifth-generation fighter aircraft. The team also joins up with Air Force Heritage flight, exhibiting the professional qualities the Air Force develops in the people who fly, maintain, and support these aircraft.
C-17 Demonstration Team
Flying the newest, most flexible cargo aircraft in the USAF, the Pacific Air Forces C-17 demonstration team embodies Air Force’s global reach mission. Showcasing the operating capabilities of the fly-by-wire C-17 includes tactical departures, maneuvers, and its ability to take-off and land in distances as short as 3500 feet, at weights up to 585,000 pounds. A strategic airlifter capable of tactical insertion of troops and oversized equipment like a fully loaded M1 Abrams tank, the C-17 represents the present and future of Air Force airlift.
Joint Force Demonstration
Watch the precision with which our U.S. Army and Air Force members from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson work together to simulate infiltrating, seizing, and commanding an airfield, as an aggressor aircraft, F-22, C-17, UH-60, and Army paratroopers all combine for this spectacular display. Each plays a crucial role in taking over an airfield, and this demonstration emphasizes the importance of the ability for the different branches of our Department of Defense to join together to embody the mantra of “one team, one fight”.
212th Rescue Squadron Para-Rescue Jumpers
Opening the Arctic Thunder Open House, an Alaska Air National Guard (AKANG) C-130 will illustrate the low-level expertise of its aircrew with a flyby airdrop of pararescue jumpers from AKANG’s 212th Rescue Squadron. The only full-spectrum personnel recovery experts in all of the United States Department of Defense, pararescue members will deliver the United States Flag to show center, ushering in the start of this year’s events.
Red Bull – Kirby Chambliss & Red Bull Air Force
At 21 years old Kirby Chambliss was flying corporate planes for La Quinta Motor Inn. One day, the chief pilot said, ‘Hey, if this jet ever ends up upside down with a CEO on board, we want you to be able to turn it right side up without killing everyone.’ Kirby thought, ‘Makes sense to me!’” From that point on, flying became more than Kirby had ever imagined.
In the early 2000’s, Kirby was recognized as one of the top 15 aerobatic pilots in the world and was asked to compete in the very first Red Bull Air Race. There, he transferred his explosive, aggressive flying style to the racetrack and is now a two time Red Bull Air Race World Champion.
For Arctic Thunder Open House 2018, Kirby along with the Red Bull Air Force will perform breathtaking acts that are sure to amaze.
GhostWriter Air Shows
Originally designed as a trainer for the Royal Canadian Air Force, our 1956 deHavilland Chipmunk has been specially modified for Airshow aerobatics and Skywriting. Nearly 3,000 man-hours over a two year period were spent on developing the GhostWriter into the finest example of a Super Chipmunk. It now boasts a cruising speed of 150mph, and a range of more than 500 miles. It will climb at a rate of 2,500 feet per minute, with a ceiling of 17,500 feet.
If you recognize the airplane, that's no surprise. GhostWriter developed a well established career in the Airshow and Skywriting industry as the Pepsi SkyDancer for 25 years. In 2016 Nathan K. Hammond took the controls and has been captivating audiences with the smooth lines and raw horsepower of the unparalleled Super Chipmunk ever since.
Growing up admiring the T-33 trainer, Greg Colyer made it his mission to fly this iconic aircraft and lead others to pursue a passion in aviation. Step back in time to the beginning of the Jet Age, into the cockpit of America’s first jet trainer aircraft, as Greg puts the “Ace Maker” through her paces, just as the United States Air Force and Navy’s newest pilots did almost 70 years ago.
Wings of Freedom
Wings of Freedom, founded by Mr. Chuck Miller, is dedicated to providing a collection of flyable warbirds that played a role in shaping Alaska’s aviation heritage. Housed in a WW-II era hangar at Merrill Field, Wings of Freedom provided a T-6 and L-13 at Arctic Thunder 2016. Wings of Freedom had previously been the home of one of the world’s last remaining Mitsubishi Zero, which flew in the 2012 Arctic Thunder Air Show as well as in the 2013 Alaska Aviation Centennial Celebration.
Commemorative Air Force
The Commemorative Air Force was founded in 1957 and chartered as a non-profit in 1961 to restore, preserve, operate and maintain WWII-era aircraft. The Alaska Wing is dedicated to preserving the military heritage of Alaskan aviation, and flies the bright yellow AT-6 Harvard Mk IV, the yellow and blue BT-13, and the L-2 Grasshopper. The Harvard MkIIB was built under license in Montreal for the Royal Canadian Air Force, the RAF and the USAAF, with a total of 2,557 built. The Harvard was known to fly to Annette Island in Alaska during WWII, where Canadian units were stationed, adding strength to the 11th Air Force. The BT-13 was first flown in 1939, and was the WWII-era basic trainer flown by most pilots. Pilots would graduate to the advanced trainer, the AT-6, prior to being assigned to their main fighter aircraft or bomber. The L-2 Grasshopper was manufactured by Taylorcraft beginning in 1941 and was used an observation aircraft during WW-II to spot enemy troops and supplies, as well as direct artillery fire. After WWII, many aircraft were converted to civilian use and flown around bush Alaska.
When Oshinuga isn’t defying gravity and etching his name further up on the map of aerial heroes, he operates his own flight touring business, AirOshi, in which he provides clients with a scenic view of the Southern California wineries from his home away from home-- the sky. As he strives for what is expected to be a stellar year, Oshinuga is eager to spread his insight and talent for young minds to absorb and embark on the path that has given this aviator, engineer, entrepreneur, and idol to many his coveted podium in life.
Kent Pietsch Airshows
Equal parts aviator, educator, and comedian of the skies.
Air Show spectators around the world have been treated to the unique variety of acts performed by veteran pilot and consummate entertainer Kent Pietsch and his Jelly Belly airplanes. His shows, which include specialty acts designed to thrill audiences of all ages, showcase aerobatic stunts featuring airplanes that lose parts, engines that quit in mid-flight, and landings onto runways mounted on moving vehicles.
As a premier air show performer Kent strives to show the freedom of flight. While his acts push the limits of what he and his airplane can do, Kent adheres to strict safety standards making him a true professional in the air show field.
Will Allen Airshows
Get ready for a different kind of performance as Will Allen, the “Rock n Roll Airshow Man”, puts on a show that is a combination aerial display and rock concert! Using state of the art broadcasting equipment, Will is able to sing and announce live from the airplane in a way never done before.
Flying to his custom-written soundtrack, he sings and interacts with the crowd, giving the feel of a lead singer getting the fans on their feet at a concert. The music was arranged and recorded in Will’s home recording studio with the help of his many professional musician friends- even including a full horn section, which gives the rock music an energy and power that compliments the maneuvers of the Rock n Roll Pitts.
STOL Super Cub
Known for its incredibly capable bush flying, the STOL Super Cub is a popular choice amongst pilots looking to traverse the wilds of ALASKA! The STOL, or short takeoff and landing, is a crucial competence required for aircraft and pilots in the Last Frontier, carrying people, supplies, and equipment into and out of rugged terrain. This demonstration showcases the talent and know-how of bush pilots everywhere!
Jon Melby first learned to fly at age 8, when he created a pile of leaves in his Duluth, Minnesota lawn, climbed onto the roof of his 2 story home, and jumped like a bird into the leaves! He has been hooked on flying ever since. At the age of 12, he had the opportunity to meet the legendary airshow pilot Bob Hoover at a local airshow. Hoover’s sincerity and great personality gave Jon the inspiration to pursue his dream of flying. When he was financially able, Jon made it a goal to achieve his solo in a glider before his 16th birthday. In only 8 flights, he achieved his goal by riding his bicycle 45 miles each hot Arizona July weekend to the nearest glider airport. It was this type of determination that inspired Jon to purchase an airplane at age 19, and then hired an instructor to learn to fly it! He received his pilot’s license by flying every day for a period of 3 weeks, yet eventually yearned to do more in an airplane. Now, flying “extreme” freestyle aerobatics, Jon enjoys flying Airshows, so he can encourage both adults and children to pursue their dreams, much like Bob Hoover did for him.
Come see Quique Somenzini demonstrate his 3D F-16QQ PNP jet. With an amazing thrust to weight ratio, this jet can perform acrobatic stunts that can leave you breathless. The pilots of the F-22 and F-35, both manned 5th generation aircraft, can only dream of aerobatics this UAS performs with ease.
Quique Somenzini is a professional UAS pilot and designer from Springfield, OH. He was crowned world champion during the 25'th Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in 2007 and is considered one of the top UAS pilots in the world. Hailing originally from Rio Cuarto, Argentina, he started his odyssey in UAS competitions in 1979, making him the youngest ever to compete in the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale at 12 years old. He specializes in 3-D flying.
FREE ADMISSION & PARKING
Arctic Thunder General Public Entry
- Gate # 1 - Boniface Parkway
- Gate # 2 - Fort Richardson via D Street Exit
For those arriving from North of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (Eagle River or the Valley), please enter through the Fort Richardson Gate via D Street Exit. For those arriving from Anchorage or South of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, please enter through the Boniface Gate via Boniface Parkway.
You will be directed to FREE general parking after entry.
From 7:30 a.m. to noon, the Boniface Gate will have three lanes inbound and one lane outbound.
After 2 p.m., no open house traffic will be allowed through Boniface Gate or Richardson Gate.
*Individuals with children are requested to pick up arm bands at Entry Control Points or in Hangar 2.
*Handicap parking is available for vehicles with the proper identification and markings.
For additional information about premium seating and corporate tents please click below for more information.