The Blues are Back!

After a nearly 2 year hiatus, due to Sequestration, the United States Navy’s premier jet aerobatics team The Blue Angels are back in New England. If you don’t remember they were last at the Service Credit Union Boston-Portsmouth Airshow in 2012.

USN Blue Angels Diamond Formation

This is the Blue Angels only New England performance this year. This is also the ONLY airshow in New England this year and it’s going to be a great one!

The view of Quonset Point from a Blackhawk Helicopter

The 23rd anniversary event is held at Quonset State Airport (OQU) in North Kingstown RI on May 17th and 18th. The Rhode Island National Guard Open House and Airshow is the only place to be this weekend! The airshow is just a little over 2 hours from Londonderry and it will be well worth the drive. Gates open at 9AM and flying begins at 10AM both Saturday and Sunday. The show ends at approximately 4:30PM. Airshows are fun for the whole family but for little ones make sure you bring ear protection as some of the aircraft can be loud. The event is free and open to the public. There is a $10 voluntary donation collected at the entrance gates to support the Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

The show is packed with excitement and some ALL NEW acts this year! The Collings Foundation will be bringing their FM-2 Wildcat and their A-1E Sky Raider to the show.

Collings Foundations's A-1E Skyraider

These fabulous warbirds from the WWII era will be flying for all to see. Julie Clark Airshows will be bringing the Juice Plus T-34 Mentor and the Bremont Horsemen Flight Team will be bringing their Bearcats to the skies over North Kingstown. There will be a Heritage Flight which will include a P-51D, an and the USAF’s premier fighter the F-22A Raptor.

F-22A Raptor

An all new act the Jack Links Waco Bi-Plane makes it’s debut at the airshow this weekend. It is a Jet Powered Bi-Plane named Sasquatch!

Jack Links Jet Waco "Sasquatch"

This will be a real treat to see as Lt Col. John Klatt will be flying this unique plane. Lt Col Klatt will also be piloting his MXS in an aerobatic show you won’t soon forget.

Lt. Col. John Klatt

Rob Holland will also be taking the skies in his MXS. Rob really can rip up the skies with his exhilarating performances.

Rob Holland Ultimate Airshows

Sean D. Tucker over Bonnet Point, RI

You can expect to see Sean D Tucker flying the Oracle Challenger III over Quonset Point. Sean is a New England airshow staple. One of his signature moves is the Triple Ribbon Cut which he slices through 3 ribbons in 3 different orientations with his aircraft 20’ off the ground at over 200 MPH!

Sean D. Tucker

The Geico Skytypers Airshow Team will be flying their six vintage WWII era aircraft and performing precision maneuvers which will blow you away. The sound of the six North American SNJ-2’s, the Navy’s version of the T-6 Texan, flying overhead will give you goosebumps as their massive radial engines come to life.

Geico Skytypers

The United States Marines will be bringing their VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) aircraft, the V-22 Osprey, to the show. It will dazzle you as it takes off like a helicopter and then flies like a plane. The only propeller driven aircraft which can do this in the United States military. You won’t want to miss this one!

V-22 Osprey

It will be time for some jet noise when the United States Air Force brings their current air superiority fighter the F-22A Raptor to the skies and it will dazzle you! From it’s takeoff to vertical climbing rates it is the best fighter aircraft in the skies today. You will witness why the USAF reigns supreme in the skies today.

F-22A Raptor

To cap off a great day of flying the USN Blue Angels will show you why they are the nations premiere precision jet aerobatic team. Four USN F/A-18C’s will take off in unison and be in formation before the end of the runway. The two opposing solos will then take off from the opposite end of the runway and begin their part of the show. I can’t explain to you how great it feels to be this close to airshow season here in New England. It is a short one this year but you do not want to miss it!

USN Blue Angels

In addition to all the flying acts there will be static aircraft from the Massachusetts Air National Guard with their F-15 Eagles. The USAF will be bringing a C-5 Galaxy from Westover, MA as well. Other military aircraft will include KC-135R from our very own 157th Air Refueling Wing based out of Pease, C-130, F-14 Tomcat, Cobra, F-4 Phantom, and various aircraft from the Quonset Air Museum.

Looking down the runway

For more information about the RI ANG Open House and Airshow and directions to the airshow please visit their website.
For a list of commonly asked questions FAQs click here.
The full list of performers and their respective website links can be found here.

Sean D. Tucker over Narragansett Beach

About Pete Langlois
Pete Langlois lives in Derry with his wife and two children. Pete’s day job is in information technology as a systems administrator. He is an accomplished photographer and loves to shoot at air shows and balloon festivals. He also enjoys shooting waterfalls, nature and macro photography. You can view and purchase his outstanding images on his website.


The Blues Have Landed!

Wednesday June 27th is a day I won’t soon forget.  I was chosen to fly with the NH ANG 157th Refueling Wing out of Pease ANG base in Portsmouth, NH.  We would be on a mission to refuel the USN Blue Angels before their arrival to the Service Credit Union Boston-Portsmouth Airshow. I arrived at 11:30AM and after signing some waivers I boarded a blue bus and was taken inside the base.

Maj Denton & Lt Costa

We then went through another screening, similar to a TSA screening before boarding a commercial airline, and then had our pre-flight briefing.  We were then bused over to another building where the 157th Wing Commander Col. Paul “Hutch” Hutchinson gave us a history of the base.  We also had a Q&A session in which we were able to ask questions about our flight.  We would be flying down to South Carolina and meeting up with the Blue Angels for the refueling run.

Our Awesome Flight Crew

After our briefing ended we were then bused over to the KC-135R’s.  There were two of them callsigns were Pack 61 and Pack 62.  I was in the trailing KC-135R callsign Pack 62.  We were able to get situated and took off shortly thereafter.  Once airborne we could walk freely around the aircraft.  We were able to explore the cockpit and where the boom operator refuels the aircraft.  The boom operator lies flat on his stomach and I was able to operate the boom before the Blue Angels arrived.  It was a really a once in a lifetime experience.

Blue Angels arriving off our wing

Refueling Blue Angel 6

Blue Angels 4, 5 & 6 showed up off the right side of the plane and were ready to refuel.  Blue Angels 5 and 6 were on the right side of the plane right off our wingtip while Blue Angel 4 refueled.  The 3 jets took turns refueling, Blue Angels 1, 2, & 3 were assigned to Pack 61 ahead of us.  Once the jets were all fueled up they got into formation behind us and turned on the smoke.  I was right in the boom operators seat when this happened.  Luckily, I was there as they only were in this position for a very short time.  They then flew in formation to behind Pack 61 and stayed there for a short while.

The Blue Angels broke off from us and stayed around 24000 feet and we ascended to 33000 feet.  They were soon out of sight and we were headed back to Pease for our landing.  The Blue Angels arrived at Pease before us and actually flew over my house in Derry.  I was fortunate enough to ride in the cockpit during landing.  We had a terrific flight crew headed by Pilot Maj Denton, Co-Pilot Lt Costa, MSgt Ingram, SMSgt Jauss and MSgt Girouard were our boom operators.

Formation Flying behind Pack 62

Hats off to the men and women of the 157th Air Refueling Wing a vital part of our NH community.  You can see the Blue Angels perform at the Service Credit Union Boston-Portsmouth Airshow Saturday June 30th and Sunday July 1st.  Gates open at 8AM both days.  To purchase tickets visit the airshow website.

Blue Angels 5 & 6 off our wing

Pete Langlois lives in Derry with his wife and 2 children. Pete works in the information technology banking sector as a systems administrator. He is an accomplished photographer and loves to shoot at air shows & balloon festivals.  He also enjoys shooting waterfalls, nature and macro photography. You can view his outstanding images on his website

Blue Angels 4 and 5 off our wing

Blue Angels flying in formation behind Pack 61 taken from the cockpit of Pack 62

Final Approach