Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Friday, February 15, 2013

St. Louis County Airshow Returns in 2014: A Look Back at the 2006-2007 Airshows

By Leo Cachat
The Midwest aviation community received some great news a few months ago - St. Louis County will bring back the airshow at Spirit of St. Louis Airport in 2014, with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels as the headliner.  No doubt other top-tier performers will be featured, as in the past, so I thought it would be a good time to look back at some of the aircraft that participated in the 2006 and 2007 shows, the last two years there was a show at Spirit of St. Louis Airport.  Here is my photo essay on what we saw in the past in anticipation of even more spectacular aerial performances next year.

2006 featured some acts and aircraft that will never be seen again. The late great Jim LeRoy flew his Bulldog at the show with his style of hardcore down and dirty aerobatics. This would be the last time we would get to enjoy this great performer as he would pass in accident at the Dayton Air Show in 2007. Truly a great pilot and an even better man:

We also witnessed the now disbanded Red Baron Stearman Squadron with their slow, loud, precision aerobatics:

Not just one, but two F-117 Stealth fighters performed some low passes: 


Several unique Heritage and Legacy Flights were featured.  A Heritage Flight that consisted of a P-51D "Gunfighter," A-10 Thunderbolt II and QF-4E Phantom II was spectacular:


A  Legacy Flight featured an F-4U-5 Corsair and an F/A-18C Hornet:


A Texan Flight flew with a warbird SNJ Texan and the current T-6 Texan II: 

Jurgis Kairys put his Sukhoi SU-31 through its paces: 


The B-1B made three passes, concluding with a high speed afterburner climb into the cloudy sky heading back to Dyess AFB in Texas:

The AV-8B Harrier flew a solo demonstration at the show:


The grounds were also filled with a varying array of aircraft including two DC-3's. One was the Turner Classic Movies DC-3 "Rose" and the other was a beautiful Ozarks Airlines DC-3 that gave rides for a fee. There were also a TBM-3 Avenger and a German Tornado attack aircraft. 



2007 featured the Blue Angels as the main attraction, but definitely not the only attraction. While watching arrivals Friday morning, it was St. Louis' own 131st FW that stole the show as one of their F-15's provided the best passes I've ever seen before finally landing. This was followed by many different aircraft which arrived both as static displays and performers:


This show also featured Skip Stewart and his plane Prometheus, the Red Baron Stearman Squadron, a U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II, and the P-51D Mustang "Moonbeam McSwine," which also flew the Heritage Flight with the A-10.

The U.S.M.C. C-130 Fat Albert flew an awesome demonstration before the F/A-18 Hornets of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels took to the skies with their demonstration of the power and grace, skill and ability that it takes to put on the show they do. 2014 can't get here soon enough!


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