USAF Cuts Back on Air Show Demos

US Air Force F-22 Raptor

U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command – Fans hoping to hear some thunder at air shows around the country will have fewer chances in 2012 thanks to an announcement by the ACC that it is putting the F-15, F-16, and A-10 jet demonstration teams on hold due to budgetary constraints. This leaves only the F-22 Raptor single-plane team on the schedule for 20 air shows in 2012, along with the famous Thunderbirds 6-jet Demonstration Team.
The Air Force had two fighter jet teams each in two units, one for the east and one for the western half of the country, along with one F-15 unit that provided aircraft and demonstrations for many air shows each season. Air Combat Command cited a reallocation of these planes and personnel to the front lines to offset other reductions in flying hours as the reason for the cutbacks.
The aerial demonstrations are also used at air shows for recruiting, and some of the smaller air shows rely on booking an ACC demo team to attract a larger crowd which is important for revenue to continue putting on the air shows. Some argue that this significant reduction will hurt recruiting efforts and attendance.

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