The Extreme Blue Thunder Air Show will be headlined by the Navy Blue Angels, flying their signature blue and gold trimmed F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets. The Blue Angels last appeared in Idaho Falls in 2010. More than 45,000 people purchased tickets for the two-day event, generating an estimated $20 million in regional economic activity and raising $250,000 for the Mayor’s Youth Scholarship Fund.
F-35 HERITAGE FLIGHT
Last year, the Idaho Falls Air Show Board of Directors applied for the prestigious F-35 Heritage Flight through the Department of Defense. After a rigorous selection process, Idaho Falls was selected as one of only twelve cities in North America to be awarded a Air Force (USAF) F-35 Heritage Flight. The Heritage Flight, a program founded in 1997, celebrates the USAF 50th anniversary and honors those who have served or are serving. The aircraft will be performing alongside fighter/attack aircraft from World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
The F-35 is the Air Force’s latest fifth-generation fighter and provides next-generation stealth, enhanced situational awareness, and reduced vulnerability for the United States and allied nations. Nine countries were involved in developing the aircraft (United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Australia). The advanced sensor package in the F-35 is designed to gather, fuse and distribute more information than any fighter in history.
The F-35 Heritage Flight Team includes one pilot and 10 maintainers, all selected from the 61st Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base near Glendale, Ariz. Major Will Andreotta will pilot the jet during the Extreme Blue Thunder Air Show.
Brad Wursten, a Hyde Park, Utah Native will take to the skies alongside some of the best pilots in the world during the Extreme Blue Thunder Air Show. Wursten will fly in one of the most highly sophisticated airplanes in the world, the MXS-R made by MX Aircraft. The plane features a complete carbon fiber airframe that weighs an impressive 1100 lbs. The Lycoming engine has 385 HP and can reach a top speed of over 300 MPH, a roll rate of 420 degrees per second, and “G” loading at +/- 15 “G’s.” Wursten has more than 1500 hours of flying in various aircraft.
Wursten is working with the Ryan J. Poe Foundation’s youth program, “Elevate Your Life,” founded by air show performer Greg Poe following the tragic drug-related death of his son Ryan J. Poe in August 2002. The foundation’s mission is to utilize aviation to inspire, motivate and provide a path for young people to realize their dreams. The encouragement that young people receive to follow their dreams has been Wursten’s lifelong dream.
Julie Clark and the Smokin’ Mentor T-34 aerobatic team will entertain crowds in Idaho Falls on July 22 & 23.
Julie will be flying her beautifully restored T-34, “Free Spirit,” during a “Serenade in Red, White and Blue” patriotic presentation choreographed to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.” Top that off with multi-colored wingtip smoke trailing behind her every maneuver, and crowds will quickly realize why Julie has earned the admiration of fans across North America, garnering many awards and honors along the way.