In May 1953 it was decided to establish a display teams that could showcase the newest jets, and how well the Air Force's people could handle them. The plane they would showcase was F-84G.

The "3600th Air Demonstration Team" was declared ready on June 1 same year. The team had then already been together training for 6 weeks.

Why the name "Thunderbirds"
The team still had no name. There were already "Sky-blazers" "Acrojets", "Blue Angels" and now "The 3600th Air Demonstration Team". Therefore, in june, a competition was launched at the airbase (Luke AFB), where the team was stationed at the time.

The name chosen was "Thunderbirds". The name has strong ties to the Native American culture, and in short it is about the fight between good and evil.

Thunderbirds celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2003. Last time they visited Denmark was in 2000 at the Air Force Open Day at Skrydstrup Air Base, where low cloud cover, however, resulted in that they could only perform a reduced program.

Name Year  
F - 84G Thunderjet 1953 - 1955  
F - 84F Thunderstreak 1955 - 1956  
F - 100C Super Sabre 1956 - 1964  
F - 100B Thunderchief 1964  
F - 100D Super Sabre 1964 - 1969  
F - 4E Phantom II 1969 - 1974  
T - 38A Talon 1974 - 1983  
F - 16A Fighting Falcon 1983 - 1992  
F - 16C Fighting Falcon 1992 -  

Thunderbirds homepage


Blue Angels
At the end of World War II, the Chief of Naval Operations, Chester W. Nimitz, ordered the formation of a flight demonstration team to keep the public interested in Naval Aviation.

The Blue Angels performed their first flight demonstration less than a year later in June 1946 at their home base, Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Florida. The team was the flying the Grumman F-6F Hellcat.

Why the name "Blue Angels"
The name was originated by the original team when planning a show in New York in 1946. One of them came across the name of the city’s famous Blue Angel nightclub in the New Yorker Magazine.

Blue Angels  celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1996.

Blue Angels

Name Year  
F - 6F Hellcat 1946  
F - 8F Bearcat 1946 -  
F - 9F-2 Panther - 1951  
F - 9F-5 Panther 1951 - 1955  
F - 9F-8 Cougar 1955 -1957  
F - 11F-1 Tiger 1957 - 1969  
F-4J Phantom II 1969 - 1974  
A - 4F Skyhawk II 1974 - 1986  
F/A - 18 Hornet 1986 -  

Blue Angels homepage


Red Arrows
The 1950s and 1960s were the heyday of Royal Air Force jet aerobatic display teams. By the mid-60s almost every Flying Training School, and several operational squadrons, had their own teams. So much time, effort and money was being expended on these non-established tasks that the Royal Air Force eventually decided to disband them all and form a single, full-time professional team.
Thus, in 1964, the Red Pelicans flying six Jet Provost T Mk 4s became the first team to represent the Royal Air Force as a whole.

In that same year a team of five yellow Folland Gnat jet trainers, known as the Yellowjacks, was formed at No 4 Flying Training School at Royal Air Force Valley in north Wales, led by Flight Lieutenant Lee Jones.
The following year Jones was posted to the Central Flying School (CFS) to form the Red Arrows.
Red Arrows - Her med en F-117 Nighthawk

Why the name "Red Arrows"

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team (RAFAT), the formal name of the Red Arrows, began life at RAF Fairford in Glouces­tershire, then a satellite of CFS.

Initially there were seven display pilots and ten Gnat jet trainers. The name ‘Red Arrows’ was chosen to combine the appeal and expertise of two earlier teams, the famous Black Arrows and the Red Pelicans.
Name Year  
F - 6F Hellcat 1946  
F - 8F Bearcat 1946 -  
Hawk 1980 -  

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