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Thunderbirds revamp show, with debut set this weekend in Florida |

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Thunderbirds revamp show, with debut set this weekend in Florida

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- The Thunderbirds have a new show, and will debut their "redesigned aerial demonstration" at the Cocoa Beach Air Show in Florida on Saturday and Sunday.

The announcement came Thursday morning on Twitter:

(1/2) We’re excited to kickoff the 2021 show season and debut our new aerial demonstration and ground show at Cocoa Beach Air Show this weekend.

Learn more about our revised show below:

Press release: https://t.co/c6WcscUkah

Informational video: https://t.co/d6xejRS8yJ pic.twitter.com/i7WRFz9AHU

— Thunderbirds (@AFThunderbirds) April 15, 2021

“We are very excited about the changes we have made to our show and ground performance,” said Col. John Caldwell, Thunderbirds commander and leader. “One of our main goals was to take a look at our show sequence and enhance the design with the crowd experience in mind.”

The Thunderbirds, who call Nellis Air Force Base home, can often be seen in the skies over Las Vegas.

"The Thunderbirds have been flying the same aerial demonstration since 1983, when the team converted to the F-16," according to a Facebook video released on Tuesday. "This is the first time in four decades the team has changed the demonstration."

When shows were grounded during the COVID-19 pandemic, it opened the opportunity to make some changes.

Among the changes:

  • Addition of two new maneuvers: "the Low Bomb Burst with Hit, which will be flown in every show; and the Stinger Cross Break, which will only be performed during the 6-ship low and flat shows as well as 5-ship shows."
  • Reordering of maneuvers
  • Streamlined ground show.
  • Overall show reduced from 90 to 50 minutes.
  • New music and revised narration.

“The best action is going to be right there on the show line,” Caldwell said. “The crowd will feel the thunder in their chest by hearing the jets roar, seeing the speed, seeing the motion, and seeing the precision of our team while flying 18 inches apart and project the power, pride, and professionalism of the U.S. Air Force to the American public.”

Individuals interested in viewing the Thunderbirds debut their new demonstration can watch it in-person at the 2021 Cocoa Beach Air Show in Florida or view it online at no charge via the AirDotShow Livestream here: https://air.show/livestream.