» UNMATCHED COVERAGE: USAF Thunderbirds: News Center 7 gets rare look at training grounds
The first demonstration team flew and maintained the F-84G Thunderjet. “The straight-wing configuration of the F-84G was considered well suited for aerobatic and demonstration maneuvers, though the aircraft could not exceed the speed of sound,” according to the Thunderbirds team.
The Thunderbirds have traded aircraft throughout the years, flying the F-84F Thunderstreak, the F-105B Thunderchief, the F-100Ds and the F-16.
» TRENDING COVERAGE: Blue Angels thrill Dayton crowd with performance
The Thunderbirds did not fly at the Vectren Dayton Air Show this year. Military jet teams like the Thunderbirds and the Navy Blue Angels are the biggest draw for the air show and organizers bank on their appearance to bring tens of thousands to the grounds at James M. Cox Dayton International Airport. The show can draw as many as 65,000 or more spectators when the teams fly, officials say.
In 2016, the Thunderbirds crashed prior to the Dayton Air Show, and injured Pilot Capt. Erik Gonsalves and Tactical Aircraft Maintainer Staff Sgt. Kenneth Cordova. The F-16 sustained significant damage, and the Thunderbirds cancelled all performances at the air show.
WATCH the Thunderbirds commemorate 65 years.
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