Around the world there are a number of government-run aerial demonstration teams. Australia has the Roulettes, Canada the Snowbirds, and Great Britian has the Red Arrows. The United States has two of these government-run teams, the US Air Force Thunderbirds & the US Navy Blue Angels. If you’re an American AvGeek, you’ve likely seen one of those domestic teams in your lifetime.
However there are some privately-run Aerial demonstration jet teams in the world, the largest of which is sponsored by luxury watch manufacturer Brietling. The Breitling Jet Team, composed of seven L-39C Albatros jet aircraft, have announced a major change to their 2015 schedule.
In 2015, Breitling will again be seen above the Wisconsin skies during the AirVenture Airshow. In 2013, Yves Rossy the Breitling Watches-sponsored Jet Man made his first US displays above the Oshkosh skies. Next year, the Breitling Jet team will be making its first US appearance above that same airport. After their time at the AirVenture Airshow, they will make their way over to Reno and perform at the Reno Air Races.
“I am very excited that the Breitling Jet Team will finally perform in the United States,” said Breitling USA President Thierry Prissert. “They have performed all over the world and this is the first chance to show U.S. audiences what they can do and inspire younger generations of American aviation enthusiasts with their precision flying and breathtaking performances.”
Prissert continued, “It is a costly investment to support this Jet Team and I am grateful that our headquarters in Switzerland value Breitling’s involvement in the American world of Aviation enough to share the Breitling Jet Team with us in the United States.”
The two other private jet teams in the USA, the Black Diamond’s & the Patriots both fly the same L-39 aircraft, however they utilize teams of five & six respectively. The Aero L-39 Albatros is a Czechoslovakian-built two-seat trainer that flew with a number of air forces and is currently the most widely used jet trainer in the world.
Built originally to act as an introductory jet trainer to bridge to faster jet aircraft, when it was time to be replaced by more modern aircraft, the civilian market was been flooded with these planes. So much so that in 2012, 255 of the aircraft were registered with the FAA for private use. At $200,000 a piece, even I would be tempted to buy one!
With the military demonstration teams added to the mix, it means that there will be a huge variety of aircraft doing displays at events and airshows around the USA. Bringing a team of eight jets to the USA for just two airshows would be quite a lot of money, so I’m hoping for additional dates to be announced in the future.