Airshow Teams Announce 2012 Schedules

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The Air Force Thunderbirds and the Navy's Blue Angels released their 2012 schedules last week at the International Council of Air Shows annual meeting in Las Vegas. Both teams fly their first show in March -- the Angels at El Centro, Calif., and the Thunderbirds in Yuma, Ariz. The Thunderbirds also are scheduled to fly at Sun 'n Fun, in Florida, March 31 and April 1. The ICAS schedule can be downloaded here (PDF). Besides the military teams, however, much of the season's schedule remains to be filled -- the slot for EAA AirVenture, for example, is nearly empty -- but you might find your favorite airshow on the 13-page list.

Recently, with Washington stalled over the national budget, concerns have arisen that the military jet teams may be affected. Last week, about 100 performances by Air Force one-ship teams were grounded to save money, but at least so far, the two jet teams seem to be fully funded for another year. The Blue Angels cost about $37 million per year to keep flying, according to The Associated Press. AVweb's Mary Grady spoke with John Cudahy, president of ICAS, about the coming airshow season; click here for that podcast.