Thunder Of Louisville

The Navy is in tooowwwnn (in my deepest voice)!!! The Blue Angels are flying high over the city practicing for the upcoming Thunder Over Louisville…the launch of the Kentucky Derby Festival. The actually Derby is not until the first Saturday in May, which this year will be May 3, 2014. But, we in Louisville like to extend the party and so we start nearly a month early. Mo’ money, Mo’ money, Mo’ money is the real reason; gotta make the most of what ya got in our city.

It is thrilling to say the least to have the Blue Angels searing through your skies, clicking along at 650 mph. I can only imagine the rush in the planes. They do a fantastic aerial performance that has people coming early and getting the best seats along the river. They are the pre show for the largest firework display around… even bigger than the 4th of July. It is synced with music that is played on a local radio station and jamming out of gigantic speakers downtown along the riverfront.

The line up for the air show is as follows:

3:00-3:08 p.m. Opening Ceremonies with the Kentucky Air National Guard Special Tactics Squadron Parachute Jumpers. Information:

3:08-4:08 p.m. The Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy’s flight demonstration squadron returns to the air show after federal government budget issues prevented them from flying in 2013. Information:

4:08-4:11 p.m. C-130 Hercules Kentucky Air National Guard tribute: The Hercules, which can reach 374 mph, is the prime means for dropping troops and equipment into hostile areas. Information:

4:11-4:19 p.m. Canadian Hawks CT-155. Each of the two planes is a British single-engine and a two-seat advanced weapons trainer and versions designed for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Information:

4:19-4:31 p.m. Matt Younkin, Twin Beech 18. This plane, built in 1943, was first used by the United States Army Air Corps. Information:

4:31-4:51 p.m. The Lima Lima Flight Team: The team flies sophisticated formations in six early A model T-34 Mentor aircraft that were used by the U.S. Navy and Air Force for primary training in the 1940s. Information:

4:51-5:01 p.m. Jay “Flash” Gordon, L39 Albatros: The Albatros is a Czechoslovakian-built ex-Russian Air Force aircraft built in 1983 and restored and painted in colors of the Royal Thai Air Force. Information:

5:01-5:11 p.m. German C-160: The Transall C-160 military transport aircraft developed by Transall, an association of French and German aircraft manufacturers, features turboprop engines, a high-mounted wing and an upswept tail above a rear-access ramp leading to a large-volume cargo hold that was used to transport troops and freight.

5:11-5:26 p.m. Trojan Horsemen T-28: The team flies six T-28 aircraft, also called the Trojan, which has a frameless canopy and a Wright R-1300 engine.

5:26-5:41 p.m. AceMaker T-33: The T-33 Lockheed Shooting Star was America’s first operational jet fighter and trainer with a routine featuring vertical rolls.

5:49-5:59 p.m. Cliff Robinson, PT-17: Robinson of Madison, Ind., owns this modified Stearman PT17 bi-plane, from those manufactured in the 1930s and ’40s. Information:

5:59-6:11 p.m. Team AeroDynamix RV Custom: This team flies 11 RV-Series custom-built aircraft with fixed wings that can attain speeds in excess of 230 mph. Each plane has its own paint scheme. Information:

6:11-6:21 p.m. Billy Werth, Pitts S2C: Werth flies corkscrews, spins and tumbles in a Pitts bi-plane that sports a red-white-and-blue design with stars on the wings and has a top speed of 212 mph.

6:21-6:33 p.m. Air Force F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team: The crew flies the Air Force’s newest fighter aircraft and made its last Thunder performance in 2012. Information:

6:33-18:43 p.m. John Klatt, MXS: Klatt maneuvers his MXS, a carbon fiber, two-seat tandem sport aircraft, through a series aerobatics.

6:43-7:03 p.m. Air Force F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team: See description above (6:21-6:33 p.m.).

7:03-7:13 p.m. Air Force Heritage Flight Program: Featuring the F-22 Raptor, the P-47 Thunderbolt and the P-51 Mustang aircraft, the performance combines state-of-the-art fighter aircraft in close formation with vintage fighter aircraft.

7:13-7:23 p.m. UPS 767: United Parcel Service Inc. showcases its flagship Boeing 767, which in regular use can carry up to 24 package containers weighing a maximum of 132,000 pounds.

7:23-7:33 p.m. Nick Coleman, Christen Eagle: Lt. Col. Nick Coleman of the Kentucky Air National Guard flies.

7:33-7:43 p.m. Red Star, Yak-52: The Red Star team flies its formation aerobatics with seven Yakovlev or Yak-52s, which were designed in the USSR, manufactured in Romania and used as a primary trainer by both. The team is made up of former military pilots now living in Louisville with many working for UPS.

7:43-7:53 p.m. Lee Leet, A-29 Super Tucano: Leet flies this two-seat turboprop basic trainer used by the Royal Air Force, an aircraft often used for training fast-jet pilots in all aspects of military flying.

7:53-8:03 p.m. Trojan Horsemen T-28: See description above (5:11-5:26 p.m.).

8:03-8:23 p.m. The barges for the fireworks show move into position.

8:23-8:35 p.m. AceMaker T-33: See description above (5:26-5:41 p.m.).

8:35-8:47 p.m. Team AeroDynamix RV Custom: See description above (5:59-6:11 p.m.).

8:47-8:57 p.m. Lima Lima T-34: See description above (4:31-4:51 p.m.).

8:57-9:07 p.m. Matt Younkin, Twin Beech 18: See description above (4:19-4:31 p.m.)

9:07-9:17 p.m. The flying of the American flags.

9:17-9:29 p.m. Bill Leff, T-34: Left flies his “Texan,” one of the most widely used advanced trainers for U.S. Army Air Force pilots during WW II and the Korean Conflict, for his Starfire Night Skyshow. It features special computer-controlled lighting and firework effects on the plane.

Thunder Over Louisville attracts over 600,000 people and uses 56,000 firework shells…making this the largest fireworks display in all of North America. It is an exciting time in our city and brings in more people than the Kentucky Derby itself. I am ready to see the display from my house and hear the music on the radio. It is just too many people for me now as a momma. If you are interested in the big party check them out Thunder Over Louisville.

thunder over louisville


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