April 21, 2012
The Air Force says it is scaling back its participation at dozens of air shows this year.
The decision by officials at Air Combat Command in Virginia is being made to cut costs and ensure its combat pilots are getting the training hours they need. The Air Force is eliminating the solo performances of A-10, F-15 and F-16 aircraft based in Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Utah. The only combat plane that will perform solo flights for crowds this year is a Virginia-based F-22 Raptor.
The Air Force says eliminating the other performances will save more than $15 million and allow more than 900 training flights that otherwise would have been canceled.
The cutbacks will not affect the service's premier demonstration, the Thunderbirds.