The team has a new opening maneuver for the 2015 season. The only problem is what to call it. In military terms, it’s a merge. But that name doesn’t do justice to the precision and dynamism of watching six, 75-year-old planes rumble overhead, split off in a reverse fan and thread between each other in a criss-cross formation converging at show center.
From Tim Hellaby, “The Stack Attack”
From Shelley Young Lewis “Surrender Dorothy”
From Peter John Aquino “The Spiderweb”
From Peter Stetson “The Texan Tornado”
From Alexander Alverez “The Flat Palm Split”
From Mike Barlow “The Patriot Burst”
From Marina Donlon “Tic Tac Toe” – because any way you line it up, the GEICO Skytypers win!
The contest wraps up this weekend, after Sun-n-Fun fans get a chance to watch the demonstration Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Lakeland, FL. So friend us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter before the show and see if you can come up with an even better name for the opening maneuver. We’ll announce the winner on May 1st.
To get your creative juices flowing, here’s how airshow narrators describe the maneuver in the play-by-play.
“The squadron will now introduce you to a three-dimensional maneuver as they demonstrate what many pilots experience when they enter the same airspace as their opponents for an air-to-air engagement, known as “The Merge.” If you keep your eyes glued to the center of the airshow, you will see aircraft from all directions aiming at the same point, requiring heightened awareness on the part of the pilots.”
Skyscribe, the team’s official blogger, is asking followers for ideas. Just watch the video below and tweet your suggestions to @GeicoSkytper or post names to our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/GEICOSkytypers
The entire 18-minute demonstration by the six vintage SNJs shows off the military formations and techniques used by the pilots of “The Greatest Generation” but many of the same techniques are used by military jet teams today.
The aircraft flown by the GEICO Skytypers are the North American SNJ, the Navy’s version of the AT-6 aircraft. During World War II, ALL branches of the military used these aircraft as advanced trainers for fighter, bomber, and transport pilots. More American combat pilots trained in this single-engine, two-seat aircraft than any other World War II trainer. And this weekend, they’ll be part of the biggest Warbird show at Sun-n-Fun in more than a decade.