Four Lockheed Martin F-16C Fighting Falcons
of the USAF Thunderbirds Display Team
Related Notes & Links
USAF Thunderbirds have a long lineage, which began on the 1st January 1953 when formally activated as the 3600th Air Demonstration Team at Luke AFB. Today the Thunderbirds reside at Nellis AFB in Nevada operating some of the oldest F-16s in the United States Air Force inventory.
For the serious Aviation Photographer, fully documenting the identity of the Aircraft and Operator in each photograph is a very important part of the Archiving process.
The Thunderbirds, as with certain other display teams bring their Aircraft to Air Shows with no visible serials, this obviously makes identifying the individual Aircraft more difficult.
However for other teams that do not carry a visible serial, the Display Number can be used as reasonably reliable reference to look up the Serial in published documents.
But the Thunderbirds are unique, as the aircraft Display Number changes between shows, or even at shows and when on transit flights, the team Aircraft often have the Display number Circle blank!
The apparent reason for this being, that during the display all Aircraft have sequential Display Numbers, so if a aircraft becomes unserviceable, or is pulled from operations for other reasons, its replacement receives its Display Number.
At 2007 RIAT, it appears this number change was carried out on 2, possibly 3 aircraft. This practise makes correctly identifying individual Aircraft almost impossible!
However if anyone does know the Identities of the Thunderbirds Aircraft that were used at 2007 RIAT please contact me.
Royal International Air Tattoo
Royal Air Force Charitable Trust
United States Air Force Thunderbirds Web Site
United States Air Force (USAF) Public Web Site
United States Air Force Thunderbirds - Wikipedia Entry
United States Air Force (USAF) - Wikipedia Entry
F-16 Fighting Falcon - Lockheed Martin Web Site
F-16 Fighting Falcon - Wikipedia Entry