Air Show

Four Days of Action!

IT’S AIR SHOW TIME!!

We’ll have four days of Air Show Action during the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival. We’ll kick off our Air Show portion on Friday, July 1st with our TEASER AIR SHOW which will feature the Skywriting, Teaser Performances and more! Of course, this is just a taste of what the weekend will bring. 

Later, on July 1st, we will then present an amazing Twilight Air Show, as some of the nation’s best performers take to the sky against the setting sun. Then, once its dark, it really starts to heat up! We’ll feature one of the Largest Night Air Show’s in the country, complete with wing tip pyro, aerial launched fireworks, afterburning engines, and some explosive pyro that will surely heat up the night.

July 2nd, 3rd & 4th, we’ll present THREE MORE DAYS OF AMAZING AIR SHOW ACTION! For up to 5 hours, we’ll provide some of the most thrilling and fun acts on the air show circuit today, including the United States Air Force Thunderbirds, the F-35 Lightning II Demo Team and many more!

United States Air Force

Thunderbirds Jet Demo

The world famous U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Jet Demonstration Squadron will return to Battle Creek Field of Flight Airshow & Balloon Festival in 2022! 

The Thunderbirds will showcase the pride and precision of today’s U.S. Air Force with over 70 performances at several different show sites. The team will proudly perform on behalf of the nearly 700,000 active-duty, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve & civilian Airmen serving at home and abroad. It’s from that diverse group of Air Force professionals that the Thunderbirds team is formed.

The Thunderbirds were first activated on May 25th, 1953 as the Air Force’s Official Air Demonstration Team. They were designated the 3600th Air Demonstration Unit and were stationed at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona flying the F-84G Thunderjet. Over the years, the Thunderbirds flew famous U.S. Air Force Aircraft that have gone down in history such as the F-84F Thunderstreak, the F-100C Super Sabre, F-105B Thunderchief, F-100D Super Sabre, F-4E Phantom II, T-38 Talon…and into the Mighty F-16 Fighting Falcon (Block 52 model) that the team flies today.

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According to Indian legend, the Thunderbird was a giant eagle (some envisioned a hawk) that was spoken about with great fear & respect. When it took to the skies, the earth trembled from the thunder of its wings and bolts of lightning shot from its eyes. Nothing in nature could challenge the bird of thunder. The story of the Thunderbird was repeated across generations…and today, it is now a legend.

The legend will take to the skies this summer in Battle Creek, Michigan as the thunder (known as the Sound of Freedom) and will represent not only the professionalism of the U.S. Air Force, but the patriotism of our great nation of the United States.

The “thunder” will come from six F-16 Fighting Falcon jets painted in Red, White & Blue colors with the Thunderbird emblem on the bottom. Their show will rock the skies as the Diamond formation (Jets 1-4) perform a series of precision maneuvers, keeping their aircraft just INCHES from each other. This is in concert with the high speed & high G maneuvers performed by the Solos (Jets 5-6). This includes a series of head-on passes & solo maneuvers showcasing the tactical profile of the Block 52 Viper. In the end, all six jets team up and showcase the pinnacle of formation flying, the Delta Formation.

The Thunderbirds will be rocking the Battle Creek skies numerous times throughout the week. That’s MULTIPLE TIMES THE THUNDER!! 

United States Air Force

F-35A Lightning II Demo Team

The United States Air Force F-35A Lightning II will be making it’s Battle Creek debut this summer… and WE will be the ONLY place to witness this amazing multi-role fighter!

The Demo Team’s mission is to showcase the unique aerial capabilities of the Air Force’s most advanced 5th generation multi-role stealth fighter, the F-35A Lightning II, as well as highlight the history of their service through HERITAGE FORMATION FLIGHTS.

Major Kristin “BEO” Wolfe is the Commander of the Demo Team and also the Demo Pilot. Major Wolfe entered the Air Force in 2011 after receiving her commission from the US Air Force Reserve Officer Training Program at the University of Alabama. She is an experienced fighter pilot with more than 800 flying hours in the F-22A Raptor and F-35A Lightning II.

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The Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II is the conventional takeoff and landing model of the Joint Strike Fighter program. It gives the Air Force and allies the power to dominate the skies – anytime, anywhere. It is an agile, versatile, high-performance, 9G capable multi-role fighter that combines stealth, sensor fusion, and unprecedented situational awareness.

The F-35 Demo Team is based at Hill Air Force Base, Utah as part of the 388th Fighter Wing under Air Combat Command. The team currently consists of approximately 15 total Airmen to include the pilot and commander, pilot safety officers, superintendent, team chief, maintenance Airmen, aircrew flight equipment specialists, and public affairs personnel. The team works together in tight cohesion in order to safely perform aerial demonstrations.

Seriously… if you thought the F-22 Raptor was a cool aircraft, wait until you experience a demo by the F-35. You’ll see… hear…. and feel the raw power of this stealthy aircraft!

United States NAVY

F-35C Lightning II Demo Team (Two-Ship)

A MICHIGAN FIRST – The United States Navy F-35C Lightning II will make its first ever appearance in the State of Michigan at this summer’s Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival in Battle Creek. Making it even more fun is the fact that Battle Creek is getting hit by THREE times the Lightning…. as this demonstration features TWO jets, and we also have the United States Air Force F-35A Lightning II Demo Team as well. This will be a great time for you to get a good look at the Joint Strike Fighter program and the differences between the A & C models.

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The F-35C Lighting II Demo Team will come to Battle Creek from VFA-125 “Rough Riders” based out of Naval Air Station Lemoore in California. The team is lead by LT Joe “811” Calvi. 811 will lead the demonstration as two F-35C Lightning II’s rocket into the sky.

The Lockheed Martin F-35C Lighting II is a F-35 variant that is designed for catapult-assisted take-off and arrested recovery operations from aircraft carriers. You’ll be able to see the difference between the F-35A and F-35C just based on wing size alone, as the F-35C features larger wings with foldable wingtip sections. This larger wing area also helps allow decreased landing speed while increasing both range & payload. The C model also features larger control surfaces for improved low-speed control, stronger landing gear for carrier arrested landings, a twin-wheel nose gear, and a strong tailhook for arrestor cables. You’ll be able to see a simulated carrier landing of the F-35C during the demonstration.

You will NOT want to miss the “thunder” that the F-35C will bring to Battle Creek as two jets fill the sky at the same time. Don’t miss this demonstration of Naval Air Power during our 2022 Air Shows!

United States Navy

F/A-18F Super Hornet Rhino Demo Team

With a thundering roar, the US Navy will take to the skies over Battle Creek Executive Airport in the premier Naval Fighter, the F/A-18F Super Hornet.

Hailing from Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia, this year’s F/A-18F Super Hornet is part of Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106) known as the “Gladiators.” The F/A-18F Super Hornet was developed, along with the E Model Super Hornet from the older F/A-18 Hornet models. The plane was planned back in the 80’s by McDonnell Douglas under the project name “Hornet 2000.” McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) decided to initially call it the “Hornet II” to improve early F/A-18 models and serve as an alternate replacement for the aging Grumman A-6 Intruder attack aircraft. The Navy had planned on getting a naval version of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, which was the Navy Advanced Tactical Fighter.

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However, that program was cancelled, so the “Super Hornet” was proposed. The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a twin engine, carrier-capable, multi-role fighter aircraft that is based off of the design of the F/A-18 Hornet. The aircraft was initially designed by McDonnell Douglas and first flew in 1995. Full-scale production began in 1997 and the Super Hornet entered service in 1999 to aid in replacing the Grumman F-14 Tomcat. The Super Hornet serves in the fleet alongside the Legacy model Hornets. While the Super Hornet and original Hornet share many similar characteristics, the Super Hornet is a beast in itself, coming in at 20% larger and 7,000 pounds (empty) heavier than the original F/A-18 models. In fact, the Super Hornet weighs only 11,000 pounds less than the massive F-14 Tomcat that it replaced. The Super Hornet is also designed for a heavier payload and higher range and is capable of refueling other aircraft via a system known as “buddy store”. In addition to it filling a tactical airborne tanker role, the aircraft has a payload almost matching the mighty Grumman F-14 Tomcat.

The Super Hornet is sometimes referred to as the “Rhino” to distinguish itself from the earlier model Hornets. The Super Hornet is powered by the General Electric F414 Engine, which provides the loud thunder that you will hear over Battle Creek. Those engines also help propel the aircraft to fly at speeds almost twice the speed of sound.

The Super Hornet is one of the most sought after military demonstrations on the air show circuit each year. This year, you’ll only be able to see the Super Hornet at a handful of air shows, and Battle Creek is proud to have been selected.

Firewalkers International Pyro “Feel the Heat”

Are you ready to FEEL THE HEAT? Because Firewalkers International Pyro will be coming to Battle Creek, and they are planning to blow up the airfield! Firewalkers International LLC is one of the most renowned pyro teams in the airshow industry today. With years and years of experience in both the military and civilian world, they know so much about pyro that they can certainly be dubbed professional “pyromaniacs”. At this year’s Field of Flight, they’ll provide pyrotechnical explosions during our air show, including a 1,000 foot WALL OF FIRE where you will surely feel the heat. The explosions won’t stop with the massive Wall of Fire though….you’ll also see strafe runs, bombs, mini-walls, double bombs, attention getters and the Almighty F-BOMB, which is designed to form a smoke ring!

Misty Blues All-Woman Skydiving Team

There are approximately 35,000 active skydivers in North America, and only 15% are women! The Misty Blues are 100% women. The ladies on the team come from all across the U.S. to demonstrate their amazing skydiving skills and act as role models to inspire the younger generations. Since the early 1980s, The Misty Blues All Woman Skydiving Team has been thrilling audiences at air shows, corporate events and other special occasions around the world. These exceptionally talented and brave ladies delight in displaying their parachuting talents that make them some of the most skilled skydivers in the world. They do things in the air that make people look up into the sky and feel excitement, patriotism, and the thrill of a shocking visual treat!

Not only will The Misty Blues open up our show with a massive American Flag, they’ll also perform a skydiving routine that no one will ever forget. Complete with canopy relative work and huge banners, this is a fun show that will delight air show fans young & old. And you definitely want to make sure you don’t miss their Night Performance during our Night Air Show.

Phillips 66 Aerostars

The Phillips 66 Aerostars will be returning to Battle Creek. The Phillips 66 Aerostars are an Illinois based aerobatic team that flies a terrific formation aerobatic performance in the Extra 300. The show is filled with formation maneuvers, solo maneuvers and head-on, breathtaking opposing passes. The Aerostars fly a unique show that you won’t want to miss this year as pilots Harvey Meek, Paul Hornick & Gerry Molidor perform a show that is unforgettable.

The Phillips 66 Aerostars have been performing together, side by side at around 250 mph, for more than a decade. And while these guys are precision aerobatic pilots, they stay pretty well grounded. Like many of us, they have a passion they take very seriously: engines. Whether it’s the car they commute in, a vintage restoration project, or the engine in their beloved Extra 300L, they know how to protect them to ensure a long life. From flying high to Sunday drives, these aerobatic superstars trust Phillips 66 Lubricants to keep their world running smoothly.

World Champion Rob Holland MXS-RH

The Award Winning Rob Holland will return to Battle Creek this year. Rob Holland is one of the most famous and popular aerobatic pilots on Earth. He is one of the most anticipated acts each year in Battle Creek and we are so lucky to continually have this WORLD CHAMPION perform here every year.

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Rob has won the Gold Medal in the 4-minute freestyle numerous times at the World Aerobatic Championship. He has placed first at the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships as well. In 2013, he was the highest ranked U.S pilot at the World Aerobatic Championships. In 2015, Rob represented the U.S. once again at the World Aerobatic Championship. In 2016, Rob did something COMPLETELY UNPRECEDENTED at the U.S. National Aerobatic Championship. Rob won his 6th Consecutive U.S. National Aerobatic Title and his 7th Consecutive 4-Minute Freestyle Title. In addition to his numerous first place finishes, he has received the coveted Art Scholl Showmanship Award from the International Council of Air Shows. Anyone who has attended the Battle Creek Field of Flight knows that Rob does things with his MXS that just can’t be explained. Don’t miss his adrenaline pumping, gyroscopic show at this year’s Field of Flight!

Matt Younkin in the Twin Beech 18 “Miss Ellie”

Matt Younkin will be returning to Battle Creek this year in the beautiful Beechcraft 18, an old cargo/airliner aircraft. You will not want to miss this act as it is a performance that will shock everyone in attendance, even those aviation buffs. If you don’t think an old 1940s style airliner (that was also retrofitted for military cargo purposes) can’t perform aerobatics….then think again!

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Matt Younkin is the son of airshow legend Bobby Younkin and the grandson of Jim Younkin (a well-known plane designer and aircraft replicator). Bobby Younkin is a name well known in Battle Creek, having performed here last in 2003. Bobby developed some of the most unique airshow acts in the world, including aerobatics in a Learjet as well as a Beech 18. While Bobby is no longer with us, Matt keeps his legacy alive by continuing to fly his father’s aerobatic performance in the Twin Beech 18. Matt, who has been flying since age 14, has over 3000 hours of total flight time in over 75 different types of aircraft. He presently resides in Siloam Springs, Arkansas with his wife Michelle and daughter Kimmy. Matt Younkin was the 2012 recipient of the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship.

The Younkin’s family Beech 18, named “Miss Ellie”, was built in 1943 by the Beechcraft Corporation in Wichita, Kansas (built as an AT-7C for military service). The airplane went into service with the Army Air Corps, being based at Houston’s Ellington Field. It was re-designated to the C-18S when the Army transferred ownership to the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA). The plane has seen tons of owners over the years until Younkin Airshows, Inc. purchased it in 2000 as a replacement to Bobby’s original Beech 18. After Bobby’s untimely death in July 2005, the plane spent two years in retirement in Tullahoma, Tennessee before Matt debuted his version of his father’s Twin Beech routine at Sun-N-Fun 2007 in Lakeland, Florida. “Miss Ellie” is the mascot for Younkin Airshows and the nose art/name of the Beech 18 because, with the exception of the paint scheme, is essentially the same as when it was sold from military surplus in 1945. It’s a true warbird and a large aircraft performing aerobatics. So, of course the mascot would be an elephant.

Don’t miss Matt Younkin performing in the LARGEST CIVILIAN AEROBATIC PLANE on the airshow circuit, ending with the amazing “Elephant Waltz”, a maneuver you will not see anywhere else. It is truly a spectacle to believe. And don’t miss seeing “Magic by Moonlight” during our NIGHT AIR SHOW too!

Bill Stein Zivko Edge 540

Bill Stein is one of the most experienced and sought after pilots on the air show circuit. Bill began flying aerobatics when he was still a student pilot and has been dedicated to perfecting his skills ever since. He has been performing air shows since 1995 and has entertained millions of air show fans. For years, he performed as a member of the world-famous Red Baron Stearman Squadron (including right here in Battle Creek). He also mentors and coaches many future aerobatic pilots including being a coach for the famed “Stars of Tomorrow” team.

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Bill also serves as an Aerobatic Competency Evaluator, proving his dedication to aerobatic safety. When it comes to professionalism, there isn’t anyone quite like Bill. He’ll take to the Battle Creek skies in his Zivko Edge 540 aircraft. This aircraft is popular among aerobatic pilots, but Bill’s plane is different! His Edge 540 uses cutting edge paint technology. Bill has designed the spectacular look of his airplane using a paint that continuously changes color based on the constantly varying angles between the spectators, airplane and the lighting. The plane can be any one color and even be a mix of numerous colors at different times during the performance, changing from green, purple, blue, gold, yellow, pink, orange and everything in between. See how many colors you can count during our air shows.

Bob Carlton “Vertigo Airshows” Jet Super Salto Sailplane

Beauty has become the Beast! Bob Carlton returns to Battle Creek and will take to the skies in a plane that was meant to be powerless, but has become very powerful. We, of course, are talking about Vertigo Airshows’ Jet Super Salto Sailplane.

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Bob Carlton is an experienced, professional, and versatile pilot. He began flying at the age of 19 in 1979. Since then, he has logged over 2000 hours in a wide variety of aircraft, including hang gliders and helicopters. Bob began performing airshows in 1993 and has since flown numerous different acts all over the world. Bob Carlton was the creator of some of the most innovative acts of the Late 90s and early 2000s, leading right up to the Jet Super Salto. Other innovative acts include the Starduster Biplane aerobatics, the World’s FIRST Helicopter-Sailplane Tow, night aerobatics with strobes and pyro and the world’s first and only twin jet sailplane.

Bob will be performing an amazing demonstration in his Jet Super Salto Sailplane, the world’s most powerful self-launching jet sailplane. The aircraft is powered by a PBS TJ-100 jet engine (military-grade with 225 pounds of thrust). The aircraft is capable of self-launching and climbs to altitude without a tow-plane. From there, Bob will spool down the engine and perform graceful sailplane aerobatics in an aerial ballet. As he spends his altitude and air speed up, he will kick the engine back on and perform a low-level jet aerobatic display filled with smoke, power and noise! No other sailplane or pilot in the world today is capable of performing such an act.

Don’t miss his “Fire & Lights” performance at night either. That will surely be one of the most amazing things you have ever seen!

Nathan Hammond “GhostWriter Airshows” Super Chipmunk Aerobatics

Get ready to see some incredible things in the skies over Battle Creek this year! Nathan Hammond will take the GhostWriter Super Chipmunk and write some magic in the sky. Two miles high, and ten miles wide! This skywriting can be seen for 20 miles in every direction. It isn’t sorcery, but it certainly is magic! Gaze skywards and see a truly amazing sight!

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Why is it named GhostWriter? Good thing you asked, we have the answer below.

GhostWriter actually established a career in the Air Show and Skywriting Industry as the Pepsi SkyDancer, then eventually the Oregon Aero SkyDancer. After Steve Oliver’s retirement in 2015, Nathan K. Hammond took the controls and has been captivating audiences with the smooth lines and raw horsepower of the unparalleled Super Chipmunk ever since. Nathan Hammond’s Day Show is Action Packed and full of Smoke and Noise! The larger size of GhostWriter fills the sky, and with a tightly choreographed ballet of Loops, Rolls, and Verticals, keeps the excitement air show center! But this amazing Day Show act isn’t the only thing he’ll be doing. He’ll also be doing some Skywriting.

And then, of course, there is the magical Night Air Show that is truly one of the best in the industry. You will NOT want to miss that!

Kyle Franklin – Wing-Tip Draggin’ Comedy Act

Famed air show stunt pilot Kyle Franklin returns to Battle Creek this year.

The Super Cub known as “Franklinstein” is the centerpiece of Kyle’s act. For the most part, this is a stock PA-18A Super Cub (with an awesome Franklin-style paint scheme), but it has faced some minor modifications. The plane has served as an integral part of Franklin’s Flying Circus over the years for not only training, but numerous acts and stunts. This also happens to be the first plane that Kyle Franklin ever soloed in.

Back to the act, with a talented and well-known pilot such as Kyle gets behind the controls, you know you are in for a treat. Kyle Franklin will portray Ben Whabnoski, an annoying drunk who wants his airplane ride that is promised to him! Much different from your typical flying farmer routine, this routine will get everyone on their feet and roaring with laughter. The effort and skill Kyle displays is amazing to say the least. Most pilots only put a wingtip on the ground during ground loops. Kyle Franklin does it for fun so often, that his Cub needs skid plates taped on the wingtips! This is truly a show “stealing” act! It takes impressive skill to fly a plain this badly!

Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind, wild and crazy, wing-tip draggin’ comedy act!

Ken Rieder Redline Airshows Vans RV-8

Redline Airshows in their Vans RV-8sRedline Airshows will be returning to Battle Creek this year. Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, Redline features Ken Rieder in a solo show that thrills the crowd with displays of skill, nerve and showmanship. The display is flown in a Van’s RV-8, a 2-seat tandem aircraft that is extremely versatile, can reach speeds of 230 miles per hour and land short at a slow speed. The RV-8 that Redline flies has a 200 horsepower engine and is equipped with Hartzell Advanced Structural Composite propellers.

You also will want to make sure you see his AMAZING Night Air Show featuring pyrotechnics. That is some real night magic!

Erik Edgren in the Clipped Wing Taylorcraft

Erik Edgren will be making his Battle Creek debut this year in a Clipped Wing Taylorcraft, affectionately known as the “T-Clips”.

The “T-Clips” was originally built by Taylorcraft in 1939. It was “clipped” for aerobatics in 1997 by Steve Givens using a mix of both the Switch and Legendary Duane Cole plans. Erik has further modified the T-Clips with inverted fuel, oil, and air show smoke systems making it an optimal and unique “up close and personal”, crowd-pleasing air show machine. It is the only C-85 powered Clip T performing in airshows today!

Erik himself is a lifelong pilot. He has worked as a flight instructor, an instructor/pilot for an air combat school in the AT-6/SNJ, and as a corporate pilot in Lear Jets, King Airs, etc. He has flown over 170 different makes and models. Presently, he is a full-time farmer when he is not performing air shows, and lives on the same farm the original settlers log cabin was built on…now with a grass runway and air show practice box.

Shockwave Jet Truck

The original Triple Jet Engine Truck SHOCKWAVE will return to Battle Creek this year. This truck is probably the most famous Jet Truck in the WORLD!

Chris Darnell will bring the SHOCKWAVE to Battle Creek, racing at well over 300 mph down our runway. This year, SHOCKWAVE will look a bit different, as it is painted to honor all of those who have served and are presently serving. It also has a TOP GUN appearance to coincide with the release of the new TOP GUN: MAVERICK later this year.

Do not miss an amazing show of power and watch and FEEL the amazing SHOCKWAVE Jet Truck run down our runway…. during the day…and at NIGHT!

Nation’s Third Largest Twilight & Night Air Show

Back by popular demand, our SUPER-SIZED Night Air Show will return this year. On the evening of July 1st, we will present an “Evening of Magic”. As the sun begins to set and Twilight takes over the airport, some of the best performers in North America will take to the skies. With the sun setting and offering different views of the acts, it is truly a unique experience. As it gets darker, aircraft will take to the skies with special lights on their aircraft. But we won’t stop there! After the sun sets, the action heats up again. Bob Seger said it best in his song, “Night Moves”, and now we will present a Spectacular Night Air Show featuring Aircraft with Lights, Pyro and MORE. Flying fireworks displays at their finest. If you have never experienced a Night Air Show before, this is the time to see it!

Twilight Air Show

The Twilight Air Show will feature some of the best civilian acts in the air show industry. Watch as formation acts and aerobatic solos take to the skies to perform against the setting sun. 

Night Air Show

The Night Air Show will feature the best-of-the-best in Night Aerial Entertainment. Hold on to your hats, this year’s Night Air Show will even surprise those who have seen our Night Air Show in the past!

Nathan Hammond GhostWriter Night Show

You may have seen a Night Air Show before…but have you ever seen a Nathan Hammond Night Show? He loads his Super Chipmunk known as “GhostWriter” up with LED lights and 200 pounds of pyro and fills the air with tons of sparks, fireworks and more, all while performing graceful aerobatic maneuvers. Seriously, this is basically an entire fireworks display…except it is launched from an aircraft in the sky instead of from the ground! Don’t miss this amazing performance, which has become a Battle Creek staple!

Matt Younkin in the Twin Beech 18 “Magic By Moonlight”

Imagine the airshow circuit’s largest, noisiest, and smokiest airplane lit up like a Christmas Tree and performing aerobatics at night! That’s exactly what you will see with Matt Younkin’s “Magic By Moonlight” Night Show. Twin Beech Afterdark consists of that noisy, smokey airplane…but also includes a spectacular display of strobes, spotlights, and illuminated smoke. Fit to a terrific soundtrack, this is one of the most amazing demonstrations you’ll ever see!

Redline Airshows Night Fireworks Show

Ken Reider of Redline Airshows will be performing his Night Fireworks Show. Watch as the RV-8 dances through the sky with lights illuminating the aircraft and sparks trailing behind. It doesn’t end there, because it heats up when he starts launching the air-launched pyrotechnical fireworks as well!

Misty Blues All-Woman Skydiving Team Night Jump

Have you ever seen a Skydiving Show at Night? Well, then this will pique your interest. Jumping with pyro attached to their feet and tons of lights, the Misty Blues will leave trails of sparks and fireworks in the sky as they descend to Earth underneath their colorful canopies while they glow in the darkness.

Bob Carlton “Fire & Lights” Jet Super Salto Sailplane

Since 1903, airplanes and fire have been mortal enemies. Bob Carlton coaxes them into a snarling truce with the spectacular Fire & Lights night pyro show. With sparks, smoke, fireballs and bomb bursts, Fire & Lights sets the night sky ablaze with color and action. Don’t be fooled by so-called twilight shows. This is a true, hard-dark night aerobatic performance, not just a day show sneaking in at sunset.

Bob’s night aerobatic performance features high performance aerobatics with stunning pyrotechnic effects by Ultratech, the same pyro used on stage by superstars such as KISS, Aerosmith and Reba McEntire. It is also flown in the one-of-a-kind Jet Sailplane!

Shockwave Jet Truck

Seeing the SHOCKWAVE JET TRUCK run during the day is absolutely amazing! Once you see it at night, YOUR BREATH WILL BE TAKEN AWAY!! Shooting ENORMOUS flames, this powerful Jet Truck will illuminate the airport grounds before making an amazing power run down the runway. Smoke, Lights & Noise…you haven’t seen, or heard, anything like this yet!

AirBoss Ryan Seiler

The AirBoss for the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival will be none other than Ryan Seiler. Ryan has served as the Battle Creek AirBoss since 2004, and was Assistant AirBoss for many years prior to that. Ryan is a pilot himself, serving as Lead Flight Instructor at the Western Michigan University College of Aviation (his Alma Mater) right here in Battle Creek. He is also the Head Coach for the nationally recognized Sky Broncos flight team, who have continually placed in national competitions for the better part of a decade. In the Air Show world, Ryan is known for his commitment to safety and putting together an almost five hour flying sequence (multiple days) that runs well and transitions smoothly. As the conductor of the air show, it takes a lot of focus to be able to put together a sequence that runs with minimal downtime (except for scheduled downtime) and keep the action going, all while maintaining the highest focal point of safety. With his 17 years of experience as AirBoss, Ryan is an experienced AirBoss that is well liked by all the performers that perform in Battle Creek.

Assistant AirBoss Ken Glidden

The Assistant AirBoss for the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival is Ken Glidden. He got involved in 1997 when he was asked to be a pylon judge for a mock air racing act. Ever since then, he was hooked! The following year, due to his role with aircraft radios at the Air National Guard Base, he started setting up a military VHF/UHF radio on the Announcers Stand to pipe audio from performers right into the PA system for the crowd to hear. In the Year 2000, he started working with performer ramp and all on-field logistics for then AirBoss Steve Brown. He helped coordinate between the performers and the boss to ensure they stayed on schedule as well as marshalled and parked them where needed. After Steve moved away and Ryan stepped into the AirBoss position, Ken was asked to be the Assistant AirBoss, a position he has truly loved, ever since! His wife, Theresa, is in charge of the performer hospitality tent. She is well loved by all performers for her Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Oatmeal cookies and friendliness she provides. Outside of the Field of Flight, Ken is an Instrument Rated Pilot that owns and flies a Yak-52 and is a member of the Redstar Pilot Association. He has participated in the mass formation in Oshkosh and holds Single Engine Land & Sea as well as Helicopter certifications. He is a Chief Master Seargeant at the 110th Fighter Wing working with the MQ-9 Reaper mission. He has served for 34 years in both the ANG and formally the US Navy.

Announcer Phil Dacy

Back by popular demand will be Mr. Phil Dacy, “The Voice of the Field of Flight Air Show”. This is the 15th Field of Flight that this award winning announcer will be announcing (and he’ll be announcing both shows!). Phil will set the pace for the air show and provide announcing that is ‘second to none’. Phil not only provides some of the highest energy announcing on the air show circuit, but he backs up that energy with incredible knowledge. After being on the air show circuit for so long, Phil definitely knows the performers, knows the performances and knows his stuff. Phil is a very experienced pilot in his own right with over 8000 hours of flight time in all different types of aircraft. Even today, when not announcing, he is the Chief Pilot for Priester Aviation out of Chicago, Illinois. Phil will help bring you the ULTIMATE Air Show Experience and he’ll even announce our Twilight & Night Air Shows!

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