Four of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels perform a break maneuver in front of the crowd during the Great Colorado Air Show Oct.17. The Blue Angels were flying their new F/A-18 jets that they acquired earlier this year to commemorate their 75th anniversary. (The Collegian) (Collegian | Devin Cornelius)
Four of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels perform a break maneuver in front of the crowd during the Great Colorado Air Show Oct.17. The Blue Angels were flying their new F/A-18 jets that they acquired earlier this year to commemorate their 75th anniversary. (The Collegian)

Collegian | Devin Cornelius

Head in the clouds: The Great Colorado Air Show

After 19 years the Great Colorado Airshow returns to Loveland.

October 27, 2021

The sky around Loveland was graced by the thundering sound of jet engines and the sight of massive smoke trails. The air show included acts from the local Rocky Mountain Renegades Air Show Team, the United States Air Force Wings of Blue Parachute Team, Lucas Oil Airshows’ Michael Wiskus, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and many more. The sights and sounds were unforgettable, from the propeller engines of the Renegades to the insanely loud Pratt & Whitney F135 engine on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.

The event lasted Saturday through Sunday, with the crowd as large as 15,000 people at Northern Colorado Regional Airport and thousands more watching from the surrounding areas. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels were the final act both evenings in their F/A-18 Super Hornets. The Super Hornets were purchased by the Navy for the 75th anniversary of the Blue Angels. The new jets are larger, sporting rectangular intakes, new General Electric F414 engines and bigger leading-edge extensions, allowing for better low-speed stability. These upgrades allow the pilots to perform maneuvers that would not be possible in the legacy hornets and showcase the current fighter platform.

Ad

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • Flight Leader Captain Brian C. Kesselring flying the lead U.S. Navy Blue Angel aircraft breaks upwards from the formation while it passes in front of spectators during the Great Colorado Airshow Oct. 17. The Blue Angels have been flying the F/A-18 Super Hornet since the beginning of this airshow season the commemorate the 75 anniversary of the flight group. (The Collegian)

    Collegian | Devin Cornelius

  • An F-35A jet noses up after making a low altitude pass over the runway at the Northern Colorado Regional Airport days before the Great Colorado Airshow Oct. 14.

    Collegian | Devin Cornelius

  • An F-35A makes a low approach pass over the Northern Colorado Regional Airport runway after arriving at the airport ahead of the Great Colorado Air Show Oct. 14. The air show happened in Loveland, Colorado, for the first time in 19 years on Oct. 16-17.

    Collegian | Devin Cornelius

  • The #6 jet for the U.S. Navy Blue Angels makes a high speed pass with vapor forming on it’s wing during a practice run before the Great Colorado Airshow Oct. 14. The Blue Angels are using new Super Hornets this year in honor of their 75th anniversary. The new jets are bigger, louder and faster than the legacy Hornets they used to use. (The Collegian)

    Collegian | Devin Cornelius

  • A spectator tips their cap towards the approaching U.S. Navy Blue Angels flying in formation during the Great Colorado Air Show Oct. 17. This is the first time in 19 years that the airshow happened in Loveland, Colorado. (The Collegian)

    Collegian | Devin Cornelius

  • Lt. Cmdr. Julius Bratton stands as four of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels fly overhead during The Great Colorado Air Show at the Northern Colorado Regional Airport Oct. 17, 2021. Bratton is the narrator for the Blue Angels and had 1,800 flight hours.

    Collegian | Devin Cornelius

  • Two U.S. Navy Blue Angel F/A-18E jets make a crossing pass in front of spectators during the Great Colorado Air Show, Oct. 17. The Blue Angel’s are now using the F/A-18 Super Hornet to commemorate their 75th anniversary. (The Collegian)

    Collegian | Devin Cornelius

  • A U.S. Air Force Wings of Blue member parachutes down above the crowd while pulling an 80 foot U.S. flag during the Great Colorado Air Show at the Northern Colorado Regional Airport Oct. 17. (The Collegian)

  • The U.S. Navy Leap Frogs parachute above the crowd with several smoke canisters during the Great Colorado Air Show Oct. 17. (The Collegian)

  • Greg “Wired” Colyer preforms a high speed pass in his T-33 “Ace Maker” during the Great Colorado Air Show Oct. 17. The T-33 was first produced in 1948 and became the first jet trainer for the United States. (The Collegian)

  • The Rocky Mountain Renegades fly in formation during the Great Colorado Air Show Oct. 17. This is the first time in 19 years that the airshow has happened. (The Collegian)

  • Lucas Oil Air Shows’ Michael Wiskus slides his Pitts S-1-11B past the crowd with Longs Peak in the background during the Great Colorado Air Show Oct. 17. His aircraft is one of four of its kind to have ever been produced. (The Collegian)

    Collegian | DEVIN CORNELIUS

  • Capt. Brian Kesselring, pilot of the No. 1 jet, commanding officer and flight leader for the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, sits down in the cockpit of his F/A-18E Super Hornet as the rest of his pilots walk toward their aircraft. Kesselring has been a naval aviator since 2003 and joined the Blue Angels in 2019. (The Collegian)

    Collegian | Devin Cornelius

  • Tom Larkin flies his JSX003 mini jet past spectators during the Great Colorado Air Show Oct. 17. His aircraft is an experimental kit jet that can go 300 mph. (The Collegian)

    Collegian | Devin Cornelius

  • Lieutenant commander James Cox of the United States Navy Blue Angels sits in number four during a rainstorm at practice before preforming for the Great Colorado Air Show at the Northern Colorado Regional Airport in Loveland Colorado Oct. 14. It has been 19 years since the Blue Angels last flew in Loveland and chose to do so on their 75th Anniversary. (Garrett Mogel | The Collegian)

    Collegian | Garrett Mogel

  • Four of the United States Navy Blue Angels F/A-18 Super Hornets practice breaking away from formation before the Great Colorado Air Show at the Northern Colorado Regional Airport in Loveland Colorado Oct. 14. It has been 19 years since the Blue Angels last flew in Loveland and chose to do so on their 75th Anniversary. (Garrett Mogel | The Collegian)

    Collegian | Garrett Mogel

  • The A-10, P-51 Mustang, and F-35 perform a heritage flight at the Great Colorado Air Show held at the Northern Colorado Regional Airport in Loveland Colorado Oct. 17. (The Collegian)

    Collegian | Garrett Mogel

Navigate Left
Navigate Right

Devin Cornelius can be reached at photo@collegian.com or on Twitter @DevlyThings.

Get our stories straight to your
Sign-up for our email blast, The Stump, for weekly debriefings
INBOX

Comments (0)

All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published.