The diamond formation for the GEICO Skytypers Air Show Team crosses in an head-on encounter with the solos during their air show demonstration.
The GEICO Skytypers Air Show Team will soon take flight at some of the nation's top air shows. The season kicks off in April and wraps up in November, with can't-miss special events planned for several weekends.
"The SNJs flown by our team were originally used as training aircraft for WWII pilots," says Team Flight Lead Larry Arken. "We consider it an honor to demonstrate the amazing abilities of these vintage warbirds on behalf of our sponsor, GEICO, while sharing a bit of aviation history. Despite being 75 years old, the SNJ-2 is a testament to the engineering genius of the Greatest Generation. These aircraft are a dream to fly."
The GEICO Skytypers fly six SNJs powered by 600-horsepower Pratt and Whitney engines. As training aircraft, the SNJ can perform all the maneuvers of a fighter plane, but at slower speeds. A majority of the team's low-level flying demonstration takes place in front of the crowd. The historic sound of the vintage engines fills the air as the team demonstrates more than 20 different tactical maneuvers.
The "Skytypers" portion of the team name stems from its unique style of creating giant messages in the sky. Flying five aircraft in a tight, line-abreast formation, the planes coordinate in typing dot matrix-style messages with environmentally friendly puffs of white smoke. A computer located in the lead aircraft utilizes a custom programmed tablet to send commands to the other planes via radio signals. The result is astonishing to behold. Messages can be seen from 15 miles away in any direction with 20-25 characters generated in less than two minutes. Individual letters can be as tall as the Empire State Building.
"Our pilots deliver crowd-pleasing performances at every event we attend," said pilot and marketing officer Steve Kapur. "While we clearly enjoy flying our demonstration, the best part is meeting air show fans from the youngest of future aviators to veterans who trained in our aircraft."
Joining the GEICO Skytypers Air Show Team at select events will be the Miss GEICO offshore racing team. The high-powered catamaran has won eight world championships with its 50-foot Victory watercraft powered by twin 1650 stern drives producing more than 3,300 hp. The solo aircraft from the Skytypers will race against their water-bound rival in an air vs. sea duel while battling waves and winds in an attempt to cross the finish line first.
2017 Air Show Schedule
Melbourne Air & Space Show
Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In & Expo
MCAS Beaufort, SC
2017 MCAS Beaufort Airshow
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
FORD Lauderdale Air Show
Wings Over Pittsburgh 2017
Rhode Island National Guard Open House Air Show
Jones Beach, NY
Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach State Park
Mid-Atlantic Air Museum 27th Annual WWII Weekend
Ocean City, MD
Ocean City Air Show
Vectren Dayton Air Show
Westfield International Air Show
Atlantic City, NJ
2017 Atlantic City Airshow Presented by GEICO
New York Air Show
Andrews AFB, MD
Joint Base Andrews Air Show 2017
NAS Pensacola, FL
NAS Pensacola Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show