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Here Come The Thunderbirds (Video)

Air Force Thunderbirds - 1

If you've ever flown an airplane, you've probably dreamed of what it's like to be an Air Force Thunderbird pilot. The demonstration team is back in action this year, and with their first show only a month away, here are five facts about "America's Ambassadors in Blue."

Zenith Icon 1953

First year of the 3600th Air Demonstration Unit. The unit adopted the name "Thunderbirds", influenced in part by the strong Native American culture from the southwestern United States where they were located: Luke Air Force Base.

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Number of different aircraft that have served as Thunderbirds. They are the F-84G Thunderjet, F-84F Thunderstreak, F-100 Super Sabre, F-105 Thunderchief, F-4 Phantom II, T-38 Talon, and F-16 Fighting Falcon.

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Number of accidents in Thunderbird air show history. F-4 structural failure (1972), T-38 engine failure (1981), and F-16 Split-S maneuver at incorrect MSL altitude (2003).

Zenith Icon 300 Million

Number of people the Thunderbirds have flown in front of.

Zenith Icon 325

Number of Air Force officers that have served as Thunderbirds. Each year eight of 12 officers are highly experienced fighter pilots, and the remaining four officers perform expert medical, administrative, maintenance and public affair roles.

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