THREE COAST AVIATION
Alberta International Airshow
The Alberta International Airshow takes place at Villeneuve Airport (CZVL) located just northwest of Edmonton, Alberta. Previously known as the Edmonton Airshow, the show grounds include a static display on Runway 16/34 with a sectioned-off hot ramp at the northern end. The flying display is oriented east-west along Runway 08-26, giving perfect lighting conditions throughout the show. The best viewing location is along Taxiway Bravo, providing great proximity to taxiing aircraft and to the runway.
I happened to be vacationing in Banff with family the weekend of this event and made the 4 hour drive to Villeneuve Airport on Saturday August 21. For a small show, the flying programme was packed with high quality aircraft and the weather forecast for the day showed a lot of promise.
The static display was limited but did include a pair of RCAF Hornets that had been purchased by the Canadian government from Australia. These can easily be recognized by their serial numbers that feature a 0 instead of the traditional 7 or 9. The A-10 Demo team was lined up nicely and although there was no access to the hot ramp, the jets were positioned perfectly to take advantage of the morning sun and forest background. Fortune continued to smile on me when the CF-18 Demo jet, with its subdued "Strong At Home" livery, arrived and made multiple approaches in beautiful conditions. The jet would fly its full routine later in the show but by then the sky had become completely overcast.
The show featured the British Army "Red Devils", making multiple jumps from a Dyess based C-130J and a couple passes from a Grissom based KC-135. Impressive civilian performances were made by Bill Carter and included his signature inverted ribbon cut and Kyle Fowler, who flew underneath a jumping motorcycle. The US Navy Growler Legacy Team flew in from Edmonton and tore up the skies as a formation and individually. I had seen this team a few times already in 2021 and continued to be impressed with their display.
Finally, the main interest for me at this show was the specially painted A-10, unofficially known as the "Red River Hawg". Seeing it taxi to the runway and perform in the last of the blue sky and sunshine made the trip a resounding success and kept me smiling on my return drive to Banff.
For a more detailed review please enjoy my article at Checksix - the military aviation online magazine.