|Roy Alba of AlbaPaintings.com
|24" X 18" X 3/16", canvas board, oil, $125 includes shipping
'Birds is short for the United States Air Force air demonstration team the Thunderbirds. On
May 25, 1953, the Air Force’s official air demonstration team, designated the 3600th Air Demonstration Unit, was activated
at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. The unit adopted the name “Thunderbirds,” influenced in part by the strong Native
American culture and folklore from the southwestern United States where Luke Air Force Base is located. The team flew and
maintained the F-84G Thunderjet. Always trying to display the most advanced fighters of the age, the swept-wing F-84F
Thunderstreak became the team’s new aircraft in 1955. The Thunderbirds traded aircraft again and became the world’s
first supersonic aerial demonstration team as it transitioned to the F-100C Super Sabre in 1956. Nearly forgotten, the F-105B
Thunderchief performed only six shows between April 26 and May 9, 1964. Following an unfortunate accident in the F-105, the
team transitioned back to the Super Sabre following the incident and the F-100 remained with the team for nearly 13 years.
in the spring of 1969, received the first of the new McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom IIs and began the team’s conversion.
Among several other modifications, the paint scheme changed due to the variations in chemicals, which allows paint used on
the F-4 to resist heat and friction at Mach II speeds. As a result, the white paint base was developed and remains
a part of today’s Thunderbird aircraft design. In 1974, a spreading fuel crisis inspired a new aircraft for the team,
the T-38A Talon. The team flew the F-16 during the 1983 show season; making it the team’s ninth aircraft and once
again returning to flying a front-line fighter. The F-16's are the ones you're viewing in the painting. The above scene in
this painting never really took place but the Hawaiian island of Kauai and their Na Pali Coast made it too pretty to pass
up. The song is Off We Go Into The Wild Blue Yonder.