This year will see the GEICO Skytypers once again take flight at some of the nation’s top air shows. The season kicks off in March and wraps up in early November, with can’t-miss special events planned for several weekends, including the Fort Lauderdale Air Show, May 7 & 8, 2016.
“The SNJs flown by our team were training aircraft for WWII pilots,” says Team Flight Lead Larry Arken. “We feel a strong sense of history flying these machines. Our mission is to honor the nation’s veterans while encouraging kids to aim higher. We thank our sponsor GEICO for the opportunity to carry out this mission and show off these beautiful warbirds.”
The GEICO Skytypers fly six SNJ-2 aircraft, each with a 600-horsepower Pratt and Whitney engine. As a training vehicle, the SNJ-2 can perform all the maneuvers of a fighter plane, while also being easy to maintain.
The name “Skytypers” stems from the team’s unique way of creating messages in the sky. Flying five abreast in close formation, the planes coordinate in typing out dot matrix-style messages with environmentally friendly puffs of white smoke. A computer on the lead aircraft executes a custom program and communicates commands to the other planes via radio. The result is astonishing to behold – skytyping produces writing that can be seen from 15 miles away in any direction. Individual letters can be as tall as the Empire State Building.
Joining the GEICO Skytypers team at select events will be the Miss GEICO offshore racing team, whose high-powered speedboat has brought home eight world championships.
“Our pilots deliver crowd-pleasing performances at every event we attend,” remarked pilot and marketing officer Steve Kapur. “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 team believes strongly in giving back to the community, actively supporting youth organizations and children’s charities. The team regularly partners with nonprofit organizations as part of promoting good works and advocating for worthy causes. Anyone interested in such a partnership is encouraged to visiting the GEICO Skytypers website or Facebook page.