The Quonset Air Show returned to Rhode Island May 17 and 18, as did Warwick native Col. Ed Corcoran, commander of the 1st Operations Group at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia.
Corcoran, a 31-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, arrived in his F-22 Raptor, with the Air Combat Command F-22 Demonstration Team. “It was absolutely fantastic,” Corcoran said of the trip to the Quonset air field in North Kingstown. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been home, and being able to fly the Raptor was a real part of the privilege,” he said.
Though Corcoran flew a raptor to the Air Show, he didn’t fly the demonstration for the crowd. That duty fell to Capt. John Cummings, commander of the demo team. Mst. Sgt. Jason Kraemer led the 10-person maintenance team supporting the $143 million aircraft, the Air Force’s newest air superiority fighter.
Piloted by Cummings, the F-22 performed several aerial maneuvers, including hovering and flying nose-up for several seconds. The performance was one of the highlights of the airshow.
Corcoran said that while the F-22 is amazing, the real credit for the plane’s missions belongs to the people of the Air Force, and their families, who are the true heroes of the service.
Corcoran, a graduate of Pilgrim High School, according to a report from turnto10.com, said he’ll be returning to Rhode Island again following his retirement July 25, looking for a job with the Department of Defense.