John Bedell flies along with the Thunderbirds during the 2017 Dayton Air Show.

Insider’s guide to the Dayton Air Show: 7 things to know before you go

All eyes will be on the soaring action in the sky during the Vectren Dayton Air Show.

Military jet demonstrations, aerobatic champions and historic aircraft are a sampling of the entertainment to be found at the premier air show that marks its 45th consecutive year of operation.

This year’s event takes place June 22-23 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Dayton International Airport, 3600 Terminal Drive.

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Here are 7 things you should know to have a great time:


U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will headline this year’s air show, with their six General Dynamic F-16 Fighting Falcons. In addition to dazzling spectators with their ability, the Thunderbirds will reflect the precision and professionalism of American Airmen. 

2019 will be the 66th year the Thunderbirds have been performing. They were named after the strong Native American culture in the southwest. Native American folklore tells of a giant birdlike creature that creates thunder by clapping its wings. 


Aircraft to make Air Show debut

The C-17 Globemaster III and the K-135 Stratotanker will perform a demonstration for the first time at this year’s show. These two aircraft will perform both separately and together. The demo aircraft and crews are from the 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. Reaching speeds of over 520 mph, these two aircraft will excite all fans in attendance.

A C-17 Globemaster III and KC-135 Stratotanker (shown) have joined the lineup of the 2019 Vectren Dayton Air Show, which will take place June 22-23 at Dayton International Airport. The aircraft will perform separately and together, a first for the Dayton summer event. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Jacquie B

Jacquie B was the first female pilot to enter the airshow industry at the age of 50. Now, she will be flying her Extra 300S Aircraft for Dayton. The statement “Ladies, it’s time to fly” is displayed proudly on her aircraft.

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Though planes will be soaring overhead don’t forget much of the show is on the ground. Visitors will be able to view more than 50 aircraft on display ranging from WWII warbirds to modern military aircraft. 

Among the ground displays will be the U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk, the C-17 Globemaster III, a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon, the B-25 “Super Rabbit” and a Tuskegee Airman P-51D Mustang “Miss America”. 

This year, we can fly back in time with the men and aircrafts that were there. The Sky Soliders, a Vietnam re-enactment group will give rides in the UH-1H “Huey” helicopters. For just $75, you can hitch a ride in the back of these flying machines and soar the skies with a veteran pilot for up to 10 minutes. Veteran and active duty military discounts are available for the ride.

The UH-1 “Huey” first entered Army service in 1958, and was designed as a troop transport to carry 10 soldiers and a crew of three. They can still be found in Army and National Guard service today.

The U.S. Army Golden Knights will thrill spectators at the 2018 Vectren Dayton Air Show will intricate canopy work. CONTRIBUTED


Need something for the kids? The Vectren Kid’s Hangar has a backyard gym for climbing, a sandbox, face painting and crafts. The getaway is free and occasionally Air Show performers drop by to sign autographs. 

The hangar will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day with food, beverage and restroom facilities nearby. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 

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A variety of food concessions will be available as well as plenty of Coke and Budweiser products.

ATM’s are located on the show grounds.

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Being on the hot tarmac all day means spectators need to come prepared. 

Bring sunglasses, hats and sunscreen, and remember to protect children’s skin as well. Consider wearing light-weight, light-colored long-sleeve tops and comfortable shoes. It’s smart to bring an unopened bottled water, which is allowed. 

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General admission ticket holders can bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. Those with Blue Sky Chalet/Pavilion tickets don’t need to bring their own lawn chairs. To enjoy the aerial performances, pack a pair of binoculars. 

Other items allowed inside the gate: regular-size umbrellas (but not the large, backyard kind), strollers and wagons, cameras (your camera bags will be checked at the gate), mobility scooters for the disabled (rentals are available, call 567-674-6185 to reserve), wheelchairs and service animals. 

The B-17 bomber used in the 1990 Warner Brother film, "Memphis Belle," will appear at the 2018 Vectren Dayton Air Show. CONTRIBUTED


Coolers are not permitted on the grounds. Other restricted items are:

  • Cans or glass
  • Alcohol
  • Pets
  • Weapons
  • Firearms
  • Tents or awnings
  • Cooking equipment
  • Bikes, roller blades and scooters 


Due to heavy rain, an alternative parking plan is in place for the show. All parking will now be on paved lots, and the Emery/UPS Freight Facility on Old Springfield Road north of the airport is the Alternate Parking site. All spectator parking, including general admission, P-Lot and VIP will be directed to this site.

Sixty shuttle buses will be used to transport guests to and from the show grounds on an express route inside the airport perimeter.

The quickest route to the Alternate Parking site is Route 32 (Airport Access Road) off I-70. Digital signs will direct spectators west on West National Road, north on Dog Leg Road and east on Old Springfield Road. You can also use Exit 64 off I-75, though this route may be slower since Dixie Highway narrows to a single lane.

The show is recommending guests to arrive before 10 a.m. to get a space and shuttle ride quicker.

Keep in mind it’s $10 per car and $20 for RVs, buses and large-size vehicles. Overnight parking is prohibited.

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Vintage and modern aircraft alike thrilled thousands of fans over Father's Day weekend, June 18-19, at the Dayton International Airport. (TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED)


WHAT: Vectren Dayton Air Show 

WHERE: Dayton International Airport, Vandalia 

WHEN:  9 a.m.-6 p.m. June 22-23

TICKETS: General admission tickets are available at area Kroger stores and at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Advance online sales are available through Sunday, June 23, at 12 p.m. ET. All ticket sales are final, no refunds, no rain checks. Click here to view the assortment of ticket options, call 800-514-3849 or email Tickets available at the gate are cash only.

INFO: Vectren Dayton Air Show

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