All eyes will be on the soaring action in the sky this weekend 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 44th consecutive year of operation.
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Shiela Wallace, media relations coordinator for the air show, said the event has been so successful because the region is the birthplace of aviation and the show has strong ties to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
“These are all things that scream this place loves aviation,” said Wallace.
This year’s event takes place June 23-24 from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. at the Dayton International Airport, 3600 Terminal Dr.
Here’s what you should know to have a great time:
MUST-SEE SHOWS IN THE SKY
United States Navy Blue Angels
The Blue Angels, who have thrilled audiences for more than 70 years, will headline the Vectren Dayton Air Show this year.
The Blue Angels, who last appeared in Dayton in 2014, fly six F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets in formations that bring them as close as 18 inches apart.
The fastest speed during the performance is close to 700 MPH.
Fastest woman racer
Vicky Benzing, a pilot, aerobatic performer, skydiver and air racer will perform for the first time at the show.
She set the record as the “fastest woman racer” ever in the history of the Reno Air Races in Nevada and has made more than 1,200 parachute jumps.
Benzing will fly an action packed routine in a high-performance Extra 300S.
Sean D. Tucker’s farewell show
Sean D. Tucker and his 400 hp Oracle Challenger will return to the Vectren Dayton Air Show in 2018 for the last time. Tucker is retiring from solo flying but planning to form a formation aerobatic team for future performances. He has flown more than 1,200 performances at 475 air shows in front of more than 105 million fans. Sean has received numerous awards and recognitions including being named as one of the Living Legends of Flight. He also is a National Aviation Hall of Fame inductee.
TORA! TORA! TORA!
A living history lesson returns to the show this year. TORA! TORA! TORA! will re-enact the Dec. 7, 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor. Eight Japanese replica fighter/bomber aircraft and a display of fire, smoke and noise, simulate bombing runs.
U.S. Air Force F-22A Raptor
Last seen at the air show in 2016, the Raptor will make a return appearance. Research and development of the F-22 was done right here at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Wright-Patt continues to be responsible for overseeing production and sustainment of the Raptor. The Raptor was the first American fighter jet to fly at supersonic speeds without using the afterburner. The F-22 can reach airspeeds of Mach 1.5 without using the afterburner.
U.S. Army Golden Knights
Last appearing at Dayton in 2015, the Army Golden Knights inspire audiences of all ages with their patriotism and exciting maneuvers. Formed in 1959, the Golden Knights are the Army’s official demonstration team. Members are drawn from US Army paratroopers who have demonstrated excellence in parachuting skills. The Golden Knights will show intricate canopy work along with skydiving formations and landings that require extreme precision.
B-17G Movie Memphis Belle
The B-17G Movie Memphis Belle that will appear at the 2018 show was the star of the 1990 Warner Brother film, Memphis Belle. The film was a fictionalization of the 1943 documentary Memphis Belle, about the 25th and last mission of the American Boeing B-17 Memphis Belle Flying Fortress bomber.
‘Screamin Sasquatch’ Jet Waco
The name alone is enticing. The Jack Link’s Beef Jerky “Screamin’ Sasquatch” Jet Waco is a re-creation of the popular Jet Waco attraction developed by Jimmy Franklin and Les Shockley in 1969. The Sasquatch is a highly modified 1929 Taperwing Waco that can fly vertically.
P-51C Red Tail Mustang ‘Tuskegee Airmen’
The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron has selected Dayton for an appearance of its Tuskegee P-51 Mustang aircraft and Rise Above Theater production. CAF’s mission is to educate audiences across the country about the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen – America’s first black military pilots. The CAF presentation will include a flight and display of the P-51 Mustang Red Tail aircraft Tuskegee Airmen flew. The Rise Above theater is a 30-seat panoramic film presentation of the Tuskegee Airmen’s story.
The schedule is subject to change, but can be found here:
Gates open at 9 a.m.
Feature show: Noon to 4:15 p.m.
Gates close at 6 p.m.
Note: Show schedule is the same for both days.
FEATURE FLYING SHOW:
Opening Ceremonies (Saturday only)
Flag Drop and National Anthem
Tuskegee Airmen P-51 Mustang
U.S. Army Golden Knights
B-17 Movie Memphis Belle
U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor
U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight
Care Flight Dedication
Tora, Tora, Tora
U.S. Navy Blue Angels
*All acts and times are subject to change without notice.
MUST-SEE PLANES ON THE GROUND
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. Air Force 5-52 Stratofortress, the C-17 Globemaster III, a U.S. Navy F-18 Super Hornet, the B-17 movie Memphis Belle and a Tuskegee Airman P-51 Mustang.
The sprawling Boeing B-52 Stratofortress will span the tarmac among the ground displays. The B-52 heavy bomber is one of the longest serving aircraft in the Air Force. Commonly referred to as BUFF, which stands for “Big, Ugly Fat Fellow,” the bomber was last at the air show in 2010.
The Orbis International MD-10 Flying Eye Hospital — a state-of-the-art teaching facility with an operating room, classroom and recovery room — will be on the ground. Spectators will be able to board the Flying Eye Hospital which travels the globe training people to fight blindness.
The DC-8 Samaritan’s Purse will make its first air show appearance ever this weekend. The Samaritan’s Purse organization — led by Franklin Graham, the son of the late Billy Graham — takes the Douglas DC-8-72CF jetliner around the world to provide spiritual and physical aid.
The Sky Soldiers, a Vietnam re-enactment group will provide rides in a vintage UH-1H “Huey”. For a $75 donation, riders are able to strap in the back of the helicopter and fly with a veteran pilot for 8-10 minutes. Weather permitting, the doors of the helicopter are open during the flight. The UH–1 “Huey” entered U.S. Army service in 1958 with more than 9,440 different aircraft having been procured over thirty five years. The HUEY was the first mass-produced turbine powered helicopter to enter Army service.
When the kids need a break, this is the place to go. The Kids’ Hangar has places for children to dig in a huge sandbox, enjoy face painting and crafts, climb on a backyard gym and maybe even get some autographs. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
WANT TO GO?
WHAT: Vectren Dayton Air Show
WHERE: Dayton International Airport, Vandalia
HOURS: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. June 23-24
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 24, at 12 p.m. ET. All ticket sales are final, no refunds, no rain checks. Click here to view the assortment of ticket options, or call 888-695-0888. Tickets available at the gate are cash only.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Vectren Dayton Air Show