Dayton Air Show begins today: Flying lineup, cost, and where to park

After taking a year off due to the pandemic, the CenterPoint Energy Dayton Air Show Presented by Kroger has returned for 2021 with a lineup of aerobatic performers, static display aircraft and high-flying entertainment.

The world-renowned U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will headline the show July 10 and 11 at the Dayton International Airport, 3600 Terminal Dr.

Here’s what you need to know to have a great time:


The gates open at 9 a.m. July 10 and 11 and the feature show is from noon until 4:15 p.m.

The show schedule is the same both days. The acts and times are subject to change without notice.

  • Flag Drop and National Anthem
  • US Army Golden Knights Parachute Team
  • U.S. Air Force C-17 Demonstration
  • Mike Wiskus with Lucas Oil Airshows
  • AeroShell Aerobatic Team
  • U.S. Navy F-18 Super Hornet Demonstration
  • U.S. Navy F-18 Demonstration with Corsair
  • CareFlight Helicopter Flyby
  • Jacquie B
  • Shockwave Jet Truck
  • U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds




This year’s show is packed with spectacular feats of flight and you don’t want to miss any of them. Here’s a few of the highlights to watch for.

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds

The dazzling U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are back and headlining this year’s show.

The Thunderbirds, known as America’s Ambassadors in Blue, will be flying six General Dynamic F-16 Fighting Falcons.

This is the 68th 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.

AeroShell Aerobatic Team

The North American AeroShell Aerobatic Team combine nostalgia, romance and entertainment in their World War II-era warbirds.

The team flies four North American AT-6G Texans in precision aerobatic maneuvers. Don’t miss the exciting “Bomb Burst,” “Avalanche” and “Switch Blade.”

Jacquie B

Painted on the the side of Jacquie B’s Extra 300S aerobatic aircraft is the statement “Ladies, it’s Time to Fly!”

Jacquie Warda didn’t learn to fly until she was 32 and began aerobatic flying at 50.

She has become an accomplished aerobatic pilot with over 3,200 flight hours and more than 1,100 coast-to-coast air show performances.


You get a whole new appreciation for aircraft with an up close and personal view.

Among the 50 static displays on the ground will be an F-16 Fighting Falcon, the same aircraft flown by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

Spectators can tour the U.S. Air Force’s largest aircraft, a USAF C-17 Globemaster III and a KC-10 Extender and the KC-135 Stratotanker will show how aircraft are refueled in mid-air.


The CenterPoint Energy Kids’ Hangar will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

Kids can dig in a huge sandbox, take part in crafts and face painting and climb on a backyard gym. Sometimes the air show performers stop by and sign autographs.

The hangar is free and children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.


General admission tickets are available online and at area Kroger stores. A ticket is good for one day.

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 are also available at the gate.

Consider a family deal. The Synchrony Family 4-Pack is $99 plus a fee and includes, 4 general admission tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 Cokes, a general admission parking pass and an official souvenir program. The family value pack can be purchased here.


Parking is $15 for cars and $25 for bus or recreational vehicle at the gate.

There are two general admission lots located on North Dixie Drive. The Main Lot is within walking distance to the main gate and the South Lot has a shuttle to the gate.

The P-lot parking lot (for those with Pavilion, Blue Sky, or private chalet tickets) is also located on North Dixie Drive. A shuttle takes you from this lot to your seating area. This lot requires a pass printed at home or on a mobile device and held up for police to see.

Parking lots can be accessed from I-75 or I-70.

From I-75 take Exit 64 Northwoods Blvd. follow signs for ticket type.

From I-70 take Exit 32 Airport Access Road follow signs for ticket type.

More information about parking and a map can be found here.


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. Handheld umbrellas are permitted. Consider wearing lightweight, light-colored long-sleeve tops and comfortable shoes

All carry-in items and persons are subject to search.

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.


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

· Loose ice is prohibited because it is difficult to search.


A variety of food concessions will be available. Complimentary water is also available at one location on the show grounds. ATM’s are located on the show grounds as well.


Now’s your chance to take a thrilling ride in a helicopter. The Army Aviation Heritage Foundation will provide opportunities to take flight.

Spectators can take a 10-minute ride in a UH-1H “Huey” with other passengers for $100 or experience a more intense solo ride in an AH-1F Cobra attack helicopter for $595.

Rides are on a first come, first serve basis. No advance reservations are accepted. Rides begin promptly at 9 a.m. when gates open and end at 6 p.m.

More information about helicopter rides can be found here.

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