In two weeks the U.S. Navy Blue Angels come to Houston to fly their heart-stopping performance in the 32nd Annual Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Wings Over Houston Airshow, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 22-23, at Ellington Airport.
Joining the Blue Angels will be an array of incredible aerial performances by the AeroShell Aerobatic Team, a demonstration flight of the F-16 Viper, aerobatic performances by Sean Tucker, Matt Younkin, Debbie Rihn-Harvey and Paul Fiala, and an Air Force Heritage Flight featuring F-16 Falcon, P-47 Thunderbolt and F-35 Lightening II Stealth Fighter.
Vintage World War II-era warbirds – including one of the largest arrays of U.S. fighters and bombers flown in any airshow in the nation, as well as rare planes such as a British Spitfire and one of the world’s only flying Japanese Zero fighters – will perform reenactments and fly in formations.
Honoring the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the airshow will pay tribute to the service, sacrifice and heroism demonstrated during WWII. Performing will be fan-favorite Tora! Tora! Tora! with its explosive reenactment of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
“In the air and on the ground, we have created an exciting and fun weekend of events for the entire family, a fun event that has been a Houston family tradition for 32 years,” said Airshow Director Bill Roach. “The Blue Angels always fly an amazing show and bring in record crowds, so we suggest you buy tickets now, use public transportation, and arrive early to see all of the older warbirds that will fly in the show before they close that area.”
Ace pilots and other distinguished military veterans will make appearances in the Legends & Heroes Autograph Tent, happy to autograph your event program for free. Among the show’s guests will several World War II veterans, including Col. Dick Cole, who recently celebrated his 100th birthday and is the last surviving member of the famous Doolittle Raiders. Although too many to list, some other airmen appearing will be triple-ace Col. Dean Caswell, Col. Joe McPhail who flew in World War II and Korea, B-24 tail gunner S/Sgt. Kent Gillum, and two pilots who flew Hellcats off the U.S.S. Hornet in World War II, Lt. (JG) Tilman Elison Pool and Lt. (JG) Charles E. “Billy” Watts.
Other performers and family-fun attractions include:
World War II-era planes performing and on display from various units of the Commemorative Air Force, Texas Flying Legends Museum, Lone Star Flight Museum, Vietnam War Flight Museum, Lewis Collection, Cavanaugh Flight Museum and Collings Foundation. To see all of them up close and on the ground, arrive at 8 a.m. and go straight to the warbird ramp until it closes at 10 a.m.
Modern military aircraft on display, including the sleek F-35A Lightening II Stealth Fighter, the reliable B-52 Stratofortress, the massive C-17 cargo plane, and more.
The show will include a flight demonstration of the U.S. Coast Guard Helicopter Dolphin MH65D, the aircraft used for rescues in our gulf coastal area.
The RE/MAX Skydiving Team will open the show, bringing the American and Texas flags to the crowd during the National Anthem.
Before the airshow starts, Texas City Radio Control Club will demonstrate scale model radio-controlled aircraft.
Members of reenactment and historical organizations set up camp, complete with authentic World War II military vehicles, equipment and uniforms.
More fun on the ground for everyone includes plenty of food, merchandise booths, children’s carnival area, aircraft simulators and more.
Tickets can be purchased in advance by visiting www.wingsoverhouston.com or by calling 888-4-FLYSHOW. Tickets can be purchased at the gate on show days, but premium reserved seats sell out early. General admission tickets are available at area Kroger stores.