It had been too long. However, this year I returned. This is a Dayton Airshow Recap.
The fact that the Orville and Wilbur Wright called Dayton, Ohio home set the stage for the Dayton Air Show’s place near the top of the list when it comes to the shows in North America. This year’s event had a tough challenge. With the almost daily rains of the past month, the normal grass parking was “out of order”. The show improvised parking vehicles on the tarmac near an old aviation warehouse on the far side of the field. A steady stream of busses transported patrons around the airfield to the show.
The Mighty KC-135
It was good to see my old airplane, the Mighty KC-135 with a steady stream of visitors. The R model with its CFM 56 engines manufactured in Cincinnati cast an impressive presence on the tarmac.
Right next to the tanker was the C-17. The Air Force’s newest transport aircraft. The C-17 and KC-135 combined for an impressive flyover with the C-17 a few hundred feet behind the KC-135’s boom. My friend Rick snapped the photo below.
The F/A-18F Super Hornet
I arrived at the show just in time to see two Super Hornets take off in trail position. They the joined into a tight formation. Eventually they joined up on a Grumman F4F Wildcat (WWII era), linking with past generations for an impressive flyby.
Other performers filled the sky. See a complete schedule here:
On May 30th I saw the Thunderbirds fly at the Air Force Academy Graduation. That day, however, was overcast so the Thunderbirds did only their low show. Additionally, only five of the six aircraft performed that day.
All of that was remedied on June 23, 2019.
The Thunderbirds had a clear day with lots of sunshine and a few very thin clouds. All six jets were up and running and they put on the whole show. What a show it was. Tactical surprise always catches the crowd off guard and when the opposing solo aircraft nearly collide it is breathtaking. The group did a diamond formation into a Heart pattern in a dedication to our troops overseas.
However, my favorite remains what I called the “bomb burst”. Four Thunderbirds pull up to the vertical with smoke on. Then then pull off in four directions while one of the solo craft climbs into the point where the four aircraft separated. It is always a crowd favorite
It was good to chat with some naval aviators out of Mississippi and I ran into a lady whose Dad served in my old unit, The 4950th back in the 1960s and 70s. Her Dad also worked on Air Force One under Eisenhower and Kennedy. What a thrill.
Catch Next Year’s Show
The Dayton Air Show remains one of the premier events in North America. I highly encourage all in the Midwest to attend next year’s event on June 27-28, 2020. For a full Dayton Air Show recap click hereh
For some great photos see: the Dayton Daily News: