Show to Collect for Houston Food Bank, Recognize U.S. Coast Guard in Wake of Hurricane Harvey
HOUSTON (October 3, 2017) – In only a few short weeks, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds under the command of Sugar Land native Lt. Col. Jason Heard will return to Houston for the 33rd Annual Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Wings Over Houston Airshow. The airshow will be held Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 21-22, at Ellington Airport. Fans also are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for donation to theHouston Food Bank as they continue to provide disaster relief to people affected by Hurricane Harvey. Tickets are available atwww.wingsoverhouston.com or by calling 888-4-FLYSHOW. To purchase tickets for the 2017 CAF Wings Over Houston Airshow, please visit the airshow’s website, www.wingsoverhouston.com, or call 888-4-FLYSHOW. On airshow performance days, general admission tickets will be sold at the gate. Once inside the gates, fans are welcome to visit reserved areas and purchase upgraded seating, if any are available.
Produced by the Commemorative Air Force, the non-profit airshow will feature a dramatic Vietnam War Tribute demonstration by a F-4 Phantom II, F-100 Super Sabre, MiG-17, Huey Cobra, and other aircraft. A very special commemorative fly-by of a B-25 will recognize the 75thanniversary of the Doolittle Raid in World War II and honor the last living Raider, Lt. Col. Dick Cole, who just celebrated his 102nd birthday and will meet fans in the Legends and Heroes Autograph Tent. The show also will recognize the U.S. Coast Guard for their heroic rescues following Hurricane Harvey and include a demonstration of the Dolphin MH65D helicopter.
“Despite Hurricane Harvey and all of the challenges facing our area, our show will go on exactly as planned. We’ve been a Houston family tradition for 33 years, and in times like this, our show is a real boost for all us,” said Airshow Director Bill Roach. “The amazing U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds return under the direction of one of our own, native Lt. Col. Jason Heard from Sugar Land. We will have several new performers, a lot of our fan favorites, and some really fun ground activities including exotic cars and motorcycles. Of course, we also feature one of the largest assemblies of vintage aircraft of any show in the country.”
Along with the Thunderbirds, modern military aircraft performances include a roaring show kick-off by an F-16 Fighting Falcon of the Air National Guard 138th Fighter Wing of Tulsa in a full afterburner take-off. The U.S. Navy will present a tactical demonstration of the F-18 Super Hornet VFA-122.
Aerobatic pilots Elias Corey with Suzuki Airshows and Michael Wiskus of Lucas Oil Airshows will both make their Wings Over Houston debuts while fan favorite and world aerobatic champion Debbie Rihn-Harvey also will perform.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force, the always popular U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight will feature a World War II-era P-47 Thunderbolt and its newer namesake, the A-10 Thunderbolt II also known as the “Warthog.” Also flying together in an airshow for the first time will the world’s first jet fighter, a replica German ME-262, and another famed single-engine jet fighter, the British de Havilland DH-15 Vampire.Randy Ball returns to pilot the MiG-17 in a solo demonstration and will fly in the Vietnam War Tribute.
Ace pilots, distinguished military veterans, and a record-holding astronaut will meet fans in the Legends & Heroes Autograph Tent. Honored guests include Lt. Col. Dick Cole, Clarence E. “Bud” Anderson, Col. Dean Caswell, Col. Joe McPhail, Capt. Royce Williams, Brig. Gen. Steve Ritchie, Major Terry Pappas, Col. Jerry Ross – and many others.
Other spectacular performances and activities will include:
- The Vietnam War Tributewill include F-4 Phantom II, F-100 Super Sabre, MiG-17, A-4 Skyhawk, Huey Cobra, and Skyraider 02 as well as ground action by re-enactors from the 6th Cavalry of the National U.S. Forces Museum and others.
- Vintage aircraft performing and on displayfrom various units of the Commemorative Air Force, Lone Star Flight Museum, Vietnam War Flight Museum, Lewis Collection, Cavanaugh Flight Museum and Collings Foundation. To see all most of these aircraft up close and on the ground, arrive at 8 a.m. and go straight to the warbird ramp. The area is always open until 10 a.m.but often stays open as late as 10:30 or 11 a.m. depending on show scheduling.
- A large assembly ofmodern and vintage military aircraft will be on static display all day, including the specialized EA-18G Growler, reliable B-52 Stratofortress, the massive C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane, the multi-role F-16C Fighting Falcon,the impressive AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, the huge U.S. Coast Guard HC-130H search and rescue plane – and more.
- The RE/MAX Skydiving Teamwill open our show, bringing the American and Texas flags to the crowd during the National Anthem.
- Precision Exoticsis bringing a collection of exotic vehicles to the tarmac for an exciting fan experience.
- Aerobatic pilot Elias Corey – Suzuki Airshowsincludes not only his aerobatic performance, but also an amazing fan experience featuring Suzuki’s full range of motorcycles.
- The custom-built Shockwave Jet Truck, powered by three massive J34-48 Pratt & Whitney jet engines, will scream down the runway at chilling speeds.
- Before the airshow starts, Texas City Radio Control Clubwill demonstrate scale model radio-controlled aircraft that will amaze you with their capabilities.
- Members of reenactment and historical organizationsset up camp, complete with authentic military vehicles, equipment and uniforms.
- More fun on the ground for everyoneincludes plenty of food, merchandise booths, children’s carnival area, aircraft simulators and more. Come early to do it all!
Visit the show’s website, www.wingsoverhouston.com, for tickets, latest updates and advisories, transportation and parking information, and advice on what to wear and bring.
About Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Wings Over Houston
The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Wings Over Houston Airshow is a non-profit 501(c)(3) community event produced by a volunteer effort of the Gulf Coast Wing, Houston Wing, and Tora! Tora! Tora! of the Commemorative Air Force, with support from the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, Texas Legends Flying Museum, Vietnam War Flight Museum, Lewis Air Legends and Collings Foundation West. The Airshow is dedicated to showcasing vintage World War II aircraft, along with the thrills of modern aviation. One of the top air shows in the United States in its category, the CAF Wings Over Houston Airshow attracts more than 90,000 festival goers throughout Houston as well as from around the globe. The 2017 Airshow benefits the CAF Wings Over Houston Airshow Scholarship Program, Aviation Career Education Academy, Exchange Club of Sugar Land, Westchase Rotary Club and the Commemorative Air Force aircraft restoration and flying historical programs, in addition to numerous other nonprofit participating organizations.
About the Commemorative Air Force
The Commemorative Air Force honors the men and women who built, maintained, and flew in these airplanes during World War II. The organization believes that is best accomplished by maintaining the airplanes in flying condition; taking the airplanes to the people allowing them to experience the sight and sound of the aircraft in flight.
Collecting, restoring and flying vintage historical aircraft for 60 years, the Commemorative Air Force is the largest flying museum in the world. The CAF is dedicated to Honoring American Military Aviation through flight, exhibition and remembrance. A non-profit educational association, the CAF has more than 11,000 members and a fleet of 165 airplanes distributed throughout the country to over 60 CAF units for care and operation. For more information, visit www.commemorativeairforce.org.