I love planes. I suppose it has to do with growing up on Air Force bases around the world and going to at least one air show every summer of my life. COVID was a serious bummer in that regard. Every air show was cancelled for a whole year! It was awful.
I’m lucky we happen to live near an Air Force base now and get regular jet noise over our neighborhood as fighter pilots zoom across the sky, perfecting their skills. During the past year, it fed my craving for “the sound of freedom” but it didn’t fill the annual need to wander around on a flightline checking out planes and eating a burger from a food vendor.
Now COVID restrictions are lifting and those amazing air shows are back! Sadly, we couldn’t make it to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, this summer for EAA Airventure, but we’ve already booked our tickets for the Air Races in Reno.
If you’ve never been to an air show, I can’t recommend the experience more! Around the world, national military jet teams show off their skill in the air. Italy has the Frecce Tricolori (Tricolour Arrows). The Black Eagles are Korea’s contribution to the international jet display teams. Australia’s Royal Australian Air Force’s Roulettes are unique in this list – being propeller-powered. France shows off its aerobatic precision with the Patrouille de France. International air shows feature dozens of options to have you ooohing and aahing with your eyes to the sky.
Of course, no mention of air shows would be complete without the USAF Thunderbirds and the US Navy Blue Angels. I am biased, as an Air Force brat, but the friendly competition between these two teams is relatively legendary.
It’s not just about the scream of jet engines and heart-stopping, low-level flybys that draws me to a show. It’s the buzz of excitement about the other planes on static display (parked on the runway and taxiways) that offer up close and personal glimpses of aviation power and flexibility.
It’s the food vendors, often benefiting local charities or organizations, that offer burgers, hot dogs, bratwursts, soda, beer, and more. It’s the funnel cakes and cotton candy. It’s the ice cream vendors with their cones and popsicles.
Our annual air show in the Phoenix area is in March to avoid the heat of the summer in the desert … so we missed 2020 AND 2021, but next year’s show is scheduled and I already have friends planning to visit for the weekend.
As you look ahead, don’t forget to look to the skies for some excitement. In the US, the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels perform through November across the country.
There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. Explore the scream of jets and wow at the aerobatics at an air show near you!
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