PRESS RELEASE –HOUSTON (October 14, 2014) – The U.S. Navy Blue Angels will return to Houston for the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) 30th Annual Wings Over Houston Airshow, which will be held Saturday and Sunday, November 1st through 2nd, at Ellington Airport. Produced by the Commemorative Air Force, the non-profit air show will also include a tribute to Viet Nam War veterans with a flight demonstration featuring aircraft from that era. The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall will also be on display during the show and open to the public free on Friday, October 31st from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Other highlights will include static displays and performances of vintage warplanes, modern military aircraft including the huge Boeing B-52 Stratofortress and Lockheed WC-130 “Hurricane Hunter,” civilian acrobatic pilots, and numerous exhibits and activities. Continuous show updates and ticket information are available at www.wingsoverhouston.com.
“We’re thrilled the U.S. Navy Blue Angels are returning to help us celebrate 30 years of an airshow that has become a family tradition and brings fans from all over the United States and the world to Houston,” said Bill Roach, airshow director. “It’s amazing how much this volunteer-produced show has grown over the past thirty years in number of performers, exhibits and activities that bring history to life. Our Viet Nam War Veterans Tribute and Demonstration will be a highlight this year, and we’re honored to host the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall. We’ve put together a thrilling and fully-packed show lineup to showcase amazing aircraft and pilots, present stimulating exhibits and activities, and presentations that honor our military veterans and active-duty service men and women. Fans should check our website closer to show weekend for updates on all of our performers and activities. We also have received generous support from sponsors, but we do welcome more sponsorship support.”
Currently, some of the headlining performers include:
- U.S. Navy Blue Angels: The Blue Angels will perform their aerobatic demonstration by flying six F/A-18 Hornet aircraft, split into the diamond formation (Blue Angels 1 through 4) and the lead and opposing solos (Blue Angels 5 and 6).
- U.S. Navy “Fat Albert” C-130 Demo: “Fat Albert,” a U.S. Marine Corps C-130 Hercules airlifter, is the Blue Angels’ support plane and also flies its own solo performance at air shows.
- Viet Nam Demonstration & Tribute: Honoring Viet Nam War veterans, this tribute will feature the F-100 Super Sabre, A-4 Skyhawk, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17, MiG-21, F-86, A-1 Skyraider, O-2 Skymasters, AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter and two UH-1 Iroquois better known as Hueys. Also in the demonstration will be ground forces and equipment battling for territory, complete with pyrotechnics.
- MV-22 Osprey – U.S. Marine Corps: With the speed and range of a turboprop, the MV-22 Osprey has the maneuverability of a helicopter and the ability to carry 24 Marine combat troops twice as fast and five times farther than previous helicopters.
- Air Force Heritage Flight: Heritage Flight performances of modern military aircraft flying with World War II, Korea or Vietnam era fighters dramatically display USAF airpower history.
- World War II Airpower Demo: Recreates many famous battles from World War II with prop-driven aircraft from the round-engine era and features a German ME-262, the first operational jet fighter plane in WWII.
- Civilian Aerial Acrobatic Performers: Some of the world’s top-tier pilots will perform including Sean D. Tucker – Team Oracle, David Martin – Breitling Airshows, and world-class pilots Matt Chapman and Debby Rihn-Harvey.
- TORA TORA TORA: An annual home show performer, TORA TORA TORA presents a dramatic re-creation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
- F-86F Sabre Demonstration: Steve Hinton will demonstrate a North American F-86F Sabre (Sabrejet), America’s first swept wing fighter to counter the Soviet MiG-15 in high-speed dogfights during the Korean War.
- Shockwave Jet Truck: The world’s fastest jet on land, the Shockwave hits speeds of 300-plus miles per hour.
- RE/MAX Skydive Team: Our show-opening act continues with the dynamic entrance of the skydiving team bringing in Old Glory during the National Anthem.
The show features too many special events and activities to list all, but among them include:
- The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall: Measuring 300 feet long and 6 feet tall, The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall is a 3/5 scale model of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., that honors those who gave their lives during the Vietnam War. The display will be open to the public for free on Friday, Oct. 31, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Legends & Heroes Tent: Throughout the day, flying aces, decorated war-heroes, veterans and special guests will be present to sign autographs. Many of these living legends also offer signed autobiographies, photographs and other memorabilia for sale.
- Airplane & Helicopter Rides: Some participating organizations sell rides, including hops in vintage warbirds such as the B-17G Bomber, AT-6 Texan, P-51C Mustang and many others.
- Tuskegee Airmen P-51C and the CAF RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit: The CAF’s Red Tail Squadron showcases its P-51C Mustang, Tuskegee Airmen, and RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit. The exhibit tells the story of how the Tuskegee Airmen overcame obstacles to be allowed to train and fight as the first African-American U.S. Army Air Corps pilots.
- NASA’s Driven to Explore: This mobile, multi-media exhibit immerses visitors in the story of NASA. Guests will learn why we explore, discover the challenges of human space exploration, how NASA provides critical technological advances to improve life on Earth, and be able to view NASA’S large Guppy plane that will be on display.
- Freedom Flyers – Free Flights for WWII Veterans: Flown by Cowden Ward, Jr. and operated by Freedom Flyers, up to six free flights will be given to World War II veterans on Ward’s P-51-D Mustang, “Pecos Bill,” on Friday, Oct. 31. Requests over the six slots will be honored and scheduled for different dates. To request a flight and make schedule arrangements, contact Freedom Flyers at 512-756-6163 or email Cowden Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Other events and activitiesinclude modern aviation displays, warbird ramp displays, Commemorative Air Force Hanger 57 information booth and store, Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) aircraft displays, military enactment camps by the National USA Forces Museum and The 6th Cavalry Historical Association, Blue Bonnet Military Museum with vintage aircraft and displays by Lone Star Flight Museum, Texas Flying Legends Museum, Lewis Air Legends, Vietnam War Flight Museum, Collings Foundation and Freedom Flyers. Other fun includes motion aircraft simulator rides and a kid’s carnival with a rock climbing wall and other activities.
The CAF Wings Over Houston Airshow was made possible by hundreds of volunteers and many generous donors and sponsors. With humble beginnings in 1985, it has grown into a Houston family tradition that also attracts a worldwide audience. Show proceeds benefit the CAF’s efforts to restore and maintain historic military aircraft, provide scholarships to aviation students and provide assistance to numerous non-profit organizations in the Houston metro area.
“We also have a very special tradition at Wings Over Houston Airshow that we call the ‘Special Show,’ which is for lifetime physically challenged young people,” said Roach. “We hold the show on the Friday before Airshow weekend for about 5,000 people. The Special Show, which is generously sponsored by the Hugh W. O’Donnell family, is the largest field trip for physically challenged students in this area.”
Please visit the show’s website, www.wingsoverhouston.com, for updated information including performers list, airplane rides, exhibits and activities, ticket information and parking instructions.
Tickets can be purchased in advance by visiting www.wingsoverhouston.com or by calling 888-4-FLYSHOW. Purchase early for best pricing as ticket prices go up as event nears and to secure reserved seating. Options include Reserved Prime View “50-yard-line” seating that includes reserved parking and an event program. Eagle Squadron Hospitality tickets include reserved seating, catered food and beverages throughout the day, reserved parking, souvenir cap, program and poster. General admission tickets for entry to the show without seating also are available. Tickets can be purchased at the gate on show days, but remember that premium reserved seats sell out early. General admission tickets are also available at area Kroger stores.
Parking at Ellington Airport is very limited; complimentary bus transportation is recommended. Bus shuttles run from Bay Area Park and Ride (801 Bay Area Blvd), Fuqua Park and Ride (11755 Sabo Road) and South Point Park and Ride (12410 Kurland). Shuttles run from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m., with the last shuttle inbound to Ellington Airport departing at 2:30 p.m. The shuttle service is free. Visit www.wingsoverhouston.com for Park and Ride locations.
As a non-profit event, CAF Wings Over Houston Airshow relies upon the generosity of sponsors. This year’s headline sponsors to date include: The Hugh W. O’Donnell Family, presenting Special Show for Special People; Texas Bay Area Credit Union; Bud Light; City of Webster; United Airlines; Wargaming.net; City of Nassau Bay; RE/MAX of Texas; Coca-Cola, Inc.; Gainsborough Waste; and Veteran Energy.
Promotional Partners include: The New 93Q; The Eagle 107.5 FM; Country Legends 97.1 FM; City of Webster; Kroger; Captivate Network; 89.3 KSBJ; GoodCents; Greensheet; The Scene Magazine;
Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce; City of League City; Go-Galveston.com; and Univision 102.9 Estereo Latino.
Logistical Partners include: Houston Airport System; Space Center Houston; The University of Texas Medical Branch; Texas State Guard Houston & Galveston Medical Reserve Corps; Clear Lake Emergency Medical Corps; Friendswood EMS; Lansdowne-Moody; H&E Equipment Services; and Space Center Houston.
Organizations interested in sponsoring the show may visit the Sponsorship Opportunities page on the airshow’s website, www.wingsoverhouston.com.
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 2014 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.