When “The Best Warbird Show in America” takes to the skies Oct. 9 through11 at Midland International Airport in Texas, it will have a new sponsor. The 2009 AIRSHO will be presented by Western National Bank, the Commemorative Air Force said on June 8.
“The CAF is excited to announce Western National Bank as the exclusive presenting sponsor for CAF AIRSHO 2009,” said CAF president Stephan C. Brown. “This two-year agreement with a strong community leader is very encouraging to us in times like these. The CAF, and the many local members and volunteers, depend heavily on team spirit to make AIRSHO a success. We welcome WNB to the team.”
“Western National Bank is pleased to be the new … sponsor of the AIRSHO,” said WNB president and CEO Jack Wood. “Because we are a locally owned community bank, we believe it’s important to be involved in events like this that benefit the entire community, and it’s just a lot of fun for the whole family.”
Thanks to the WNB support, the CAF plans to invite all Midland, Ector and Howard county 5th graders to a free Junior Aces Special Show on Oct. 9, along with the special needs youngsters from the area, Brown said.
AIRSHO features more than 100 aircraft on static display and in the air, ranging from early vintage aircraft to current American military planes. “CAF AIRSHO takes great pride in bringing modern military to the public along with the historic aircraft of the CAF fleet,” Brown said.
“We are excited to showcase the F-16 Viper West Coast Demo Team and Heritage Flight, as well as a demonstration from the C-17 Globemaster,” said AIRSHO director Gena Linebarger. “We know the crowd will enjoy seeing a fly-over by a B-52 Stratofortress bomber. Also, on static display will be a wide variety of other modern military aircraft ranging from trainers to a B-1 Bomber.”
For the first time, the CAF is planning a Saturday night, USO-style show following AIRSHO. “The show will feature live entertainment to rival the glamour and excitement of the World War II canteens that served as a home away from home for the men and women protecting our freedom,” Linebarger said. “At AIRSHO 2009, you can expect to see an expanded Vietnam segment. The show will feature Vietnam-era aircraft and aerial reenactments from the war,” she said.
AIRSHO also will feature recreated historic battles of World War II using the CAF’s collection of rare warbirds. The show will include dogfights, simulated bomb explosions, and a re-creation of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor with the world-renowned Tora, Tora, Tora pilots.