Despite the damage wrought by Hurricane Harvey, the 33rd annual Wings Over Houston air show is still a go. The show will be held Oct. 21-22, 2017, at Ellington Airport (KEFD).
Fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for donation to the Houston Food Bank as it continues to provide disaster relief to people affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Produced by the Commemorative Air Force, the non-profit airshow will feature a Vietnam War Tribute demonstration by an F-4 Phantom II, F-100 Super Sabre, MiG-17, Huey Cobra, and other aircraft.
A special commemorative fly-by of a B-25 will recognize the 75th anniversary 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 its 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 takeoff. 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 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 be 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 performances and activities include:
- The Vietnam War Tribute will 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 display from 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 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 of modern and vintage military aircraft will be on static display all day, including the EA-18G Growler, B-52 Stratofortress, the C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane, the F-16C Fighting Falcon, the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, the U.S. Coast Guard HC-130H search and rescue plane, and more.
- The RE/MAX Skydiving Team will open the show, bringing the American and Texas flags to the crowd during the National Anthem.
- Precision Exotics is bringing a collection of exotic vehicles to the tarmac.
- Aerobatic pilot Elias Corey-Suzuki Airshows includes not only his aerobatic performance, but also an fan experience featuring Suzuki’s full range of motorcycles.
- The custom-built Shockwave Jet Truck, powered by three J34-48 Pratt & Whitney jet engines, will scream down the runway.
- Before the airshow starts, Texas City Radio Control Club will demonstrate scale model radio-controlled aircraft.
- Members of reenactment and historical organizations set up camp, complete with authentic military vehicles, equipment and uniforms.
- More fun on the ground includes food, merchandise booths, children’s carnival area, aircraft simulators and more.
Visit the show’s website for tickets, updates and advisories, transportation and parking information, and advice on what to wear and bring.