Thunderbirds to head 2017 Air Show

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will be the feature act at the 2017 Vectren Dayton Air Show.

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will be the feature act at the 2017 Vectren Dayton Air Show.

DAYTON — The world-renowned U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Demonstration Squadron will appear at the 2017 Vectren Dayton Air Show Presented by Kroger on June 24th and 25th. Air show officials are reminding everyone of the blockbuster team’s appearance as the show’s 2017 website goes live today. 2017 marks the 43rd consecutive year for the show, a premier summertime event held annually at the Dayton International Airport.

Flying six, General Dynamic F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets the Thunderbirds fly a spectacular aerial demonstration that dazzles spectators with their incredible flying skills. Reaching speeds of up to 700 mph and flying as close as 18 inches apart, the team’s performance is always a show favorite. 65 team members will travel to Dayton from Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada to stage their spectacular aerial demonstration. The squadron is commanded by Lt. Col. Jason “Boss” Heard flying lead in the Thunderbird Number 1 jet. The Thunderbirds reflect the precision and professionalism of American Airmen thrilling millions of spectators around the globe each year. 2017 is the 64th year the Thunderbirds have been performing. They last appeared in Dayton in 2015.

Air show officials also announced the addition of three other exciting attractions to the 2017 show lineup:

The famous GEICO Skytypers Team will perform a precision flying demonstration and create some unique aerial smoke messages for spectators and the community. Flying six North American SNJ-2 World War II aircraft equipped with 600 horsepower Pratt and Whitney radial engines, the team will showcase many of the maneuvers that were taught to pilots training for WWII combat. GEICO’s routine is low-level and close-in making it an especially exciting experience for show fans. This will be GEICO’s first performance in Dayton.

Rob Holland Ultimate Air Shows will also make its debut appearance at Dayton in 2017. Holland has become one of the premier airshow performers and competition pilots in the world today. His 16 international competition medals place him in an elite group of top air show performers. At the controls of his 380 horsepower MXS-RH’s aircraft, Rob’s performance is new, refreshing and a “game-changer” on the air show circuit. He will perform an incredible aerobatic routine never before seen in the Dayton skies that is sure to thrill the crowd. Rob’s humble and approachable demeanor will be enjoyed by spectators on the show grounds as much as his amazing aerial performance.

Redline Airshows Aerobatic Team will be back in Dayton in 2017 with their dynamic 2-ship formation aerobatic performance. Based in nearby Cincinnati, Ohio, the team performed last year for the first time in Dayton. Team Lead Pilot Ken Rieder and Wingman Jon Thocker will excite Dayton spectators with their precision aerobatics which includes opposing, inverted and formation maneuvers in their home-built Van’s RV-8 aircraft. Ken is proud to say that attending the Dayton Air Show beginning at the age of 15 inspired his career in aviation. A performance by this local team at the famed Vectren Dayton Air Show is extra special for this entertaining aerobatic duo.

“The Thunderbirds and three top civilian show performances is an awesome start to our 2017 show lineup,” stated Michael Emoff, Chairman of the United States Air & Trade Show Board of Trustees, the governing organization of the show. “We are thrilled that Dayton has the reputation to attract the very best in aviation and we are proud to make these announcements to our 2017 show. Fans are going to love it,” he added.

More attractions will be announced in the months ahead.

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will be the feature act at the 2017 Vectren Dayton Air Show. U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will be the feature act at the 2017 Vectren Dayton Air Show.

Staff report

Reach the Vectren Dayton Air Show at