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WRGT-TV FOX 45 News :: News - Top Stories - It's Official: Thunderbirds Cancel Dayton Air Show Appearance
Thursday, March 28 2013, 09:42 AM EDT
It's Official: Thunderbirds Cancel Dayton Air Show Appearance
DAYTON (AP) -- The U.S. Air Force's grounding of its Thunderbirds jet demonstration team means the planes won't be headlining this summer's Dayton Air Show.

It's not a surprise. The Air Force earlier announced that it planned to ground the Thunderbirds April 1 if a federal budget deal wasn't reached.

Organizers of the popular Dayton Air Show made the Thunderbirds' cancellation official in a release Thursday.

The air show is scheduled to go on June 22 and 23.

This year's show will feature 14 acts, which will fly each day in the feature show, including:  “FIFI”, the only flying B-29 in the world,  will create a "Great Wall of Fire" atomic bombing reenactment; there will be both a MiG-17 and an F-86 Sabre flying demonstration; the AeroShell Formation Aerobatic Team will perform; Melissa Pemberton’s Edge 540 flying aerobatics will be on display; Skip Stewart will perform high energy aerobatics;  Jane Wicker Wing Walking will risk all; and the "School Time" jet-powered school bus will roar down the runway at 300 mph.

"With such a tremendous lineup of top attractions already in place, we felt it was important to continue the 38-year tradition of Dayton and move forward with the 2013 show," stated Michael Emoff, United States Air and Trade Show Board of Trustees Chairman.  "We think spectators will be excited by not only the thrills of these professional acts, but also with the overall quality of this year's show both in the air and on the ground," he added.

The Air Force said flying hours normally set aside for its demonstration acts, including the Thunderbirds and the F-22 Raptor, are being reserved for national readiness activities. The service projects the automatic budget cuts will mean the reduction of 203,000 flying hours, a fifth of the total.

Air Show officials announced today the addition of the following new features:

One of the most famed fighters of WWII is the F4U-5N Corsair and Vectren Dayton Air Show spectators will get to witness this unique gull-winged aircraft both in flight as well as on static display.  The first U.S. fighter to fly at 400 mph in level flight, the Corsair was designed for aircraft carrier-based service.  Called “Whistling Death” for the distinctive sound the engines of the Corsair made in a dive, US Marines referred to the Corsair as their best friend for the excellent air support it provided when troops were pinned down on the ground.  Dave Folk will fly the Corsair, which is housed in Greenwood, Mississippi in the winter and Kalamazoo, Michigan in the summer.
                                                   
The Warbird Heritage Foundation’s A-4B Skyhawk, flown by Paul Wood of Waukegan, IL will return to Dayton after its first appearance in 2012.  The Skyhawk was a light bomber/attack aircraft flown by both Vice Admiral James Stockdale and LCDR John McCain (now Senator McCain) during the Vietnam War.  The Skyhawk appearing at the 2013 Vectren Dayton Air Show is painted to represent aircraft BuNo 148609 flown by LCDR Ted Swartz, who shot down a MiG-17 over North Vietnam with an unguided ZUNI rocket.  This was the only air-to-air kill by a Skyhawk during the entire Vietnam War. 

Team Fastrax, a world-class skydiving team located in Middletown, Ohio has also been added to the 2013 Vectren Dayton Air Show Presented by Kroger lineup. To be considered as a Demo Team member, individuals must first have at least 1,000 jumps and meet stringent professional standards.  As a result, Air Show spectators will witness a thrilling collection of precision maneuvers that display the ultimate skill in skydiving.  Kicking off the show each day with a 7,500 square foot U.S. flag (the world’s largest), Team Fastrax is sure to leave a lasting impression on Air Show spectators as the team has performed around the world and at high profile venues such as NASCAR, the NFL and MLB.

Along with historic aircraft flying each day, the Vectren Dayton Air Show will present an impressive number of classic aircraft on the ground.  Recently added to static display are the Douglas C-54 Skymaster “Spirit of Freedom” and the Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Diamond Lil”.  Each of these storied aircraft served at various times for the US military during WWII:  the C-54 was made famous in the Berlin Airlift and the B-24 was used in both the European and Pacific theaters.  Spectators are sure to enjoy close-up views and tours of these amazing aircraft of yesteryear. 

Tickets can be purchased through the show website at www.daytonairshow.com or, beginning May 13, discount general admission tickets will also be available at more than 100 Kroger stores in the Dayton-Cincinnati region.It's Official: Thunderbirds Cancel Dayton Air Show Appearance

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