OCEAN CITY – After much deliberation on what dates the OC Air Show should take place and what headliners would appear, the event has finalized its 2011 lineup.
Ocean City will be one of two air shows in the country to feature the dual headline acts of the F-22 Raptor and AV-8B Harrier Demo teams on June 11-12.
This year the Marine Corp Harrier Demo has only selected eight air shows and the Air Force Raptor Demo has only selected seven air shows to perform in.
According to OC Air Show President Bryan Lilley, the F-22 Raptor is the only aircraft in the world that can fly above the speed of sound and is completely invisible to radar.
“It really allows the aircraft to do things that an aircraft should not be able to do,” Lilley said.
There are two acts returning this year, while the rest are all new, according to Lilley.
“We wanted to come out for 2011 with a totally refreshed line up and that’s what we did,” Lilley said.
The OC Air Show will also feature a civilian lineup that includes pilot Chuck Aaron and the Red Bull Helicopter and the wing-suited Red Bull Air Force. Aaron is the only civilian pilot in the country licensed to fly helicopter aerobatics, and has only seven air shows on his schedule this year. The Red Bull Air Force is one of the most thrilling parachute teams in the world.
“We are very privileged to have him [Aaron] come to the OC Air Show,” Lilley said.
Formation acts will include Team RV, which is a 12-ship formation team that features aircraft aerobatic movements. The GEICO Extra 300 will perform single ship aerobatic demonstrations, and the U.S Army Special Operations Command Parachute Team the Black Daggers will be the attraction for the Saturday Night Beach Party with a night jump by the C-17 Globemaster III team. Another new act will be the Team RV, which is the world’s largest air show team.
Other military acts will include the U.S Coast Guard SAR Demo and the U.S Army 101st Airborne. Besides the 101st team, another returning act will be the civilian act of Sean Carroll Yak-9.
“2011 with feature the most unique and diverse line up we’ve ever assembled,” Lilley said. “From backflips of the Raptor to the hover of the Harrier to the aerobatic Red Bull Helicopter, Ocean City has never seen anything like this.”
Lilley presented to the Mayor and City Council during Monday night’s meeting results from a OC Air Show Facebook page and broadcast email page survey that polled fans and spectators on what demo teams they would have liked to seen the most in 2011’s air show.
According to Lilley, there was close to 450 responses. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels came in first with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds coming in second. The F-22 Raptors fell almost even with Thunderbirds falling in third place and the AV-8B Harrier Demo came in fourth, “which was a surprise” Lilley said.
Lilley revealed this year’s theme will be extreme aviation, and the slogan will read, “Who said Raptors are extinct?”
The OC Air Show will feature aircraft demonstrations from noon to 3:30 p.m. daily. Interactive displays and exhibits will be open to the public on the streets surrounding the Show Center on 16th Street on the Boardwalk and in the Inlet Parking Lot. The Show Center beach area will extend from 14th-17th streets and will offer premium viewing in the drop zone.
“When you take the limited number of shows that the Raptor, the Harrier, the Red Bull Helicopter, and the Red Bull Air Force do collectively together,” Lilley said. “To have them all in the same place…it truly is extreme.”