BERLIN – New and old favorites will meet at the 11th Annual OC Air Show this weekend.
The United States Air Force Thunderbirds will return to the air show as the headliner once again.
The six-jet demonstration team will perform precision aerial maneuvers, formation flying and solo routines over the Ocean City beach for thousands of official event attendees as well as simple beach-goers enjoying Father’s Day weekend.
The 2018 OC Air Show will feature a mix of old and new military technology, said Chris Dirato, director of public relations for the OC Air Show.
The P-51 Quicksilver Mustang, a World War II and Korean War era fighter-bomber, will return this year accompanied by the U.S. Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighter stealth jet.
Together with the P-51 Quicksilver Mustang, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will fly in a Heritage Flight demonstrating the, “past and future technology of the U.S. Air Force,” said Dirato.
Also known as the Lightning II, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is a fifth-generation combat aircraft currently being tested by the Department of Defense for ground attacks, intelligence gathering and defense missions.
The OC Air Show is one of only eight air shows the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will perform in this year.
New this year, the C-17 Globemaster III, the U.S Air Force’s newest cargo aircraft, will perform a flyover at the start of the air show on June 15. The C-5M Super Galaxy, the U.S. military’s largest transport aircraft, will perform its flyover on June 16.
The two aircrafts are part of the 436th Airlift Wing stationed at the Dover Air Force Base.
After the initial C-17 Globemaster and C-5M Super Galaxy flyovers, the L-39 jet will take to the skies to demonstrate its agility.
Czech-made, the L-39 jet is an aircraft that was a standard jet during the Cold War.
The 2018 air show will have a greater emphasis on military pilots.
“What a better way to celebrate America and the sound of freedom than military pilots in abundance,” Dirato said.
The GEICO Skytypers will return to the OC Air Show to fill the sky with 1,000-foot-tall messages that can be seen 15 miles away.
The Skytyper pilots fly wingtip-to-wingtip and use a dot matrix formation to “type” their messages.
This method is 17 times faster than traditional sky writing and requires painstaking precision.
After their aerial acrobatics demonstration, the GEICO Skytypers will engage in an aerial-marine race with the 3,300-horsepower Miss GEICO powerboat.
The GEICO Skytypers fly 75-year-old SNJ training aircrafts and employ combat tactics and maneuvers used during World War II and the Korean War for their demonstration.
“Most of our team members earned their wings in the military and we always pay tribute to the brave combat pilots who originally trained in our aircraft as well as those currently serving in the Armed Forces,” said Larry Arken, GEICO Skytypers Commanding Officer.
The United States Special Operations Command Parachute Team and the B-25 “Panchito” World War II Bomber are both returning to the OC Air Show.
The SOCOM Para-Commandos are team composed of volunteers from all branches of the military. For the air show, the SOCOM Para-Commandos will be jumping from the U.S. Army UH-72A Lakota Helicopter.
Those who want to get a closer look at the “Panchito” bomber, the Delaware Aviation Museum Foundation is offering the opportunity to board the aircraft. For a donation of $425 to the foundation, riders can board the World War II bomber. Flights depart from Ocean City Airport on June 15, 16, and 17.
The OC Air Show begins at noon on Saturday and Sunday and can best be seen from 16th Street where the event is headquartered. However, beach-goers throughout most of Ocean City will be able to see the performers.
Friday, June 15
Practice Day: Performers will take part in a modified show.
Jack Daniels Take Off Party: 7 p.m. at Brass Balls Saloon on the boardwalk at 11th Street. The party is free and open for the public to come meet the air show pilots, jumpers and flight crew.
Saturday, June 16, Noon-4 p.m.
National Anthem – Flag Jump
Air Show Performer Party: 7 p.m. at Ocean Downs
The party is free and open to the public. There will be a parachute jump by the SOCOM Para-Commandos and fireworks.
Sunday, June 17, Noon-4 p.m.
National Anthem – Flag Jump