Thursday, June 16, 2011

Centennial of Naval Aviation Celebrated in Dayton

F-18 Super Hornet and WWII Era F4U Corsair Participate

Dayton, Ohio – The 37th annual Vectren Dayton Air Show Presented by Kroger will celebrate an important anniversary on July 23rd and 24th.  2011 marks 100 years of Naval Aviation, an achievement the Air Show will note by featuring a demonstration by the US Navy F-18 Super Hornet along with the historic Legacy Flight of the Super Hornet in formation with the WWII era F4U Corsair.

The Navy’s yearlong celebration of 100 years of Naval Aviation encompasses multiple activities which include aircraft, ships, people and significant events.  On May 8, 1911, the Navy’s first aircraft was requisitioned from aviator and inventor Glenn H. Curtiss.  The A-1 Triad became the Navy’s first aircraft and the May 8th date is officially designated as the birthday of US Naval Aviation.  Another first for Navy history books is Lt. Theodore “Spuds” Ellyson, who is designated the US Navy’s first aviator.  It’s certain that neither Curtiss nor Ellyson could envision the advancements in Naval Aviation that spectators will witness at the 2011 Vectren Dayton Air Show.

The Navy’s premier fighter, the F-18 Super Hornet, will roar over Dayton skies to the delight of air show spectators.  A larger and more advanced version of the F-18 Hornet, the Super Hornet is a carrier-based strike fighter that is operationally active in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  Entering service with the US Navy in 1999, the Super Hornet replaced the F-14 Tomcat in 2006 and continues to serve alongside the Hornet in the Navy’s fleet.  Informally known as the “Rhino”, the F-18 Super Hornet in Dayton will be flown by Lt. Andrew “Murse” Winberry and Lt. Wrenn “Kooter” Landers.  The East Coast Super Hornet Demonstration Team, of Strike Fighter Squadron 106, the “Gladiators” is based at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia. 

Joining the Super Hornet in an historic Legacy Flight at the Air Show will be a WWII era Corsair F4U-5NL.  The unique gull-winged Corsair earned its reputation as one of the US military’s most famous WWII fighter aircraft.  Legendary stories exist about the aircraft along with such noted groups as the “Black Sheep Squadron”.  The Corsair continued its service into the Korean War where it was a carrier-based aircraft performing night operations when most of the propeller driven US military aircraft were being replaced by jet fighters.  The Corsair appearing at this year’s show is owned by the Collings Foundation of Stow, MA and will be flown by Dan McCue.

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will have top billing at the Vectren Dayton Air Show along with first time appearances by the Red Bull Helicopter flown by Chuck Aaron along with an industry first, an all-women wing walking routine called Tombstone Riders.  Rounding out the line-up will be crowd favorite, Tora Tora Tora, an eight-plane emotional reenactment of the bombing of Pearl Harbor complete with pyrotechnics; the all-American US Army Golden Knight Parachute Team; air show legendary pilot Sean D. Tucker; School Time the jet-powered school bus and single-ship military jet fighter demonstrations. 

Specialty seating options are selling quickly.  A variety of those ticket packages are on sale through the show’s web site,  Popular areas such as the Blue Sky Chalet and LaRosa’s Pavilion are sure to be sell outs.  Families will also enjoy the superb value of the PNC Family 4-Pack.  Visit the show’s website for further information. 

On sale now at over 100 Kroger stores in the Dayton-Cincinnati region are discount advance general admission tickets good for either Saturday or Sunday admission.  Patrons will enjoy a $3 savings for adult, senior citizen and child tickets purchased at Kroger.  This means that advance adult tickets are available for $17 while senior citizen and child advance tickets are $12 at Kroger, the exclusive advance ticket outlet of the Vectren Dayton Air Show Presented by Kroger.

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