Friday, May 11, 2012

War Hero and Phantom Jet Fighter Added to Vectren Dayton Air Show Line-up

Dayton, Ohio – Vectren Dayton Air Show officials announced today the addition of two unique attractions for the 2012 event, which will be held on July 7th and 8th at the Dayton International Airport.  A distinctive aerial formation, the U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight, will consist of the QF-4 Phantom flying with the P-51 Mustang.  Also appearing at the 38th annual show will be Major Theodore “Dutch” Van Kirk, the last living crew member of the Enola Gay, who will participate at the Show along with the B-17 “Yankee Lady”.   

A remarkable display of U.S. air power history, the Heritage Flight was established by the Air Force in 1997 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Air Force.  Specially trained active-duty Air Force pilots along with a select group of civilian pilots combine to fly in formation in front of thousands of onlookers each year.  Spectators at the 2012 Vectren Dayton Air Show Presented by Kroger will witness the QF-4 Phantom and the WWII-era P-51 Mustang flying together in formation.  The F-4, a powerful, twin-engine, tactical fighter/bomber, was used in the Vietnam War through Desert Storm.  Today the QF-4 works as a high performance, unmanned aerial target for air-to-air and surface-to-air missile tests.   The Phantom was the only aircraft concurrently flown by Air Force and Navy demonstration teams, the USAF Thunderbirds and the US Navy Blue Angels.  Previously announced in March, the P-51 Mustang “Quick Silver” will also participate in the Heritage Flight in Dayton.  A WWII fighter designed for bomber escort, the P-51 destroyed 4,950 enemy aircraft in the air – more than any other fighter in Europe.  Narrated and choreographed to music, the Heritage Flight is always a crowd favorite.

Living legend, Major Theodore “Dutch” Van Kirk, sole surviving member of the B-29 Superfortress, the Enola Gay, will make a rare appearance at the 2012 Vectren Dayton Air Show.   Serving as Navigator on the August 6, 1945 flight to Hiroshima, Japan, Van Kirk along with aircraft commander Colonel Paul Tibbets and Bombardier, Major Thomas Ferebee dramatically changed the course of WWII with the first atomic bomb attack.  Prior to the momentous 1945 flight, the trio also flew several missions together in the European theater in the B-17 Flying Fortress.  Vectren Dayton Air Show spectators will be able to meet Dutch at the Humana Salute to Veterans Center along with viewing the B-17 “Yankee Lady”.  The B-17 was the Army’s answer for the need of a large, multi-engine bomber.  Dubbed “four-engine fighters” by the Japanese, the Flying Fortresses were noted for their ability to stay in the air after experiencing the fierce attacks of the enemy.  

“We’re extremely proud to be able to bring these exceptional attractions to our spectators,” stated Michael Emoff, Chairman of the United States Air & Trade Show Board of Trustees, the governing organization of the show.  “Having Major Van Kirk join this celebration is an honor,” Emoff added.

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels will headline the 2012 show.  Other recently announced performers include the Brazilian Air Force Smoke Squadron; the Sea Harrier, a vertical takeoff and landing jet aircraft; TORA TORA TORA, an emotional reenactment of the bombing of Pearl Harbor complete with pyrotechnics; Michael Goulian, an acclaimed, high-energy aerobatic performer; P51 Quick Silver, a beautifully restored WWII fighter; Gene Soucy Air Shows, barnstorming and wing walking at its best; the Misty Blues, the world’s only all-woman skydiving team; and the A-4B Skyhawk, a Vietnam-era jet fighter.

Ticket prices will remain unchanged from 2011.  The popular Chairman’s Club, LaRosa’s Pavilion, Family 4 Pack, and Blue Sky Chalet tickets are now on sale offering a range of seating amenities.   Tickets can conveniently be purchased through our show website at  Many of these venues sell out early, so don’t wait to get your tickets. 

Beginning May 21, 2012, deep discount general admission tickets will also be available for purchase at over 100 Kroger stores in the Dayton-Cincinnati region. 

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