Friday, March 1, 2013

Vectren Dayton Air Show adds attractions... Thunderbirds expected to perform despite cuts

Dayton, Ohio – Vintage jet aircraft, barnstorming and fire have been added to the 2013 Vectren Dayton Air Show Presented by Kroger. Air show officials also announced that despite anticipated cuts in the defense budget, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are expected to make their scheduled appearance. This year's show will be held on June 22nd and 23rd at the Dayton International Airport, marking it the 39th consecutive year for the popular summer event showcasing Dayton's aviation heritage.

Appearing for the first time in Dayton will be the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17F, a high-subsonic fighter jet aircraft used by the North Vietnamese as their primary Air Force interceptor during the Vietnam War. Piloting the MiG-17 will be Randy Ball of Tyler, Texas. Randy is the only pilot in North America (Civilian or Military) to hold an FAA Unlimited Aerobatic rating for both Day and Night jet fighter performances, and he is one of the most internationally recognized aerobatic pilots of jet aircraft. Powered by a Klimov VK-1F afterburning turbojet engine enabling a top speed of 711 mph, the MiG-17 became a formidable foe to U.S. pilots during the early years of the Vietnam conflict. In addition to flying, the MiG-17 will also be on static display.

The famed North American F-86 Sabre jet will also display its capabilities in Dayton this summer. The Sabre entered USAF service in 1949, becoming the primary U.S. air combat fighter in the Korean War. Like the MiG-17, the F-86 will fly as well as be featured on static display. Powered by a General Electric J47-GE-27 turbojet with a top speed of 687 mph, the F-86 was the fastest U.S. aircraft of its time. Notable American pilots flying the Sabre during their careers included Major John Glenn, Colonel Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, and Lt. Colonel Virgil "Gus" Grissom. The F-86 at Dayton will be flown by veteran pilot Paul R. Wood, founder of the Warbird Heritage Foundation in Waukegan, IL. This is a beautiful aircraft that spectators won't want to miss.

Also added to the Vectren Dayton Air Show Presented by Kroger lineup is the "Great Wall of Fire”, a spectacular display of explosive excitement. Rich's Incredible Pyro will stage this amazing pyrotechnics display as a reenactment of the world's first atomic bomb drop. The performance is completed with the only flying B-29 Superfortress, "FIFI", making a rare in-flight appearance to stage the drop. Previously announced in December, "FIFI" is flying in the show as well as being on static display. The B-29 heavy bomber "Enola Gay" is credited with ending WWII when it dropped the first atomic bomb "Little Boy" on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945. Spectators will have an exciting opportunity to see, hear (and FEEL!) the reenactment of this historic event. The "Great Wall of Fire" is the creation of renowned special effects’ expert, Rich Gibson, call sign "Dynamite Boss".

History comes alive as Jane Wicker brings the Barnstorming era to Dayton with her heart-stopping wing walking performance. Jane is not your average wing walker. She will demonstrate the daring and breath-taking art of wing walking from the Golden Age of Aviation in a way never before seen in Dayton. Wing riding is not for this damsel; her wing walking style is the real thing. With no safety line and no parachute, Jane amazes the crowd by climbing, walking, and hanging all over her beautiful 450 HP Stearman aircraft that she affectionately calls “Aurora”. Not only will she be on top of the airplane during aerobatic maneuvers, including inverted flight, but you will also see her climb between the wings and witness moves that no other wing walker is brave enough to try. Spectators are sure to gasp as this daredevil demonstrates in true form the unbelievable art of wing walking.

“These are awesome additions to our 2013 lineup,” stated Michael Emoff, Chairman of the United States Air & Trade Show Board of Trustees, producers of the event. “We have put together one of the most diverse and entertaining shows ever seen in Dayton. Watch for more announcements in coming weeks as we continue to build the show program,” he added.

Show features previously announced include: U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Demonstration Team, AeroShell Formation Aerobatic Team, Melissa Pemberton Edge 540 aerobatics, Skip Stewart aerobatics and the School Time jet-powered school bus.

As earlier announced, ticket prices for the 2013 Vectren Dayton Air Show Presented by Kroger will remain unchanged from 2012. Tickets for the popular Chairman’s Club, Pavilion, Family 4 Pack, and Blue Sky Chalet are now on sale, offering an attractive range of seating options. Tickets can conveniently be purchased through the show website at Many of these venues sell out early, so don’t wait to get your tickets!

Beginning May 13, 2013, deep discount general admission tickets will also be available for purchase at over 100 Kroger stores in the Dayton-Cincinnati region.

For more information on performers:

Rich’s Incredible Pyro
Jane Wicker

Founded in 1975, the Vectren Dayton Air Show Presented by Kroger is one of America’s premier air shows. The Air Show showcases world-class aerobatic champions, military jet demonstrations and entertainment for the whole family celebrating Dayton’s aviation heritage as home of the Wright Brothers, National Museum of the US Air Force and Wright Patterson AFB. For more information visit

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