Air Show History

Cleveland National Air Show soared into the skies 50 years ago.

How many do you remember?

Cleveland’s rich aviation history includes two members of the prestigious International Council of Air Shows Hall of Fame…Air Race founder Clifford Henderson and longtime Air Show Executive Director Chuck Newcomb.

Learn more about the National Air Races or Burke Lakefront Airport the Air Show’s longtime home.

1964

Cleveland National Air Show held July 4 – 5 T-Birds canceled because of accidents in F-105 jets.

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1965

T-Birds perform in North American F-100s (first supersonic jet fighters). Flyby of Convair B-58 Hustler supersonic 4-jet bomber.

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1966

Blue Angels perform in Grumman F11A Tigers. Solo pilot Vince Dinelli knocked off a wingtip on a piling sticking out of Lake Erie and diverted to Selfridge Field, MI.

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1967

Air Racing returns with Formula One, sport bi-planes and Women’s stock planes. Cpt. Ed Weiner, ex-fighter pilot wins Bendix-style dash from LA in P-51 Mustang after 4 hrs, 55 min. averaging 411 mph.

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1968

More Air Racing.

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1969

All racing events opened to women. T-Birds performed in F-4 Phantoms.

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1970

Fly-by of Air Force’s C-5A Galaxy — “World’s Biggest Plane”. Blue Angels performed in F-4 Phantom IIs. Lt. Steve Shoemacher causes ruckus when he flies his F-4 Phantom straight down East 9th Street through the canyon of Cleveland skyscrapers.

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1971

Air Show moved to July 17 – 18 to match the City of Cleveland’s 175th birthday. Chicago’s Naval Reserve Air Barons perform in A-4 Skyhawks. Pictured: Chief Warrant Officer Jimmy B. Johnston and Capt. Jim Mead with their Cobra helicopter gunship at the 1971 Cleveland National Air Show.

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1972

Thunderbirds perform in F-4s, fly-by of Air Force’s Lockheed SR-71 and demonstration of U.S. Army Golden Knights. Cleveland National Air Show moved to Labor Day Weekend following the tradition begun in 1929 with the National Air Races. Both U.S. Air Force and Burke Lakefront Airport celebrate 25th Anniversaries.

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1973

Thunderbirds return in F-4s for second straight year. Seven-helicopter flight team, Army Silver Eagles perform with FB-111 fly-by, USMC OV-10 Demo and Red Devils.

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1974

Royal Air Force’s Vulcan delta wing bomber flew the Atlantic in 9 hours to perform at CNAS. Blue Angels headline show in A-4 Skyhawks. Appearance of world’s first civilian jet aerobatics team “The Bede Jet Team” flying BD-5J micro jet and the US Army’s Silver Eagles precision helicopter team. Aviation High School opens.

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1975

T-Birds are scheduled to perform in T-38 Talons but three days of torrential downpour cancels show.

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1976

Flying display included a restored 1925 Swallow biplane and a 1929 Ford Trimotor. Performances by the Eagles, then still called the Red Devils, the Blue Angels and Bob Hoover. Pictured: The Red Devils, from left, Charlie Hillard, Gene Soucy and Tom Poberezny.

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1977

Parker Hannifin sponsored a business jet race from the midwest to Burke Lakefront Airport and the event features an aviation industry Trade Show. Senator John Glenn serves as Grand Marshal. T-birds perform in T-38s, Formula One racing, CNAS debut of A-10 Thunderbolt. Burke Lakefront Airport celebrates 30th Anniversary.

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1978

Blue Angels perform in A-4s. Formula One Championships were held at CNAS. Bill Falck, long-time Formula One Champion, perished when his plane, Rivets, crashed into the lake. Arnold Palmer serves as Grand Marshal.

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1979

50th Anniversary of the 1929 National Air Races. B-52 bomber fly-by and Thunderbirds perform in T-38s. “Thunderchicken” the world’s only sky-diving clown appears at CNAS.   Other acts include the USMC Harrier, the legendary Art Scholl, the Red Devils (later known as the Eagles), F-14 Tomcat Demonstration and a static display of the C-5A Galaxy.  Mudry Aviation demonstrates their CAP aircraft with a duo of pilots that would be dubbed “The French Connection” by CNAS publicists. There is a genuine wedding ceremony at Show Center. Pictured: Cover for the 1979 Cleveland National Air Show program, acknowledging the kinship between the original Cleveland National Air Races, and the air show that started up in 1964.

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1980

Blue Angels headline show in A-4 Skyhawks, Bob Hoover performs and Gossamer Albatross (first human powered aircraft to cross the English Channel) is displayed at CNAS. RAF demonstrate both the Vulcan and Nimrod aircrafts.  Legendary golfer Arnold Palmer and Senator John Glenn attend the show along with National Air Race founder Cliff Henderson (his last visit to Cleveland).

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1981

Thunderbirds perform in T-38s.(An incident, unrelated to the event, in which a bird is sucked into the aircraft’s engine occurs during Tuesday morning’s departure causing the crash of the #1 T-bird aircraft.   D.L. Smith perishes in the accident.).  It is the last year they stage from Burke Lakefront Airport, future aircraft requirements will force them to stage from Hopkins Int’l Airport. There is a B-52 flyby and the Goodyear Blimp on display at CNAS.

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1982

Blue Angels perform in A-4 Skyhawks. Seven time U.S. National Aerobatics Champion Leo Loudenslager’s first CNAS appearance. The Royal Falcons, from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, appear at CNAS as part of their first North American Tour. Cleveland Mayor George Voinovich and members of the legendary Surfer-group the Beach Boys (performing in Cleveland Stadium over the weekend) attend the event. Pictured: Mayor Voinovich meets the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team.

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1983

Thunderbirds return to CNAS now flying F-16 Fighting Falcons.  Golden Knights are featured at the show along with the first solo appearance of BD-5J Micro jet at CNAS.

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1984

Appearance of Royal Air Force’s Nimrod.  Blue Angels perform in A-4 Skyhawks.

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1985

Frederick C. Crawford serves as CNAS’s Grand Marshal. Thunderbirds perform in F-16s. British Airways Concorde supersonic airliner makes first Ohio appearance.

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1986

Last Cleveland appearance of Blue Angels in A-4 Skyhawks. Senator John Glenn returns as Grand Marshal. F-14, star of the movie “Top Gun,” demos at CNAS along with the USAF’s A-10 Thunderbolt II and KC-135 tanker.

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1987

Thunderbirds return to CNAS with F-16 Fighting Falcons. Clevelanders witness the first baton pass between wingwalkers when Johnny Kazian and Lori Ross pass a baton while wing-walking on separate Waco bi-planes. B-1B Bomber, British Airways Concorde and USAF’s SR-71 perform flybys at show.

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1988

Blue Angels perform in Cleveland with F/A-18 Hornets. The British Airways Concorde returns to Cleveland. Mrs. Marian Henderson, widow of National Air Racing founder Clifford Henderson, reinstitutes the prestigious Clifford W. Henderson Achievement Award. The Award was presented to EAA’s then senior vice-president, Tom Poberezny.

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1989

CNAS celebrates the 60th Anniversary of the 1929 National Air Races with Formula One Air Racing. Thunderbirds perform in F-16s.

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1990

U.S. Navy Blue Angels perform in F/A-18 Hornets. Cleveland debut of Team America aerobatics team and “Otto” the talking helicopter.  Last Cleveland flying demonstration by living legend, R.A. “Bob” Hoover. Gene Soucy and Teresa Stokes bring the Showcat to Cleveland for the first time and first and only appearance of the Halcones from the Air Force of the Republic of Chile. Ohio Governor George Voinovich attends show.

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1991

Cleveland becomes the first site of the historic MiG-29 Friendship Tour featuring a full demonstration of the MiG-29 Fulcrum. F-117 Stealth Fighter fly-by and static display of Patriot Missile system recently back from Desert Storm.  NASA displays the X-30 Experimental aircraft. First Cleveland appearance of Les Shockley’s Shockwave.

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1992

Thunderbirds, US Army Golden Knights, F-117 Stealth Fighter fly-by, F-14 Tomcat demonstration,  Patty Wagstaff, Les Shockley and Jim Franklin define the “THRILL ZONE” of the 1992 event. Delmar Benjamin performs in his Gee-Bee R2 replica.  President George H. Bush opens Saturday’s show as Air Force One (the actual 747) flies by with the President onboard.   During one performance the F-14 Tomcat was forced to land early when one afterburner was stuck in the “on” position (the engine was shut down and the aircraft landed safely). The Cleveland National Air Show is named “Air Show of the Year” by leading trade publication World Airshow News.

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1993

1993’s “Break On Through” theme highlighted by performances of Blue Angels, first Cleveland appearance of Sean D. Tucker and F-16 Fighting Falcon demonstration. Alexander Zuyev, a former top fighter pilot for the Soviet Union who narrowly escaped and defected in a stolen MiG-29 appears at the show.  Cleveland Cavalier’s General Manager and Executive Vice President, Wayne Embry, serves as Honorary Chairman. The US Army Golden Knights found their C-31 aircraft stuck in the mud when they prepared for their performance after a sudden and torrential downpour during Monday’s show.  The plane was parked off to the side of a taxiway between jumps, as the weather was sunny and gave no sign of the rain to follow.

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1994

Blue Angels return for 2nd straight year. Cleveland National Air Show commemorates 50th Anniversary of W.W.II with “So Proudly We Hail” theme and commemoration display.R.A. “Bob” Hoover returns to CNAS to serve as Grand Marshal.  Crystal Bernard, star of NBC’s “Wings” made a guest appearance at Saturday’s show.   Dr. Guion S. Bluford, Jr., retired Air Force pilot with 144 combat missions in the F-4C tactical fighter aircraft including 65 missions over N. Vietnam who became the first African-American to orbit the earth as mission specialist astronaut and payload commander on four space shuttle flights.  Ohio Senatorial Candidate Mike DeWine attends Monday’s show. Cleveland National Air Show celebrates 30th Consecutive Year at Burke Lakefront Airport.  Beth Ann Husbands, winner of the 1994 Miss Cleveland National Air Show pageant, performed the National Anthem.

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1995

Return of USMC Harrier demonstration, final Cleveland performance of the legendary Eagle Aerobatics Team and fly-by of B-2 Stealth Bomber.  Matt Chapman makes first appearance at the Cleveland National Air Show. Commemoration of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Grand Opening with “Rocks the Sky” theme and Skydiving Elvises.   Music industry executives and icons of the music world, such as Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp, pass through Burke Lakefront Airport as part of the comings and goings of the Rock Hall opening festivities. The crew of STS-70 (Space Transportation System aka Space Shuttle) serve as Grand Marshal of the show.  STS-70 was a milestone in Ohio aviation history because four of the five crew members were from Ohio.  Representing the STS-70 crew at the who were Woodville native Commander Terrence “Tom” Hendricks, Troy native Major Nancy Currie, as well as Cleveland native and CWRU graduate Dr. Donald Thomas. Gene Soucy receives the Clifford W. Henderson Achievement Award and thus each of the three members of the Eagles Aerobatics Team, individually, have earned the recognition.

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1996

Blue Angels perform their 50th show of their 50th Anniversary Season during the Cleveland National Air Show. Air Show celebrates Cleveland’s Bicentennial with appearance of Delmar Benjamin’s Gee Bee R-2 replica and a special salute to women in aviation with the Cincinnati-to-Cleveland 1996 Bicentennial Women’s Air Derby. Cleveland National Air Show goes Above and Beyond with rare “Flight of the Twin Engine Cats” F-14/F-74 demonstration. Cleveland National Air Show Foundation installs two F-4 aircraft, one each in Thunderbird and Blue Angel colors, at the entrance to Burke Lakefront Airport.

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1997

Air Show moves off Labor Day Weekend in order to accommodate the appearance of the US Navy Blue Angels.  Show also features an F-104 Starfighter. Cleveland National Air Show Foundation completes and official dedicates Marjorie Rosenbaum Plaza at Burke Lakefront Airport.

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1998

The Air Show returns as “Cleveland’s Labor Day Tradition” with the first Cleveland appearance of the USAF Thunderbirds since 1992.  The show also features demonstrations of the A-10 Thunderbolt II and the F-14 Tomcat.  Rocky Hill appears in Cleveland for the first time. CASPA aerobatics competitions make Cleveland debut when Sean D. Tucker edges out Patty Wagstaff, Gene Soucy and Ian Groom for the EGC/GBSA Challenge Cup.

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1999

The Thunder…The Roar…The Challenge offers something for everyone.  The “thunder” of the Blue Angels headlined a full list of flying events including the “roar” of a P-51/F-16 “Heritage Flight” and Cleveland’s own Walt Linscott in his YAK-55. The “challenge” was intended for the aerobatics competition but it was better applied to the unusual amount of bird activity during the weekend.  The F-16 suffered a bird strike at the start of its performance on Sunday and Blue Angel #2 digested a bird upon departure Monday evening. In both incidences, the aircraft landed safely. As to the intended “challenge” Sean D. Tucker held off a fierce aerobatics battle against Rocky Hill, Matt Chapman, Mike Goulian, Ian Groom, and Gene Soucy in Labatt Blue Cup — the finale event of the CASPA‘s 1999 Challenge Series.

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2000

Dense fog on Saturday and a wet, cold Monday spoil a terrific air show line-up featuring a W.W.II Bomber Parade led the by world’s only flying B-29 (“Fifi”) along with B-24, B-25 and B-17. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform in their sleek F-16s along with a flying demonstration of the RAF’s Nimrod. The US Army Golden Knights make a rare 2-team performance during Sunday’s show with both the Gold and Black teams. Air Racing fans are treated to a flying display of the F2G-1 Super Corsair that won 3rd place in the 1949 Thompson Trophy Race and a static display of the vintage “Pete” racer. Air Racing legends Cook Cleland and Dick Becker attend Sunday’s show. CASPA’s 2000 Challenge Series concluded with Sean D. Tucker’s repeat Cleveland and Series victory along with a seven-ship fly-over at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

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2001

Gorgeous weather greeted Air Show fans each day.  The featured line-up included the US Navy Blue Angels and Army’s Golden Knights.  2001 marked the Cleveland debut of the Swift Magic Aerobatics Team, Dan Buchanan’s hang-gliding act, Jim “Bulldog” Leroy, and the L-39 Albatross.  A MiG-15/F-86 dogfight commemorated the 10th Anniversary of the 1991 MiG-29 Friendship Tour and the sky roared throughout the day with a B-1 Lancer flyby, a demonstration of the Canadian CF-18 Hornet, the USAF A-10 Warthog complete with simulated bombing runs, and the USAF C-17’s first visit to the Cleveland. The Cleveland National Air Show turned back the clock and featured a rare formation flight of the restored 1949 Thompson Trophy Racer F2G Super Corsair  #57 along with a final appearance of Delmar Benjamin’s Gee-Bee R2 Replica.

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2002

Although Saturday’s B-1 flyby cancelled en route to Cleveland due to aircraft problems and the Golden Knights aircraft did not arrive until Monday morning, the 2002 Cleveland National Air Show featured not only the Rockets Red Glare of the USAF Thunderbirds but an international line-up including the USAF’s A-10 Warthog, USN’s F-14 Tomcat, a beautifully painted CF-18 from Canada, the RAF’s Nimrod. Curt Arnspiger made his first return to Cleveland since 1995 and the Aeroshell Aerobatics Team made their Cleveland debut.  Shockwave thrilled the crowds and Ian Groom performed in the FedEx Su-31and a TBM, Zero and Corsair joined the B-25 “Barbie III” to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of Doolittle’s Raid complete with Pyrotechnics. Vintage airliner buffs got a double dose of historic airliners with a Stinson Tri-Motor and a Constellation Aircraft on display. Static display aircraft includes NC6496 SN 207, a 1928 Stearman Mailplane that was owned by Continental Airlines in 1928.  It was based in Cleveland, Ohio and involved in a minor accident in Akron, Ohio on September 19, 1929. 2002 was the last presentation of the Clifford W. Henderson Achievement Award that personally presented by Henderson’s widow, Mrs. Marian Marsh Henderson as failing health has kept her from traveling to Cleveland from her home in Palm Desert.

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2003

Fat Albert’s JATO demonstration) and showcased its role in Aviation’s 100 year history as host of the “Golden Age of Aviation” and a focus on the National Air Races.  This included a Laird Super Solution and a simulated Unlimited Air Race with the restored 1949 Thompson Trophy Racer F2G Super Corsair  #57, a P-51 Mustang and a Hawker Sea Fury.  Other acts included a rare P-38 along with other warbirds that was punctuated by pyrotechnics, the first Cleveland appearance of the Firebirds Delta Team, another first-time Cleveland appearance by the US Air Force Reserve Above and Beyond Jet Car, a long-awaited return of Air Show legend Debbie Gary, the US Army Golden Knights, A-10 demonstration, F-14 demonstration and the always popular RAF Nimrod MR2. Clifford W. Henderson Achievement Award Unfortunately, unrelenting rain cancelled Monday’s show before the gates even opened bringing a very soggy end to the 2003 Cleveland National Air Show presented by Discount Drug Mart.

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2004

The 2004 Cleveland National Air Show presented by Discount Drug Mart kept the Cleveland tradition alive on Labor Day Weekend celebrating its 40 th Year at Burke Lakefront Airport and the 75 th Anniversary of the 1929 National Air Races. The Air Show also hosted a new Friday Night Twilight Show. The excitement mounted as the future of the show was in jeopardy amid news from the FAA only nine days before the event that air shows cannot operate (within three nautical miles) at the same time as a regular season major league sporting event. he highlight of the 2004 Air Show was the awesome X-Team Masters of Disaster routine with Shockwave the Jet Truck along with the C-5 Galaxy display and a B-1 flyby. U.S. Air Race Inc. made Cleveland the finishing line for it’s cross-country Marion Jayne race that started in California and ended in Cleveland. Unfortunately neither military jet team scheduled the 2004 Cleveland National Air Show. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, which last performed in Cleveland in 2002, were on an international goodwill tour to Japan, Korea and Guam for most of September.

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2005

Strong crowds, near perfect weather and a fantastic act line-up combined to make the 2005 Cleveland National Air Show presented by Discount Drug Mart a Labor Day weekend success. After an absence of a jet team in 2004, Air Show fans were delighted by the return of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Jet Demonstration Team. But the Thunderbirds were just the tip of the act line-up which included the A-10 Warthog, Heritage Flight with a P-51 Mustang, Sean D. Tucker, Legacy Flight with a F6F Hellcat, Shockwave, B-25 Yankee Warrior, B-17 Yankee Lady, Matt Chapman, Golden Knights, Michael Mancuso and Mad Bomber Pyrotechnics. Clevelanders were also very proud of the many hometown pilots and crew members that came back to Cleveland to celebrate Labor Day weekend Air Show style which included Lt. Tyler Sherwin from VFA-106 piloting the awesome F/A-18F Super Hornet Demo, Capt. Joe Ferfolia from 337 th TES piloting the supersonic B-1 Lancer fly-by and Maj. David Moreland the Maintenance Officer for the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. The prestigious Clifford W. Henderson Award was presented to National Concession Company for its 40 years of consistent and reliable service to the Cleveland National Air Show. National Concession Company was born at Cleveland’s 1929 National Air Races organized by Clifford Henderson. The affects of Hurricane Katrina were felt by the Air Show resulting in last minute re-assignments of several static display aircraft and the C-130 demo. However, the Cleveland National Air Show did team up with the American Red Cross Cleveland Chapter and worked to raise $8,000 to help hurricane victims.

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2006

Cleveland ‘s 2006 edition of the annual aerial extravaganza recognized the 60th Anniversary of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. “2006 was a special year to host the Blue Angels,” said Air Show Executive Director Chuck Newcomb, “the Blue Angels performed at the National Air Races in Cleveland during their inaugural 1946 demonstration season and so it was fitting they return to Cleveland for their historic 60 th Anniversary.” Despite Saturday’s frequent rain showers the U.S. Navy Blue Angels performed and brave spectators were treated to the Blue’s flat show. As the weather improved over the weekend strong crowds prevailed and the event was a success. The 2006 Air Show also included a one day “fly-by” of the F-22 Raptor and was the first “sneak-peek” of this aircraft in Cleveland. Other fly-bys included the B-1B and F-117 Stealth, while an A-10 Warthog and C-130 Hercules demonstrated their capabilities along with two of the world’s most historic military jet trainers, the Red Knight Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star and Polish Iskra. On the ground, fans experienced Shockwave Jet Truck, the Wall of Fire, more than 50 aircraft, interactive exhibits and high-tech simulators along with an improved Souvenir Program with trading cards and a Blue Angels poster plus a jumbo TV screen with up-close looks at pilots and their planes.

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2007

What a beautiful weekend! Sunny skies and a comfortable breeze provided strong crowds. The 2007 Cleveland National Air Show featured the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force. Appearing for the first time in Cleveland was Major Nicole Malachowski in the #3 right wing position, the first female demonstration pilot on a U.S. military high performance jet team. She has been with the Thunderbirds since 2006. Joining the team in 2007 was Captain Samantha Weeks in the #6 opposing solo position, the second female Thunderbird aviator. Other female Thunderbird officers included Captain Amy Glisson, Thunderbird #10, executive officer; and Captain Amy Kreft, Thunderbird #12, the team’s public affairs officer. Women have served in the Thunderbirds since 1974 but not in a pilot capacity until 2006. As a recap of the weekend, the 2007 Air Show also included the first Cleveland appearance the F-15E Strike Eagle Demo and U.S. Army Sky Soldiers Helicopter Team. Not to be missed were the F/A-18F Super Hornet Demo and both the U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight along with the U.S. Navy Legacy Flight. Sean D. Tucker, Julie Clark and John Klatt provided a change of pace along with a very unique demonstration by the C-17 Globemaster. On the ground, spectators experienced Shockwave Jet Truck, Jay Jay the Jet Plane, the Euclid Beach Rocket Car, static display planes, interactive exhibits including the Virtual Army Experience, JVC High Definition Tour and NASA Glenn. To the fans delight, the improved Souvenir Program returned with trading cards and a Thunderbird poster.

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2008

Another beautiful weekend! Sunny skies and a comfortable breeze provided strong crowds. The 2008 Air Show featured the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and celebrated NASA’s 50th Anniversary. NASA Glenn Research Center was front and center with an expanded display that included hands-on activities and digital learning stations packed into its Journey to Tomorrow trailer, plus the Aerospace Enviromental Bus and photos opportunities along with the S-3 Viking and T-34. Astronauts from Ohio also attended the Air Show and fans were able to meet them and obtain autographs. NASA hosted a Black Tie Gala on Friday eveing of the Air Show weekend where over 17 Ohio Astronauts were honored. The Air Show’s military flying line-up included the F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F/A-18 Super Hornet, World War II ara P-51 Mustang, F4U-5 Corsair and B-17 Yankee Lady. And some of the best civilan pilots performed including Nikolay Timofeev, Sean D. Tucker and his son, Eric Tucker, John Mohr, Red Star and Dragon dogfight and Bob Carlton in the world’s only twin-engine sailplane. And for the first time…3 of the world’s largest planes were on static display; C-5, C-17 and KC-135.

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2009

The 2009 Air Show was filled with lots of Roaring, Soaring, Fun featuring the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and U.S. Marine Corp AV-8B Harrier Demo. The “Harrier” performed each event day and a second “Harrier” was on static display. The Cleveland National Air Show was one of only 14 show sites to recieve the coveted 2009 “Harrier” demo. The 2009 show included first time appearances of Skip Stewart in his high-energy gyroscopic muscle bi-plane, Pirated Skies – Franklin’s Flying Circus and duel announcers Danny Clisham/Rob Reider. The U.S. Army Golden Knights celebrated their 50th Anniversary and further military performances included the Army’s AH-46 Apache, F-15E Strike Eagle, A-10 Thunderbolt, Heritage Flight with P-51 Mustang, Coast Guard HH-65C Dolphin, C-130 and KC-135 flyby. And also for the first time, the Navy’s E-6B Mercury was on static display. The E-6B Mercury enables the President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense to directly contact submarines, bombers and missile silos protecting our national security through nuclear deterrence. Due to rain and poor visibility, the Thunderbirds did not perform on Monday.

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2010

The 2010 Air Show featured the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and some rain on Saturday. The Blues flew but folks were invited back on Sunday or Monday to view the show as General Admission patrons…and what a show they saw. Military participation included the F/A-18F Super Hornet Demo (with a FU4-Corsair Legacy Flight), F-15 Strike Eagle Demo, C-17 Globemaster Demo and U.S. Army Golden Knights. The Red Eagles two-ship aerobatic team made their first Cleveland appearance and long time air show performers Gene Soucy/Teresa Stokes also appeared. WWII was represented with the B-17 Flying Fortress “Yankee Lady” and TORA 101. Plus lots of smoke/fire from Shockwave Jet Truck and Pyrotechnics. Unique ground displays included the FAA’s vintage DC3 N34. Cleveland was also one of 20 cities selected to host a Navy Week leading up to the Air Show giving area residents an opportunity to meet some of the Navy’s Sailors and learn about the Navy’s critical mission and its broad-ranging capabilities.

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2011

The 2011 Air Show was Gravity Defying Fun with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. The weekend was a wild weather ride with temperatures on Saturday in the 90s and dipping to the fifties on Monday. But everyone flew and fans saw a terric show. The Air Force represenation was second to none and included the A-10 Demo, F-4 Phantom and P-51 Mustang. Other military included the F/A-18 Hornet Demo, Golden Knights, Canadian Forces CP-140 Aurora flby and USMC MV-22 Osprey on static. Cleveland fans were treated to a laundry list of first time appearances including extreme aerobatics by Jason Newburg, Kenty Pietsch Jelly Belly Extreme Comedy Act and RV Top Landing, Jim Maroney flying the Super Chipmunk and School Time Jet Bus…the world’s first jet-powered school bus. The Cleveland National Air Show also hosted the CAF Red Tail Squadran Rise Above Traveling Exhibit. The RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit is one-of-a-kind…housed in a 53′ long customized trailer with sides that slide out to create a 30-seat climate-controlled movie theater with a 180-degree screen. The exciting original movie, “RISE ABOVE”, is about the Tuskegee Airman.

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2012

The 2012 Air Show featured the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and commemorated the Bicentennial of the War of 1812. Cleveland experienced heavy rains Saturday night into Sunday morning which forced the closing of the air show parking lot due to muddy conditions. The Blues flew Sunday but folks were invited back on Monday to view the show as General Admission patrons. The Bicentennial of the War of 1812 brought some unique features to the 2013 Air Show including a rare appearane of the U.S. Navy SEALS Leap Frogs Parachute Team on Saturday plus a “Pass-in-Review” of U.S. and Canadian Ships on Sunday. Cleveland was also one of 20 cities selected to host a Navy Week leading up to the Air Show which included ships in port. History was also made when the Canadian CF-18 performed in two countries on the same day…at the Cleveland National Air Show and the Toronto Air Show. This may sound easy for a supersonic jet, but the idea posed a myraid of logistical issues: weather, timing, and coordination among numerious government agencies. Not to mention the biggest issue: how fuel the hornet. That’s where a CC-130 tanker came into play. After the CF-18 performed its demo in Cleveland…it refueled mid-air en route to Canada…then perfomered for fans at the Toronto Air Show.

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2013

The 2013 Air Show was canceled due to the impact of Federal Government Sequestration budget cuts on Department of Defense and Aerospace Industry support of public air shows. Planning and preperation proceeded for the 2014 Cleveland National Air Show featured the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.

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2014

The 2014 Air Show roared back into Cleveland on Labor Day Weekend…and featured the U.S. Navy Blue Angels!  Other performers included a civilian owned British Aerospace Sea Harrier, Jet Waco Screamin’ Sasquatch and Tin Stix of Dynamite with was an amazing mix of jaw-dropping aerobatics with pyrotechnics.  WWII Warbirds included a B-25 Mitchell Bomber “Yankee Warrior”, B-17 Flying Fortress “Yankee Lady” and a beautifully restored TBM Avenger.  Cleveland was one of the first air shows in the country to have a drone demonstration along with a drone display by Dronewerx.  And spectators were also entertained by a U.S. Navy Rock Band and the U.S. Air Force Drill Team.  Due to the impact of Federal Government Sequestration budget cuts on the Department of Defense military single ship tactical demonstrations and military static displays were not available to public air shows.

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2015

The 2015 Air Show featured the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds! They were joined by the ground-shaking U.S. Marine Corps Harrier and U.S. Navy Super Hornet tactical demonstrations. Air show fans were left in awe by aerobatic legend Sean D. Tucker and three time U.S. Unlimited Aerobatic Champion Rob Holland. WWII aircraft included the B-25 Mitchell Bomber “Yankee Warrior” and Red Tail P-51 Mustang. Spectators were also able to feel the heat with World Famous Shockwave Jet Truck and learn about rescue missions with the U.S. Coast Guard MH-65C Helicopter demonstration. Inside the gates, visitors were able to get up close with a number military and civilian statics including U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules, U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster, U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier and U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook.  Ground attractions included the NASA Glenn Research Center Display, CAF Red Tail Squadron Rise Above Exhibit, and the new U.S. Air Force Performance Lab. Air Show fans felt the heat this year with temperatures in the 90s each show day. Due to the impact of Federal Government Sequestration budget cuts on the Department of Defense, military static displays were limited to civilian air shows.

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