MYRTLE BEACH, SC — The nation’s top aerobatic pilots and popular military aircraft including the Navy’s Blue Angels, have arrived in Myrtle Beach in preparation for the region’s first air show in nearly two decades.
The two-day family event is expected to entertain with top aviation performers, great food, and offer an economic boost for the area with nearly 80,000 expected to attend. Sunshine and cool temperatures will dominate the weekend weather allowing for a beautiful air show experience.
“We are extremely excited about hosting this event,” John Cowman, JLC AirShow Management President, stated as we paused on the flight line on Thursday. “Staging a show at a former air base carries a bit of nostalgia because most of my staff is comprised of U.S. Air Force Veterans.
“We’re super excited to be here at Myrtle Beach — the beach is gorgeous,” LT Tyler Davies, Angel 5 and the Lead Solo pilot, said on Thursday during a flight line chat. “We got to see a lot of people on the beach as we flew over and we waived at them, and I think its gonna be an awesome show.”
The Myrtle Beach show will have a wide area to explore as guests visit static aircraft, and set up their favorite spot to enjoy the four hour show.
“The performer line-up is one of the best on the entire east coast and includes the Navy’s Blue Angels and Air Force Air Combat Command F-16 Demonstration Team as headliners,” Cowman added.
Many top aerobatic performers will include Class of ’45 pilots Scott Yoak and his Quicksilver P-51D and Jim Tobul with the F4U Corsair, Patty Wagstaff and Rob Holland. On the ground, Bill Braack and his Smoke-n-Thunder Jet Car will scream down the runway powered by 7,500 pounds of thrust as it races a low flying aircraft.
On the ground, popular static displays including the Air Force’s C-17 Globemaster, will be poised among the many popular aircraft on the open tarmac. A C-130 Hercules, T-38 Talon, F-35 Lightning, and an F/A-18 Hornet are a few on hand to offer guests an up close view.The Marine’s F-35B Lightning II is the fifth generation strike fighter will be on display during the air show. This F-35 is a carrier variant designed for take-off and landing from an aircraft carrier. It’s for that reason the C model has a larger wingspan and can carry more fuel than the Air Force’s A Model or the Marines B model. To witness an F-35 up close is a rare treat for the public.
The popular Kid Zone near the static aircraft will allow children a fun way to pass the time during the aerobatic performances. Aircraft themed air slides, jump houses and more will be available all day during both days, air show management confirmed on Friday.
Tickets for the airshow and parking remain available online at WingsOverMyrtleBeach.com, and will be sold at the gate on Saturday and Sunday beginning at 8:00 a.m. Cowman urges guests to arrive early to avoid the traffic. Gates will open at 9 a.m. each day, and the show will kick-off at noon with a patriotic special opening ceremony.
(Charles A. Atkeison reports on aerospace and science. Follow his updates on social media via @Military_Flight.)