OCEAN CITY, MD — The U.S. Air Force F-35A Demonstration Team is poised to perform this weekend across the beaches of Ocean City during the east coast’s first air show of the year.
The fifth-generation military jet is led by it’s pilot Capt. Kristin “BEO” Wolfe. This is her first season with the F-35A Demo Team and only her third public air show of the Covid-shortened year.
Beo was all smiles following her team’s arrival. She is hoping for some “awesome vape” to envelope her aircraft during several of the maneuvers this weekend.
“Our team is really excited to perform for our first East Coast show this year,” Capt. Wolfe said Thursday following her arrival into nearby Wallops Flight Facility. “It’s going to be an amazing experience to see everyone lined up on the Boardwalk and beaches!”
Ocean City and show officials are providing stronger safety measures to support the air show. Mandatory face coverings and social distancing on the Boardwalk are required.
“Since we’re performing along Ocean City’s massive beachfront, there will be plenty of opportunities to see the show while practicing safe social distancing,” F-35A Demo Team spokesperson Capt. Kip Sumner said. “If you can’t attend the show, there will be a live-stream of the event that you can tune into.”
The aerobatic box has been extended to 10 miles long along the coastline to support social distancing. The exact air show center is where 16th street runs east to the Boardwalk and beach line.
Wolfe is also the commander of the demo team which is based at Hill AFB in Utah. Ocean City is there first east of the Mississippi River this season.
“We’re planning on performing the full F-35A High Show routine, as long as weather cooperates,” Capt. Wolfe acknowledged from the Wallops flightline. “We’re also going to do a four-ship heritage flight with the F-22, A-10, and a P-51 Mustang.”
The heritage flight has been a crowd favorite for a decade. Typically a recent Air Force jet will fly a slow pass along side a historic warbird. This weekend’s will be extra special as four aircraft will fly wing tip to wing tip over the Atlantic waters.
The Air Force Thunderbirds six-jet formation will also perform each afternoon. Ocean City will mark the first air show in which the F-35A Demo and Thunderbirds attend together.
“Performing alongside the other demonstration teams as well as the Thunderbirds is an awesome opportunity,” Capt. Wolfe added. “And we can’t wait to put on a great show for everyone.”
(Charles A Atkeison reports on aerospace and technology. Follow his updates via social media @Military_Flight.)