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Inaugural Wings Over Myrtle Beach to Host Blue Angels, F-16 Viper

Image: Charles A Atkeison

LAS VEGAS — The International Council of Airshows announced on Monday the Navy’s Blue Angels and the Air Force’s F-16 Viper Demo Team will headline the inaugural Wings Over Myrtle Beach Air Show this spring.

The announcement of the show itself was big news to the residents along the South Carolina coast as the first air show in over a decade is now official with a huge headliner. Military and civilian aerobatic aircraft will perform during the two-day weekend of April 28 and 29, 2018, at the Myrtle Beach International Airport.

“It was our collective goal to bring the top talent the air show industry has to offer, including a military jet demonstration team,” JLC AirShow Management President John Cowman said on Monday. “We couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to host an air show on the same runways previously utilized by the U.S. Air Force. The news of the Blue Angels participation sets our plans in motion to deliver exactly what we intended and has exceeded our expectations for the first annual event.”

Image: Charles A Atkeison

The Blue Angels presence in Myrtle Beach is another win for Cowman and his team after having hosted the Navy’s elite F/A-18 Hornet squadron during two separate air shows in 2017. WOMB will mark JLC Airshows’ third time hosting the Blue Angels inside of 13 months.

Brad Dean, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, was grinning following Monday’s confirmation, “We are thrilled to help bring an air show back to Myrtle Beach. We always welcome effective partnerships, in this case with Horry County, the Myrtle Beach International Airport, JLC Airshow Management, and of course the many talented performers. This is another great attraction for tourists to enjoy in our area during the spring season.”

The Air Force also confirmed the inclusion of the F-16 Viper Demonstration Team at Myrtle Beach. Major John “Rain” Waters will pilot the F-16 jet through military style maneuvers during one performance each day.

Image: Charles A Atkeison

One end of the air show runway lies less than one mile from the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. However, air show officials noted that the best viewing of both the aerobatic performers and the static displays will be on the grounds of the airport.

“Horry County Department of Airports is excited to partner with JLC Air Show Management and welcome the Wings Over Myrtle Beach Air Show to the Grand Strand,” Director of airports, Scott Van Moppes said on Monday. “The opportunity to bring an air show back to Myrtle Beach, SC is fantastic news and should be an exciting community event. The format of the air show, with the Blue Angels as the headliner, embraces the rich military heritage of our community.”

Brenda Little, spokesperson for JLC Airshows, added that “a host of world-class aerobatic and warbird performers” will be announced in the coming weeks.

(Charles A Atkeison reports on aerospace and technology. Follow his updates via social media @Military_Flight.)

Charles Atkeison

Written by Charles Atkeison

Charles A Atkeison is a long time aerospace journalist having covered both military and civilian aviation, plus 30 space shuttle launches from Cape Canaveral. He has produced multimedia aerospace content for CNN, London's Sky News, radio, print, and the web for twenty years. From flying with his father at age 5 to soaring as a VIP recently with the Navy's Blue Angels and USAF Thunderbirds, Charles continues to enjoy all aspects of flight.

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