YPSILANTI, Mich. - The skies over Ypsilanti will be filled with thrilling flights and stunts from aerobatic performers.
The Thunder Over Michigan Air Show begins Saturday and runs through Sunday at the Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti.
The air show grounds open at 9 a.m. with opening ceremonies for the air performances beginning at 12:15 p.m. The show ends at 5 p.m. both days.
The show's lineup includes the F-100 Super Sabre Jet, the World's top two civilian aerobatic performers, Sean D. Tucker & Michael Goulian, a World War II and a Vietnam Battle Reenactment including vintage aircraft like Huey helicopters, P-51 Mustangs & T-6 Texans.
Watch: 2013 Thunder Over Michigan air show this weekend
Thunder Over Michigan is produced by the Yankee Air Museum. Proceeds from the event help support the museum and many other charitable organizations.
The loudest plan in the line up will be the F-100 Super Sabre. The F-100 is a supersonic jet fighter that served with the United States Air Force from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard until 1979. It was the first-ever U.S.A.F. fighter capable of supersonic speed in level flight.
The F-100 appears at very few air shows and military aviation enthusiasts throughout the country are abuzz about the U.S. Air Force Heritage flight that will take place at this year's Thunder Over Michigan. The Heritage Flight is a popular concept that combines aircraft from different eras in formation flight in a moving celebration of the United States Air Force. In a first-ever appearance at an air show anywhere in the world, the Air Force Heritage Flight at Thunder Over Michigan will feature the F-100 along with the Korean War-era F-86 Sabre, and the WWII iconic fighter aircraft, the P-51 Mustang.
The U.S. Navy Legacy flight that will appear at Thunder Over Michigan will be the first time that the participating aircraft will have flown together in formation flight. The Legacy Flight, similar to the Heritage Flight, combines Navy aircraft in a tribute to Naval aviation. This year's Legacy flight will combine the Vietnam-era A-4 Skyhawk, with the AD-1 Skyraider, a workhorse during both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, and the celebrated F-4U Corsair that was the Navy's top fighter aircraft during WWII. The A-4 Skyhawk will also show off its speed and agility in an aggressive solo demonstration.
The show will have two of the biggest civilian aerobatic flying legends in the world performing. Sean D. Tucker is one of the most decorated civilian pilots in the world. A National Aviation Hall of Fame inductee, Tucker is known as much for his breathtaking flying as he is for his super-sized personality. Former Red Bull Air Racer Michael Goulian is known for his precision and skill and has been recognized repeatedly as one of the top air show performers in the world.
Thunder Over Michigan will still have it's WWII Battle Reenactment. It will be held at 10:30 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. The Battle Reenactment uses realistic historical re-enactors, restored vintage aircraft, tanks, half-tracks and other equipment to allow spectators to experience the sights and sounds of a WWII battle.
This year the show has added a Vietnam battle reenactment that will include six AD-1's in a Skyraider reunion that will provide air support along with the UH-1 Huey Helicopter, the AC-47 "Spooky" gunship among other air assets. This reenactment will be done during the air performances between 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.
The show will have more than 50 aircraft on display. The RISE ABOVE exhibit is expected to be a popular attraction Saturday and Sunday. RISE ABOVE is about the history and accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen and includes an air conditioned 160-degree curved panoramic theater and the P-51 Mustang "Tuskegee Airmen."
For children, there is the Kidz' Zone play area with huge inflatables, climbing walls, interactive games and other recreational equipment.
"We couldn't be more pleased about how this year's Thunder lineup came together," said Kevin Walsh, Executive Director of the Yankee Air Museum and Director of Thunder Over Michigan. "Fast moving, loud jets, rare classic military aircraft, legendary civilian aerobatic pilots, massive battle reenactments, unique ground displays; we've got them all!"
Tickets are now on sale for a discounted price if purchased online through Sunday, August 11 at noon. General Admission tickets for guests 16 and older are now $30 and kids 15 and under are admitted at no charge. There are also a limited number of premium seating tickets still available in advance online for a discounted rate. Tickets, sponsorship opportunities and additional information are available at www.yankeeairmuseum.org/airshow. Fans can receive performer updates via social media on Facebook.com/ThunderOverMichigan and Twitter.com/ThunderOverMI or by signing up online for the behind the scenes e-mail list.
Additional information about the Yankee Air Museum is available at www.yankeeairmuseum.org.
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