Thunder Over Michigan air show this weekend

Yankee Air Museum hosts show at Willow Run Airport

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YPSILANTI, Mich. - The Yankee Air Museum's 2012 "Thunder Over Michigan" Air Show is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, August 4-5, 2012 and will showcase numerous P-51 Mustangs, the Sea Harrier F/A2, a WWII Battle Reenactment, and the F-86 Sabre "Smokey," at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti.

More than 20 P-51 Mustangs will gather in a rare performance as they display their speed, power and agility. The P-51 Mustang is credited to ending World War II and is now known as one of the most iconic fighters of all time.

See the Sea Harrier's vertical take off and landing

The Sea Harrier F/A2 performing at the Thunder over Michigan Air Show is the only privately owned Harrier in the world. Art Nalls, a retired and decorated Marine Corps pilot purchased the Sea Harrier in 2005 and spent two years restoring the aircraft to flying condition. Originally designed for the Royal Navy, the Sea Harrier F/A2 is a vertical takeoff and landing aircraft famous for its service during the Falklands War. Lifting like a helicopter, hovering in mid-air, flying at nearly the speed of sound and even backwards, the Sea Harrier is a unique and incredible example of aviation technology.

"This will be the first time the Sea Harrier will ever be seen in Michigan" notes Kevin Walsh, Thunder Over Michigan Air Show Director, "it's exciting to re-invent the show each year and bring new and exciting acts to the state!".

WWII Battle Reenactment

The WWII Battle Reenactment brings to life the sights sounds and smells of ground and air warfare over WWII Europe. Using realistic historical reenactors and restored vintage aircraft, tanks, half-tracks and other equipment, this incredible reenactment brings history to life. The U.S. and German troops square off in battle featuring authentic armor and reenactors in historically accurate dress as the P-51 Mustangs fly overhead and provide tactical air support for the embattled American ground forces.

Smokey the Sabre jet 

Show attendees will also enjoy "Smokey," the F-86 Sabre as it jets through the sky.  The North American F-86 Sabre, sometimes referred to as the Sabrejet, was a transonic jet fighter aircraft. Produced by North American Aviation, the Sabre is best known as America's first swept wing fighter which could counter the similarly-winged Soviet MiG-15 in high speed dogfights over the skies of the Korean War. Considered one of the best and most important fighter aircraft in the Korean War, the F-86 is also rated highly in comparison with fighters of other eras. Although it was developed in the late 1940s and was outdated by the end of the 1950s, the Sabre proved versatile and adaptable, and continued as a front-line fighter in numerous air forces. The superior US pilot training in comparison to that of the North Koreans and the Chinese accounted for much of the F-86's success in achieving air superiority during nearly all of the hostilities.

Tickets are $25 per adult for purchases made now until 12 p.m. Noon on August 5. Children 15 years and younger ARE FREE. Parking is $5 per

vehicle.  (Tickets at the gate are $30/adult, parking $10.)  Gates open daily at 9 a.m. and advance discounted tickets are available at Show proceeds benefit the Yankee Air Museum.  

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