Under a bright blue sky, the show kicked off harkening back to yesteryear, when a few pilots who owned their own planes would band together to promote aviation, meet pretty ladies, and travel America. They were called barnstormers.
There was lots to see and do at the Fort Wayne Air Show. Here you can see early arrivals on the ramp checking out "Georgie's Girl, based at the Liberty Air Museum in Port Clinton, OH.
This P-51 Mustang anchored the Rise Above exhibit telling the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, who actually were treated better by their German captors when they were shot down than when they returned home after the war.
Patty Wagstaff, arguably the premier woman acrobatic pilot, tells us a little about how she became interested in flying and her unique "visit" to Cedar Point. She was probably talking about Raptor.
Flying every which way but straight and level, Patty puts her Extra through it paces.
Here Patty cuts a ribbon while flying inverted mere feet above the ground. Not a very good time to cough or sneeze, because there is little room for error.
This is a little of Patty's warm-up flight, later she got even more aggressive in her maneuvers.
The only airworthy F-100 in the world is based in Fort Wayne, IN. And we know of at least one Vietnam Veteran who performed maintenance on these birds who was beyond thrilled to see one fly again. We thank him, and all the rest of the veterans for their service.
There was lots of action, in front of, above, and in the spectator areas at the 2016 Fort Wayne Air Show. Last year's show was delayed due to force deployments.
The 122nd Fighter Wing, the Black Snakes, fly A-10C Thunderbolt II, designed for Close Air Support, is tetheround forces best friend. When it absolutely, positively, has to be destroyed overnight, the "Warthog" is up to the mission.
Stunt Pilot Billy Werth also made a discovery while riding rollercoasters. He liked being upside down, so his favorite coaster was..., well he can tell you himself in the video
Here some children get "flight instruction," from one of the pilots of the 434th Air Refueling Wing based at the Grissom Air Reserve Base outside of Peru, IN. The seat on the left is sometimes occupied by Major Billy Werth, when he flies for the Air Reserve.
Billy flies a Pitts aircraft, and he doesn't fly it straight and level, because as he puts it," What's the fun in that? I want to be upside down."
Heading up into a hammerhead turn, this is just before he slows down and kicks the rudder so the plane turns sideways while falling backward. After he gets it pointed back towards the ground, he rapidly gains airspeed and then it's back up for something else.
Flipping and turning, stopping and starting, he made beautiful smoke trails in the sky. He also raced his brother on a motorcycle and did a close formation flight with the bike just feet off the ground.
We would like to thank our hosts of the 122nd Fighter Wing for their help with our search for roller coaster enthusiasts in unusual places.