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5 Planes You Can’t Miss at the Vectren Dayton Air Show

It’s a great time to get excited; the 2018 Vectren Dayton Air Show is this weekend on June 23rd and 24th at the Dayton International Airport. You’ll see world-class aerobatic champions, military jet demonstrations and entertainment celebrating Dayton’s rich aviation heritage as home of the Wright Brothers, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and National Aviation Heritage Area. The Dayton/Montgomery County Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the show contributes an average of $3.2 million to the region’s economy every year.

Along with the phenomenal show in the air, there will be more than 20 static aircraft on display to explore on the tarmac. Longtime air show attendee and veteran pilot Danny McGahee says he always looks forward to bringing his family to get up close and personal with the Air Force aircraft on the ground. He currently flies the Bombardier CRJ 900 NextGen that will also be on display, but Danny also recommends air show attendees make a point to stop by the B-17, P-51, B-52, F-16, and A-10 displays.


1. B-17F Movie Memphis Belle

Carefully restored by National Museum of the Air Force Museum, the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress known as the Memphis Belle flew 25 missions in every combat zone during World War II. The permanent exhibit at the museum opened with a grand ceremony in May, but you can catch a chance to see the Memphis Belle at the air show this weekend.

“The Memphis Belle is an integral part of the Air Force story and one of the most iconic aircraft in American history,” said Museum Director, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jack Hudson. “It continues to be recognized 75 years later by those from around the world.”

Technical Notes

Crew: 10
Armament: Up to thirteen .50-cal machine guns and 8,000 lbs of bombs
Engines: Four 1,200 hp Wright R-1820-97 turbo-supercharged radials
Maximum Speed: 325 mph
Range: 2,800 miles
Maximum Ceiling: 37,500 feet
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 48,720 pounds


2. Tuskegee Airmen P-51C Mustang Red Tail

The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron has selected Dayton for an appearance of its Tuskegee P-51 Mustang aircraft and Rise Above Theater production. Audiences will learn not only about the iconic Mustang but also of the Tuskegee Airmen’s legacy of the – America’s first black military pilots. The CAF presentation at the air show will include a flight and display of the P-51 Mustang Red Tail aircraft Tuskegee Airmen flew.

“We take pride in the positive impact we have on the communities we serve,” said Kristi Younkin, CAF Red Tail Squadron logistics coordinator for the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit and P-51C Mustang Tuskegee Airmen. “We maintain a rigorous event schedule to ensure we bring the message of the Tuskegee Airmen to as many new places as possible, and the more we can engage these communities the greater our potential for honoring these important American heroes and inspiring people to rise above their own obstacles.”

Technical Notes

Crew: 1
Armament: Six 0.50-in machine-guns, three in each wing outside the area swept by the airscrew. Guns are adjusted to converge at the 300-yd range. Removable streamlined bomb-rack under each wing for bombs up to 1,000-lbs, auxiliary fuel tank or chemical container for smoke making. The fusing of bombs is electrically controlled from cockpit and bombs may be dropped in a dive, in level flight or a 30-degree climb.
Engines: One 1,590-hp Packard V-1650-7 (Rolls-Royce Merlin 69) twelve-cylinder Vee liquid-cooled engine on built-up cantilever mounting.
Maximum Speed: 437 mph
Range: 2,300 miles
Maximum Ceiling: 41,900 feet
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 10,100 pounds


3. U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress

After meeting with Wright Air Field Air Base officials, Boeing engineers worked all weekend in 1948 at the Hotel Van Cleve in downtown Dayton to develop the B-52 Stratofortress. Over time, people began referring to the aircraft as BUFF – Big, Ugly Fat Fellow. With nearly 70 still used by the United States military today, the B-52 has seen action in the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“The addition of the B-52 bomber is great news for the 2018 show,” stated Scott Buchanan, Chairman of the United States Air and Trade Show Board of Trustees. “The BUFF will be a HUGE hit with spectators and adds to an already impressive show lineup.”

Technical Notes

Crew: 5 (aircraft commander, pilot, radar navigator, navigator and electronic warfare officer)
Armament: 70,000 pounds of mixed ordnance: bombs, mines, and missiles
Engines: Eight Pratt & Whitney TF33-P- 3/103 turbofan engines
Maximum Speed: 650 mph
Range: 7,652 nautical miles (8,800 statute miles)
Maximum Ceiling: 50,000 feet
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 488,000 pounds


4. U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon

Sleek and strong, the F-16 can withstand nine times the force of gravity and excels at air-to-surface and air-to-air combat. UTC Aerospace Systems. Makes the wheels and brakes just north of Dayton in Troy, Ohio. When you see it at the air show, be sure compare its shape to a viper snake that earned it the nickname Viper.

Technical Notes

Crew: 1
Armament: M-61A1 20mm cannon; external stations can carry up to six air-to-air missiles, conventional air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions and electronic countermeasure pods
Engine: One Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-200
Maximum Speed: Mach 2 at altitude
Range: 1,740 nautical miles
Maximum Ceiling: above 50,000 feet
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 37,500 pounds


5. U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II

Nicknamed the Warthog or Hog for its unattractive appearance, the A-10 carries the heaviest automatic cannon ever mounted on an aircraft and is specifically designed for close-range air support. Upgrades and wing replacements have kept the A-10 in service since the 1970s and the Air Force recently pushed back the retirement date from 2018 to 2028.

Technical Notes
Crew: 1
Armament: one 30 mm GAU-8/A seven-barrel Gatling gun; up to 16,000 pounds (7,200 kilograms) of mixed ordnance on eight under-wing and three under-fuselage pylon stations, including 500 pound (225 kilograms) Mk-82 and 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms) Mk-84 series low/high drag bombs, incendiary cluster bombs, combined effects munitions, mine dispensing munitions, AGM-65 Maverick missiles and laser-guided/electro-optically guided bombs; infrared countermeasure flares; electronic countermeasure chaff; jammer pods; 2.75-inch (6.99 centimeters) rockets; illumination flares and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.
Engines: Two GE TF34-GE-100 turbofan engines
Maximum Speed: 515 MPH
Range: 2,580 miles
Maximum Ceiling: 45,000 feet
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 51,000 pounds


Founded in 1975, the Vectren Dayton Air Show Presented by Kroger is a premier air show that you just can’t afford to miss. Buy your tickets, plan your parking, and find the event schedule at daytonairshow.com.