The Vectren Dayton Air Show Presented by Kroger has been selected by the U.S. Navy for its crowd-pleasing F/A-18 Hornet Demonstration, according to an air show announcement.
The Boeing jet is the Navy’s premier strike fighter. Military jet demonstrations have become increasingly rare at air shows because of defense budget cuts, and shows vie especially for the Hornet, a big fighter with impressive features.
“We are absolutely thrilled the Navy has selected Dayton for a F-18 demo,” stated Michael Emoff, chairman of the United States Air and Trade Show Board of Trustees, the show’s nonprofit governing organization.
This year’s event will take place June 20-21 at the Dayton International Airport.
The Hornet is a supersonic, all-weather, carrier based aircraft designed for air-to-air fighting as well as ground attack, according to a Navy fact sheet. Its two General Electric engines give the Hornet a top speed of Mach 1.8 (1,190 mph), or nearly twice the speed of sound. It carries a wide variety of bombs and missiles supplemented by an M-61 Vulcan cannon.
The F-18 and has been used extensively by the U.S. in combat beginning with the bombing of Libya and later in the Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Hosted by Evendale-based GE Aviation, the U.S. Navy East Coast F-18 Hornet Tactical Demonstration Team will come to Dayton from Strike Fighter Squadron VFA 106, “The Gladiators,” based at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia.
The Hornet will join the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, U.S. Army Golden Knights and Breitling Jet Team from France—the Breitling team’s first North American Tour. The show will have first-time appearances by the Screamin’ Sasquatch Jet WACO biplane and Matt Younkin performing aerobatics in his vintage, twin-engine Beech-18.
Rounding out the line-up will be crowd favorites with legendary pilot Sean D. Tucker, the 300-mph Shockwave Jet Truck and the one-of-a-kind Wright B Flyer, a modern lookalike of the Wright brothers’ first production airplane.
Air show tickets are on sale now and may be purchased on the show’s website. Beginning May 11, deep discount general admission tickets will also be available at more than 100 Kroger stores in the Dayton-Cincinnati region.