The Luke Days air show gives you a chance to meet the Blue Angels, stunts and aerobatics and a dose of history. Definitely check out the Japanese Pearl Harbor attacks simulation. Ranjani Venkatakrishnan/azcentral.com
History buffs, aircraft fanatics and anyone who loves things that are loud and fast will find something to like at the annual Luke Days air show.
The free event takes place Saturday and Sunday, March 17 and 18, at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale. Though it’s titled “The Future of Airpower,” the show will include a nod to aviation history and even an infamous attack on the United States.
Here are five reasons to check out Luke Air Days.
1. Blue Angels
The U.S. Navy’s premier flight-demonstration team will be the highlight both days of the show. The precision maneuvers of the Blue Angels are always a crowd favorite and have been featured in air shows throughout the world. Blue Angels demonstrations begin at 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
2. Tora! Tora! Tora!
Volunteers from the Commemorative Air Force stage a simulation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The re-creation features vintage Japanese fighter planes and bombers flying in formation along with explosions and pyrotechnics.
Stunt fliers in a variety of civilian aircraft are a big part of the show. Among those taking part in Luke Days this weekend are Gary Rower in his Stearman biplane, glider pilot Dan Buchanan and Kirby Chambliss and his Red Bull-themed team.
4. Up-close looks at aircraft
In addition to watching planes in the air, visitors can also check out a variety of aircraft up close. Planes and helicopters such as the A-10 Thunderbolt, B1-B Lancer, F-15 and F-16 fighters and Blackhawk and Lakota choppers will be on the tarmac for up-close inspection.
5. Vintage warbirds
In addition to the Japanese planes in the Tora! Tora! Tora! simulation, more vintage aircraft will take to the skies for the show.
A restored P-51C, a World War II-era fighter named Tuskegee Airmen, will be part of the show. The plane’s tail is painted red in commemoration of the red-tailed fighters flown by the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American pilots who fought during World War II.
Another vintage plane taking part in the demonstration is a Lockheed T-33, an example of the U.S. military’s early jet aircraft. P-80 versions of the plane saw limited action in Europe in the final days of World War II and more extensive duty in Korea.
Luke Air Days
When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, March 17-18.
Where: Luke Air Force Base, 14185 W. Falcon St., Glendale.
Admission: Free for general admission. VIP tickets, which offer shaded seating, food and beverages, cost $39, $79 and $199. Go to airshowusa.com/tickets for more info.