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Military craft slated for airshow return

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This file photo from the 2010 Vectren Dayton Air Show illustrates the popularity of the giant C-5 transport plane, as crowds

DAYTON – Vectren Dayton Air Show organizers hope some familiar favorites will return when the next show launches in June.
Military aircraft have largely been missing in action on the air show grounds at the Dayton International Airport since defense budget cuts in 2013 grounded jets and helicopters at bases far from spectators.
But organizers expect front-line military jets and planes to rejoin the static display lineup, and perhaps perform flybys, as the Pentagon eases years-long restrictions.
“This is big news for us,” said Terry Grevious, executive director of the Vectren Dayton Air Show. “It’s going to mean a lot more military aircraft” at the June 18-19 air show.
“People love the power and the most modern technology on display,” said Michael Emoff, chairman of the U.S. Air & Trade Show board of trustees. “I think that component has been missing over the last several years and it’s been wanted, needed and missed.”
The U.S. Navy Blue Angels are the headline act this year.

One of the displays missing in 
recent years is the C-5 Galaxy transport plane. 
Air show organizers expect more military aircraft

Two
front-line military aircraft made a return last year on static display
with a C-17 Globemaster III and a KC-135 Stratotanker, both large jets,
landed at the show.
Those planes were the first two military jets
on static display since sequestration largely grounded the Air Force
Thunderbirds and the Navy Blue Angels for a season three years ago and
other military aircraft stayed off the air show circuit, Grevious said.
In
the pre-sequestration era, as many as 20 military aircraft filled the
tarmac, he said. Since the cutbacks, Dayton relied on old warbirds to
fill the void.
The Air Force has upped the number of static
display aircraft at air shows this season to four versus two last year,
said Jennifer Bentley, an Air Force spokeswoman.
The service
branch also gave the green light to two aircraft flyovers per day. Last
year, the Air Force did not allow any, she said.
“We’re the air
service,” she said. “If we’re not doing flyovers and we’re not
demonstrating our capabilities” the Air Force risks losing touch with
the public, she said.
“It’s been tough the last few years with
fiscal constraints and not being able to connect with the public as much
as we we want to,” she said.
Air show spectators in Dayton last
saw a flyby in 2012 when a B-52 Stratofortress bomber flew over the
airport, Grevious said. Organizers have requested flybys this time of a
B-52 and a B-1 Lancer, B-2 Spirit, and a F-16 Fighting Falcon.
“Those
were commonly what we had in the past prior to sequestration,”
Grevious said. Organizers also have asked for an F-16 or F-22 Raptor to
perform a solo demonstration.
Rob Newell, a Navy community
outreach spokesman at the Pentagon, said the Navy has gradually ramped
up where it has sent aircraft since 2014.
“I think what people
remember is when sequestration hit back in 2013 … community outreach
kind of came to a screeching halt,” he said.
The week the Blue
Angels fly in Dayton will coincide with a Navy Week in the region, he
said. “Most of our bases are on the East and West Coast,” Newell said.
“We don’t have a big presence in the middle of the country and that’s
what these weeks give us.”
The exact lineup of what will be on
display of the air show won’t be known until around April. That’s when
the military announces where the planes will go, Grevious said.
In the case of the Air Force, he said, “we asked for everything in the inventory for static display.”

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