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Ocean City Air Show this weekend

U.S. Navy Blue Angels will headline 10th event; action over resort beach, Sat., Sun.

(June 16, 2017) The U.S. Navy Blue Angels will headline the 10th annual Ocean City Air Show this weekend, which showcases a number of military aircrafts performing acrobatic displays over the beach downtown on Saturday and Sunday.

“It’s special because it’s a family-oriented event, while also containing a patriotic feel,” said Chris Dirato, director of public relations for the OC Air Show. “All of the U.S. military branches will be represented in this year’s show.”

Although the show does not officially begin until Saturday, events have already kicked off, including a Jack Daniels Take Off Party taking place at Brass Balls Saloon, located between 11th and 12th streets on the Boardwalk, at 7 p.m., Friday. It is free to attend and open to the public. It will feature musical entertainment and a chance to meet pilots, jumpers and flight crews. In addition, a parachute jump will take place on the beach during the party.

“Attending these events gives fans a chance to see the pilots and performers up close and personal,” Dirato said. “Of course, there is ample opportunity to get autographs and photos as well.”

On Saturday, the Ocean City Air Show begins with performances from the USAF F-22 Raptor, USMC MV-22 Osprey, a USAF Heritage Flight featuring the A-10 Warthog, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and more jaw-dropping acts.

The display village lining the Boardwalk from 14th to 20th streets will open at 9 a.m. for guests to visit various information booths and talk to military recruiters about the Blue Angels and other performances.

Weather permitting, the air show will officially start at noon with the Blue Angels taking to the sky at around 3:15 p.m. for a 30- to 40-minute performance.

“All of the military performers will be exciting to watch, but the F-22 Raptor is especially intriguing since it is considered America’s super fighter and the only operational fifth-generation fighter aircraft in the world today,” Dirato said. “Its combination of stealth, super cruise, thrust vectoring and integrated avionics, represents an exponential leap in fighter aircraft capabilities.”

In addition, the operational demand for F-22’s are significant with only 186 in the fleet, which limits air show demonstrations to only 24 per year, he said.

The B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber has stealth technology making it virtually invisible to enemy radar. It will make an appearance at the OC Air Show on Saturday only.

“This year, we will be commemorating the 10th anniversary of the OC Air Show,” Dirato said. “Part of the celebration will include a rare appearance of a B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber during Saturday’s show. Only 20 B-2s remain in service with the United States Air Force, which plans to operate them until 2058.”

Another exciting aspect to the show this year is when two GEICO Skytyper World War II planes will race against Miss GEICO, which is an eight-time world-champion powerboat used in offshore racing.

“They will race twice in one-mile races along the shoreline,” Dirato said. “In essence, the races are designed to see which is faster – the plane or the boat. The races will follow the Skytypers’ 18-minute, low-level, precision-flying demonstration.”

A performance from the B-25 Mitchell “Panchito” WWII Bomber will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid on Japan in April of 1942.

The Northern American B-25 Mitchell is a twin-engine medium bomber plane used by many Allied air forces during World War II in addition to getting use after the war across four decades.

The public will have a rare opportunity to take a ride in the B-25 Mitchell “Panchito” WWII Bomber during the show. For a $425 donation to the Delaware Aviation Museum Foundation, visitors will get the experience of what it was like to fly onboard the B-25 Mitchell Bomber “Panchito.”

The flights will take off from the Ocean City Airport, Friday through Sunday. The plane can seat up to five people and children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Call 443-458-8926 or email panchitoB25@aol.com to save a seat on the 30-minute flights.

After Saturday’s Boardwalk activities, an OC Air Show Performer Party featuring a “Salute to the Armed Forces” will take place at Ocean Downs Casino, off Route 589 near Ocean Pines, starting at 7 p.m. Look forward to a twilight parachute jump by the Army Special Ops Black Daggers, presentations from the American Legion Post #166 Color Guard and American Legion Bike Riders, face painting, giveaways, live music and a fireworks display at dusk.

“The big night out on air show weekend is on Saturday for the OC Air Show Performer Party at Ocean Downs,” Dirato said. “All the performers will be out in flight suits and uniform so you can snap a photo with your favorite pilot or team and get an autograph too. The event is free and open to the public.”

The Air Show continues Sunday at noon with more performances by the Blue Angels, Mike Wiskus in the Lucas Oil Pitts, the Army Special Ops Black Daggers, David Windmiller in the Zivko Edge 540 and other favorites.

In addition, the Coast Guard will bring along its HH-65 Daphine helicopter to demonstrate search and rescue missions for the crowd.

Depending on the weather, hundreds of thousands of people watch the Ocean City Air Show from the Boardwalk, hotels, on the beach or on a boat in the ocean and bay each year, Dirato said.

At the Air Show’s “Show Center” on the beach at 16th Street, spectators can hear commentary from Larry Strain with speakers set up along the Boardwalk and enjoy great views from most spots along the Boardwalk and beach. Others take their boats on the water to catch a seaside view.

As of Tuesday morning, all special packages were available for the Air Show, but they sell out every year. Tickets start at $22 for “Drop Zone” seating, and $159 on Saturday and $149 on Sunday for a Flight Line Clubhouse ticket. There are also tickets available in the VIP Skybox and Penthouse areas both days.

Visit www.ocairshow.com for more information or to purchase a show package.

Air Show Schedule

Friday, June 16

7 p.m.: Air Show Jack Daniels Take Off Party, Brass Balls, between 11th and 12th streets on the Boardwalk

Saturday, June 17

9 a.m.: Display Village and Premium Viewing open, 14th to 20th streets on the Boardwalk

10 a.m.: Flight Line Club VIP and Corporate Beach Chalets open, Show Center Beach, 14th to 17th streets

12 p.m.: Air Show begins featuring the National Anthem – Flag Jump, Army SpecOps Black Daggers, Mike Wiskus in the Lucas Oil Pitts, USCG Search and Rescue Demo, USMC MV-22 Osprey Demo, David Windmiller in the Zivko Edge 540, B-25 Mitchell “Panchito” WWII Bomber, GEICO Skytypers, Miss GEICO versus the Skytyper Race, USAF F-22 Raptor Demo, a USAF Heritage Flight featuring the A-10 Warthog and B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber.

3:15 p.m.: U.S. Navy Blue Angels performance

7 p.m.: A “Salute to the Armed Forces” Air Show Performer Party, open to the public, Ocean Downs, featuring the Army Special Ops Black Daggers, live music and a fireworks display

Sunday, June 18

9 a.m.: Display Village and Premium Viewing open, 14th to 20th streets on the Boardwalk

10 a.m.: Flight Line Club VIP and Corporate Beach Chalets open, Show Center Beach, 14th to 17th streets

12 p.m.: Air Show begins featuring the National Anthem – Flag Jump, Army SpecOps Black Daggers, Mike Wiskus in the Lucas Oil Pitts, USCG Search and Rescue Demo, USMC MV-22 Osprey Demo, David Windmiller in the Zivko Edge 540, B-25 Mitchell “Panchito” WWII Bomber, GEICO Skytypers, Miss GEICO versus the Skytyper Race, USAF F-22 Raptor Demo and a USAF Heritage Flight featuring the A-10 Warthog.

3:15 p.m.: U.S. Navy Blue Angels performance

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