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Sound of Speed Air Show planned for 2018

Planning is picking up for the 2018 Sound of Speed Airshow at Rosecrans Memorial Airport.

Staff from the 139th Airlift Wing and the city of St. Joseph are in Las Vegas this week for the 50th annual meeting of the International Council of Air Shows.

This is where the business really begins for signing new acts to appear Aug. 25 and 26 at the Sound of Speed Airshow, said Capt. Mark Gaines, one of the planners for next year’s two-day event.

Staff also are beginning to work on the 2020 Sound of Speed Air Show, said Lt. Owen Compton.

In 2018, coming for the first time as a headline act will be Neal Darnell’s three-engine jet truck called Shock Wave. In previous shows, Darnell has been driving Flash Fire, a semi with only one jet engine.

“St. Joe has never seen it before, but with three J34-48 Pratt & Whitney jet engines it’s a real assault on the senses,” Darnell told News-Press Now.

A Peterbilt with a custom-built frame, shocks and brakes, Shock Wave is the fastest semi, clocked at 376 miles per hour.

“In the quarter mile it can reach speeds a little over 200 miles per hour,” Darnell said.

Darnell’s son, Chris Darnell, will be driving Shock Wave this year, while the father will be in Ottumwa, Iowa, driving Flash Fire.

The Missouri Air National Guard unit announced in November that the Navy’s Blue Angels will be the star act for 2018.

“We’re working with the Kansas City folks and have an agreement for St. Joseph to have the even years and K.C. to do the odd years,” said Abe Forney, St. Joseph’s manager for Rosecrans Memorial Airport. “So the Blue Angels will be back in Kansas City for their 2019 show.”

The planners in Las Vegas said they are meeting with other acts to ensure St. Joseph gets a great show.

“This year’s air show is going to better than its ever been,” Darnell said.

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