Florida’s 2015 air show calendar became more clear this week as the Air Force Thunderbirds announced their slate of performances for the new year, while the Navy Blue Angels announced plans for 2016 at this week’s International Council of Airshows Convention in Las Vegas.
Central Florida will get a triple dose of the Air Force aerobatic team with a flyover during the Daytona 500 on Feb. 22 and performances at the TICO Warbird Air Show in Titusville on March 14-15 followed by the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In & Expo in Lakeland on April 25-26. The Thunderbirds will also make a return to the Panhandle to perform at Tyndall Air Force Base for the first time since 2011 on April 11-12.
The Thunderbirds won’t return to Florida for any fall shows next year though. The team had made two stops in the Sunshine State this past October with performances in both Melbourne and Daytona Beach. This will be the first time in years that the team has planned only three air show appearances instead of four.
The Navy Blue Angels work out their schedule two years in advance, so their 2015 slate has been known for quite a while now.
The iconic blue-and-yellow F/A-18 Hornets will make four Florida appearances starting at the Melbourne Air and Space Show on March 21-22 followed by the traditional summer stop at the Pensacola Beach Air Show on July 11, the Sea and Sky Spectacular Air Show in Jacksonville Beach on Oct 24-25 and the annual Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show at the Pensacola Naval Air Station on Nov. 7.
The 2016 slate for the Blue Angels making five stops in Florida with two South Florida stops. First up in 2016 will be the Southernmost Air Spectacular at Key West Naval Air Station on April 2-3 followed by a summer return to the Vero Beach Air Show on June 25-26. The team then finishes up their season back in Pensacola on July 16, the Birthplace of the Blue Angels Air Show at Jacksonville Naval Air Station on Nov. 5-6 and the season finale Homecoming Air Show in Pensacola on Nov. 11-12.
Here’s a breakdown of the two military flight demonstration squadrons’ planned Florida appearances through 2016:
Feb. 22: Thunderbirds – Daytona 500 fly by, Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach
March 14-15: Thunderbirds – TICO Warbird Air Show, Titusville, Fla.
March 21-22: Blue Angels – Melbourne Air and Space Show
April 11-12: Thunderbirds – Tyndall Air Show, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
April 25-26: Thunderbirds – Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In & Expo, Lakeland, Fla.
July 11: Blue Angels – Pensacola Beach Air Show
Oct 24-25: Blue Angels – Sea and Sky Spectacular Air Show, Jacksonville Beach
Nov. 7: Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show – NAS Pensacola
April 2-3: Blue Angels – Southernmost Air Spectacular, NAS Key West
June 25-26: Blue Angels – Vero Beach Air Show
July 16: Blue Angels – Pensacola Beach Air Show
Nov. 5-6: Blue Angels – Birthplace of the Blue Angels Air Show, NAS Jacksonville
Nov. 11-12: Blue Angels – Homecoming Air Show, NAS Pensacola