This weekend, the City of St. Thomas will be graced with the roaring rumble of aircrafts flying overhead. If you’ve lived in St. Thomas for long, you know what it means to step outside one day and see the spectacular formation of the Snowbirds elegantly glide across the sky:
The Great Lakes International Airshow is back.
The Airshow, held at the St. Thomas Municipal Airport, has been a staple of our region for years, even being voted the Best Airshow in Canada by Airshows Review Magazine.
Locals and visitors alike have missed the Airshow since its last run in 2013, and we could not be more excited for its return this June 18th and 19th!
Many of us have great memories of the Airshow in passing years; some may even recognize with ease aircrafts that have frequented the event. But there is a lot about the 2016 Airshow performances that you might be interested to know.
So, we bring to you the low-down on some of the many fantastic performances you will see at the Great Lakes International Airshow this year...
McDonnell Douglas F-18 Hornet
The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CF-18 Demonstration Team will perform with their F-18 Hornet at the Airshow. This year, their theme is the 75th anniversary of the WWII British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, displaying training scheme yellow. This elegant and fierce fighter jet is a crowd favourite, with incredible abilities that are sure to impress all.
Jelly Bean Plane
Look out for the Jelly Bean plane, flown by Kent Pietsch, with a remarkably unique act that will thrill audiences with edge-of-your-seat aerobatic stunts.
EV0 1 Experimental Plane
Tom Martin, a local farmer, will be flying his EV0 1 Experimental plane, which zooms at up to 442 kph.
The distinct CC-130 Hercules, which can only be described as mammoth in size, will also amaze crowds at the 2016 Airshow. With four engines, it is capable of carrying up to 78 combat troops and is used for missions such as troop transport, tactical airlift, search and rescue, refueling, and training.
The CH-146 Griffon, an RCAF helicopter, will also conduct a performance. The Griffon is used for a variety of missions, including search and rescue, reconnaissance, casualty evacuation, and counter-drug operations.
Dehavilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk
Also present will be the Dehavilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk, often referred to as “Chippie” or “Poor Man’s Spitfire,” which was used as a primary trainer after World War Two.
North American Harvards
Known for its growl caused by its supersonic propellor tips, the North American Harvards will be performing, too. The Harvard served as an advanced trainer during World War Two, with a 600 hp Pratt and Whitney Wasp engine.
And of course, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds will be attending! The Snowbirds, or the 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, consist of nine aerobatic planes flown by members of the RCAF. Although the Air Demonstration team was formed in 1978, the 431 Squadron actually served in the Second World War, with many battle honours, including Normandy. The Snowbirds will once again perform their breath-taking aerobatics as a team at the 2016 airshow.
Other performances include those of Londoner Pete McLeod, Manfred Radius, the Pyro Jet Truck, Boeing Stearman PT-27 Kadet, and Fleet Finch, which are all surely going to be awe-inspiring.
As if the astonishing aerial performances are not great enough, there is SO much more to do at the Great Lakes Airshow! On display will be a static collection, which will include a variety of historic aircrafts. Plus, Central Helicopter and the St. Thomas Flight Centre will be giving rides at the show. There will be an Air Experience Pavilion and lots of vendors, food and drinks, and Kids’ Zone.
The Airshow is a magnificent event that we are truly lucky to have so close to home.
You won’t want to miss it - the grounds are open from 10:00am-6:00pm on June 18th and 19th, with the shows beginning at 1:00. For more information, see www.greatlakesinternationalairshow.ca.
Railway City Tourism will also have a tent at the Airshow, so be sure to visit us - we’ll see you there!