Wings Over Houston touches down at Ellington Field
The sky over Ellington Airport will be ablaze with aircraft beginning on Saturday (Nov. 1) and continuing through Sunday (Nov, 2) with the Commemorative Air Force Wings Over Houston Air Show.
The show features the Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron. The flight demonstration will feature choreographed maneuvers of grace and speed in six F/A 18 Hornets, along with the large, yet elegant, C-130 named “Fat Albert.”
The U.S. Marine Corps also participates in the Demonstration Squadron. The pilot of the C-130 is U.S. Marine Major Dusty Cook, who hails from East Bernard, TX.
“The team itself is comprised of Marines and Sailors, and our full-time job is to be a Sailor or a Marine in the fleet,” said Cook. “This is sort of a detour if you will; an additional duty that you can do. I am a C-130 pilot in the fleet. This is something that I applied for and was selected for to do this for three years. So nobody gets to do this forever. After your time is up, you go back to the fleet.”
Cook has been on two tours in Afghanistan, both on the ground and in the air.
“I like this opportunity because I get to be a storyteller. Not just for me, but for all of the men and women who have served. It’s a great way to educate people,” Cook said.
“This is Houston and everybody loves airplanes around here. And there’s this awesome museum. I want everybody to come out here, not just to watch me, but also to come meet everybody else. I love the state of Texas. So come down and watch the show. The gates open at 8 a.m. We go on at 3 p.m., but that doesn’t mean that there’s not a whole lot of entertainment between 8 and 3. There’s actually some great entertainment. Shawn Tucker’s here. I don’t know how he does what he does [aerobatics] in his airplane!” Cook added.
Other featured performers in the show include the MV-22 Osprey. “With the speed and range of a turboprop, the maneuverability of a helicopter and the ability to carry 24 Marine combat troops twice as fast and five times farther than previous helicopters, the Osprey greatly enhances the advantages Marines have over their enemies. The Osprey’s impact was felt immediately upon its arrival in Iraq. Commenting on its advanced expeditionary capabilities and staggering operational reach, a top Marine commander went as far as to say it turned his battle space ‘from the size of Texas into the size of Rhode Island,’” according to the website.
The Vietnam Demonstration, “Will take aircraft from crews of the Commemorative Air Force, Vietnam War Flight Museum, Collings Foundation Cavanaugh Flight Museum, military ground troop re-enactors from the 6th Cavalry, with the National U.S. Forces Museum with lots of pyrotechnics,” according to the website.
The Air Force Heritage Flight contains, “Performances of modern military aircraft flying with World War II, Korea or Vietnam era fighters dramatically display USAF airpower history and honor the brave men and women who have or are currently serving, in the USAF. The Heritage Flight is flown by select civilian and military pilots who train together to learn the characteristics and differences between the modern jets and the prop-driven warbirds,” according to the website.
The website adds, “Steve Hinton, our 2014 Lloyd. P Nolen Lifetime Achievement in Aviation recipient will be flying in the F8F Bearcat instead of the F-86 in honor of the naval theme show this year.
The North American F-86 Sabre (Sabrejet) was a transonic jet fighter aircraft. The Sabre is best known as the United States’s first swept wing fighter, which could counter the similarly-winged Soviet MiG-15 in high-speed dogfights over the skies of the Korean War. Considered one of the best and most important fighter aircraft in the Korean War, the F-86 is also rated highly in comparison with fighters of other eras. The Sabre proved versatile and adaptable, and continued as a front-line fighter in numerous air forces until retired by the Bolivian Air Force in 1994.”
Other performances include MiG-17F- Randy Ball/Fighter Jets Inc., Tora! Tora! Tora! Commemorative Air Force, a WW II Airpower Demo, the U.S. Coast Guard Helicopter Dolphin MH65D, and aerobatics by Sean D Tucker – Team Oracle, David Martin/Breitling Air Shows, Matt Chapman Air Shows and Debbie Rihn-Harvey.
The show also includes the Shockwave Jet Truck, which speeds down the runway at 300 mph, the RE/MAX Skydive Team and Radio Controlled Aircraft Demonstrations.
Emmy Award winning entertainer and pilot Rob Reider will be announcing the Airshow, which was choreographed by award-winning Air Boss Ralph Royce.
The Commemorative Air Force produces the Wings Over Houston Airshow, which is a non-profit organization. Its mission is, “To promote patriotism, awareness of former and current military assets protecting our nation and the world; to perpetuate the spirit in which such combat aircraft were flown in the defense of our nation, in the memory and hearts of all Americans; to honor men & women who served and currently are serving in the military and those based here in Houston; and to honor and perpetuate the memory of those men and women whose personal sacrifices during the six years between 1939-1945 resulted in the preservation of freedom for Americans and the liberation of those suffering from repression and hatred,” according to the website.
For more information about the Airshow, any of its performers or to buy tickets, visit WingsOverHouston.com.