“Heritage to Horizons: A Century of Airpower since WWI.” – Maxwell Air Force Base Air Show April 8-9, 2017
From the moment we decided to travel somewhere to see an air show I was like a little kid waiting for Christmas. We studied the schedules of the United States Air Force Thunderbirds and the United States Navy Blue Angels to determine when and where would be the best place to see them. Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama was an easy choice. We could get there easily from Georgia, there was a great campground close to the base, and it would be nostalgic for me to return to a base where I lived for a year when my father was stationed there.
We arrived at Gunter Hill Campground two days before the air show. Both days we heard the planes as they were practicing and I kept looking in the sky to see what kind of planes they were. Both days I was rewarded when I searched the skies and saw four of the Thunderbirds pass right by the campground.
On the day of the show we arrived early so we could find a good spot to set up our folding chairs to catch all the action. We parked ourselves right in front of where the Thunderbirds were lined up. We could also see the French planes of the Patrouille de France.
The air show was celebrating the 70th anniversary of the United States Air Force and commemorating the 100th anniversary of the United States involvement in World War I. There were also historic planes on display.
After the opening ceremonies the show began with the Wings of Blue Parachute Team. Once the performers began it was non stop action all afternoon. From bi-planes performing stunts to the fabulous French team Patrouille de France to a reenactment of the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Tora Tora Tora group there was never a dull moment.
The French team Patrouille de France (The Patrol of France) were performing to honor the special relationship between the air forces of U. S. and France since World War I.
The final act was the U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds. Before they began, a group of Air Force recruits were sworn in with their families watching them take their oath in front of the Thunderbird planes.
Before the pilots climbed into the cockpits their crews performed their pre-flight inspections as the pilots faced the crowd.
Just in case you didn’t get enough of the Thunderbirds, here’s a video of one of their signature formations.
Spending the day enjoying this amazing air show was one of the coolest things we’ve done in a long, long time. If the Thunderbirds or Blue Angels are performing any where near you get out there and go to an air show!