HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – The skies over the Peninsula will be even louder than normal this week and into the weekend as the Airpower over Hampton Roads Airshow returns to Hampton.
It’s the first time the show has been held since 2018.
Highlights of this year’s show include the F-22 Raptor,F-35 Lightning, and the United States Air Force Thunderbirds in their F-16s.
The Thunderbirds arrived at Joint Base Langley Eustis Wednesday afternoon to get ready for this weekend’s show.
The team travels across the nation- demonstrating the professionalism and precision flying of the USAF with their F-16 fighting falcons
Long time airshow fans may notice some different things this year. A few years ago, the Thunderbirds changed up their performance, so you may see some new maneuvers or a different sequence of maneuvers than what you are used to.
Major Eric Tise, Thunderbird #6, said that the team actually looked to a popular company for help.
“We actually worked with Disney to reshape the show,” Tise said, “and it’s sorta formed like a firework show … so we’re really excited to showcase it. We worked hard in winter training to make it perfect. …”
While the show may look different, the mission is the same – to bring the Air Force to Americans nationwide.
“Our goal is to inspire people that see our show to want to commit to service something bigger than themselves,” Tise said. “We want to show them something so inspirational that they do something with their life that they’re proud of.”
During the demo, the Diamond Pilots will fly incredibly close – a skill that takes quite the attention to detail. The four Diamond Pilots, at one point in their demonstration during the diamond pass in review, will only be 18 to 24 inches apart from one another.
The solo pilots, Thunderbirds 5 and 6, will fly as max performance demonstrators – showcasing the speed and maneuvering capabilities of the F-16.
The Thunderbirds will fly at the end of the show Saturday and Sunday. If you’d like to attend, you must register in advance for a parking pass.