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Wings Over Houston Airshow takes to the air as a drive-in experience

The show will be an air performance only; there will be no static aircraft on display, and the warbird area will not be opened before the show.

HOUSTON — The 36th annual Commemorative Airforce Wings Over Houston Airshow will offer fans a drive-in viewing experience to ensure safe social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The show will take to the air Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 10-11.

A performance was scheduled for Friday, but had to be canceled due to weather. Tickets for Friday's show have been diverted to Sunday's performance.

The final lineup for an unprecedented three-day show will showcase the skills of four U.S. Air Force demonstration teams – F-22 Raptor, F-16 Viper, A-10C Thunderbolt II and the C-17 Globemaster III.

The show will also include several aerobatic performers, fan favorite Tora! Tora! Tora! and an array of vintage World War II aircraft.

Tickets to Wings Over Houston

Drive-in parking slots for this year’s show are now being offered for purchase online only to registered Insider fans on Thursday, Sept. 24 – sign up now at no cost to become an Insider on the airshow’s website, www.wingsoverhouston.com.

Any remaining parking slots will become available to non-Insiders on Saturday, Sept. 26 through the airshow’s website or by calling 888-4-FLYSHOW. There will be no general admission, reserved seating or walk-up ticket sales at the show.

“We have done everything possible over many months to hold this show for our fans, and we are appreciative to the mayor, city officials, Houston Airport Authority and many others for working with us to offer a drive-in show concept. We are also very grateful to our sponsors who have stayed with us and made this show possible every year, but especially this one,” Airshow director Bill Roach said. “While this will be a very different show lineup and viewing experience, we also are proud to host every single-ship demonstration team the United States Air Force has to offer. For three days in October, we are going to put on an amazing show, which is something I think we all need during these difficult times and also as a reminder of how important and fortunate we are to live in a free country.”

COVID-19 restrictions

Unlike normal years, the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing required changes to the show format and rules fans must follow.

Fans will be required to remain in or alongside their vehicle and must wear masks to use public restroom facilities.

Fans are encouraged to bring pre-prepared food and drinks; there will be no vendors at the show and grills are prohibited.

Houston city officials approved the airshow, including these guidelines, on Sept. 15.

Wings Over Houston line-up

Produced by the Commemorative Air Force, the non-profit airshow performance line-up includes:

  • The F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team is the world’s first fifth generation dedicated combat aircraft demonstration unit and remains the only twin-engine, vectored-thrust demonstration unit in the world.
  • F-16 Viper Demonstration Team will present the flying capabilities of the single-seat, multi-mission fighter that can fly over Mach 2 and the ability to switch from an air-to-ground to an air-to-air role at the touch of a button.
  • The A-10C Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team will exhibit the capabilities of the A-10 “Warthog,” a premier close air support aircraft that provides invaluable protection to troops on the ground.
  • The C-17 Globemaster III Demonstration Team will fly the most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the airlift force, which is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area
  • The U.S. Air Force will showcase a Heritage Flight formation with aircraft (aircraft not yet finalized).
  • Jason Newburg’s Viper Airshows features ‘extreme’ aerobatic pilot Jason Newburg who flies a dazzling show in his customized Viper Pitts S2S aircraft.
  • Jacquie B Airshows presents the amazing aerobatic flying skills of Jacquie Warda in her one-of-kind Pitts biplane.
  • La Porte resident Deborah Rihn-Harvey, world aerobatic champion, will fly a demonstration that showcases why she is one of the highest ranked aerobic competitors in the United States.
  • Fan favorite, Tora! Tora! Tora! returns again to wow fans with their explosive reenactment of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which includes an exciting show on the ground, too.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard will demonstrate rescue routines, having provided an all-weather 24/7 search and rescue capability to the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast since 1963.
  • Vintage aircraft performing and on display from various units of the Commemorative Air Force, Vietnam War Flight Museum, Lewis Air Legends and Collings Foundation West, as well as two privately owned P-51 Mustangs and a collection from Stewart Dawson.
  • The custom-built Shockwave Jet Truck, powered by three massive J34-48 Pratt & Whitney jet engines, will scream down the runway at chilling speeds.
  • The RE/MAX Skydiving Team will open the show with a performance choreographed to the national anthem.

The show will be an air performance only; there will be no static aircraft on display, and the warbird area will not be opened before the show. The previously announced Canadian Forces (CF) Snowbirds will not perform this year.

Below is a preview of last year's show: