2 new acts join 2017 Dayton air show

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2 new acts join 2017 Dayton air show

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The United States Air Force Thunderbirds returned to the Dayton Air Show on Thursday after a four-year absence due in part to military budget cuts. The team is scheduled to perform on Saturday and Sunday at the Dayton International Airport. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Two new aerial performers will join the line-up for the first time with the headline act the Air Force Thunderbirds at the 2017 Vectren Dayton Air Show, organizers announced Wednesday.

The six-plane GEICO Skytypers Team, flying six World War II era SNJ-2 aircraft and aerial acrobatic champion Rob Holland will both be making first-ever appearances at the Dayton Air Show on June 24-25, 2017.

“They all do something different and we like that variety in our program,” said Terry Grevious, air show executive director, said Wednesday.

For the second year, the Redline Airshows Aerobatic Team will fly in Dayton. The Cincinnati-based act was a last-minute addition to the air show this year after the Navy’s Blue Angels were forced to cancel performing in Dayton when one of the team’s aviators was tragically killed in a crash while practicing flight routines in Tennessee.

Acrobatic champion Rob Holland, 42, of Nashua, N.H., will fly a highly maneuverable 380-horsepower MXS-RH in Dayton next June.

His act is punctuated with one-of-a-kind moves such as the “inside tumble,” said spokesman Steve Serdikoff. “It’s really impossible to describe other than to say the tail goes over the nose six times,” he said.

Holland also performs the “frisbee,” or the plane spinning in a circle while moving forward and the wings remain level to the earth, Serdikoff said. Holland pulls as much as 13 “Gs” or 13 times his body weight during the routine.

“Rob has taken it to a level that nobody has worldwide,” Serdikoff said. “…Part of his job is to push the boundaries forward.” Holland has won 16 international aerial competition medals.

Based in Long Island, N.Y., the Skytypers use a computer-controlled “dot matrix” to type messages 1,000 feet tall and six to eight miles in length at an altitude of about 10,000 feet, organizers say. The messages can be spotted on the ground 15 miles away or an area covering 400 square miles.

For much of the rest of the routine, pilots fly the planes at low level in acrobatic maneuvers, said spokeswoman Brenda Little. “These planes are 75 years old and they’ll do some of the same maneuvers as jet teams,” she said.

Among other artwork and messages, the team creates an aerial replica of the American flag.

Sky typing using a dot matrix to type letters in the sky is 17 times faster than sky writing, she added.

“There’s a huge difference,” she said.

The team will spell out messages above Dayton and Cincinnati the day before the air show, organizers said.

The planes, also known as the T-6 Texan, trained thousands of pilots during the height of World War II.

The air show at Dayton International Airport attracted an estimated 51,000 spectators this year.

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