Blue Angels and WWII act headline 2016 air show

Thundering sound and flaming pyrotechnics will return to the Vectren Dayton Air Show next June with the Navy’s Blue Angels jet team and Tora! Tora! Tora!, organizers said Thursday.

In the Tora! Tora! Tora! demonstration, eight World War II replica aircraft from the Commemorative Air Force will re-enact the Japanese naval and air bombardment of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the historic Dec. 7, 1941 attack , said Terry Grevious, the air show’s executive director.

“It’s a very expensive attraction because it has not only eight aircraft involved but it also has the pyrotechnics which is very costly,” he said. “It’s not only a spectacular performance … but it’s just a wonderful history lesson.”

The Blue Angels, based in Pensacola, Fla., perform wingtip-to-wingtip formations in six, twin-engine F-18 Hornet fighter jets. The team performed at the Dayton International Airport two years ago. Next year’s appearance will mark the 14th time the Navy and Marine Corps fliers have appeared in the 42-year history of the event, he said.

Organizers hope the two headline aerial acts draw thousands more to the June 18-19, 2016 air show than this year’s event, which lost money, Grevious said. Heavy rain dampened attendance significantly — to a turnout of about 40,000 attendees — temporarily grounded aerial performers and mired some cars in mud on the first day of the two-day event last June.

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On a weekend with good weather as many as 65,000 to 70,000 fans may show up.

“The fortunate thing is the Vectren Dayton Air Show is a solid event and we can literally weather those types of things,” Grevious said. “… We’re a small business and if you lose money for a number of years that becomes a problem. But one or two years is not going to put us out of business.”

Ticket sales of selected seats begin Oct. 15 at the air show’s website, www.daytonairshow.com. For the first time, the show will offer print-at-home and print-to-mobile ticket options, officials said.

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