The thunderous roar is a familiar sound in August for Abbotsford residents, who are used to looking skyward to see jets in perfect formation at breakneck speeds. The Abbotsford International Airshow is Aug. 11, 12 and 13 and promises to deliver more than ever before.
With new acts, returning favourite, and gravity-defying demonstrations over three days, this year is sure to surprise returning guests and entice new ones. The theme is True North Strong, and is a nod to Canada’s 150 birthday celebration, complete with a specially painted CF-18 Hornet.
“Our theme celebrates the role that aviation has played in the place that Canada now occupies in the world,” says Airshow president Jim Reith. “Along the static ramp, guests will see aircraft from those that had the ability to open up exploration to our huge geographic landscape as well as the warbird airplanes that took us through historic times in our world history. You’ll also get to meet the many men and women of our Canadian Armed Forces and friends from the US and Netherlands military as they show off their aircraft too.”
This year will see an array of aircraft to portray the arc of Canada’s aviation heritage from WWI forward, with particular emphasis on the RCAF. Performers – both civilian and military – from the United States, including two F-35 Lightnings from the Netherlands, will be on display for the public. Other highlights include the USAF F-35 Heritage Flight Team, the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team’s first time in Abbotsford, Canada’s first and only Red Bull Air Racer Pete McLeod, and a deHavilland Vampire – one of Canada’s first military jets.
Don’t miss an exciting week’s worth of free events with Airshow Week, presented by Denny’s, which has been re-invented from when it started in the early ’80s.
“The goal is to re-engage the Lower Mainland community through free, family-friendly events leading up to the Airshow that have an fun airplane-inspired flare,” he says. “We are continuing to evolve the Abbotsford Airshow to remain a relevant and forward-thinking event that celebrates our aviation history and future.”
This includes the introduction of the Twilight Show on Fridays, the McDonalds Kids Zone, on-site attractions like the Brew North Strong Craft Beer Festival this year, Precision Exotics driving experience and Flight Club.
“We continuously try to strike a balance between bringing back crowd favorites (like Kent Pietsch and his beloved yellow Jelly Belly airplane) and adding new performers (this year, Rocket Scientist – Bob Carlton, Jim Peitz’s upside down Bonanza, Hayden Profitt’s jet truck, Gerry Conley in his deHavilland Vampire, and the very first time F-35 Heritage Flight Team),” says Reith.
From its humble beginnings in 1962, the Abbotsford International Airshow has grown into one of the top -10 airshow’s in the world. Bring your camera, wander to find something delicious from the various food trucks, enjoy a beverage at the Beer Festival, or take the kids to meet the talented pilots and crew at the autograph booth. The Airshow encourages the sharing of experiences between all ages, with young kids perched on their dad’s shoulders watching the aerobatic performances with awe, and grandparents wandering along the static line telling stories about their experiences in some of the airplanes along that display. “At the end of the weekend, I am always gratified having heard the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ of the kids big and small.”
For tickets and information, visit abbotsfordairshow.com