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Published: Saturday, December 23, 2017 @ 12:00 AM
Vectren Dayton Air Show officials have announced that Dayton has been selected for a U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor and U.S. Army Golden Knights demonstration at the 2018 Vectren Dayton Air Show June 23-24th at the Dayton International Airport. 2018 marks the 44th year for the popular summer event.
The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is a fifth-generation single-seat, twin-engine, all-weather stealth tactical fighter. The Raptor’s combination of stealth, aerodynamic performance and situational awareness gives the aircraft unprecedented air combat capabilities. The F-22 team will perform an aerial demonstration both days of the show.
The Raptor is one of the most sought-after demonstrations on the air show circuit. Its incredible maneuverability, aided by its computerized controls and powerful, thrust-vectoring jet engines, make its demonstration unlike any other.
Dayton’s F-22 will be flown by Maj. Paul Lopez II from the 1st Fighter Wing, Langley AFB, Virginia. Lopez is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University. The Raptor last appeared in Dayton in 2016.
The Golden Knights, the Army’s official demonstration team, will thrill spectators with their intricate canopy work along with skydiving formations and landings that require extreme precision. Team members are drawn from U.S. Army paratroopers who have demonstrated excellence in parachuting skills.
Formed in 1959 and based in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, these ambassadors of the Army represent the skill and professionalism of U.S. soldiers serving all over the world. The 16-member team will travel to Dayton in their Fokker C-31A Troopship, which will also serve as their jump aircraft. The Golden Knights last appeared in Dayton in 2015.
“We are absolutely thrilled,” said Scott Buchanan, chairman of the USATS Board of Trustees. “To have the world’s most advanced jet fighter and our nation’s elite paratroopers at our show is truly an honor. The 2018 show is shaping up to be an amazing event that people definitely won’t want to miss.”
The F-22 Raptor and Golden Knights will join previously announced attractions, the world-renowned U.S. Navy Blue Angels and TORA! TORA! TORA!, a dramatic recreation of the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor.
Female aerobatic superstar Vicky Benzing and Cincinnati’s own Redline Airshows Aerobatic Team will perform in 2018 as well.