About the Airshow
Wings Over Houston Airshow, is a production of the Commemorative Air Force, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It is one of the largest civic events in Metropolitan Houston. Among its major purposes and beneficiaries are:
- To promote an event for the entire family, promote the city of Houston, to gain national recognition for the city and the airshow.
- To promote patriotism, awareness of former and current military assets protecting our nation and the world.
- To perpetuate the spirit in which such combat aircraft were flown in the defense of our nation, in the memory and hearts of all Americans.
- To honor men & women who served and currently are serving in the military and those based here in Houston.
- To honor and perpetuate the memory of those men and women whose personal sacrifices during the six years between 1939-1945 resulted in the preservation of FREEDOM for Americans and the liberation of those suffering from repression and hatred.
- To “KEEP `EM FLYING” by providing funds to acquire, restore, and maintain WWII, and other historical aircraft for the benefit of educating the public and helping to preserve the history of these unique aircraft that protected our great nation.
- To establish educational scholarships in the engineering and aviation fields for local area students.
- To produce a “SPECIAL SHOW” on Friday exclusively for the physically challenged.
- To support Aviation Career Education Academy (ACE) summer camp for high school juniors and seniors interested in aviation careers.
- To benefit “AT RISK” students as WOH volunteers.
- To benefit many non profit and charitable organizations.
One of Houston’s largest non-profit civic events, the CAF Wings Over Houston Airshow proceeds are used to sponsor the Wings Over Houston Scholarship Program for college students studying for careers in aviation, Aviation Career Education (ACE) Summer Academy for high school juniors and seniors interested in aviation, Commemorative Air Force aircraft restoration and flying historical programs, Exchange Club of Sugar Land, Rotary Club, and many other area non-profit groups.
Our Airshow is organized as an educational event that provides community entertainment, celebrations of patriotism, military recruiting opportunities and aviation awareness.
About the Airshow’s Organizers
COMMEMORATIVE AIR FORCE
The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) honors the men and women who built, maintained, and flew in these airplanes during World War II. The organization believes that is best accomplished by maintaining the airplanes in flying condition; taking the airplanes to the people allowing them to experience the sight and sound of the aircraft in flight.
Collecting, restoring and flying vintage historical aircraft for more than half a century, the Commemorative Air Force ranks as one of the largest private air forces in the world. The CAF is dedicated to Honoring American Military Aviation through flight, exhibition and remembrance. A non-profit educational association, the CAF has more than 13,000 members and a fleet of 165 airplanes distributed throughout the country to 76 CAF units for care and operation. For more information, visit www.commemorativeairforce.org.
The Houston Wing of the Commemorative Air Force was formed in 1981 and is based at West Houston Airport. The wing operates and maintains five aircraft assigned to the unit by the CAF – a North American AT-6 advanced trainer, a Consolidated-Vultee BT-13 basic trainer, a Naval Aircraft Factory N3N primary trainer, a PT-19 Fairchild primary trainer, and a Lockheed C-60A paratroop transport, and is restoring an L-17 Navion. The wings’s hangar B-5 at West Houston Airport serves as “home base” for these aircraft, features a growing World War II museum, and hosts several activities each year, including public Open House events, educational tours for youth groups, veterans’ associations meetings and social events for a variety of professional and nonprofit organizations.
An ongoing activity of the Houston Wing is the “America Trains for War” educational program. In this program, aircraft and members visit area communities to educate elementary and middle school children about the role training aircraft, their manufacturers and instructor pilots played in World War II, helping to turn an essentially unprepared United States into the most dominating air power in the war. Wing members also participate in the Smithsonian-sponsored Veteran’s History Project,where veterans of World War II tell of their service and experiences in video interviews. This effort preserves their stories, in their own words, for future generations. For more information, visit the Houston Wing website at www.houstonwing.org.
Gulf Coast Wing
The Gulf Coast Wing of the Commemorative Air Force, based at David Wayne Hooks Airport, is proud to be the home of the B-17G Texas Raiders and the nationally known airshow performers, “Tora! Tora! Tora!”.
The Gulf Coast Wing flies and maintains one the few operational B-17G Flying Fortresses known as Texas Raiders. Over the last several years, the Gulf Coast Wing has worked to comply with the requirements of an FAA Airworthiness Directive regarding the wing structure of our B-17G. After many, many dedicated hours by volunteers, our B-17G is back in the air!
To learn more about this project or becoming a member of our group, please visit one of the Gulf Coast Wing PX’s during the airshow or visit our website www.gulfcoastwing.org.
Tora! Tora! Tora!
Tora, Tora, Tora is the Commemorative Air Force’s recreation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that signaled the beginning of the American involvement in World War II. Designed as a living history lesson, “Tora, Tora, Tora” is intended as a memorial to all the soldiers on both sides who gave their lives for their countries.
Through its many airshow appearances around the country, the “Tora” Group presents a history lesson through a realistic re-creation of the December 7, 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor to thousands of airshow fans each year. Flying replica Japanese fighters and bombers through the smoke and fire of their pyrotechnic display, the Tora pilots bring history alive in a way that no other group can.
To learn more about this group or becoming a member of our group, please visit our website www.toratoratora.com.
NolEn Lifetime Achievement Award
LLOYD P. NOLEN LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN AVIATION AWARD
Each year, the Wings Over Houston Airshow presents the Lloyd P. Nolen Lifetime Achievement in Aviation Award to an individual, organization, company or corporation dedicated to the promotion or advancement of aviation.
Previous Lloyd P. Nolen honorees include Deborah Rihn-Harvey, Gordon Bethune, Gene Kranz, Maybelle Fletcher, Ralph Royce, Herb Kelleher, Charles Hutchins, Tuskegee Airmen, Joe Foss, Captain John W. Young, Brigadier General David “Tex” Hill, Marvin “Lefty” Gardner, Vic Agather, Bob Hoover, Anthony LeVier, Burt Rutan, Major General Joe Engle, Mayor General William Anders, Paul Poberezny, the 147th Fighter Wing/111th Fighter Squadron of the Texas Air National Guard, General Reg Urschler, Gene Soucy, Debby Rihn-Harvey, CAF’s Tora! Tora! Tora!, Kermit Weeks, Steve Hinton, and the 2015 recipient is: Jan Collmer.
Recent Past Recipients