Returning in 2021 Houston!
The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, will debut their redesigned aerial demonstration, to include an updated ground show performance for the 2021 air show season.
Last year, the Thunderbirds were able to focus on and fully commit to enhancing their aerial demonstration and ground show after most of their 2020 show season air shows were canceled due to the spread of the coronavirus.
“We are very excited about the changes we have made to our show and ground performance,” said Col. John Caldwell, Thunderbirds commander and leader. “One of our main goals was to take a look at our show sequence and enhance the design with the crowd experience in mind.”
The most noticeable changes to the performance are the reordering and implementation of new maneuvers during the aerial demonstration. The new show sequence now follows seven distinct themes that focus on increasing crowd excitement, tapping into the emotions of onlookers and showcasing the complexities of the maneuvers in a gradual manner. It also includes two new maneuvers: the Low Bomb Burst with Hit, which will be flown in every show; and the Stinger Cross Break, which will only be performed during the 6-ship low and flat shows as well as 5-ship shows.
Canadian Forces Snowbird Demonstration Team
The Canadian Forces (CF) Snowbirds, 431 Air Demonstration Squadron are a Canadian icon comprised of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and National Defence Public Service employees.
Pilots, technicians (aviation, avionics, aircraft structure, supply), mobile support operators, resource management support clerks, an engineering officer, a logistics officer and a public affairs officer representing all three elements (Army, Navy and Air Force), work as a team to bring thrilling performances to the Canadian public. Serving as ambassadors of the CAF, the CF Snowbirds demonstrate the high level of skill, professionalism, teamwork, discipline and dedication inherent in the men and women of the CAF and they inspire the pursuit of excellence wherever they go in North America.
F-22 Raptor Demo Team
The F-22 Raptor’s combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities. The F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team performs precision aerial maneuvers at airshows across the world to demonstrate the unique capabilities of the world’s premier 5th generation fighter aircraft. The team also performs with the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation to showcase modern day fighter jets flying in formation with World War II, Korean, and Vietnam era aircraft.
US Navy F-18 Super Hornet — VFA-106
Air shows are the best place to see a VFA-122 Super Hornet in action. The Tactical Demonstration, or “Tac Demo” team flies the single-seat F/A-18E and two-seat F/A-18F as close to the “edge of the envelope” as safety and prudence allow. The routine highlights the Rhino’s maneuverability and slow-speed handling characteristics and has been very well received around the country. “The demo flight profile highlights the mobility, versatility, and power of the most lethal, carrier-based Strike Fighter aircraft in the world, the F/A-18 Super Hornet, nicknamed the ‘Rhino’.”
C-17 Globemaster III
The massive Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is the newest and one of the largest aircrafts in the Air Force inventory. Weighing in at a maximum takeoff weight of 585,000 pounds and flying as fast as 590 mph the 200-foot-long C-17 will show off its impressive aerial capability. The C-17’s primary mission is to transport equipment, supplies and troops around the world. The 62nd Airlift Wing is the active duty wing on McChord Field. The 62nd Airlift Wing is joined by its Reserve partner the 446th Airlift Wing. Together, the two wings fly 50 C-17 Globemaster IIIs to provide combat airlift for America.
US Air Force Heritage Flight-P51, A10, F16, F22, F35
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force (USAF), the Heritage Flight program was founded in 1997. Heritage Flight performances of current fighter/attack aircraft flying with World War II, Korea and Vietnam era fighters dramatically display USAF air power history and honor the brave men and women who have served, or are currently serving, in the USAF. In 2010, the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was formed to keep this popular program flying.
US Coast Guard Air Station — Houston
Air Station Houston will demonstrate the team work it takes to provide rescue services. Providing an all-weather 24/7 Search and Rescue (SAR) capability to the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast since 1963. With three MH-65D “Dolphin” helicopters, AIRSTA Houston’s AOR extends from the Colorado River to White Lake, Louisiana.
138th Fighter Wing — Tulsa Air National Guard
The 138th Fighter Wing based at Ellington will open the show with a full afterburner take off as they depart on a training exercise.
Their mission statement: Maintain combat forces ready for mobilization, deployment and employment as needed to support national security objectives.
TORA! TORA! TORA!
TORA! TORA! TORA!
A Living History Museum.
Americas oldest civilian air show performance. 50th year anniversary!
Many people have the opportunity to travel to visit a museum but rarely does the museum come to visit you. Attending an air show where “Tora Tora Tora” is performing is like having a 3-D museum come to visit you. “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.
Wings Over Houston is proud to be considered it’s home air show.
Commemorative Air Force
Air Power Demonstration
Featuring famous battle reenactments with pyrotechnics simulating a near real experience.
Debby Rihn-Harvey is a member of the Wings over Houston airshow board of directors and the winner of multiple world aerobatic championships. She is one of the highest ranked aerobatics competitors in the United States. In 2011, she won the Betty Skelton “First Lady of Aerobatics” Trophy with performances that made her the highest scoring female competitor for the thirteenth time.
Rihn-Harvey is also the longest standing member of the U.S. Unlimited Aerobatics Team, qualifying to represent the U.S. fifteen times in World Aerobatic Championships in North America and Europe. In world competition, Rihn-Harvey has been a Gold Medalist as well as holding many regional titles.
In recognition of her many accomplishments, she was inducted into the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame in 2003, the EAA Sport Aviation Hall of Fame in 2007, received the Lloyd P. Nolen Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010, and, in 2012, the International Ninety Nines Award of Achievement for Contributions to Aviation.
John and Shane McGillis
Father and son duo, John and Shane McGillis, will take to the skies for the very first time ever at the Wings Over Houston Airshow. No stranger to this show, John and Shane live in Houston. In fact, they are tenants of Ellington Airport! They will be flying a pair of Extra 330 lx aircraft. Both men have thousands of hours flying many different airplanes and helicopters, and are very excited to be fulfilling a lifelong dream of performing aerobatics together. John passed his love of aviation down to Shane, who is also sharing that bond with his young son.
RE/MAX Skydive Team
The Official Open to Wings Over Houston 2021!
The RE/MAX Skydiving Team is delivering it’s show-stopping performance to thousands of Texans this fall at some of our region’s grandest outdoor event venues. This year, the team will officially open the 2021 Wings Over Houston Airshow, October 9 & 10, with a skydive choreographed to the National Anthem.
According to RE/MAX of Texas, between the four jumpers, they have more than 100 years of jump experience and more than 15,000 jumps. These experienced jumpers will leap from a plane at 4,500 feet and experience a 120mph free fall. You can easily find these jumpers in the air by looking for Texan and American flags flying down with them.
The Lone Star Squadron is a precision aerial demonstration team of 6-9 aircraft performing multiple formations with smooth, precise and safe transitions. The group began in 2004 and is made up of local Houston pilots of all walks of life flying Vans RV series aircraft. Over the years the team has honed their skills at airshows, flyovers, and missing man flights honoring our veterans. The pilots stay proficient with weekly training sessions and are required to be certified by an FAA the governing body for civilian, non-warbirds airshow demonstrations.