Monday, March 2, 2015

2015 air shows and events in the Washington DC region

In the D.C. area, there are many air shows taking place throughout the year. If you're an aviation enthusiast or just like to see a good show, you'll find plenty of opportunities. From what I can tell, in the metro region, air shows typically start in May and run through the fall. From classic to military, many of these shows will highlight and showcase a variety of aircraft.

Manassas Airport Regional Business Alliance (MARBA)

The annual air show in Manassas takes place on Sat., May 2 at the Manassas Regional Airport from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event is free to the public, but donations are taken at the gate. Every year the air show proceeds benefit charities, this year's non-profit beneficiaries are The Virginia Airborne Search & Rescue Squad and The Manassas Freedom Museum.  Note there are security checkpoints when you enter the airfield. For more information, you can visit the official website for any updates or additional details. Rain date is May 3.

Photo taken at 2012 air show

 World War II Victory Capitol Flyover

This year, on Fri., May 8, 2015, the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day, there will be a Flyover over the U.S. Capitol to honor the heroes who fought in WWII and on the home front producing the equipment needed. According to the official website:

"The Flyover will feature an assortment of warbirds representing the major battles of World War II, from Pearl Harbor through the final air offensive to defeat Japan.  Never before has such a collection of WWII aircraft been assembled at one location, to honor the large assemblage of veterans gathered at the WWII Memorial."

There will also be a ceremony to honor veterans and will take place at the World War II National Memorial.

The next day, over at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly (a second Air & Space run by the Smithsonian), some planes will be on exhibit for one day. As a bonus, you can see the permanent exhibits (such as Space Shuttle Discovery).

Flying Circus Air Show

For as long as I've lived in Virginia, the Flying Circus Air Show has been said to delight audiences with its performances from May through October. This year's opening day is on May 3
Visitors to the show can see vintage aircraft, parachute jumpers and "barnstorming".   The weekly shows are fun for all ages and you can check the Flying Circus calendar for any other special events happening this season (there is a hot air balloon festival every August, which is a 2-day event). The 2015 season runs through Oct. 25. The Flying Circus is located in Bealeton, Va.

Andrews Air Show

It's back! A major event in the area, the popular performance has been confirmed for 2015. The last time this event was held was in 2012. In 2013 the schedule was changed to having a show every other year, but was canceled in 2014 due to the budget cuts just prior to the government shutdown.  The Andrews Air Show will take place this year on Sept. 19. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will perform and the event is free to the public. There will be modern and vintage aircraft on display with additional highlights to be announced

Leesburg Air Show

Now in its 6th year, the Leesburg Air Show takes place at the Leesburg Executive Airport. The show typically features various demonstrations, skydivers, exhibitions, acrobatics, aviation displays and much more. Last year included a car show. This year's show is on Sat., Sept. 26. The event is totally free. The website encourages visitors to the show to bring chairs and blankets to the show. The list of performers is not available just yet (double checked Aug. 2015), but stay tuned, the website says to check back for updates

Culpeper Air Fest

The annual Culpeper Air Fest is scheduled for Oct 10. Taking place in Brandy Station, Va. at the Culpeper Regional Airport. The day's fun includes several events such as air acrobatics, aircraft displays, airplane rides, wing-walking, games for the kids and much more. The gates open at 9 a.m. You can learn more about this year's lineup of performances on the airshow's website

Virginia Air Show and Air Show Week

I can't seem to find current information for the annual Virginia Air Show and Air Show Week.  Taking place at the Front Royal-Warren County Airport, about 90 minutes from the District, this show offers events in the days leading up to the show (these I've not attended, but have attended the air show itself). In the past, performances included military aircraft, hot air balloons, a gyrocopter, barnstorming, air acrobatics, antique autos and more. Check the website for updated information. I'll try to post some if and when it becomes available. In years past it has taken place in September. 

Update Aug. 12, 2015 - The site now lists Sept. 12, 2015 as the air show and Sept. 5 to Sept. 12 as airshow week. The scheduled performers have not been listed just yet, but should likely be posted soon.

Dulles Day Plane Pull

Every year the Dulles Day Plane Pull takes place in September. This Special Olympics  fundraiser features teams of 25 people pulling a 164,000+ pound Airbus 12 at the fastest rate. There is also live music, a car show, aircraft display and other family fun. This year's event is not posted yet, but check back for more details. Information will likely become available soon

Update Aug. 12, 2015: The Dulles Day Plane Pull has been scheduled for Sept. 19, 2015.

It's a bit early now for some of these shows, but it's never too soon to plan. If I come across any new shows added, I'll update this post. 

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