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A.C. Airshow is back with new acts and old favorites

A.C. Airshow is back with new acts and old favorites

Get ready to roar! Thunder Over the Boardwalk, the 16th annual Airshow, returns to Atlantic City Wednesday, Aug. 22. Dozens of aerobatic acts will soar over the beaches and Boardwalk, including past favorites and brand-new performers.

The Thunderbirds, Geico Skytypers, and Golden Knights are back to delight spectators with their daring feats of aerial maneuverability. New to the lineup this year are the Canadian Snowbirds, Canada’s iconic military air demonstration squadron. “This is the first year that we have an international performer at the Atlantic City Airshow,” says Michael Chait, executive vice president of the Atlantic City Chamber.

Classic favorites

The USAF Thunderbirds are back. Flying their F-16 Fighting Falcons in thrilling maneuvers, the Thunderbirds are an Airshow favorite. The tactical fighters fly a mix of high-speed formations and solo performances. Known for their four-jet diamond formation, the Thunderbirds showcase the power, skill and precision of the United States Air Force. Their demonstration is set to start at 3:06 p.m. and will close out the Atlantic City Airshow.

The U.S. Army Golden Knights, the world’s best parachute team, are another returning favorite. Passing batons at 120 m.p.h. and flying the U.S. flag at 12,000 feet are just some of the high-velocity stunts that have delighted audiences for years. The Golden Knights are set to take flight at 11:15 a.m. to open the show with the National Anthem and again at 2:31 p.m.

While the Geico Skytypers Airshow Team, above, has been a regular favorite at Thunder Over the Boardwalk, this year they will reveal an all-new routine. This squadron of WWII aircraft will demonstrate more than 20 different period-specific tactical maneuvers during its low-level flying demonstration.

“There is more dynamic maneuvering from the various aircraft, additional interaction between the planes in the airshow and the air space, and some surprise elements developed to enhance and highlight the aircraft and pilots’ capabilities,” says Steve Salmirs, lead solo pilot for the Geico Skytypers. Salmirs also choreographed the new demonstration.

The Skytypers got their name from their unique ability to write massive messages in the sky, with letters as tall as the Empire State Building. Following the Skytypers performance, the solo aircraft will breakaway and race the 10-time world champion Miss Geico Offshore Racing Team. The Skytypers are tentatively set to hit the sky at 1:54 p.m.

What’s new

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds, below, fly nine jets in 50 different formations, explains Chait. They fly the Canadair CT-114 Tutor, an iconic 1960s trainer jet. The Snowbirds fly at speeds between 115 and 370 m.p.h. During formations, the jets fly as close as 4 feet apart. “The Snowbirds fly here directly from Saskatchewan, Canada,” Chait says. The Snowbirds are currently set to take to the sky at 12:55 p.m.

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Also making her first appearance at the Atlantic City Airshow, Riley McEvoy will sing the National Anthem. McEvoy is a local, teen singing sensation. She opened a Tim McGraw and Hunter Hayes concert in 2016, with her rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” and has been building her fan base ever since.

What to expect

The Atlantic City Airshow is family-friendly, free and open to the public. “In the past the show has drawn between 400,000 and 425,000, and this year we are expecting right around 425,000,” Chait says. With a crowd this large, Chait recommends getting to Atlantic City early, so that you have plenty of time to find parking and a viewing location. To optimize your experience, the Atlantic City Chamber recommends ensuring that you bring plenty of water, sunscreen, snacks, beach chairs and accessories, cameras and binoculars. To listen to the live broadcast, bring a portable radio and tune it to WPG Talk Radio 104.1 FM and 1450 AM.

While Atlantic City’s beaches are free, there’s a selection of premium viewing locations that you can purchase tickets for. Premium locations include the Atlantic City International Flight Club on the beach at Florida Avenue, Rooftop Airshow BBQ at the Claridge, Boardwalk Hall’s VIP Watch Party, One Atlantic’s Under the Thunder VIP Show Experience. Tickets for these events range from $25 to $125.

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