Thunderbirds Headline Tucson Air Show


Caleb Pendleton, Op-Ed Editor

On March 23 to 24th, the Tucson Thunder and Lightning over Arizona was held at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. People from in state and even out of state, attended the air show that was free to the public. The U.S. government host Air Shows to promote the military and to give civilians the chance to do something over that weekend. There were 45 different static aircraft vehicles for people to admire. There were activities to keep the kids busy, like jumping castles, eating snow cones, and even the chance to take pictures on different mock aircraft vehicles. Among aircraft vehicles, the show also featured special vehicles, like undercover cop cars, and even a super car racing around to give the show a little more character. One of the coolest displays they had was a semi-truck fitted with a rocket motor to make it go insanely fast.

Tucson Arizona Navy Super Car

Skip Collins, a brother of one of the pilots in the show, was an aircraft maintenance officer for more than 26 years. Collins who is now retired, says the airshow is a way to stay connected with his brothers and “Admire the technology, see what we can do and appreciate the mission that they have to keep this country free.”

The gates opened at 9 AM, and the main part of the show began around 11 AM. Amazing stunts were performed – skydiving, air plane combat, and even a skit where a prisoner high-jacked a plane and they had to help him land. They also did a skit to save two soldiers who were being held captive in an airplane and had to jump out to safety while bombs went off in the distance.

The airplanes were big enough to hold tanks and drop them from the skies during military missions. The Air Force also showcased a plane that is recorded to be one of the biggest and most expensive aircraft in the military. Kids and parents had the chance to walk inside these planes, and even visit the cockpit. Temperatures reached up to 80 degrees, and could have been as low as 38 degrees. The main reason everyone was at the air show is because of the Thunderbirds that took flight around 3 PM. The parking lot was most filled during these times, and even the people across town could witness the Thunderbirds if they wanted. If you are interested in helping with the next air show, you could use the Thunder and Lightning over Arizona website as a reference of what the next show may look like.