Calling Warbird Fans: Late-Summer Air Shows Featuring World War II Aircraft

Here are a few upcoming opportunities to see wartime fighters, bombers, trainers, and transports in action.

Vought F4U Corsair [Courtesy: Gerry Metzler]

Airshow calendars typically get summer off to a fast start with formations of warbirds overhead and aerobatic performers carving the sky ahead of Memorial Day and going strong through July 4. As the season continues into the so-called dog days and beyond, though, the aviation scene seems to cool down. But you cannot blame the calendar for that.

Indeed, the apparent slowdown might be a product of our imagination, as there are still many shows scheduled across the U.S. from midsummer through the fall. Because many spectators judge airshows by how many warbirds show up, we are listing events where people can see these beloved antiques take to the sky. Below is a small sample of opportunities to see wartime fighters, bombers, trainers, and transports in action between now and the beginning of the school year.

Oregon International Air Show

August 19-21, McMinnville Municipal Airport (KMMV), McMinnville, Oregon

The well-known P-51 Mustang “Val-Halla” will perform at this long-running show that also includes the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and F-35A Lightning II demo teams. There will also be a flight of warbirds from the Erickson Aircraft Collection, including a Douglas AD-4W Skyraider, Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Ye Olde Pub,” and a Grumman F8F Bearcat.

New Garden Festival of Flight

August 30, New Garden Airport (N57), Toughkenamon, Pennsylvania

This evening show is set to begin at twilight and finish off with a lightshow-style demonstration by renowned aerobatic performer Matt Younkin and his Twin Beech 18. Other featured warbirds include a North American SNJ Harvard trainer and Vought F4U Corsair fighter. There is also a Mitsubishi A6M Zero, which is far from an everyday sight.

Matt Younkin and his Beech 18 [Courtesy: Younkin Airshows]

Wildwood Air Show

September 2-5, Cape May County Airport (KWWD), Wildwood, New Jersey

The show will feature World War II aircraft potentially including a Corsair, a PBY Catalina, and a JU-52. The airport, which served as a training base for dive bomber squadrons during the war, is also home to the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum, located in the airport’s historic Hangar 1.

Garmin KC Air Show

September 3-4, New Century AirCenter (KIXD), Olathe, Kansas

A huge event with dozens of performers, the KC Air Show includes a big military contingent, from the Air Force Thunderbirds and A-10 Thunderbolt II demonstration teams to an Air Force Heritage Flight and Navy Legacy Flight. A P-40 Warhawk and P-51 Mustang will also perform, as will the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team in their 1940s-era T-6 Texan military trainers.

Tri-State Warbird Museum Flying Warbirds Showcase

September 24, Clermont County Airport (I69), Batavia, Ohio

The Tri-State Warbird Museum’s restored aircraft visit numerous air shows around the U.S. but this is its home event, which helps fund the museum’s mission to preserve World War II aircraft and educate visitors about the role of U.S. aviation during the war. Attendees will see the museum’s P-40 Warhawk, TBM Avenger, P-51D Mustang, B-25 Mitchell, and a Flug Werk FW 190.

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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