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The 5 largest general aviation airshows in the United States

Airshows are full of excitement and enthusiasm. They attract thousands of visitors every year. Whether it's hearing the sound of a Spitfire engine, watching an aerobatic display or seeing new cutting-edge aircraft and historical warbirds, there is always something for everyone. It can be a fun family day out or to meet up with other aviation enthusiasts. The thrill of flight will never go away. The roar of the engines and the sight of planes defying gravity is an exhilarating experience. Airshows also include static displays of various aircraft on the ground, which people can get up close to and even climb into sometimes. Every air show is unique and you can never say which is the best or the most popular, so here we will take a look at the largest general aviation airshows. 1. EAA AirVenture (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Taking place from July 22 to July 28,, this airshow is one of the most popular and continues to delight. This week-long extravaganza is more than just an airshow; it's a pilgrimage for aviation enthusiasts from around the world. Thousands of people attend to see the finest things aviation can offer. It features everything from vintage warbirds to cutting-edge civilian and military aircraft, as well as forums, workshops and a huge marketplace. Last year, AirVenture featured 3,365 airplanes including 1,497 vintage aircraft and 380 warbirds. It is organized by the Experimental Aircraft Association, the largest general aviation organization in the world. Top performers at the 'World's Greatest Aviation Celebration' include the RCAF Snowbirds, Michael Goulian, Red Bull Air Force, Patty Wagstaff and Lee Lauderback to name a few. There are many more to be announced. Find out more here.2. SUN 'n' FUN Aerospace Expo (Lakeland, Florida) The Sun 'n Fun Aerospace Expo is a week-long event dedicated to aviation education held annually in Lakeland, Florida. It features an airshow along with other aviation-related exhibits and activities. The 2024 Sun 'n Fun Aerospace Expo will be held from April 9-14. It will be a packed event with air displays, static displays, the expo, night shows, live music performances and much more. Performers include the USAF Thunderbirds, the USAF Heritage Flight, the Ghost Squadron, the Warbird Show, the Titan Aerobatic Team and Michael Goulian. While the airshow is a major attraction, the event has a strong focus on promoting aviation education through various exhibits and programs. The fly-in is part of the Aerospace Center For Excellence promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs for young students. The event is organized by a nonprofit organization, Sun 'n Fun Aerospace Expo, a non-profit organization that promotes aviation education. It was first established in 1974 and is celebrating its 50th year. Onsite, there is also the Florida Air Museum, the Central Florida Aerospace Academy and the Lakeland Aero Club. If you're interested in learning more about the Sun 'n Fun airshow, you can check out their official website.3. Pacific Airshow (Huntington Beach, California) The Pacific Airshow takes place Oct. 4-6. This airshow features a variety of military and civilian performers, including civilian aerobatic teams and military demonstration teams. It spans three days and not only is it about awe-inspiring aerial displays but there are live music festivals. Some of the aerobatic displays take place over water. You can also find art, technology, and entertainment and enjoy some stunt flying. You can expect to see performances by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team, and the A-10 Demonstration Team along with many others. The Pacific Airshow has been running since 2016 and regularly attracts over one million spectators. For more information go to their website. 4. Air Dot Show (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) The Air Dot Show takes place May 11-12. It features military and civilian acts, celebrating aviation with demonstrations, displays, and a chance to see some amazing flying machines up close. You can expect to see displays by the USAF Thunderbirds, the A-10 Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team, the Ghost Squadron, SOCOM Para-commandos and the USAF Heritage Flight. You can find more information here.There is also the Air Dot Show Tour.The tour visits: Orlando, Florida, April 20-21 Augusta, Georgia, May 25-26 New York City, Aug. 10-11 Ocean City, Maryland, Aug. 24-25 Atlanta, Oct. 26-27 The performers vary by location, but some highlights include the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the A-10 Warthog Demo Team, the F-22 Raptor and the Ghost Squadron. If you're interested in attending an Air Dot Show near you, you can find more information and purchase tickets on the Air Dot Show Tour website.5. Bethpage Airshow (Jones Beach, Long Island, New York) This event takes place every year in May on Memorial Day weekend. The 2024 Bethpage Air Show will take place May 25-26. The headliner for the 2024 show is the United States Navy Blue Angels. Other performers include the United States Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, the U.S. Navy F-35C Tac Demonstration Team, the U.S. Coast Guard, the A-10C Thunderbolt II Demo Team and the 106th Rescue Wing NY Air National Guard HC - 130 / HH 60 Demonstration Team. All branches of the military are represented at the show. In addition to the military performers, there will also be many civilian performers, including Jessy Panzer, a widely known female aerobatic pilot, the American Air Power Museum Warbirds, Warbird Thunder Airshows, Long Island's own David Windmiller and the SUNY Farmingdale State College Flying Rams, and the world-famous Skytypers and their flight squadron of five vintage WWII aircraft. One of North America's most famous acrobatic pilots, Michael Goulian will also be flying. The Bethpage Air Show is a free event, but there is a $10 parking fee. You can view the show from anywhere on the beachfront at Jones Beach State Park. You can find further information here.
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