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August 10 & 11, 2013 - Thunder over Michigan Air Show

We were fortunate enough to attend the Thunder Over Michigan’s 15th Annual Michigan Air Show at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti.
The show's lineup included the F-100 Super Sabre Jet, the World's top two civilian aerobatic performers, Sean D. Tucker & Michael Goulian, a World War II and a Vietnam Battle Reenactment including vintage aircraft like Huey helicopters, P-51 Mustangs & T-6 Texans.

The first super sonic plane FW948 made for the armed services first ever USAF fighter capable of supersonic speed in level flight was on display.
The North American Aviation F-100 Super Sabre brought the speed and sound of a topline fighter aircraft to the performer lineup.The F-100 is a supersonic jet fighter that served with the United States Air Force from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard until 1979.It was the first ever U.S.A.F. fighter capable of supersonic speed in level flight.

The U.S. Navy Legacy flight that appeared at Thunder Over Michigan was the first time ever in the world that the participating aircraft have flown together in formation flight.The Legacy Flight, similar to the Heritage Flight, combines Navy aircraft in a tribute to Naval aviation.This year's Legacy flight combined the Vietnam-era A-4 Skyhawk, with the AD-1 Skyraider, a workhorse during both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, and the celebrated F-4U Corsair that was the Navy's top fighter aircraft during WWII.

This year there were bomber planes, jets, helicopters that dated back as far as the early 1900‘s. There were over 40,000 people in attendance over the weekend.

Aerobatic pilots Michael Goulian and Sean D Tucker were on hand. Sean D. Tucker is a member of the National Aviation Hall of Fame and is internationally known for his aerobatic flying routine and is a top artist in the USA. Sean has won several awards including induction to the International Council of
Air Shows Hall of Fame and the Living Legend Aviation Award.His plane, the Oracle Challenger III bi plane has more than 400 horsepower.Sean does 700 practice fights each year to make sure his skills stay sharp.He was a show favorite and put on a speculator show.Nascar Op Coordinator Brian Norris introduced the Oracle Team

Thunder Over Michigan is known as one of the top air shows in the US for a reason.
There were warbirds dating back to World Wars I and II, Vietnam War-era “Huey” helicopter putting on a show.

The Thunder Over Michigan Air Show is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose annual Air Show benefits the Yankee Air Museum.Additional net proceeds from the event are returned to the community through donations to regional corporations, local charities, various non-profits, and community service groups.

Also the Willow Run Plant is in danger of being demolished. It has been closed since December 2010. The threat of tearing it down to make way for new developments. The Michigan Aerospace Foundation has until Oct. 1 to raise the $8 million needed to save it.

The museum wants to move to the bomber portion of the GM factory, so it can put it’s entire collection on display.Right now, most of its collection is kept off site.The plant employed 42,000 people in it’s heyday including women who inspired the military’s “Rosie the Riveter” character. Workers made B24 bombers at a pace of more than one per hour at the peak of its production during World War II. Willow Run produced more aircraft every month than Japan did a year, earning it, and southeast Michigan worldwide fame as “The Arsenal of Democracy.”

Other points of interests were the reenactments from WWII and Vietnam.The aircraft A-1 Sky Raider, a 1943 Douglas Sky Raider formally AD dive bomb Ed Hinemann designed not pretty but fast, rugged and versatile. Sky Raiders had wide bodies with 2 seats, single seaters, one of them seats 6 people.1944 was the first prototype and its first flight took place in March of 1945. The AD1 has 2,700 horsepower and can carry more than its own weight with a maximum speed of 325 mph.The Super Saber can fly faster than the speed of sound.