TICO Air Show lifts off in Brevard
Nighttime performance added to show
TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The TICO Warbird Air Show kicks off Friday in Titusville with a new twist, nighttime aerial performances.
According to News 6 partner Florida Today, the night performances will feature:
- Randy Ball and his afterburner-equipped MiG-17 fighter. Ball is billed as the only pilot in North America to hold an FAA unlimited aerobatic rating for both day and night in jet fighters.
- Matt Younkin, a third-generation pilot said to have perfected the world’s only night aerobatic display in a Beechcraft Model 18. The vintage two-engine airplane does a low-altitude illuminated acrobatic routine.
- The Aeroshell demonstration team. Six T-6/SNJ trainers of World War II vintage fly close-formation maneuvers illuminated by lights and pyrotechnics.
Gates open at noon, and the air show will start with a short performance beginning at 3 p.m. During a break in the show, visitors can see static aircraft displays, vintage and exotic cars, a children's carnival and combat re-enactors.
The full evening show starts at 6 p.m. A band will play before and after the evening aerial events. The air show performances will be from 6:25 to 7:30 p.m. and will end with a fireworks display.
Air show gates open at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunda and the air show is form 1 to 5 p.m. both days.
The air show will include appearances by the U.S. Air Force F-16 Demo Team, a U.S. Marine Corps F-18 Super Hornet and "Fifi," the only remaining flight-worthy B-29 Superfortress. The show will also feature parachute jumps, simulated dog fights and over 40 aircraft from World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam as well as more modern aircraft flying in formations and demonstrations. Besides the visiting performers, the museum has about 40 aircraft on permanent display.
Dick Cole, one of two surviving Doolittle Raiders, will be a special guest at the air show. Cole, who is 100 years old, was Col. James Doolittle's co-pilot during the raid on Tokyo in April 1942. Eighty men took off in 16 B-25 bombers from the deck of the USS Hornet, a first for bombers, knowing that most would not have enough fuel to make a safe landing in a part of China that was not occupied.
Cole was the guest of honor at the home of World War II, Korean and Vietnam war veteran Peter Diaz in Melbourne.
Of the raid, Cole said he remembers the parachute jump the most. He landed in a tree in southeast China.
"That was a scary time," he said.
Cole often helps to money for the General Jimmy H. Doolittle Scholarship Fund when he attends air shows as a guest.
Asked what he would say to young people today, he said: "The thing I say is get the education and the knowledge and go from there."
Diaz said he has known Cole since 1986 when Cole and other Doolittle Raiders were invited guests at the TICO Warbird Air Show.
"At the time we had 18 of the original group join us," he said.
For tickets and more information, contact Valiant Air Command at 321-268-1941 or visit valiantaircommand.com.
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