Cocoa Beach lands Air Force Thunderbirds for 2013 air show
The Air Force Thunderbirds fly over the speedway prior to the running of the 50th Daytona 500 at the Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, February 17, 2008. (JACOB LANGSTON, ORLANDO SENTINEL / March 17, 2008)
The show slated for Oct. 19-20 will feature the precision demonstration team on both Saturday and Sunday along with several other performance teams and flyovers.
"We're honored the Thunderbirds are returning to Cocoa Beach to headline our 5th Anniversary event," said show president Bryan Lilley.
Previously known as the Cocoa Beach Air Show, the 2013 event is expanding to include space as part of the activities.
"This is the first year the event will include space and with Air Force Space Command's significant presence in our community with the 45th Space Wing, it could not be more appropriate," Lilley said.
In 2012, the 45th Space Wing commemorated the 30th Anniversary of U.S. Space Command as part of the show with an exhibit and free tour of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Those events led organizers to make the space part of the show official.
"Space is a major industry in Brevard County and has been for years," Lilley said. "After this year's show we received several inquiries about featuring space as part of the event and after some follow-up discussions, we re-branded as the nation's only Air and Space Show."
The Thunderbirds and U.S. Navy Blue Angels are the premier teams to land for the state's many air shows. The Thunderbirds performed four shows in Florida in 2012 and will have the same in 2013, with stops in Titusville for the TICO Warbird AirShow at Space Coast Regional Airport on March 23-24, in Lakeland for the Sun n' Fun Fly-In on April 13-14 and in Fort Lauderdale for the Lauderdale Air Show on April 20-21. The Cocoa Beach show will be the team's only fall stop in Florida.
The Blue Angels already have their 2013 schedule planned with shows in Key West on March 23-24, Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base on April 6-7, Pensacola Beach on July 13, Jacksonville on Oct. 26-27 and their regular finale show in Pensacola on Nov. 1-2.
In addition to the headliners, the Cocoa Beach Air and Space Show, which runs from noon-4 p.m., will feature military demonstrations, space-related aircraft, low altitude flyovers and civilian aerobatic performances. The event takes place over the Atlantic along Cocoa Beach, and is free for general viewing. Premium seating is available from $19 and VIP packages for $89 and $129 are available as well.
For more info visit www.AirandSpaceShow.com and follow the event's twitter @AirandSpaceShow.