Florida Air Shows 2017/18

USAF Thunderbirds at Sun 'n Fun Fly-In
USAF Thunderbirds at Sun 'n Fun Fly-In

The fantastic weather means that Florida hosts a large number of air shows and fly-ins, many of which are free to attend, especially the beach air shows. The Florida air show season typically runs from mid January to November with most shows in either the spring or the autumn (fall).

Though not air shows as such, the Wings of Freedom Tour by the Collings Foundation, the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) AirPower History Tour and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Aluminium Overcast Tour and Ford-Tri-Motor Tour often bring a number of warbirds to Florida each year and over the space of a couple of months they visit a number of regional airports throughout the state. This is an opportunity to see real World War II aircraft in flight rather than just as static museum exhibits. For a fee, you can even get a ride in one of them.

A couple of Florida’s air museums like the Valiant Air Command at Titusville, the Florida Air Museum in Lakeland and the nearby Fantasy of Flight museum at Polk City host annual air shows. Fantasy of Flight used to offer daily (Thursday through Sunday) aerial demonstrations subject to the weather but they shut to the general public on April 6, 2014 and are currently operating a seasonal interim museum.

Air Demonstration Teams visiting Florida in 2017

Two of America’s top military aerobatic display teams, the United States Air Force Thunderbirds flying Lockheed (General Dynamics) F–16 Fighting Falcons and the United States Navy Blue Angels flying Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F/A–18 Hornets regularly perform at some of Florida’s Air Shows.

Whilst the Thunderbirds are based at Nellis AFB in Nevada, the Blue Angels are actually based at NAS Pensacola in Florida’s Panhandle supported by a Lockheed C–130 Hercules affectionately known as ‘Fat Albert’. Fat Albert’s party trick was a JATO (jet assisted take off) which unfortunately stopped in 2009 when the supply of jet rocket packs was expended.

During 2017, the Blue Angels are scheduled to appear at Sun ’n Fun, Pensacola Beach Air Show, NAS JAX Air Show - Birthplace of the Blue Angels and concluding with the ‘homecoming’ NAS Pensacola Open House Air Show.

When the Blue Angels are ‘at home’ they often perform practice sessions that are open to the public typically between March and October. There is even a chance to grab an autograph. Their full display schedule and practice sessions calendar can be found on their website.

The Thunderbirds will perform a flyby at the Daytona International Speedway for the annual Daytona 500 and make appearances at the TICO Warbird Air Show, Melbourne Air & Space Show and Gulf Coast Salute.

The Canadian Snowbirds Demonstration Team fly the Canadair Tutor CT–114 and sometimes venture south. In 2012 they appeared at the Wings and Waves Air Show at Daytona Beach in 2016 at the Fort Lauderdale Air Show 2016 and in 2017 they return to the Fort Lauderdale Air Show 2017

In 2017, the French national display team, The Patrouille de France, flying 8 Alpha Jet trainers will make a rare USA appearance and display at both the Melbourne Air & Space Show and Sun’n Fun Fly-In in April.

Florida Air Shows 2017/18 at a glance

Dates Florida Air Show Name Location
January 5-March 5, 2017 EAA Ford Tri-Motor Tour Various
January 20-March 3, 2017 Wings of Freedom Tour 2017 Various
January 25–28, 2017 U.S. Sport Aviation Expo Sebring Regional Airport
February 25, 2017 Planes, Trains & Automobiles Plant City Airport
March 4, 2017 Vero Beach Aviation Day Vero Beach Municipal Airport
March 10–12, 2017 Tico Warbird Air Show Space Coast Regional Airport, Titusville
March 31-April 1, 2017 Marvel of Flight Fly-in & Expo DeFuniak Springs Airport
April 1–2, 2017 Tavares Spring Seaplane Fly-in Wooten Park, Lake Dora, Tavares
April 1–2, 2017 Melbourne Air & Space Show Melbourne International Airport
April 4–9, 2017 Sun ’n Fun Fly-In and Convention Lakeland Linder Regional Airport
April 22–23, 2017 Gulf Coast Salute - Tyndall AFB Air Show Tyndall AFB, Panama City
April 29–30, 2017 Gateway to Florida Air Show Lake City
May 6–7, 2017 Fort Lauderdale Air Show 2017 Fort Lauderdale
July 8, 2017 Pensacola Beach Air Show Pensacola Beach
October 13–15, 2017 Florida International Air Show Charlotte County Airport, Punta Gorda
November 3–5, 2017 Stuart Air Show 2016 Witham Field, Stuart
November 4–5, 2016 NAS JAX Air Show - Birthplace of the Blue Angels NAS Jacksonville
November 11–12, 2017 NAS Pensacola Open House - Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show NAS Pensacola
March 17–18, 2018 Melbourne Air & Space Show Melbourne International Airport
April 10–15, 2018 Sun ’n Fun Fly-In and Convention Lakeland Linder Regional Airport
April 21–22, 2018 Vero Beach Air Show Vero Beach Municipal Airport
April 28–29, 2018 Homestead International Speedway Air Show Homestead Miami Speedway
May 5–6, 2018 Fort Lauderdale Air Show 2018 Fort Lauderdale
May 12–13, 2018 McDill AFB Tampa Bay AirFest 2018 McDill Air Force Base
July 14, 2018 Pensacola Beach Air Show Pensacola Beach
October 27–28, 2018 NAS JAX Air Show - Birthplace of the Blue Angels NAS Jacksonville
November 2–3, 2018 NAS Pensacola Open House - Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show NAS Pensacola
November 3–4, 2018 Wings over Homestead Homestead ARB

Key: TBC - To be confirmed.

This information is correct to the best of our knowledge but you should always check with the show organisers before making a trip as shows sometimes get cancelled or rescheduled.

If you do have any corrections or additions to the list of Florida air shows noted above, please do not hesitate to contact us. Last updated: January 1, 2017.

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