Dayton Airshow 2003

Dayton, Ohio, was the home of Orville and Wilbur Wright and is now the home of the official United States Air Force museum, so it's no surprise that this otherwise insignificant city hosts an annual airshow which is first rate.   Not only were there displays by an impressive lineup of rarely seen historic aircraft, such as a B-24 Liberator, two P-38 Lightnings and a Curtiss Helldiver, there were also modern rarities such as a display by two S-3 Vikings, a U-2 spy plane and an F-18F Super Hornet.

In keeping with the centenary of flight celebrations, there were displays by replica and reconstructed vintage aircraft like a 1911 Wright Flyer, 1910 Bleriot monoplane, and world war one aircraft such as a Sopwith Camel, Fokker Triplane and Swedish Tummelisa.   A highlight of the show for many people was the appearance of all three North American military jet display teams - the USAF Thunderbirds, navy Blue Angels and Canadian Air Force Snowbirds.   You can see most of the aircraft mentioned in this paragraph on the Dayton Airshow 2003 Highlights page.

There was a very good selection of modern naval aircraft flying, considering that Dayton is an air force town.   As well as displays by a P-3 Orion patrol plane, there were a pair of S-3 Vikings and the top high-performance display of the show, by an F-18F Super Hornet, which will no doubt become a more common participant at airshows as they replace the legacy F-18 Hornets, and the older F-14 Tomcats - one of which did a flypast and landing on Thursday, but not a full display.