The Wings Over Wayne air show made its long-awaited return to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Saturday and Sunday.
With the last air show in 2019, visitors packed the base and flight line to watch the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels, other popular aerial shows and got the chance to look at some of the nation’s most powerful aircraft on display.
Nathan Houston who was visiting his first air show Saturday said that watching the show filled him with a combination of excitement and adrenaline.
“I just love that feeling you get in your chest,” Houston said. “Just the adrenaline of watching the aircraft circle. I love all the aircrafts here.”
Randy Yelverton, who has visited multiple airshows, shared the sentiment of the crowd when he said he was glad to have the air show back in Wayne County.
“It’s really good for the airshow to be back in Wayne County.” Yelverton said. “(I’ve enjoyed) really everything — the food, the events, the people.”
The opening ceremony began at 10 a.m. Saturday, and the crowds kept pouring in until 2 p.m. when the final flight of the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels was scheduled to begin.
The Blue Angels are a six-member team team that was established by the U.S. Navy in 1946 with the purpose of inspiring a culture of excellence and service to the country through flight demonstrations and community outreach.
And inspire they did, by performing a series of maneuvers that may seem unimaginable to those who have never seen the show.
The Blue Angels flew in a belly-to-belly formation, which is when one pilot flies upside-down while the other flies just above him right-side-up to make it appear as if the bellies of the two planes are touching.
Another amazing feat of flying demonstrated was when four pilots all flew just 18 inches apart from wingtip to wingtip in a diamond formation.
Throughout the show, pilots also flew toward each other and appeared to be heading for a head-on collision, only to veer away from one another at a moment’s notice.
The Blue Angels also showed off the C-130 Fat Albert aircraft, which is part of the Blue Angels team. Fat Albert carries cargo, has a take-off weight of up to 155,000 pounds and can fly 400 miles per hour.
The Blue Angels capped of the show with the last performance Saturday. Before the Blue Angles, several aircraft showed off their flight speed and power including the F-22 Raptor, F-15E Strike Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon.
During a combined arms demo of the F-15E Strike Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon, Air Force pilots simulated various combat situations, and showed how they could get out of dangerous situations by shooting a series of flares to repel oncoming enemy missiles.
They also demonstrated multiple maneuvers which would allow them to get out of the line of enemy fire in a combat situation.
Wings over Wayne is expected to return again in 2025.
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