11 Most Popular Air Shows in the United States

The United States is home to numerous air shows that attract thousands of visitors each year. These events showcase a mix of civilian and military aircraft, aerobatic performances, historic planes, and cutting-edge aviation technology. Many fly-ins also have air shows that you won’t want to miss! Be sure to check out our post spotlighting fly-ins, too.

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh:

(Oshkosh, Wisconsin): Oshkosh is held annually in the summer. The next one will take place July 22-28, 2024.

OshKosh is the world’s largest aviation event in the world so it is only fitting that their airshow would also be the largest. This annual, week-long (!) airshow features the world’s best aerobatic pilots who enjoy performing at Oshkosh in front of huge crowds comprised of their most loyal fans who gather as closely as they can to the flight line to enjoy watching amazing aerobatics, the newest innovations, some of the most unique flying examples, warbirds and vintage classics. Shows take place daily from Monday through Saturday from 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm, and on Sunday from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm. Nighttime shows start on Wednesday and Saturday at 8:00 pm.
Find out more by visiting the Experimental Aircraft Association‘s website.

SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo:

(Lakeland, Florida): Sun ‘n Fun is held annually. The next one will take place April 9 – 14, 2024. (9:00 am to 6:00pm, daily and 9:00 am -10:00 pm on Wednesday and Saturday).

Extremely talented and experienced pilots perform tremendous feats including aerobatics and other performances. Like OshKosh, this annual event lasts all week! In addition, there is a mass balloon launch from the main flight line on Saturday from 6:30 am to 8:00 am with the beloved,  traditional “Hare and Hound” race. One airship is chosen as the Hare and the rest are the Hounds who all follow the Hare shortly after it has taken off. The winner is the one that lands closest to where the Hare lands! Fun! There is also the Balloon Glow during the evening airshows. Just beautiful!
Check their website early in 2024 for updates on the schedule and who the pilots will be. Sun n’ Fun website.

Reno Air Races:

(Reno, Nevada): Reno Air Races are held annually. The dates for the next event have not yet been announced.

Official name for the Reno Air Races is the National Championship Air Races. What makes this event different is that although you will see aerobatics, flight maneuvers, and history, it centers around speed, hence the name. Seven different classes of aircraft are represented in this competition–Formula-1, T-6, Unlimited, Jet Racing, Biplane, STOL Drag, and the newest category, Sport. Qualifying takes place during the first two and a half days and multi-aircraft heat racing take place during the remaining four and a half days. The Unlimited Class Gold Race takes place on Sunday afternoon. Those in attendance also enjoy civil airshow acts and military flight demonstrations during racing breaks. Airplanes reach speeds of 400-500 miles per hour all in an 8-mile course! Twenty-seven pilots and 10 spectators have lost their lives at the Reno Air Races since the event’s inception in 1964, including the fatalities of September 2023 when two North American T-6 Texans crashed resulting in the deaths of both pilots. The races were held in Reno in 2023 for the last time. The Reno Air Racing Association is looking for a new venue for the next races. They have selected six possible locations. Which one will it be?
Find out soon by visiting the Reno Air Racing Association website.

MCAS Miramar Air Show:

(San Diego, California): MCAS Miramar Air Show is held annually. The next one will take place September 27-29, 2024.

Held every autumn and hosted by the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, this three-day event features military demonstration teams like the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force’s F-16, Fat Albert, various civilian aerobatic teams, incredible aerial solo acts, vintage aircraft, warbirds, immersive experiences, static displays, simulators for hands-on experience, you name it! Miramar is the largest military air show in the United States and accommodates 700,000 visitors annually!
For more information, visit MCAS Miramar Air Show’s website.

The Great Tennessee Air Show:

(Smyrna, Tennessee): The Great Tennessee Air Show is held annually. The dates for the next one have not yet been announced.

A well-loved event showcasing both civilian and military aircraft performances, this two-day event features performances by the U.S. Navy including the six-person military demonstration show by the world-famous Blue Angels and its first female pilot, Lt. Amanda Lee; Fat Albert; F-35 Dual Aircraft Performance; and Legacy Flight. There are also performances by the U.S. Air Force including the Heritage Flight and the Raptor F22. The June 2023 event featured other performances including SOCOM Para-Commandos parachuting onto the flight line; Greg Colyer flying the Ace Maker T33; Michael Goulian piloting the Extra 330SC; a CH-53 Super Stallion Helicopter; Scott Yoak flying Quick Silver, the immaculate P51D Mustang; Spirit of Detroit, a DC-3; R.J. Gritter; and Jim Tobul piloting an F4U Corsair.
The Great Tennessee Air Show‘s website has loads more information.

Chicago Air and Water Show:

(Chicago, Illinois): The Chicago Air and Water Show is held annually. The dates for the next one have not yet been announced.

This show has taken place over Lake Michigan for over 60 years and is the largest and oldest free air and water exhibition in the United States. Each year over 2 million people come to watch the spectacular demonstrations by aircrafts, boats, and diving and parachute teams. Rehearsal is on Friday and the show is on Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm. Aircraft and performers include:
-Britain’s Royal Air Force Red Arrows;
-U.S. Navy Blue Angels performing aerial maneuvers in their F/A-18 Hornet;
-U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and U.S. Navy Parachute Team Leap Frogs with their precision parachuting demonstrations;
-U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor – the world’s best air dominance fighter;
-U.S. Air Force F-16 viper;
-U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight Demo Team (P-51 Mustang);
-U.S. Air Force C7 Globemaster IIII demo; USAF and Air National Guard A-10 Thunderbolt II, the first Air Force aircraft designed specifically for closely supporting ground forces;
-U.S. Air Force / Air National Guard Legacy Flight Demo Team (A – 4B Skyhawk and FG-1D Corsair);
-USMC Osprey – with both vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capabilities, able to take off like a helicopter but fly far and fast like a turboprop;
-KC-135 Stratotanker, a military version of the 707 commercial passenger jets of the 1950s;
-C-130 Hercules, the Air Force workhorse specially designed to move troops and equipment into the combat zone by airdrop or short airstrips;
-T-38 Talon, a twin-engine, high-altitude, supersonic jet trainer known for its design, economy, ease of use, high performance, and safety;
-U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter performs a mock air-sea rescue;
-Chicago fire department air and sea rescue;
-Chicago Police Department helicopter;
-U.S. Coast Guard Cutter, commissioned vessels at least 65 feet long with a permanently assigned crew and accommodations aboard; and
-Civilian aerobatic performers including Susan Dacy, Bill Stein, Kevin Coleman, Robert Holland, Matt Chapman, The Firebirds Delta Team, Sean D. Tucker, and Team Oracle.
What a lineup!
See the Chicago City website for more information.

The Dayton Air Show:

(Dayton, Ohio): The Dayton Air Show is held annually. The next one will take place June 22-23, 2024.

Held in the “birthplace of aviation” since 1974, this show has a rich history and has drawn in top-tier flying talent. Featured performers include the U.S. Navy Blue Angels; Robert Holland; The Aeroshell Aerobatic Team; and “Tora! Tora! Tora!” which is a dramatic recreation of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor complete with realistic explosions, fire and smoke!
There are also aircraft displayed on the ground; a free kids’ hangar offering arts and crafts, face painting and a huge sandbox; and rides for everyone to enjoy!
More information can be found on the Dayton Air Show website.

NAS Pensacola Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show:

(Pensacola, Florida): The NAS Pensacola Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show is held annually. The dates for the next one have not yet been announced. Gates open at 8:00am and the show starts at 9:30am.

Celebrating the homecoming of the famous Blue Angels, this event is a highlight for many aviation enthusiasts attracting between 150,000 and 180,000 each year. This free event lasts two days.  Each year there is a theme. The theme of 2023 was Celebrating Women in Aviation.
The NAS Pensacola Air Show‘s website has loads more information.

The Joint Base Andrews Air Show:

(near Clinton, Maryland): The dates for the next one have not yet been announced.

As the home of Air Force One, this show often includes a diverse array of military aircraft demonstrations. The last show was in 2022 and the next one will be in 2025. It is a 3-day show that goes an entire weekend and lasts all day from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm.
Visit the Joint Base Andrews website to see what the lineup was in 2022. Extensive!

California Capital Airshow:

(Sacramento, California): the California Capital Airshow is held annually. The dates for the next one have not yet been announced.

This airshow has grown into one of the largest and most highly respected shows on the West Coast. Established in 2004, the California Capital Airshow is in honor of veterans and the rich aviation history of the Sacramento region and in an effort to inspire young people to discover the world of aviation. CCA extends scholarships, donations and youth programs year-round.
The CCA‘s website offers more information on future dates and programming.

Seattle Seafair Air Show:

(Seattle, Washington): The Seattle Seafair Air Show is held annually. The dates for the next one have not yet been announced.

Set with the stunning Lake Washington as its backdrop, this is one of the most beautiful airshows in America. Event regulars are the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the U.S. Army Golden Knights, many aviation teams as well as civilian pilots performing stunning aerobatics, vintage aircraft, and many other demonstrations.
Be sure to visit the Seafair website for more information

SUN n’ FUN Airshow. Lakeland, Florida.

While these are some of the most well-known and attended airshows in the U.S., there are numerous other events held throughout the country. Let us know which ones are your favorites! Leave a comment to benefit your community!

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