Local stunt pilot gives TNT reporter aerobatic thrill ride
Navy aircraft from the past and present will roar over Tacoma Narrows Airport next weekend, as Gig Harbor hosts the 9th Annual Wings and Wheels air and car show.
“The Navy is coming with F-18 Super Hornets,” said show director Doug Fratoni. “They will fly alongside a vintage AD1 Skyraider to demonstrate today and yesterday’s capability of the U.S. Navy.”
Wings and Wheels is an annual show that combines attractions on the ground as well as in the air.
In the sky, there will be neck-craning aerobatic stunts, flyovers and airplane rides; on the ground, classic cars and motorcycles, food and a beer garden.
The show will run from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. July 6 and 7.
The Navy “Legacy Flight” will include F-18 Super Hornets, the Navy’s current primary strike aircraft.
Built for carrier service, it can reach speeds of Mach 1.7, has a range of 1,275 nautical miles, and can carry either missiles or laser-guided bombs.
It saw extensive service in Iraq.
Naval aviators will also be flying an AD1 Skyraider, a propeller-driven fighter that saw service in Korea and Vietnam.
The Skyraider was a fold-wing aircraft whose slow “linger time” over target made it a favorite of ground troops.
There will also be flight demonstrations of many other vintage aircraft, including a T33 jet trainer from the 1950s, a 1943 Stearman biplane, and two classic World War II warbirds: a P40 Warhawk and an F4-U Corsair. The Olympic Flight Museum will bring two operational helicopters from the Vietnam era.
Wings and Wheels began as a way to offset the cost of the Fourth of July air show in Tacoma.
There was no air show last year, but Wings and Wheels was still a successful event, Fratoni said.
Some of the proceeds go to nonprofits such as the Rotary Club and Booster Club.
Fratoni said there are a lot of interactive displays this year, along with plenty of parked airplanes to explore and many kinds of classic and vintage cars.
Private airplane rides can be arranged — details will be posted at the gate.
Wings and Wheels
When: July 6-7, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where: Tacoma Narrows Airport
Parking: Off-site parking is available at the St. Anthony’s Family Medicine parking lot at 4700 Point Fosdick Drive NW. Free shuttle buses will run every 15 to 30 minutes during event hours.
Tickets: $20 for adults, $10 for children aged 6 to 17, and free for kids 5 and under. Admission to the Fighter Club Chalet is an additional $30 to $50 and includes reserved seating, a catered lunch, water and soft drinks.