USAF Thunderbirds to roar in Melbourne Air & Space Show

Staff Report | DFW Newsflash | March 2018

ELBOURNE, Fla., — The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds officially kick off their 2018 show season in Melbourne, bringing their breathtaking precision aerial maneuvers to the action-packed, high-flying Melbourne Air & Space Show March 24-25.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Melbourne Air & Space Show at the Orlando Melbourne International Airport. Gates open Saturday and Sunday at 9:00 a.m. The airport entrance is at 1 Air Terminal Parkway in Melbourne. The event is sponsored by Northrop Grumman.

The airshow will feature several exhibits of aeronautical brilliance in the skies overhead, as well as awesome displays on the tarmac, explained Eric Garvey, Executive Director of Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism. More than 30 aircraft from different eras in aviation history will be parked for up-close inspection by those in attendance.

“The Melbourne Air and Space Show is a spectacular, must-see event, with dramatic, jaw-dropping performances in the air and a mixture of intriguing aircraft exhibits and family entertainment activities on the ground,” Garvey said. “Its pioneering spirit shows once again why this area is known as the Space Coast. It’s become another regional tradition that continues to draw wider audiences each year.”

In their return to the Melbourne Air & Space Show, the Thunderbirds will showcase the capabilities of their high-performance aircraft – the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the Air Force’s premier multi-role fighter jet – and the professional skill required to fly these sophisticated machines. Their hour-long aerial demonstration, which includes approximately 40 maneuvers, covers both formation flying and solo routines.

Each year, the airshow comes up with new aerial performances, and the 2018 event is no different. This edition of the Melbourne Air & Space Show will feature a P-51 Mustang demonstration by celebrated pilot Scott “Scooter” Yoak, in his renowned Quick Sliver aircraft.

Also on tap for the Melbourne Air & Space Show are appearances by the United States Special Operations Command Parachute Team (also known as the Para-Commandos) and the famous “Panchito” B-25 bomber, which served as a military workhorse in every theater of World War II. The airshow will feature additional exhibits, simulators, a kids’ zone and more.

The viewing area for the air show overhead and the static aircraft displays below covers more than 17 acres on the north side of the Melbourne airfield. For more information, including the up-to-date airshow schedule and ticket information, visit For more information about Florida’s Space Coast, visit

SOURCE: Florida’s Space Coast