How many events are more exciting than an aircraft show? With precision formation flights, the winds of a helicopter preparing for liftoff, skytyping (seventeen times faster than skywriting!) and far too much more to list, the Shaw Air Expo will be the experience of a lifetime for your family and friends. Get ready as Shaw Air Force Base opens the gates on May 5 and 6, 2012, bringing a weekend of action that is second to none for the Sumter/Shaw community!
As an “Air Force brat” whose dad was a member of 9th Air Force, I spent my childhood absorbing (by osmosis, I suppose) all sorts of information about F-4s, SR-71s, how helicopters work, how to bring aircraft in for a safe landing, and a whole lot of other things that I’ve forgotten for now, but remember instantly and vividly at the sight or sound of them. I could identify an OV-10 bomber from the ground before I was seven years old. And one of my fondest memories is of watching Santa and his reindeer coming in on radar. However, that’s nothing compared to the excitement of experiencing the craft up close and in action.
Since there really are no words strong enough to convey this amazing adventure, I’ll have to let you check it out yourself online here. But some of the highlights will include:
- The USAF Thunderbirds
- The USA Golden Knights
- F-16 Demonstrations
- AH-1 Cobra Helicopter
- Geico Skytypers
- Vintage airplane displays…and many, many others!
Please remember that although the Air Expo is an event packed with entertainment and education, Shaw is first and foremost a military installation for the defense of our nation. Therefore, please be certain to observe all rules and precautions, and keep in mind that anything brought onto the base is subject to search. Also, please leave your pets, lounge chairs, pop-ups or tents, food, adult beverages and coolers at home. But remember that you are welcome to bring lawn or camp chairs, blankets, cameras and video recorders! ATMs will be available.
Thousands of people will turn out for this event, so please keep in mind that although free parking is available, there may be a considerable wait involved. Why not take advantage of the free shuttle service available from the Sumter Mall (1057 Broad Street) to the base? Of course once you are there, shuttle service will be provided on base as well, from the parking areas to the flight line.
The gates will open at 7 a.m., and the show starts at 11 a.m., continuing until 5 p.m. Admission is FREE; food and drinks will be for sale.
Get your group together, and get ready for “Thunder over the Midlands”!