Wings Over Wayne Air Show is set for May

US Navy Blue Angels team head for Wings Over Wayne Air Show 2023
Photo Credit: US Navy

The world renowned US Navy Blue Angels exhibition team will headline the Wings Over Wayne Air Show when it comes to North Carolina for 2023.

The major air show is now set to take place at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro on May 20 and 21.

Typically held every other year and the largest air show in North Carolina, the Blue Angels attracted over 200,000 spectators to Seymour Johnson for their last headline performance in 2017.

“We look forward to showcasing the combat-proven F/A18 Super Hornet, the mainstay of modern naval air power, and the C-130J Super Hercules, the premier logistics support aircraft of the US Marine Corps,” said Blue Angels Commanding Officer and Flight Leader (#1) Alexander Armatas.

“Both aircraft operate worldwide carrying out the Navy and Marine Corps mission.”

The first-ever female fighter pilot on the Blue Angels jet demonstration squadron, Lieutenant Amanda Lee of Minnesota, will be flying left-wing (#3) in the formation.

Above: Lt. Amanda Lee, MN – F/A18 Super Hornet Pilot – US Navy Blue Angels

Gates open at 8 AM each day with free admission and parking. Ceremonies begin at 10 AM, with an impressive array of flying exhibitions scheduled from 11 AM until 4:30 PM.

Air show performances

Air show performances this year are planned to include (subject to change):

US Navy Blue Angels
Air Combat Command F-22 Raptor demonstration
USMC C-130J Fat Albert Super Hercules
F-16 Viper Combined Arms Demonstration
Carbon Fiber MX Aircraft plane show by Rob Holland
Pearl Harbor reenactment ¬– Tora! Tora! Tora!
Jelly Belly demonstration by Stunt Pilot, Kent Pietsch
Ace Maker T-33 air exhibition
Manfred Radius Sailplane demonstration
de Havilland Vampire jet warbird demo by Jerry “Vlad” Conley
Third Strike Wingwalkers — featuring the world’s only all-female team
P-51 Swamp Fox Mustang exhibition
Pitts Model 12 show by Trevor Rafferty
WWII-era P-40 demo (only about 20 in the world are airworthy)

Above: F15E Strike Eagle Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Christopher Boitz

Ground activities and static displays

New ground activities at the air show include a 40,000-square-foot hangar dedicated to STEM exhibits (science, technology, engineering, and math) from government, industry, education, entertainment, and defense.

G-Force Robotics is helping to organize this educational and hands-on event with exhibitors nationwide.

Static aircraft displays

Planned static displays will include (subject to change):

F-15E Strike Eagle
F-16 Fighting Falcon
F-22 Raptor
F-35A Lightning II
F-33B Kingfisher
T-6 Texan
B-52 Stratofortress
C-5 Galaxy
E-3 Sentry
KC-46 Pegasus
KC-135 Stratotanker
C-130 Hercules
UNC Health Helicopter
British Spitfire
Sharp Nemesis NXT
P-51 Swamp Fox
NC Highway Patrol Helicopter
Cessna-172 Skyhawk

A Blue Angels-themed Kids Zone, for children two years of age and up, will be housed in one of the large aircraft hangars. Admission for all-day access is $10.

Blue Angels local support roles

Six North Carolinians serve in crucial support roles on the elite Blue Angels team of 138 active-duty Sailors and Marines. They include:

Lieutenant Commander Gregory R. Jones, USN, Aircraft Maintenance, Cary, NC
Sgt. Dylan Lippard, USMC, Airframes, Statesville, NC
AO2 Leon Grant, USN, Crew Chief, Fayetteville, NC
AE2 Blade Hiatt, USN, Crew Chief, Morganton, NC
LS1 Gregory Lloyd, USN, Logistics, Murphy, NC
AD2 Dustin Beck, USN, Power Plants, from Greenville, NC

All team members ensure everything is in perfect working order for the Blue Angels.

On-site information

Concessions and souvenirs will be available for purchase on the base. Free drinking water will be onsite. Attendees may bring clear, factory-sealed, reusable water bottles, 32-oz or less, and lawn chairs.

Not allowed are coolers, large backpacks, pets, or tailgating. Visitors to the air show are encouraged to bring some form of hearing protection.

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base is home to the 4th Fighter Wing, formed in 1942 for the air war over Europe. Today, the F-15E Strike Eagles of the 4th Wing provide operational support worldwide, whenever and wherever needed.

In addition, two Air Force Reserve units reside at Seymour Johnson, the 916th Air Refueling Wing, and the 414th Fighter Group.

*Note: Air Show Performances and Static Displays subject to change.

For more information: Wings Over Wayne Website

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
5 Min Read
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