2017 spot a very special year for Wings over Houston held in Ellington Field , TX. I would rate this as the premier Airshow in the Texas region which in the past have always have very unique displays and performer. 2017 is no exception and the highlights of the performer are as follows:
- USAF Thunderbirds
- Warbird display from Commemorative Air Force, Houston Wing-CAF, Tora! Tora! Tora!, Gulf Coast Wing-CAF, Lone Star Flight Museum, Texas Flying Legends Museum, Lewis Air Legends, Vietnam War Flight Museum and Collings Foundation.
- Randy Ball Mig-17
- US Coast Guard MH-65D Dauphin SAR demo
- USAF Close air support Heritage flight ( A-10C, P-47D and A-1)
- US Navy VFA-122 F/A-18E Tactical Demonstration
- Vietnam War Tribute demonstration will be one show not to miss. It will take aircraft from crews of the Commemorative Air Force, Vietnam War Flight Museum, the Collings Foundation, Cavanaugh Flight Museum, military ground troop re-enactors from the 6th Cavalry, with the National U.S. Forces Museum and others. Aircraft include F-4D, F-100, A-4, UH-1 Huey, AH-1Cobra, Mig 17, Skyraider, 0-2’s & more.
- 138th FS OKlahoma ANG F-16C Blk 42
- 159th FW Louisiana ANG F-15C
These are also supported by a very wide range of Military Static Aircraft Display from the Military, NASA , and all the warbirds establishments including Commemorative Air Force, Vietnam War Flight Museum, the Collings Foundation, Cavanaugh Flight Museum
Static Display for 2017 include:
- SuperGuppy NASA
- T-38A NASA
- 2x F-15C 159th FW Louisiana ANG
- 1x F-16C 138th FS Oklahoma ANG
- 1x B-52H
- 1x MH-53E
- 1x AH-64D
- 1x HC-144 Ocean Sentry US Coast Guard
- 1x MH-60 US Coastguard
- T-6 Texan II
- F-4D Phantom II
- TA-4F Skyhawk
- ME-262 2 seater
- SB-2C Helldiver
- Dehavalland Vampire
- P-63 King Cobra
- T-6 and Havard trainer
- F-4U Corsair
We are fortunate to have coverage of both Arrival days for Thur and Friday.
As we all know the weather pattern in the gulf area can be unpredictable and we were given 2 very different photographing conditions for both Sat and Sun. Sat was all sun and humidity while Sun due to a morning storm, the show was delayed till 12 noon before starting and we got a very unique opportunity for very unique shots of the day including the “Cone” we all wanted on the F/A-18E demo. The highlights of this Wings over Houston will be categorized into different Segments.
This is a special tour organized by Wings Over Houston where by participating photographer is given the opportunity to photograph the War bird hotramp in the dawn. Lighting and the early golden hour gives us some very specialized shots that is not available on normal hours.
We get very special show opener from the Tulsa and Louisiana ANG F-16 and F15 . A single F-16C did 2 passes and 2x F-15C came in did a break and unrestricted climb showing the power of these fighters.
US Navy F-18E Tactical Demo
The F/A-18E Superhornet is known in the Aviation world to create beautiful Sonic Vapor cone when flying close to the Supersonic speed. However this phenomenal only occur in very humid condition which this weekend Houston gave us all the elements.
Vietnam War Tribute Demostration
This would be my highlight of the show for Wings Over Houston due to the unique opportunity to photograph the workhorse of Vietnam Era Aircrafts. This Performance showcase the F-4D Phantom II, F-100, TA-4F Skyhawk, O2, A1 Skyraider, AH-1 Cobra attack Helicopter, UH-1 Huey transport Helicopter, MIG-17, and ground Armored Personnel Carrier M-113, Guntrucks and reenactments with Vietnam war era ground troops and NVA vietcong carrying AK-47 and RPG.
USAF Heritage Flight
This is one Heritage flight that I have not seen in the past, Here we have all Close Air support Aircraft of 3 major era, World War 2 ( P-47 Thunderbolt), Vietnam war ( A-1 Skyraider) and Modern ( A-10C Thunderbolt II) all flying the USAF Heritage flight.
Wings over Houston is renown for her Warbird participation and displays… 2017 marks so much actions …. some of the highlights for my trip includes the only flying Helldiver SB-2C and ME-262 . Also, the very unique Vampire, King Cobra and every aspect of WW2 , Korean and Vietnam war era warbirds that have been meticulously maintain in flying conditions.
US Coastguard and other military Display
I would like to end with the infamous USAF Thunderbirds. The 1st day was not as smooth since one of the jet got into some trouble and another got the landing gear stuck on take off. You can see that in one of the pix. Overall all display turn out good and all pilot landed safely .
Wings Over Houston is one Airshow you do not want to miss due to its variety and professionalism of the show. Besides this, from the photographer’s stand point , this is one location that gives you good lighting in Texas area for airshow. Special thanks to Scott Tims for providing such unprecedented access to this show and I look forward to visit next year’s show.
Article by Dave Chng
Dave Chng and Bill Havel