ATLANTA, Oct. 7, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In their final fall-season airshow in the Southeast, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will join 18 other aerial performances in the two-day, one-evening Wings Over North Georgia Airshow as well as serve as the loudest opening act ever for the Smoke-n-Thunder Concert Series at Rome's Russell Regional Airport.
Air show organizers expect the return of military jet teams following last year's budget sequestration to boost attendance and economic impact by 35% over last year.
"Fans all over the tri-state area are excited to watch the Thunderbirds," says airshow director Rob Skelton. "But we've also expanded the number of acts and added an entirely new evening airshow to capitalize on renewed interest in airshows nationwide."
Skelton projects more than 75,000 attendees with a three-million-dollar plus economic impact. In three short years, Wings Over North Georgia has become Georgia's #1 fall outdoor event and a great economic booster for the North Georgia, S.E. Tennessee and N.E. Alabama area.
Already the following top national acts have committed to perform at the 3rd annual Wings Over North Georgia Airshow:
- U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds – The "Ambassadors in Blue" perform formation flying and solo routines in F-16 Fighting Falcons capable of 9 G's and just under the speed of sound. For more information visit www.afthunderbirds.com
- GEICO Skytypers – The only civilian squadron using World-War II-era SNJ-2s to type giant dot-matrix style messages in the sky as well as demonstrating low-level, precision formation flying at airshows across the U.S. For information visit www.geicoskytypers.com
- Fort Benning Silver Wings - the official demonstration parachute team of Fort Benning, Georgia, United States Army. Drawn primarily from the 1st Battalion of the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Fort Benning, the team is made up of US Army Paratroopers who have demonstrated excellence in parachuting skills.
- Bob Carlton & Vertigo Airshows – Saturday's night airshow includes an innovative performance by the master of night aerobatics with strobes & pyro in the world's most powerful sailplane.
- Buck Roetman & Wild Horse Aviation – Also at Saturday's night airshow, this act features a modified Christen Eagle aircraft. It has a Lycoming IO360 4-cylinder engine, built by Penn Yan Aero and pumped up to 250 HP.
- Patty Wagstaff – A six-time member of the U.S. Aerobatic Team, Wagstaff has won gold, silver and bronze medals in Olympic-level international aerobatic competitions. She is the first woman to win the title of U.S. National Aerobatic Champion and one of the few people to win it three times. www.pattywagstaff.com
- Mike Wiskus – As a 2002 U.S. National Aerobatic Champion, and a member of the 2004 U.S. Aerobatic Team, Mike has traveled the World performing in his Pitts S-1-11b. Follow him at http://sportaerobatics.wix.com/lucasoilairshows
- Lucas Oil Parachute Team – This precision skydiving team is led by jumper Nick Halseth, who also works as a freefall videographer and Luke Evens, who is a skydive instructor and videographer; instructor and tandem instructor Ryan Albrecht; medical device engineer and jump instructor Andy Junghans; and mechanical engineer-inventor-author Jim Skakoon. Halseth, Junghans and Skakoon are gold medal winners. www.lucasoilairshows.com
- Bill Braack's Smoke-n-Thunder Jet Car Show -- Powered by a Westinghouse J34 jet engine originally used in the North American T-2A Buckeye aircraft, this jet car produces 7,500 pounds of thrust creating over 10,000 horsepower while accelerating to speeds up to 400 miles per hour in just nine seconds before a drag parachute brings it to a halt.
- John Klatt Airshows – A unique blend of precision, power and performance, Klatt has served in the Air National Guard for more than 20 years – flying combat, air support and humanitarian missions throughout the world in the F-16 "Fighting Falcon" and the C-130 "Hercules" aircraft.
- Jim Tobul, F4U Corsair – This 1945 aircraft, dubbed the "Korean War Hero," still bears the marks of its history – three combat flak repair patches on the starboard wing and rear fuselage. www.koreanwarhero.com
- Scott Yoak, Quick Silver P-51 Mustang – This aircraft was built from more than 200 Mustang parts and projects – the remanufactured parts were handmade with the great attention to detail necessary to restore the Mustang to a condition better than factory-new in 1945. http://quicksilvermustang.com
- Sky Soldiers Cobra Demo Team -- Preserving authentic, flyable examples of Army aircraft, the Sky Soldiers utilize them in aerial, educational "living history" demonstrations and presentations so that the symbols of America's military legacy may always remain in our skies for future generations.
- Mohawk Airshows -- Dr. Joseph Masessa flies his Grumman OV-1 Mohawk -- a twin engine turboprop armed military observation and attack aircraft, designed for battlefield surveillance and light strike capabilities and intended to operate from short, unimproved runways.
- Jerry "Jive" Kerby -- "Jive and Wild Blue" is a dynamic single aircraft act with a fighter pilot at the controls! From take-off to landing, Lt. Colonel Jerry "Jive" Kerby, USAF (ret.) takes the RV-8A known as Wild Blue through heart-stopping maneuvers in the sky guaranteed to thrill.
- Walkabout Tiger Aerobatic Team -- Buck Roetman and Mark Sorenson have teamed up in two identical Tiger Yak 55's with an aerial demonstration of precision and skill and spectacular formation aerobatics.
- Hotwire Harry -- Jeff Moss, as Sheriff Rosco delivers one-liners with Mark Sorenson, Hotwire Harry, while this comedy-pilot duo battle it out over the runway.
- TigerFlight Foundation Demo Team -- Based in Rome, Georgia at Richard B. Russell Airport, this "Missing Man" formation inspires youth and adults to become "Pilots in Command" of their own lives.
- Ladies for Liberty -- A singing troupe dedicated to performing the Andrews Sisters style of music through their own rendition of vocals, costumes, hairstyles and the spirit of patriotism reminiscent of the 1940s.
In addition to the all-star airshow lineup, Wings Over North Georgia recruited four top North Georgia hometown bands for a concert series Saturday evening. The styles range from award-winning country and folk/Americana to classic and alternative rock. As soon as the Thunderbirds roar out of sight from the flight line at Russell Regional Airport, the first band takes the Smoke-n-Thunder stage right next to the BBQ competition & tasting area. The 4-hour concert series wraps up in time for a night-time air show beginning at 8:45 pm, followed by a fireworks grand finale.
EXPANDED SATURDAY EVENING ENTERTAINMENT LINEUP 10/18/14
4:30pm: The only Blue Brothers tribute band from Georgia – "The Georgia Blues Brothers"
5:45pm: From Rome, GA – Alt. country/rock band "The Holler" – the Judge's Choice winner at the 2014 State Mutual Battle of the Bands
6:30pm: From Calhoun, GA – 6 piece Folk/Americana band "The Kamikaze Dali"
7:15pm: From Dahlonega, GA – Country veterans "The Kurt Thomas Band" – headlining the airshow after opening for some of the biggest names in country music including Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn, LeAnn Rimes, Gary Alan, Darius Rucker, Aaron Tippin and Zac Brown Band.
8:45-9:30pm: "Night Air Show" – Nationally renowned airshow demonstrations by the U.S. Army Ft. Benning Silver Wings, Parachute Jump Team; Buck Roetman, Wild Horse Aviation; Bob Carlton, Vertigo Airshows; Jerry "Jive" Kirby, Wild Blue Aviation and Bill "Rocket Man" Braack, firing up the 10,000 Horsepower "Smoke-n-Thunder BBQ Classic" Jet Car.
9:30pm: "Patriotic Fireworks Tribute"
Wings-Over-North-Georgia is an FAA-approved, International Council Air Show Recognized event. For the full list of activities and ticket packages visit http://wingsovernorthgeorgia.com.
"What people really appreciate is the airshow's commitment to safe, patriotic family entertainment," Skelton says.
A photo accompanying this release is available at:
Source: Wings Over North Georgia