Schedule released for Thunder Over Valley

VIENNA – The Thunder Over the Valley air show is coming together, with a tentative schedule released Tuesday afternoon.

Both show days, May 17 and 18, will begin at 9 a.m. at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station, with an opening ceremony about 11:30 a.m. prior to a flag drop by the U.S. Special Operations Command Parachute Demonstration Team and the singing of the national anthem.

At noon, the demonstrations will begin. So far there are a dozen set to run, but more may be on the way, according to show organizer Holly Baker of the Youngstown Air Base Community Council.

“Two more acts may be added,” Baker said. “It ends with the Thunderbirds – that’s a given. It should be concluded by 4:45, 5 (p.m.).”

Besides the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, acts will include Third Strike Wingwalking, Red Star and the Dragon, The Vanguard Squadron and Trojan Horsemen. The specific order of demonstrations has yet to be determined.

Established in 1981, the nonprofit Yankee Air Museum will also be flying a restored World War II Boeing B-17G heavy bomber “Yankee Lady” and a combat veteran B-25D Mitchell medium bomber “Yankee Warrior” at the show.

“We’re really excited to have the Yankee Air Museum’s two bombers and a C-47 transport as part of our lineup,” Baker said. “These aircraft underscore the importance of bringing living history to the Youngstown community. The fact that Yankee Lady and Yankee Warrior offer FLEX rides puts an exclamation point on it.”

FLEX, or Flight Experience rides will take place Friday afternoon and cost $450 and $425 in the B-17 and B-25, respectively. The planes will be on static display the rest of the weekend.

“Our museum is equally proud of our participation at this air show,” said Ray Hunter, chairman of the Yankee Air Museum Board of Directors. “As friends, we extend our reach and are able to offer the people of Youngstown an advanced sensory study of World War II aviation through our FLEX rides.”

Pre-booking a FLEX ride is recommended as seats are limited. Calls can be made to Dave Wright at 734-483-4030, Extension 236.