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Cleveland’s Labor Day air show one of the best in the nation

CLEVELAND — Looking for something to do this Labor Day Weekend.

Venture north to the shores of Lake Erie to take in one of the longest-lasting air spectacles in the nation. The Cleveland National Air Show is one of the oldest and most established annual air shows in the country starting with the National Air Races from 1929-1949 and continuing with the current day Air Show from 1964-present.

The Labor Day Weekend tradition attracts more than 100,000 spectators to Burke Lakefront Airport located along the shores of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, next to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

An equal number of visitors view the Air Show from parks, beaches, buildings and boats on Lake Erie.

Nationally recognized by Air Show organizers, the aerospace industry and fans as one of the most prestigious aviation events in the country, the Cleveland National Air Show was named Air Show of the Year by World Airshow News Magazine.

It is northeast Ohio’s largest military event and all branches of the Armed Forces are invited to participate and showcase the quality personnel, equipment and opportunities offered by today’s U.S. Military Service to a large public audience.

This year, The GEICO Skytypers Air Show Team will be in Cleveland. Other aircraft expected to be in Cleveland include The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds; The U.S. Air Force F-35 Tac Demo; the U.S. Air Force A-10 Tac Demo; The USAF Heritage; the USA Golden Knights; a C-130 Hercules Demo and a World War II B-25 D Mitchell Bomber.

There is a lot more going on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Visit www.clevelandairshow.com for more information.

The Skytypers, the leading vintage airshow performance squadron, fly six World War II SNJ aircraft, the North American SNJ built for the Navy, the Air Forces T-6 variant. Both trainer aircraft were used to prepare pilots of “The Greatest Generation” for combat in World War II. The team performs a low-level, precision-flying demonstration featuring tactics and maneuvers designed by team members who served in the United States military.

In addition to their air show performances, the team “skytype” giant messages in the sky. Five aircraft fly in a line-abreast formation to produce 1,000-foot tall messages that can be seen for 15 miles in any direction. For more information on the team, visit www.geicoskytypers.com.

About the Skytypers

The team is comprised of 12 pilots who fly World War II-era aircraft. They perform a low-level precision-flying demonstration showcasing many of the maneuvers and tactics taught to military aviators.

The aircraft used by the GEICO Skytypers are the North American SNJ-2 originally built in 1940-1941during World War II. The aircraft fill the skies in front of the audience as the team performs its 18-minute demonstration. As the five airplanes fly side-by-side in a straight line, the Skytypers’ lead aircraft pilot uses a tablet to operate specially designed software for skytyping missions.

  • The tablet transmits radio signals to each of the other four aircraft at the designated timesto release puffs of smoke.
  • The incoming radio signal causes a valve to release a paraffin-based solution into the manifoldthat is then steam compressed and released through the engine exhaust.
  • The moment the steamhits the cold air at 10,000 feet, the white “dot-matrix” clouds appear.
  • The aircraft fly approximately 250 feet apart to create letters 1,000 feet in height (or as tall as theEmpire State Building) with messages spanning 6-8 miles in length.
  • The messages are visible for 15 miles in any direction and seen for approximately 400 squaremiles.
  • Skytyping is 17 times faster than skywritingby creating 20-25 letters in less than two minutes.