2021 Owensboro Air Show adds advanced fighter jet demonstration team

December 8, 2020 | 12:51 pm

Updated December 8, 2020 | 12:51 pm

Graphic by Owensboro Times

A second high-profile performance team is joining the 2021 Owensboro Air Show scheduled for Aug. 13-15, as the F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team will showcase the unique aerial capabilities of the Air Force’s most advanced 5th generation multi-role stealth fighter. 

“We are thrilled to have the Lightning II Demo Team joining our air show next year,” said Tim Ross, City of Owensboro Public Events Director. “The F-35 is the most advanced fighter jet in the world. Watching the fifth-generation capabilities of this jet during its demonstration will leave you in awe.”

It was previously announced that the U.S. Navy Blue Angels Demonstration Team will be back to headline the 2021 Owensboro Air Show.


“2021 will be the most exciting air show we have ever had in Owensboro with two premier military demonstrations,” Ross said. “Having the Blue Angels and the Lightning II Demo Team both performing next year is really spectacular for Owensboro and will bring record crowds to the riverfront each day.”

The F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team also announced Tuesday via Facebook that Owensboro was one of the locations for their 2021 Air Show Performance Schedule.

The F-35A Lightning II is the U.S. Air Force’s newest fifth-generation fighter. The demonstrations highlight the F-35A’s numerous capabilities including speed, agility, and high-g turning.

The Lightning II is a stealthy, multirole, all-weather air-to-air and surface attack fighter. It is designed to enable direct attack against the most heavily defended ground targets. It brings with it an enhanced capability to survive in the advanced threat environment in which it was designed to operate. 

The F-35’s speed can reach Mach 1.6 (about 1,200 mph), and the engine produces 43,000 pounds of thrust. The aircraft has a wingspan of 35 feet, a length of 51 feet long, and a height of 14 feet.

Previously located in Arizona, the F-35A demo team now operates as part of the 388th Fighter Wing out of Hill AFB, Utah, under Air Combat Command.

Captain Kristin Wolfe is the Commander and provides operational oversight and direction for the 13-personnel team.

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels Demonstration Team will headline the 2021 Owensboro Air Show. To celebrate their 75th show season as a demonstration team, the Blue Angels will incorporate the C-130J Super Hercules (a transport aircraft) and F/A-18E Super Hornet (tactical fighter jet).

The Blue Angels were last in Owensboro for the 2018 air show, which drew an estimated 70,000 people. They did not return for the 2019 Owensboro Air Show, which did not have a major jet team performance.

No air show was scheduled for 2020, as the City of Owensboro instead opted to host a Hydrofair. However, that event was postponed due to the pandemic.

December 8, 2020 | 12:51 pm

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