Abbotsford International Airshow: What to Expect

Combined Forces Demo - Abbotsford Int'l AirshowThe second weekend of August (8-10th) is an exciting time for aviation in the Pacific Northwest as the annual Abbotsford International Airshow returns to Abbotsford, British Columbia. Since 1962 when the Abbotsford Flying Club and the Abbotsford Rotary Club hosted the first air show, the Abbotsford Airshow has grown into the largest air show in Canada and one of the top 10 best air shows around, according to USA Today. This year’s show will be one to catch with a new schedule of events, first-time performers to the show, and familiar favorites.

TWILIGHT SHOW

The biggest change to the show for this year is the introduction of a twilight show for Friday night, August 8. The acts for the Twilight Show so far are:

  • Younkin Airshows – Matt Younkin (Twin Beech 18)
  • Team Rocket Aerobatics – Ken Fowler (Harmon Rocket II)/Eric Hansen (F1 Rocket)
  • The Indy Boys – Paul Stender (Jet School Bus)
  • Dan Buchanan – Motorized hang glider
  • CF-18 Hornet
  • Canadian Forces Snowbirds

The gates will open at 4:30PM and the flying will start at 5:00PM with teaser acts before the Snowbirds and twilight show begin. A fireworks display will conclude the night show at 10:00PM; gates close at 10:30PM. Friday will also be filled with aircraft arrivals and practice demos throughout the day.

PERFORMERS

The Saturday and Sunday shows will feature some exciting new acts this year. Among them is Abbotsford-newcomer Matt Younkin with his famed Twin Beech 18. The Bremont Horsemen P-51 Mustang team will also be making their Abbotsford debut. A number of other performers are included on the Abbotsford roster to include:

  • Canadian Forces Snowbirds
  • CF-18 Hornet Demo
  • CP-140 Aurora Demo
  • Canadian Forces SkyHawks Parachute Team
  • Beechcraft T-6C Harvard II Demo
  • Ace Maker Airshows – Gregory Colyer (T-33)
  • Team Rocket Aerobatics
  • The Indy Boys
  • Redline Aerobatics – Brent Handy (Pitts S-2B)
  • Hammerhead Aerobatics – Renny Price (Su-29)

The Abbotsford Airshow features a wonderful lineup of warbirds. This year’s warbird gaggle will consist of:

  • T-6 Harvard CF-RFS – Bill Findlay
  • T-6 Harvard – Canadian Museum of Flight (CMF)
  • D.H. Tiger Moth – CMF
  • Fleet Finch – CMF
  • Waco AQC-6 Custom Cabin – CMF
  • F8F Bearcat – Historic Flight Foundation (HFF)
  • F7F Tigercat – HFF
  • P-51D Mustang “Val-Halla” – Heritage Flight Museum (HFM)
  • deHavilland Mosquito – Victoria Air Maintenance Ltd.

The Abbotsford Flying Club will open the weekend shows, as they have for years, by flying a chase pattern with a few of their club aircraft. Gates for Saturday and Sunday open at 9:00AM and flying starts at 11:00AM with the gates closing at 6:00PM.

STATICS

Historically, Abbotsford has featured a large array of aircraft on their static display, from civil general aviation aircraft to military jets and warbirds from the Canadian Forces and United States military. Due to the sequestration budget cuts from 2013, the United States military continues to be absent at this year’s show. However, the Canadian military, local museums, and a number of civilian pilots have come together to fill in for another interesting roll-call of statics. As of now, this year will see:

  • CP-140 Aurora
  • CC-130J Hercules
  • CF-18 Hornet
  • CT-156 Harvard II
  • CT-155 Hawk
  • CH-149 Cormorant
  • CC-115 Buffalo
  • Textron T-6C Texan II
  • King Air C-90B
  • B-25J Mitchell “Maid In The Shade” – Commemorative Air Force
  • Pitts S-2B “RayBan Gold”
  • Douglas DC-3 – HFF
  • Tiger Moth
  • RC-2 Seabee
  • Vans RV-4
  • Vans RV-7
  • Bravo 369 T-6
  • Hot Air Balloons (Friday only)

As we all know, aircraft participation is subject to unforseen tasking and aircraft serviceability and may not attend the full show weekend.

The airshow weekend will be a delight for all those who attend. However, as with all air shows, there are some things you can bring with you and some things you should leave at home. Per the Abbotsford Airshow website, these are the do and do not bring items:

Allowed

  • Sunscreen
  • A hat
  • A camera
  • Lawn-chair or blanket
  • Ear-plugs (PARENTS: be aware that it may not be suitable to bring infants to the show)

Not Allowed

  • Hard-sided coolers (NO OUTSIDE FOOD OR BEVERAGES PERMITTED)
  • Large Back-packs (ALL BACKPACKS/BAGS SUBJECT TO SEARCH)
  • Large pop-up shading tents (no staked tents, umbrellas are okay)
  • Your pet (the loud noises can frighten animals and also create an unsafe situation if the animal panics and runs)
  • Cigarettes (Smoking is STRONGLY DISCOURAGED onsite, and COMPLETELY PROHIBITED anywhere near aircraft)

Tickets for the show are now available and can be purchased in advance online here or at the show site.

We hope to see you there!

– Anthony Richards

Harvard - Abbotsford Int'l AirshowCanadian Forces Snowbirds - Abbotsford Int'l Airshow

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