Flight Fest offers sky-high entertainment

The Wichita Flight Festival is offering a weekend of entertainment in the sky and on the ground at Jabara Airport. For the ninth year in a row, the city of Wichita is sponsoring the festival.

With the event drawing bigger crowds each year, the festival is bringing in more performers.

“I think as people begin to expect things, we meet their expectations,” said Angela Cato, marketing director for the Division of Arts and Cultural Services. Last year, the Wichita Flight Festival was in conjunction with the McConnell Air Force Base open house, but this year the event will stand alone. A total of 10 performing acts will dazzle spectators from the sky.

The Greg Shelton Air Show with Wingwalker Ashley Battles will perform daring twists and turns, with Battles performing stunts on the plane going 155 mph. Floating through the sky without an engine, Manfred Radius flies a sailplane, giving the audience an elegant show.

Spectators will be at the edge of their seats with the Firecat, flown by Rich Perkins. The yellow and orange plane slices through the sky at warp speeds and even backward. “The daytime air show is everything happening in the sky, and then there is the Fly Market, which is vendor booths and educational opportunities,” Cato said. “We encourage people to visit the Fly Market to talk to hobbyists who aren’t pilots but are still enjoying aviation.”

The festival is offering people the chance to climb into the cockpit of several static planes in the hangar. Children will be able to play on inflatables and enjoy other activities. The food concourse will have a variety of foods for purchase during the daytime show.

Spectators can take the free shuttle from Wichita Area Technical College and Hawker Beechcraft Lot E from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the daytime show.

The entertainment will heat up with the Twilight Air Show starting at 7 p.m. Saturday. “With the nighttime show, you’re going to have a more visual experience,” Cato said. “There will be the ‘Wall of Fire’ and a jet truck where you can see the jet engines firing.”

The “Wall of Fire” is a 750-foot-long and 40-foot-high pyrotechnics show put on by Mad Bomber Air Show and Special Effects LLC. The fire continues to blaze with Kent Shockley and the Shockwave jet truck with 36,000 horsepower.

The daytime acts will be performing again for the Twilight Air Show. The first 500 people at the Twilight Air Show will receive a free gift from Coleman Co. Spectators also can enjoy a Doors tribute band called Peace Frog, which performs Saturday night.

If you go


When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

Where: Flight show at Jabara Airport, 3512 N. Webb Road, parking at Wichita Area Technical College, 4004 N. Webb Road, and Hawker Beechcraft Lot E, 9709 E. Central.

How much: All daytime activities Saturday and Sunday are free. Twilight show and concert Saturday evening is $5 per person. Tickets available at the gate or at WichitaTIX.com.

More information: 316-303-8663 or WichitaFlightFestival.com.

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