WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --
Whiteman Air Force Base opened its gates last weekend to more than 100 thousand spectators from across the globe for the 2019 Wings Over Whiteman Air and Space Show and Open House on June 15 and 16.
The free show, open to the public, featured Air Combat Command’s F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team, the A-10C Thunderbolt II demo team and the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, along with Whiteman AFB’s B-2 Stealth bomber and T-38 Talon jet and many more.
The U.S. Air Force Heartland Band performed throughout the weekend as well.
Guests interacted with air show performers and ventured onboard various modern and historic military aircraft including the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper, a drone aircraft which has been flying since 2001, and the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber used by the U.S. Air Force since the 1950s.
Dan Smith and his wife, Bernice, natives of Golden, Missouri, attended Wings Over Whiteman for the first time this weekend.
“We love airplanes, any size, any shape, any form,” said Smith. “We have been to at least 50 other air shows, but this here is just top notch.”
1st Lt. Jordan Tencati, a pilot assigned to the 13th Bomb Squadron at Whiteman AFB, took time during the air show to tour one of the approximately 100 P-51 Mustangs still flying today. This particular aircraft flew during World War II over Warmingford, England.
He reflected on what it was like to sit in the pilot’s seat. He noted its simplicity, but also acknowledged the contributions of those who manned it.
“There’s a lot of heritage in this plane,” said Tencati. “I have a lot of appreciation for the people who flew this plane, for their sacrifice.”
Tencati, who currently works as a T-38 instructor, will begin his training as a B-2 Stealth Bomber pilot next year.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the B-2’s inaugural flight.
During the B-2’s flyover performance, the Stealth Bomber demonstrated it’s “On time, on target” capabilities with an explosive pyrotechnics display.
The weekend wrapped up with the F-22 Raptor Demonstration team’s Heritage flight during which the F-22 flew in formation with the P-51 Mustang and the A-10 Thunderbolt.
The Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation exists to showcase modern day fighter jets flying in formation with World War II, Korean, and Vietnam era aircraft, said 2nd Lt. Sam Eckholm, who works as a public affairs officer for the F-22 demonstration team.
Lt. Col. Jasen Hunter, the commander of the Air Combat Command Training Support Squadron detachment 12 at Whiteman AFB, who led coordination of the air show, credited the overall success of the event to caring efforts of his team.
“Our show was successful because our staff cares about the Air Force mission and the mission of Whiteman AFB,” said Hunter. “Most all put the normal 730 to 430 work hours aside and worked until the job was completed. They were innovative, safe, and truly cared for those that worked for them. They were happy to contribute to the overall effort and more than happy to host the general public and let them have a sneak peak of military life”
Please visit www.whiteman.af.mil or www.facebook.com/WingsOverWhiteman for more imagery and highlights from the 2019 WoW Air and Space show Open House.