Leesburg Air Show Takes Flight on Saturday

By Leah Fallon

Keep your eyes on the sky on Saturday, Sept. 24. The seventh annual Leesburg Airshow will be taking flight at the Leesburg Executive Airport from 1 to 4 p.m., gates open at 11a.m.

“I think this year’s show will be great. It’s a nice mix of those returning and those new to the show,” said Barb Smith, events coordinator for the Town of Leesburg Parks and Recreation. “So much to see and do in a single event; planes, helicopters, aerobatics, great vendors, a variety of yummy food, hot rod cars, a space shuttle inflatable, military vehicles, and so much more.”

The airshow will kick off with the National Anthem parachute jump, followed by air acrobatics and flybys. The Flying Circus from Bealeton will impress spectators with its aerial demonstrations, ride hopping and skydiving skills.

This year, popular pilot Dan Marcotte will be performing in his Ultimate Biplane, an aircraft that has reached speeds up to 300 mph. He will also be showcasing his Jet Car, powered by a GE J85 jet engine from a F5 fighter. Marcotte built this custom-designed vehicle from the ground up in his shop. On Saturday, spectators can watch it race a flying plane.

A few of the notable aircraft at the show this year date back to World War II. The P51 Mustang, a single seat fighter plane, flew most of its missions as a bomber escort over Germany. The Grumman TBF Avenger was one of the outstanding torpedo bombers of World War II. And the Japanese “Kate” Bomber, a modified version of the Nakajima B5N, was flown by the Imperial Japanese Navy. New this year will be a large Ch-53 Sea Stallion helicopter and a HA-420 HondaJet will be on display.

Make the trip to the tarmac to explore exhibits, activities and vendors. Representatives from iFLY Loudoun will be there to offer information about their indoor skydiving facility located near One Loudoun.

Activities for kids include a giant space shuttle inflatable, airplane toys, and the Wood and Can Man is back with airplanes made of recycled cans. Usborne Books will have a booth with books featuring aviation.

Wings won’t be the only things featured on Saturday. Vintage cars will be another attraction on the tarmac. Displays include a 1969 Ford Mach 1 Mustang and a 1969 Chevy Camaro.

In case of rain or fog, the decision to fly will be made by the show’s airboss, taking in to account safety of the attendees and the pilots.

Parking for the show will be at Heritage High School at 520 Evergreen Mill Road SE and Tuscarora High School at 801 N. King St. There will be free shuttles from 10:45 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

There is a suggested donation of $3 per person or $5 per family. Pets should be left at home.

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