Contributor Perspectives

Watching the Skies: The Lucrative World of the Air Show

Thomas M. Hunt
Board of Contributors
Apr 6, 2018 | 09:15 GMT
Military aviation demonstration teams like the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels are a staple at air shows around the world, acting as ambassadors for their countries while promoting their military branches.

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels soar over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, as part of a practice run for Fleet Week on Oct. 6, 2016.

(JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)

A rare opportunity presented itself when I was given the chance as a youngster to attend an air show in Waco, Texas. The event included performances by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flight demonstration team as well as an appearance by the Concorde supersonic airliner. I even had the chance to see aircraft up close and to visit with pilots and maintenance crews. These memories popped up when I saw a few days ago that Waco will hold its 2018 air show over the first weekend of April. In contemplating a family trip to the show (our 9-year-old twin boys seem to me to be just about the right age for such things), I began to wonder about the economic and political dimensions of air shows. What I found stunned me....

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