Back again for the 8th year, the Gig Harbor Wings and Wheels Air Show and Car Show will be back at the Tacoma Narrows Airport on June 30th and July 1st, 2018. This event will feature many different aspects to include – multiple live aerobatic performances and fly-overs, dozens of planes on static display, a 200+ count car show on Sunday only, vendors, delicious food, a beer garden, and activities for the kids. The event will run from 4:00pm until 9:00pm on Saturday and 11:00am to 4:30pm on Sunday.
Saturday Schedule of Events
SATURDAY NIGHT BIKE RALLY
Saturday night is BIKE NIGHT. Come to Wings and Wheels on your bike and get discounted entry prices plus free flight line parking. Why hassle with paid parking, parking on the street or parking off site and taking the shuttle in, park at show center! Bring your Motorcycle, bicycle, unicycle, tricycle, it doesn’t matter what kind of cycle, come as early as 3PM and park show center. Motorcycles can come in from 3pm till 4:15pm, bicycle riders should bring a lock and leave your bike near the front entry to the event. If you are a bike club and want to host a bike check, contact us right away and we can get that set up.
End your Bike ride at Tacoma Narrows Airport and spend a warm summer night at the airport enjoying the Air Show, live Musical performances, great beer and tasty food.
Sunday Schedule of Events
Onsite parking for the 2018 Gig Harbor Wings and Wheels event is $10 per car. This will give you the opportunity to park on the north end of the tarmac and be close to the air show, car show, and events throughout the day. Parking is limited to the first 300 who purchase their ticket. While there may be some onsite parking still available on the day of the event, we highly suggest to use our FREE offsite parking.
The event will have FREE shuttle buses running all day to and from the St. Anthony’s Medical Clinic (4700 Pt. Fosdick Dr NW Gig Harbor, WA 98335). Park at the allotted parking areas at St. Anthony’s for FREE and take a FREE shuttle bus to and from the event. The buses will run every 15-30 minutes with the first bus leaving to the airport around 10:45am and the last bus leaving the airport at 4:30pm.
Dan Vance – p-51 “Speedball Alice”
Dan Vance is the owner and operator of this beautiful North American P-51D Mustang “Speedball Alice”, which is available for airshows, flybys, film and also for a 10-15 minute warbird aerobatic airshow routine. “Speedball Alice” is also a regular unlimited racer at the Reno National Championship Air Races.
The P-51 was designed and built by North American Aviation after the British government approached them to build P-40 Warhawks under license. North American believed they could design a better fighter, and the British government gave them 120 days to prove it. 102 days after the order was placed, the first Mustang was completed, flying for the first time on October 26, 1940. The prototype and subsequent P-51A utilized the Allison V-1710 liquid cooled engine. Lacking an effective engine supercharger, the Allison provided insufficient power for the high-altitude environment the P-51 was designed to operate in. By replacing the Allison engine with a Rolls-Royce V-1650 Merlin engine that had a two-stage supercharger, the necessary power and performance was gained. The Merlin engine, which was built in the U.S. under license by the Packard Motor Car Company, was installed in all further P-51 models from the “B” through the “H” versions.
Ken grew up around the Abbotsford Airport and the world-famous Abbotsford International Airshow. While working at his family’s farm, he would often be caught looking up to the sky to catch a Cessna landing or the Air Cadets towing yet another glider up to altitude. As a little boy, he would sit on a wooden-rail fence each August, and watch in awe as amazing pilots, heroes to a young boy enraptured by the magic of flight, flew their airplanes through incredible loops and hammerheads at the annual airshow.
Ken’s announcing career took off under the expert tutelage of announcing mentors, Bob Singleton and Roy Hafeli eight years ago. Since then, he has had the privilege of announcing airshows both as one-half of H2A2 Airshow Announcers or as a solo announcer across Western Canada and the United States including Abbotsford, BC, Airdrie, AB Bassano, AB, Dawson Creek, BC, Fort St. John, BC, Lethbridge, AB, Madras, OR, Paine Field, WA, Peace River, AB, Rocky Mountain House, AB, Tacoma, WA, Vancouver, BC (Celebration of Light) and Historic Flight Foundation – Vintage Aircraft Weekend, WA. Ken also has the great honour of being one of the only civilian announcers to have narrated an official performance of the CAF Snowbirds.
Ken’s love for airplanes & airshows, coupled with his experience as a private pilot and as an actor, director & producer, make him an ideal member of any airshow announcing team, providing airshow fans with informative and entertaining commentary that puts people right in to the cockpit. His motto for announcing is “Entertain – Inform – Inspire”.
The Juranich Brothers
The Juranich Brothers Aircraft Collection comprises one of Washington’s premier collections of painstakingly restored antique aircraft. Bob and Bill Juranich return all these airplanes to flying condition with some select, dedicated individuals. The collection consists of some really rare airplanes like the Command Aire and Taylor Cub, as well as the very Piper J-3 that Bob learned to fly in many years ago. Look for these planes on display: 1928 Eaglerock Biplane (under restoration), 1929 Command Aire. (Flying), 1930 Monocoupe Model 90 (Project), 1931 Waco INF (Flying), 1935 Taylor E-2 (under restoration), 1935 Piper J-2 (Project), 1946 Piper J-3 (Flying), 1946 Piper PA -12 (Flying), 1953 Cessna 195 (Flying), and a 1972 Stolp Starduster Too (Flying).
Hammerhead Aerobatics pilot Renny Price is a retired airline captain and has logged over 23,000 hours since his first flight in 1969. Renny holds FAA ratings of Airline Transport Pilot, Flight Engineer, Multi-engine instrument flight instructor, Aerobatic competency evaluator, and FAA safety counselor. When he is not performing airshows, he flies an Astra private jet.
World-class aerobatics are a spectacle, but almost nothing comes close to the performance of the Russian designed and built Sukhoi-29. The Sukhoi is considered to be the very best two place unlimited competition aircraft in the world today!
Renny and his SU-29 are based just south of Portland, Oregon at the Aurora State Airport! You will not want to miss this home state talent!
Smoke ‘n Thunder
One of the most riveting events at an Air Show is the moment Smoke-n-Thunder JetCar takes on a plane in a race to the finish line. Who is faster by land or air? Accelerating from zero to almost 400 mph in just nine seconds, Smoke-n-Thunder is the fastest JetCar in the Air Show Industry.
The JetCar pilot Bill Braack is a 20-year veteran of the Air Force Reserve. He know there is no room for error when handling a car that is equipped with a 12,000 horsepower engine. As a plane flies in low and fast, Braack selects full afterburner and overtakes the plane in just seconds.
Born and raised in California, Vicky Benzing is an accomplished pilot, skydiver, aerobatic performer, and air racer. With more than 7500 hours of flight time and over 1200 parachute jumps, Vicky has a passion for everything airborne. Her flying career has spanned over thirty years and she currently holds an Airline Transport Pilot rating as well as commercial ratings in helicopters, seaplanes, and gliders.
Vicky still remembers her first flight in her uncle’s small airplane when she was just a small child. Inspired by that flight at a very young age, Vicky learned to fly in a family friend’s antique Taylorcraft in her hometown of Watsonville, on the California coast. She was thrilled by the spins, loops, and rolls that her ex-military instructor taught her and subsequently took aerobatic instruction from legendary pilot Amelia Reid.
In 2005, Vicky began her aerobatic training in earnest. She started competing in aerobatic contests throughout the US, working her way up through the many categories. In between contests, Vicky also began performing in local air shows. Today Vicky holds a surface level aerobatic waiver and has flown over 200 air show performances at venues across the US, including performing at the largest airshow in the world, EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI.
In addition to aerobatics, in 2010 Vicky got the racing bug when a friend invited her to “come play in my sandbox” at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, NV. In that initial race week Vicky was chosen “Rookie of the Year” after winning her first race ever. She currently competes in multiple race classes, both the Sport Class and the Jet Class, and in 2015 Vicky made history as the “Fastest Woman Racer” ever in the history of the Reno Air Races when she qualified a one-of-a-kind L-139 jet on the race course at 469.831 mph. Vicky is currently serves as an officer of both the Sport Class Air Racing Association and of Racing Jets, Inc. (Photo credit – Tyson Rininger)
Don Keating – McDonald Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk
The TA-4J Skyhawk model entered production in June 1969. It became the longest-serving of the Skyhawks as the US Navy’s standard advanced jet trainer until replaced in the early 1990’s with the T-45A Goshawk. The TA-4J descended from the Navy and Marine Corps single-seat light attack aircraft designed in the early 1950s by a team of Douglas Aircraft engineers lead by Ed Heinemann. The first Skyhawk prototype flew in June 1954.
The Skyhawk was one of the most successful attack aircraft in US Navy and Marine Corps service. Single-seat Skyhawks were much used by Navy and Marine Corps squadrons during the Vietnam War. Its low delta wing of 27 feet 6 inches (8.4m) was small enough not to require folding on aircraft carrier decks.
During service, the Skyhawk acquired several nicknames, including Heinemann’s Hot Rod, Mighty Mite, Scooter, Tinker Toy, and Bantam Bomber.
This TA-4J is owned and Operated by Pacific Aero Ventures out of Bellevue WA and is flown by Mr. Don Keating
|Basic Role:||US Navy two-place, lightweight, high-performance trainer capable of operating from an aircraft carrier or shore base.|
|Crew:||Instructor pilot and student pilot|
|Engines:||One 8,500 lb (37.8kN) static thrust Pratt & Whitney J52-P-6B turbojet.|
|Max permissible speed @ 9,000 ft (2743m) pressure altitude:||702 mph (1,130km/hr)|
|Max speed @ Sea Level:||660 mph (1062km/hr)|
|Cruising Speed:||587 mph (945km/hr)|
|Range Normal:||1,350 miles (2,172km)|
|Max Range:||2,200 miles (3,541km)|
|Service Ceiling:||38,700 ft (11,796m)|
|Wingspan:||27 ft 6 in (8.4m)|
|Length:||43 ft 7 in (13.3m)|
|Height:||15 ft. 7 in (4.75m)|
|Wing area:||260 sq ft (24.2sq. m)|
|Maximum field takeoff and catapult weight:||24,500 pounds (11,113kg).|
|Total operating weight:||12,273 lbs. (5,567kg)|
|Armament:||Two 20mm guns, one in each wing root, and a variety of external stores could be installed on the TA-4J for Air Combat Maneuvering and Strike Warfare training.|
Olympic Flight Museum
OLYMPIC FLIGHT MUSEUM
AH-1 COBRA/YH-1H HUEY DEMONSTRATION
The AH-1 Cobra/UH-1H Huey demonstration has become an icon in the Pacific Northwest having been exhibited at many regional aviation events. Meticulously restored to original condition and markings, this dynamic helicopter duo from the Olympic Flight Museum will demonstrate authentic maneuvers as they were utilized in military service, and are techniques all Army aviators must mast. Speeds and altitudes of these precision maneuvers range from zero miles per hour at ground level, to 140 miles per hour at 1,000 feet. This demonstration contributes to the public understanding of the role of Army aircraft by demonstrating proficiency and versatility in the performance of precision helicopter flight. You will see formation photo ops and solo demonstrations from these vintage warrior helicopters made famous by the Vietnam.
Jim’s aviation interests go back to his childhood. He loved airshows as a kid and earned his pilot’s license as a teenager. He is an avid enthusiast of radio controlled models and drones. He has appeared on the Discovery channel and has made many media appearances related to aerobatics, aviation, and radio control.
Jim is a small-business owner living in Corvallis, Oregon. His company Knife Edge Software makes simulation products including the popular RealFlight simulator. Jim also created RCGroups.com, the world’s largest website for enthusiasts of radio controlled aircraft.
As a competitve aerobatic pilot Jim flies at the highest level, the Unlimited category. He is the most active competitor in the country, averaging 10 contests per year from Washington to Florida. Known for his aggressive style Jim is a top-ranked freestyle pilot and a nationally qualified aerobatic judge.
In 2017 Jim was on the Unlimited US Aerobatic Team which competed in the World Aerobatic Championships in Malelane, South Africa in September. The US Unlimited Aerobatic Team team selection is held at the US National Aerobatic Championships. Only the top 8 pilots were chosen and Jim took third place in team selection.
Jim’s show is a high energy display of the capabilities of the Extra 330SC featuring a complete repertoire of aerobatic maneuvers from precision flight to gyroscopic tumbling.
West Coast Ravens
The Ravens are a group of pilots from our nation’s western states who fly their RV airplanes in formation at air shows and various other aviation events. We adhere to strict formation flying standards that were originally developed by the military, and fly with a degree of discipline and precision that rivals any other realm of civilian aviation. Our performance is a demonstration of skill and dedication to the art of formation flying.
We fly custom-built “RV” airplanes such as the RV-4, RV-6, RV-7, and RV-8. Our airplanes are powerful and highly maneuverable, which lends itself well to formation flying. Many of us built our own airplanes in our garages and hangars (read our pilot bios for details). We have a tremendous sense of pride in this accomplishment, and this pride is also evident in the way we fly together. In all of our routines you will see symmetry, precision, and grace.
Our pilots have flown air show routines at many west coast airshows, such as the California Capital Airshow, Golden West, Aviation Nation at Nellis AFB, Cable, Catalina, Hillsboro, and Los Angeles County. We are honored to have performed along with acts such as the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels. Check our events page for more info.
The Ravens have flown formation demonstrations at various aviation-related events, such as the world record-setting 50-ship formation over the 2014 NASCAR Phoenix 50th Anniversary race, a 49-ship formation over the Kansas City Chiefs/49ers game in 2013 and the 50th Anniversary of Vans aircraft at EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh. We also were featured in the 2011 season finale of the TV show, “Mythbusters.”