into the wild blue yonder

Wings Over Houston soars with living legends and high-flying acts

Wings Over Houston soars with living legends and high-flying acts

CAF Wings over Houston airshow
Catch the U.S. Air Force (USAF) Thunderbirds October 9-10. Wings Over Houston/Facebook

If the weather cooperates, next week promises one of the top air shows in the United States soaring over Houston skies. The popular CAF Wings Over Houston Airshow returns to Ellington Airport October 9-10, showcasing vintage World War II aircraft, modern planes and jets, and some legends of flight.

Fans can also look forward to demonstrations by the U.S. Air Force (USAF) Thunderbirds and the Canadian Forces (CF) Snowbirds, per a release.

Aerial performances also include performances by the  F-22 Raptor Demo Team, C-17 Globemaster III, U.S. Navy F-18 Super Hornet Demo Team, U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight-P51 & F22, Houston’s U.S. Coast Guard Air Station, 138th Fighter Wing — Tulsa Air National Guard, TORA! TORA! TORA!, Commemorative Air Force, Debby Rihn-Harvey, RE/MAX Skydive Team, and Lone Star Squadron.

This year also features some legends of aviation, space flight, and military history in Legends & Heroes Autograph Tent. The lineup, per press materials, includes:

Frank Emond: One of the last remaining survivors of Pearl Harbor, Emond was aboard the battleship USS Pennsylvania on December 7, 1941 and saw the first bomb drop and explode at a hangar on Ford Island.

Gene Kranz: The legendary flight director during the Gemini and Apollo missions (included the famous and ill-fated Apollo 13 mission) — and longtime Houstonian — has received numerous awards and honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which he received from President Nixon for the Apollo 13 mission, and his designation as a Distinguished Member of the Senior Executive Service by President Reagan. 

His April 2020 book, Failure is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond, a New York Times Bestseller, was selected by the History Channel as the basis for a documentary on Mission Control.

Jerry L. Ross: A retired United States Air Force officer, engineer and former NASA astronaut, Ross is a veteran of seven Space Shuttle missions. This makes him the joint record holder for most spaceflights.

George Abbey: The Houstonian and former director of the Johnson Space Center and fellow in Space Policy at the Baker Institute of Rice University, Abbey oversaw the selection of every astronaut class from 1978 to 1987. He also led NASA’s recruitment of women and minorities as space shuttle astronauts and was responsible for hiring Sally Ride. He currently resides in Houston.

Maj. Terry Pappas: Pappas spent 41 years flying for the USAF and NASA, totaling more than 10,000 hours (including service during the Vietnam era). He has flown a wide array of aircraft from the T-38, Learjets, Gulfstreams, the Super Guppy, DC-9s and the SR-71 Blackbird.

For more information, schedule of events and speakers, tickets, and volunteer opportunities, visit the official site.