In the past few years we've discovered that there are several recurring air shows, small and large, civilian and military, in northern Virginia and suburban Maryland outside Washington, D. C. There are several general aviation, regional and military air fields that open their gates to the public during annual shows, exhibits, rides and demonstrations. In addition, several vintage airplanes of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and Commerative Air Force (CAF) make visits to local regional airports for exhibition and rides open to the public.
EAA's Ford Tri-Motor "Tin Goose" on landing approach to Manassas Regional Airport.
We were sitting on our deck one Saturday morning and heard the unusual engine sounds of this plane as it flew over our house. Surprised as we were, we looked up on the Internet what this plane was doing here and what airport it was flying out of. This led to our discovery of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).
While researching the "Tin Goose" on EAA's website we learned that they also operate a restored Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress "Aluminum Overcast" which tours the U. S. and Canada and would soon be in our neck of the woods, so we reserved seats on-line for a flight when it was in town. The above photo is "Aluminum Overcast" on landing approach to Manassas Regional Airport. There are currently fewer than a dozen flying B-17's in the world.
In May of 2015 a large number of World War II vintage aircraft gathered at several of the local regional airports for the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover and flew down the Potomac River and over the U. S. Capital. This event was organized to honor the veterans of World War II and the homefront workers that produced the tanks, ships and aircraft used by the United States and its allies. "Diamond Lil" a Consolidated B-24 Liberator took part in the flight and, while in the Washington, D. C. metro area for the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover, flew out of Manassas Regional Airport where we were lucky enough to book tickets for a ride around the town. Only two airworthy B-24's are in existence.
The only other time I was at the Andrews Air Show was in 1981 and, from what I can remember, it has changed quite a bit. The 2017 show was much larger, had many more static exhibits and flying demonstrations, and the crowds were enormous, but Joint Base Andrews put on a wonderful show.
USAF Thunderbirds during the 2017 Andrews Air Show at Joint Base Andrews.
Heritage flight of North American P-51 Mustang and Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor during the 2017 Andrews Air Show at Joint Base Andrews.
"Panchito" a North American B-25 Mitchell during the 2017 Andrews Air Show at Joint Base Andrews.
"Doc" a Boeing B-29 Superfortress during the 2017 Andrews Air Show at Joint Base Andrews.