This weekend kicks off Titusville, Florida’s 36th annual TICO Warbird Air Show. The event, which is held at Space Coast Regional Airport, is headlined this year by the United States Air Force Thunderbirds. Their visit marks the end of their very short 2013 air show season, and will draw record crowds to the small city which neighbors NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
In a worst-case scenario, this may be the final performance ever for the team that has represented the pride and professionalism of some 100,000 U.S. Air Force airmen and women since 1953. As of April 1, all military aerial demonstration performances are cancelled as a result of sequestration measures, which refers to budget cuts to specific areas of federal spending.
Many in the aviation community remain optimistic about a resolution soon to end the sequester, but only time will tell. Even if a budget agreement is reached, there is no guarantee it would save the air show season and put jets back in the skies for millions of spectators around the country. People from the UK, Australia, Brazil, and other countries around the globe have descended on the small space city to witness what could be the team’s final appearance.
BELOW: Our photo gallery of the USAF Thunderbirds performing for day one of a 3-day air show weekend. Photos Credit: Zero-G News / Mike Killian
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