Thunderbirds to headline the Exchange Club’s Redding Air Show

The Thunderbirds are back to headline the Exchange Club of Redding’s Air Show, which will feature more jets than ever before

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The show is set for Sept. 24-25 at the Redding Municipal Airport.

The U.S. Air Force’s distinctively painted F-16 Fighting Falcons haven’t flown in Redding since 2004. They lead a lineup that features more jets than at any time in the show’s 29-year history.

The T-Birds will follow first-ever appearances in Redding of the Canadian Force F-18, and a T-33 Shooting Star along with a return of the A-10 Warthog tank-killing jet.

Organizers are still awaiting word on whether a Marine Harrier will fly in the show.

The other big news is that children 11 and under get free admission.

General admission adult tickets remain at just $10. They’ll be $16 at the gate.

The deadline to take advantage of discounted tickets to the popular Flight Deck, a pavilion with frontline seating that includes food and drink catered all day by the Sons of Italy, is approaching. Tickets are priced at $65 each or 10 for $550 until July 31. Starting Aug. 1 the price will be $95 or 10 for $700. The Flight Deck sold out in 2009.

In addition to the jets, Melissa Pemberton debuts in an Edge 540. She’ll be in the air when her husband, Rex, plummets to Earth in a wingsuit, another first for the show.

Proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks, Eddie Andreini returns, but this time he’ll pilot a P-51 Mustang. It will mark the first P-51 aerobatic demo ever in Redding. Of course, he’ll wow fans with his inverted ribbon cut in his Stearman bi-plane as well.

Speaking of old dog’s, John Collver will fly “War Dog,” his vintage AT-6 Texan Marine trainer. Evan Wolfe’s T28C Trojan warbird will be in the air for the first time. Their demos will help celebrate the centennial of naval aviation.

Julie Clark in her T-34 Smokin’ Mentor and the Coast Guard’s Dolphin helicopter return along with announcer Steve Stavrakakis.

“Everyone’s excited about having more jets in the air than ever before,” said Bill Wagner, air show chairman. “Once again we’ve loaded up with a jet team, military aircraft and warbirds, which fans across the country rate as the top three attractions at an air show.”

To order tickets or for more information on the show,

visit www.reddingairshow.org.

The family-oriented community service event has generated more than $937,000 for area charities and groups over the years.

Major financial sponsors for Air Show 2011 include MD Imaging, CGI Technical Services, Win-River, Pepsi, Foothill Distributing, CR Gibbs, McHale Signs, Hardware Express, Frozen Gourmet, ArcSine Engineering, Lawrence & Associates, Shasta Regional Medical Center, Redding Dental Arts, EMS Home Furnishings, Wallner Plumbing, Iasco Flight Training, Results Radio, Redding Distributing and Rabobank.

Media sponsors include KNVN Channel 24, KHSL TV 12, CW10, the Record Searchlight, Fox 20, KRCR-TV Channel 7, Q-97 FM, KSHA 104.3 FM, KLXR AM 1230, Shasta.com, KCNR AM 1460 and Prime Cinemas.