There will be plenty of action in the skies around the region soon as the 17th annual California Capital Airshow, presented by Sacramento County in partnership with the City of Rancho Cordova, returns on September 23-24 at Mather Airport in Sacramento. The two-day event will feature performances from some of the world’s most thrilling aircraft, featuring the renowned United States Air Force Thunderbirds jet demonstration team, and attendees will have the opportunity to explore 171 miles of aircraft displays and exhibits on the ground. 

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Gates to this massive aviation festival are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day with flying performances from 12-4 p.m. Exhilarating performances will include the US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team, the return of the US Air Force C-17 Globemaster Demonstration, US Navy F-18 Super Hornet, and an awe-inspiring lineup of world-class civilian aerobatic performers, including a selection of vintage World War II aircraft. 

“The Airshow will offer an incredible lineup of aircraft and performers from all over the world,” said Darcy Brewer, Executive Director of California Capital Airshow. “Our team works all year long to put on an event that the community will love, and we’ve added even more exhibits and experiences for attendees to enjoy this year.” 

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In partnership with the Rancho Cordova Barrel District, the Airshow is debuting “The Hangar” Chalet, a ticketed area within the Airshow where attendees will receive a commemorative tasting glass and seven four-ounce pours from four local breweries, one hard kombucha, one meadery, and one distillery. The area will have seating, food trucks, and the option to purchase additional Barrel District partner beverages throughout the event. 

Also new this year is a free community event to kick-off the Airshow weekend on Friday, September 22 from 6-8 PM at Village Green Park in Rancho Cordova. Attendees can meet airshow performers, including the USAF Thunderbirds, and enjoy live music, food trucks, activities provided by local organizations, and chances to win FREE Airshow tickets and swag. 

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Tickets for the Airshow are on sale now. The public can access discounted tickets and sign-up to receive festival updates as an Airshow Insider at www.californiacapitalairshow.com or click one of the advertisements here on www.folsomtimes.com.

You can also have the chance to win tickets courtesy of Folsom Times this year, be sure to LIKE and FOLLOW our Facebook page today and stay tuned for an upcoming announcement and contest.

A sneak peek of what to expect this year:

USAF Thunderbirds

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Get an impressive view of the action and watch the USAF Thunderbirds soar high above Mather Airport as they perform gravity-defying tricks. If you’re looking for a Sacramento airshow experience, you can expect the California Capital Airshow 2023 in Rancho Cordova to be nothing less than spectacular!

1941 J3 Cub

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Eric Tucker’s current aviation adventure is a throwback to the glory days of Barnstorming. Flying an aircraft built in 1941, but designed in the late twenties, Tucker will be performing three very distinct acts: dead stick aerobatics, a comedy act and car-top landing, and a car-top takeoff. 

Tucker’s bird is a stock, Cub Yellow with Black Lightning Bolt, 1941 J3 with a C-85 engine pumped up to 100hp. 100hp doesn’t sound like much until you consider that the original prototype for the Cub had just 20hp. So, weighing in at just 770 pounds, Tucker’s Cub is a fire-breather.

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Beechcraft F33C Bonanza

This specialized Beechcraft F33C Bonanza, one of 118 built, performs an amazing demonstration that will leave fans completely mesmerized! It is capable of a wide range of aerobatic maneuvers (unusual for a Bonanza) including loops, point rolls, barrel rolls, snap rolls, Cuban eights, and hammerheads (yes, it goes vertical).

The Bonanza handles it all in style and with Jim Peitz’s expert touch he makes it all look easy.

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

The A-10 Thunderbolt II is just plain (plane) cool! So ugly they call it the “Warthog,” a nickname that carries with it a great deal of affection and respect for this plane that isn’t afraid to get dangerously close to the action.

The “Warthog’s” large, unswept high-aspect ratio wing and large ailerons give it excellent low-speed, low-altitude maneuverability. In addition, many of the aircraft’s parts are interchangeable left and right, including the engines, main landing gear and vertical stabilizers. Both of these unique attributes make the A-10 easily serviced in remote airfields.

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Edge 540

Perfect for airshows not only because of Bill Stein’s amazing airshow flying routine, but also because his Edge 540 has a completely unique look.

Using cutting edge paint technology, Stein has designed the spectacular look of his new airplane using a paint that continuously changes color based on the angles between the spectators, the airplane, and the lighting from green to purple to blue along with gold, yellow, pink, and orange! 

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U.S. Navy F/A-18 “Super” Hornet

All the way from Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, Strike Fighter Squadron 122 is proud to showcase the F/A-18 to audiences around the world. Airshows are the best place to see a Super Hornet in action. The Tactical Demonstration or “Tac Demo” team flies the F/A-18 as close to the “edge of the envelope” as safety and prudence allow.

The routine highlights the Rhino’s maneuverability and slow-speed handling characteristics and is designed to showcase the mobility, versatility, and power of the F/A-18 for the citizens who look to the Navy for the defense of freedom. From the high “G” minimum radius turn to the slow speed “high-alpha” pass, the Demo flight puts the Rhino through its paces!

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F8F BearCat

Since around 1983, warbird expert Steve Hinton has performed at airshows all over the world in more than 150 different kinds of aircraft. 
His restoration business has brought more than 40 warplanes back to perfect flying condition. He was a founding member of the Motion Picture Pilots Association, a civilian pilot with the USAF Heritage Flight, the holder of the World Speed Record, and the winner of the Reno Air Race. He has been the president of the Planes of Fame Aviation Museum since 1994. He has flown WWII fighters for more than 7,000 hours. Don’t miss out on the chance to see this plane in action!

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C-17 Globemaster III Tactical Flying Demonstration

The C-17 demo team will redefine “Crank & Bank” as they maneuver an aircraft weighing more than 250,000 pounds across Rancho Cordova’s sky. Don’t miss the opportunity to see this massive C-17 perform at the airshow this year.

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U2 “Dragon Lady”

A top-secret military installation (the Ranch) outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, hosted the U-2’s debut flight in 1955. Utility is represented by the “U” in “U-2.” The “Dragon Lady” has been a cornerstone of NASA and the U.S. Air Force since the 1950s. 
Even from the USS America, the U-2 has carried out operations from aircraft carriers. 
The U-2 can fly at higher heights than some of the most cutting-edge fifth generation fighter aircraft of today, right up to the edge of space, thanks to its enormous wings! 
That is evidence of the incredible engineering prowess of the best minds in America.

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Fun on the ground for all ages

Display Aircrafts

In addition to watching the spectacular performances, you’ll have the chance to explore grounded planes, meet pilots and interact with crew members. This is your chance to get up close, especially if you love aviation. Nothing is more fascinating than touring vintage military planes, especially ones that flew back in World War II.

This year you can expect to see, and even climb through, some of the largest military planes the US military has to offer including the C-5 Super Galaxy M, C-17 Globemaster II, KC-10 Extender, & KC-135 Stratotanker! Explore the air delivery service vessels in two of the largest air-cargo fleets in the world and meet the first responders and aircrafts that make up the law enforcement, medi-vac, surveillance and firefighting agencies in the U.S.

Vendor Booths

In addition to the show in the sky, first-class entertainment is still on the ground with food, drinks, and vendor booths aplenty! ATMs are NOT available, but every vendor will have options to pay with debit or credit card.

The Hangar: Tastings by The Barrel District

NEW THIS YEAR! Rancho Cordova’s Barrel District will be offering tastings of their finest brews and spirits. Tickets to the tasting garden will be available so you can sip sample pours of locally-brewed craft beers, hard kombucha, bourbon, and more! Hurry to get your tickets… tastings WILL sell out.

Purchase Tickets to The Hangar

More ticket information

General Admission

One General Admission Ticket purchase includes up to 6 Children (ages 15 & under) FREE. Includes free parking and access to all displays and interactive exhibits. Please note: Tickets are good for ONE DAY ONLY, Saturday OR Sunday. Choose the day that works best!

Capital Club VIP tickets

Admission to the Airshow and VIP parking pass PLUS access to the Capital Club from 9:00AM – 5:00PM with the best seats in the house — up close to the action with a prime view of the show! Includes comfortable, open-air seating away from the crowds, a catered buffet lunch and dessert bar, specialty bar (age restricted) and executive VIP washrooms exclusive to your chalet. Please note: Tickets are good for ONE DAY ONLY, Saturday OR Sunday. Choose the day that works best!

Flight Line Club Tickets

Admission to the Airshow and free parking PLUS access to the Flight Line Club from 9:00AM – 5:00PM with a prime view near the show’s center, great for photographs! Stay out of the sun in the large, shaded tent area. Includes comfortable, open-air table and chair seating, a catered buffet lunch, unlimited water/iced tea/lemonade bar, and upgraded washrooms exclusive to your chalet. Please note: Tickets are good for ONE DAY ONLY, Saturday OR Sunday. Choose the day that works best!

Mather Club TIckets

Admission to the Airshow and free parking PLUS access to the Mather Club Chalet from 9:00AM – 5:00PM. Enjoy shaded table and chair seating near the show’s center, giving you awesome views of the action. Please note: Tickets are good for ONE DAY ONLY, Saturday OR Sunday. Choose the day that works best!

Tickets for the Airshow are on sale now. The public can access discounted tickets and sign-up to receive festival updates as an Airshow Insider at www.californiacapitalairshow.com. © Folsom Times, All Town Media, LLC.