RANCHO CORDOVA – It’s time to put your eyes towards the skies and keep an ear out for the rumble around Rancho Cordova as the California Capital Airshow takes flight this week. The 18th annual affair is presented by Sacramento County in partnership with the City of Rancho Cordova and takes to the skies Saturday, July 13 and Sunday 14. 

The two-day event -boasts an extraordinary lineup of performers this year, including the Italian jet team, Frecce Tricolori, and the United States Air Force Thunderbirds, plus miles of ground attractions and the return of nighttime aerial performances concluding with a massive pyro-musical fireworks show. That’s right, this year’s airshow goes from afternoon to nightfall. The event takes place from 3:30-9:30 p.m. over the course of the weekend at Mather Airport in Sacramento.


“This year’s show offers a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says Darcy Brewer, Executive Director of California Capital Airshow. “Our attendees will enjoy performances by two world-renowned jet teams, Frecce Tricolori and the Thunderbirds, along with some of the most skilled pilots from around the globe, right here in Sacramento.”

The gates open each day at the Capital Air Show at 3:30, giving guests plenty of time to establish their viewing spot and peruse the many displays and exhibits on the ground prior to the start of four hours of nonstop aerial performances at 5:30 PM each day. The United States Air Force Thunderbirds will kick off the event followed by FrecceTricolori, U.S. Navy F-18 Super Hornet, U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning and C-17 Globemaster demo teams and an impressive roster of highly skilled civilian performers including priceless vintage warbirds. As the sun sets, the show will continue with maximum afterburner followed by aircraft lighting up the night sky with pyrotechnics, walls of fire, spectacular fireworks and a 500-drone show. 


Airshow tickets are on sale now at CaliforniaCapitalAirshow.com. Adult General Admission tickets start at $42.50 and each ticket includes FREE admission for up to six youth (age 15 & under) and free parking. A variety of upgraded tickets and experiences are also available for purchase. Tickets are available online only and will not be sold at the gate, the event is expected to sell our once again so get your tickets now.  

Established in 2004, the California Capital Airshow 501(c)3 plans and operates the exciting, family-friendly annual event designed to honor the Sacramento region’s rich aviation heritage and veterans while using the power and magic of flight to inspire young people. CCA gives back to the community through scholarships, charitable group donations and exciting educational youth programming throughout the year. Folsom Ties brings you a sneak peak here of what to expect in this year’s event.


Highlights of what to expected in the air at the the 2024 California Capital Air Show:


Frecce Tricolori – Italian Air Force Jet Team

The Frecce Tricolori, also known as the Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale (PAN, Italian Aerobatic Team) is, undoubtedly, the most popular and visible component of the Italian Air Force as well as a symbol of Italy: with its 10 Italian built aircraft – the MB.339A/PAN – the “Frecce” (Italian for “Arrows”) – form one of the world’s most prestigious aerobatic teams. It holds a Guinness World record too: for the most jet aircraft in a military aerobatic display team.


U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds

The Thunderbirds perform for crowds all over the world with the mission to display the pride, precision and professionalism of the men and women of the United States Air Force. The Thunderbirds will thrill crowds with each demonstration that combines years of training and experience and what the Thunderbirds describe as “an attitude of excellence” to showcase the Air Force.

The F-16 Fighting Falcon jets blaze through the sky, flying only a few feet apart from wingtip to wingtip. It gets loud and proud as Thunderbird solo pilots show of their skills as well as the maximum capabilities of the F-16 Fighting Falcon – the Air Force’s premier multi-role fighter jet. Get ready Sacramento!

F-35 Lightning II FULL Demo

The USAF F-35 Lightning Demo Team is BACK! Don’t miss this demo comprised of 14 maneuvers, showcasing its full capabilities.

On the slow end, the jet will get down to an airspeed of less than 100 miles per hour, just barely hanging there but in complete control. Then on the high end, Captain Melanie “MACH” Kluesner, will take it up to just below the sound barrier for the high-speed pass. The jet will pull up to 9G’s, nine times the force of gravity, and carve into the air at huge angles of attack of more than 50 degrees.

Other demo teams may give you a sample of one or two of these maneuvers, but nowhere else will you see all the best maneuvers on the planet combined into one epic demo. There’s no filler in this demonstration, it’s a ‘light the afterburner and rage for 30 minutes kind of show’.

US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet TacDemo

The FA-18 E/F Super Hornet, also know as the ‘Rhino’, is highly capable across the full mission spectrum: air superiority, fighter escort, reconnaissance, aerial refueling, close air support, air defense suppression and day/night precision strike. Compared to the original F/A-18 A through D models, the Super Hornet has longer range, an aerial refueling capability, increased survivability/lethality and improved carrier suitability.

US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III Demonstration Team

It’s difficult to sum up the C-17 in just word and pictures. In short, the C-17 demo team will redefine “Crank & Bank” as they move 250,000+ pounds of airplane across the skies of Sacramento. Heck, even fighter pilots are left slack-jawed by the C-17’s maneuverability.

Patriot Parachute Team

These guys are the best of the best! The Patriot Parachute Team is veteran led and includes some of the most accomplished jumpers in the world! We’re talking former members of Navy SEAL Team, Navy Leap Frogs and Air Force Wings of Blue! Performing all over the country, this team not only thrills audiences with their dramatic drop from the skies, but also inspires people from all walks of life with their mission. Each team member has a proud military history and uses their time at airshows to connect with other veterans and inspire young people. Stick close to the crowd line because the Patriots Parachute Team will be looking to get up close and personal, passing out high fives and fist bumps right after they land.


The Sukhoi West Demo Team was developed many years ago as a way to demonstrate the one of world’s best aerobatic aircraft.  Only recently did the team restart with Randy Howell and Cory Lovell, flying matching 400hp Sukhoi SU-26 aerobatic aircraft. The Sukhoi is one of the best aerobatic airplanes in the world and has a unique way of demonstrating both high-speed and low-speed maneuvers.

GhostWriter Airshows

Watch as pilot, Nathan Hammond, dances through the night sky in his 1956 deHavilland Chipmunk that has been specially modified for Airshow aerobatics. Nearly 3,000 man-hours, over a two-year period were spent on developing the GhostWriter into the finest example of a Super Chipmunk. It now boasts a cruising speed of 150 mph, and a range of more than 500 miles. It will climb at a rate of 2,500 feet per minute, with a ceiling of 17,500 feet.

Highlights of what to expected on the ground of the the 2024 California Capital Air Show:

Awesome Warbirds

Mustang, Lightnings, Sabre, MiG, Thunderbolt, Tomahawk, Texan, Ryan, Navion and MORE…combat aircraft and trainers that were everyday companions to airmen from World War II to the Korean War have become extraordinary treasures to many. You will see some of the most celebrated aircraft from the early 1930’s to their retirement from military service — all still flying today. These are the planes that changed the course of history.

Large Military Transport Aircraft

This massive ramp will be home for the weekend to literally tons of HUGE aircraft including the C-5 Super Galaxy M, C-17 Globemaster II, KC-10 Extender, & KC-135 Stratotanker. Don’t miss the chance to climb through the belly of one of these enormous beasts, see the cockpit, and meet the pilots and crew responsible for airlifting troops, equipment and humanitarian support across the globe. Some of these giants conduct aerial refueling, rescue and firefighting missions to such remote areas that they don’t even have traditional runways.

Public Safety & First Responders

The best way to get the job done right is by having access to the sky! Meet the men and women that use airplanes and helicopters every day to protect and serve. A variety of law enforcement, medi-vac, surveillance and firefighting agencies will be on the ramp with lots of cool aircraft and equipment to share! Who knew all this action was going on overhead?

UPS, Fed Ex & more!

Always behind tall security gates or high in the sky overhead, these behemoths circle the globe around the clock to deliver packages and goods. On an average day each of these companies deliver more than 15 million packages to more than 7.9 million customers in more than 220 countries and territories around the world. Climb on board, run amok in the enormous cargo holds and meet the men and women who operate two of the largest air-cargo fleets in the world.

Tickets and more information can be found at CaliforniaCapitalAirshow.com 

Imagery: Bill Sullivan, Folsom Times : California Capital Air Show; Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commercie

Folsom Times and All Town Media LLC is a proud sponsor of the 2024 California Capital Air Show.