Soaring in the Skies: Duluth Airshow acts prep for busy weekend

Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 9:42 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR 6) -- A weekend of thrills, fun., and lots of history, thanks to many different airplanes.

The Duluth Airshow returns with 15 acts soaring through the sky, including a North American B-25 Mitchell, a historic World War II plane.

“It wasn’t doing area bombing, it was designed for other missions, and it was constantly being adapted for missions throughout the war,” said Mitch Bertrang, a Mission Coordinator with the Minnesota Wing of the Commemorative Air Force.

They help preserve and restore historic combat aircraft, allowing them to teach people about the nation’s history.

“Our mission is to educate, and to inspire, and to honor,” Bertrang said. “To help that next generation understand what the generations before us did for us and the freedoms we have today.”

From World War II airplanes to modern aircraft, the Duluth Airshow features the best in aviation.

Major Kyle Oliver flies the #5 F-16 jet for the United States Air Force Thunderbirds, who are making their return to the Air Show after last performing in 2018.

The fan favorites perform maneuvers throughout the sky.

“What you’ll see from Thunderbirds 5 & 6, we are the solos, we’re gonna show you what the airplane is capable of, so we’re gonna show you how low it can go, how fast it can go how, tight it can turn,” Oliver said.

A flashy show for the crowds, but Oliver explains at the end of the day, it inspires a sense of camaraderie.

“All of us are here to be a beacon of excellence, and we’re here to rally people around us as a beacon of excellence in the name of service to something bigger than ourselves, and I think that’s a universal trait,” Oliver said.

This year’s Duluth Air Show will feature three female pilots, Thunderbird #3 Major Lauren Schlicting, F-35 Major Kristin Wolfe, and civilian pilot Jessy Panzer.

The Air Show runs on Saturday and Sunday.

For more information, click here.

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