1st Annual Hawaii Airshow Invitational

For visitors lucky enough to be on the Kona coast of the Big Island this Memorial Day weekend, the state’s first civilian airshow will be hosted at Keahole/Kona International Airport on Saturday and Sunday. While the island of Oahu is no stranger to military air shows (being home to major bases for the Air Force, Navy, Army and Marines), this will be the island of Hawaii’s first air show, ever. With a variety of performers, this weekend in Kona promises to be filled with high energy aerial performances. Melissa Pemberton will don her Bat Wing Skydiving suit and fly through the Hawaiian sky. Hank Bruckner, a local Oahu Aerobatic Pilot and Trainer will dazzle the audience in his CAP-10C modified plane. And despite being a civilian air show, the event will feature several military aircraft, both in the air and on the ground. There will even be F-16 Fighting Falcon jet fighter demonstration by a United States Air Force team. The air show will also feature some fascinating aircraft for viewing on the ground. Amongst the military planes on display, there will be a B-1 Bomber (a supersonic bomber), a C-17 Globemaster (military transport aircraft), and a KC-135 Stratotanker (aerial refueling military aircraft). The unequivocal highlight of the airshow though is Hawaiian Airlines first airplane, back when the airline was known as Inter-Island Airways. The 1929 Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker was never used for inter-island flights, but rather offered sightseeing tours over Oahu. A single-engine plane with a 46-foot wingspan, the Bellanca could carry five passengers along with a pilot. After four years of use, the plane was sold in 1933 and shipped to the mainland. Hawaiian Airlines located the aircraft in Oregon and then restored the plane back to flying condition. The Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker returned to Hawaii just in time to celebrate Hawaiian Airlines 80th anniversary on November 11th, 2009. For the past year this fully operational antique airplane has been taking the employees of Hawaiian Airlines on sightseeing tours of Oahu. Should you fancy a day of watching feats of aerobatic daring, the gates open at 9:00 a.m. on May 28th and May 29th and ends at 4:00 p.m. Adult tickets cost $20 and kid’s tickets cost $15. Organizers suggest you bring sunscreen, hats, beach chairs and ear protection for young children. Information is available at the official website, www.hawaii-airshow.com

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