For nearly 20 years, aviation enthusiasts, families, and anyone who finds the roar of a jet engine exhilarating have been attending Thunder Over Michigan — an event known internationally as one of the best warbird shows in the world.
Hosted at the Historic Willow Run Airport, the 2016 event will feature a number of first-time appearances, including France’s renowned Breitling Jet Team. The Breitling team, who fly nine L-39 Albatross Jets, will captivate audiences with special formations you won’t see performed by other six-jet teams.
Also making its first Thunder Over Michigan appearance is the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor. The Raptor, who is only making 23 North American appearances in 2016, is one of the most advanced aircraft in the world — so advanced that the pilot is not permitted to demonstrate the fighter jet’s full capabilities!
Keeping with the theme of Helotown USA, Cold War-era aircraft will be on display and participating in Hollywood-style battle re-enactments. One of the helicopters taking part in this year’s event is a Russian Mi-24 HIND (think 1984’s Red Dawn). Joining the HIND exclusively at Thunder Over Michigan is another Russian aircraft, the MiG-23 Flogger.
Whether you’re able to attend for a few hours or all day, this family-friendly event takes you from spectator to explorer as you climb through historic aircraft, talk to pilots and crews, and watch the skies mesmerized by the decades of aviation history that take flight.
General admission tickets start at $40 for adults (children 15 and younger are free). For more information, tickets, and a full list of 2016 performances and aircraft, visit the Thunder Over Michigan website.