Aviation aficionados will get their anticipated “Sound of Freedom” this weekend as the 2022 “Wings Over Solano Open House and Air Show” fills the skies over Travis Air Force Base.
Saturday’s and Sunday’s events are free and open to the public, with the Hospital Gate opening for general admission at 9 a.m., and performances beginning at 11 a.m. and ending at 3 p.m.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend the event, which will feature a variety of aerial demonstrations and flyovers from some of Travis AFB’s own aircraft including the KC-10 Extender, C-5M Super Galaxy, and C-17 Globemaster III, one of the largest cargo jets in the world.
There will also be other military jets such as a U-2, B-1B Lancer, B-2 Spirit, and civilian performers including the Patriot Jet Demo Team.
“What’s great about air shows is that you bring in people and communities from all around the nation, we have aircraft coming from Washington, from the East Coast, to give that experience to local areas,” said Maj. Chris Williston, the show’s deputy director. “You could call it a petting zoo, for individuals who may not have that opportunity to travel to locations where all these unique platforms are located,.’
While some attendees might have the 1980s classic “Highway To The Danger Zone” from the “Top Gun” soundtrack playing in their heads as they enjoy the aerobatics, there will also be a host of displays and activities taking place away from the roar of the afterburners overhead.
“It’s not just an airshow, it’s also an open house which is great because it shows the breadth of what the Air Force is capable of providing,” said Williston, a 10-year Air Force member and C-17 pilot. “It’s not just the airplanes, it’s aos the support agencies. There is stuff for families, there’s going to be a NASA simulator, a kid zone, a STEM fair, a rock climbing wall and more.”
Other attractions will include demonstrations from the 60th Aeronautical Evacuation Squadron and Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team, flight simulators, booths from Air Force Recruiting, local police departments, Cal Fire, and a paintball course among the many other activities.
“Of all the bases I’ve been to, Travis has one of the strongest community partner relationships,” said Williston. “It’s all about the local support, we are guests in the state, we are guests in this area.
“This event shows the taxpayers where your money is going, this is showing the national defense, this is what your sons and daughters are doing to protect our nation. When I was younger, we used to go to Wings Over Houston every year, and it was just incredible, with all the people and the jets in the air, it’s inspiring, it makes you emotional.”