TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - The National Cherry Festival will kick off its 86th annual celebration with a weekend of high energy Festival Air Shows on Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8 over West Grand Traverse Bay. The Festival Air Shows are sponsored by Northern Michigan Toyota Dealers, Cherry Capital Airport, Charter Communications, Sam’s Club, Harbour Air Services, LLC, and Schmuckal Oil Company.
The slate of performers guarantees a fast-paced, exciting show over West Grand Traverse Bay. The Black Diamond Jet Team (formally Heavy Metal Jet Team) promises another heart-stopping, aerobatic performance akin to any military jet performance. The Black Diamond recently added a seventh Jet to the Team. The Black Diamond Jet Team is a seven-ship aerobatic civilian-owned jet team. With five L-39s and two Mig-17s all in the Arctic camouflage paint scheme, the Lakeland, FL based Black Diamond Jet Team is an exciting addition to the current demonstration teams available to air shows, as well as for private and sporting event flyovers.
The World’s largest air show team, Team RV will provide an exciting 18 minute performance that combines precision formation flying and formation aerobatics. The RV series features 12 experimental kitplanes flown by Team RV. These are nimble, low-wing monoplanes capable of attaining speeds in excess of 200 mph and are stressed for 6 g's. Most members built their planes in their own hangar or garage, and no two planes are exactly alike. Every different paint scheme creates a colorful palette for spectators.
Greg Shetterly, a Vietnam Veteran and aerobatic pilot will take to the Traverse City skies for the first time in his 2010 One Design, SHETTERLY DR-107, a monoplane designed from scratch, built from plans, starting with a pile of wood and steel tubing. A work of art, it is beautifully handcrafted with a wood wing, steel tube & fabric fuselage. Greg is a graduate of the NWMC Flight Program in Traverse City, Michigan. Greg started flying at age 15 and since has accumulated 38 yrs as professional pilot, flying multiple turbo-props, corporate jets and Boeing aircraft, over 80 different models.
The entire roster of Festival Air Show demo teams, along with U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, will prepare for a ‘practice show’ on Friday, July 6. The Festival Air Shows are expected to get underway at approximately 1:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and will be simulcast on WTCM AM Radio. ‘Flight Deck Seating’ will be available to the public for both Air Shows at the Festival Open Space ‘Upper Deck’, adjacent to the newly relocated Beer Tent. This year the ‘Flight Deck’ will give Festival goers Wings! Those visiting the ‘Flight Deck’ will receive complimentary ‘Wings’ and ‘Mini Corn Dogs’ from Buffalo Wild Wings Restaurant. Tickets are priced at $13 per adult and $10 for children 12 and under. Visit www.cherryfestival.org to purchase tickets. Tickets at the gate are $15 per adult, and $12 for children.
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