The Great State of Maine Air Show, Upcoming Thrills and Past History

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Look familiar?  A old photo of NAS Brunswick’s 2005 air show and open house…

The airport at Brunswick, Maine has a long history of service to the United States. Originally it was built as a civilian gravel airfield, then converted as a military Naval Air Station during the World War II years, when it was used to train Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm pilots and used for anti-submarine patrols by U. S. and Allied forces. After a short reversion to civilian operations after the war, the Cold War pushed the Navy to reopen an airborne patrol and anti-submarine function at the base. Since 2011, the airport has been returned to civilian hands after a BRAC decision to shutter the base one last time. Now, it is known as the Brunswick Executive – Midcoast Regional Airport.

Most of this year’s performers that are expected to perform during the 2017 shows!!

2017’s The Great State of Maine Air Show will feature a large and diverse group of aviators and their aircraft in the Maine skies, with other performers and plenty of static display aircraft will be on the ground and the runways. Not shown is the Smoke and Thunder Jet Car, and the Precision Exotics team. Above are photos of many, but not all of these entertaining flyers. The Blue Angels will be the headlining act, but other pilots – each with a huge amount of air show experience and credibility – include Michael Goulian and Dan Marcotte (both of whom have New England roots), Mike Wiskus, Kent Pietsch, Larry Labriola, and Scott Yoak. The U.S. Special Operations Command Parachute Team and the Air Force’s Viper East F-16 Demonstration Team round out the military aerial performers. Civilian Scott Yoak in his P-51 Mustang and Major John “Rain” Waters in the F-16 will perform the always emotional Heritage Flight too. This is the schedule some two weeks out… and could change too, so check out their web site: http://greatstateofmaineairshow.us/

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While in Navy use during the Cold War years, the base held open houses and air shows that attracted plenty of attention. Active military aircraft flocked to the New England air station, warbirds honoring our nation’s past were always invited too. These events showcased not only the military prowess of the Patrol Wing based there, but the hospitality of the surrounding Midcoast Maine area.

Some of the past military aircraft that have been on display at the NAS Brunswick air shows and previous Great State of Maine air shows… not representative of the 2017 display, but there is a  P-3 Orion expected!

Throughout the Cold War Years, maritime patrol and anti-submarine operations were flown from the Maine shores, and training with NATO partners was common. Early users of the base included U.S. Navy P-2V Neptunes and even PB4Ys of late World War II vintage. A Maritime Patrol competition was held at NAS Brunswick one year; a French Atlantique won that event. Other common patrol aircraft that visited Brunswick besides the U.S. Navy’s P-3s included occasional S-3 Vikings, RAF Nimrods (a militarized version of the Comet jetliner), Canadian Argus and later CP-140 (CAF’s version of the P-3) and the aforementioned twin-turboprop Dassault Atlantique planes.

Some of the past Warbird demonstrations and performers that graced the Midcoast Maine skies… not representative of the performers in 2017… but Scott Yoak in the P-51 Mustang “Quick Silver” is!

More photos from past air shows at NAS Brunswick and Brunswick Executive Airport… most of these aircraft are not scheduled to attend…

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Ken Kula

Assignment and Content Editor, writer and photographer A New Englander all of my life, I've lived in New Hampshire since 1981. My passion for all things aviation began at a very early age, and I coupled this with my interest of photography during college in the late 1970s. I spent 32 years in the air traffic control industry, and concurrently, enjoyed my aviation photography and writing adventures, which continue today. I've been quite fortunate to have been mentored by some generous and gifted individuals. I enjoy contributing to this great site, and working with some very knowledgeable and equally passionate aviation followers.

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