Even more reason to look up! Organizers make additions to Milwaukee Air & Water Show's line-up

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee residents and visitors will have even more reason to look up this summer as the F-22 Demonstration and Heritage Flight Team has been added to the Milwaukee Air & Water Show's line-up.

The show, headlined by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds is set for July 25th and 26th along Milwaukee’s lakefront.

Organizers have also announced the return of Rob Holland, the A-4 Skyhawk Tactical Jet Demo and new in 2015 the Ghost Rider – A-7 Corsair II interactive display will entertain attendees along Lincoln Memorial Drive.

Reserved seating ticket packages are available online now, with the opportunity to make a donation to the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight, the air show’s official charity, for every ticket purchased.

The F-22 Raptor is the world’s only operational fifth-generation fighter aircraft and combines stealth design with supersonic, highly maneuverable, dual-engine technology – providing America with the most equipped fighter aircraft against a possible air threat. The F-22 Demonstration also teams up with the Air Force Heritage flight exhibiting the professional qualities the Air Force develops in the people who fly, maintain and support these aircraft.

The water portion of the show will kick-off at approximately 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, with aerial acts to follow each day at approximately noon.

For prime show viewing, attendees are encouraged to purchase Center Point, Flight Line Club or Sun Table seating, ranging in price from $20 – $55.

New this year, attendees have the opportunity to donate to the event’s charity, Stars and Stripes Honor Flight, by making a donation to the organization when purchasing tickets.

As the official event charity, a group of 20 WWII veterans will be special guests of Stars and Stripes Honor Flight during Saturday’s Air & Water Show.

"We are so pleased that some of our oldest veterans can be celebrated in such a public way, and that the board of the Air & Water Show has chosen to honor our veterans by naming us as their 2015 charity partner,” said Paula Nelson, president of Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.  “We hope that this fantastic weekend of entertainment that celebrates our military will also bring attention to the sacrifices of the Greatest Generation."

Founded in 2008, Stars and Stripes Honor Flight has flown more than 3,500 WWII and Korean War veterans from southeastern Wisconsin on one day, all-expenses-paid trips to Washington D.C. to see the memorials erected in their honor.

Led by the Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron, the event’s newest additions round out one of the strongest air show line-ups in the country, which also includes the following  previously announced acts: U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Demonstration Team, Breitling Precision Jet Team as part of its first-ever U.S. tour, Aerostars Formation Aerobatic Team and Firebirds X-Treme Aerobatic Team.

Rob Holland is one of the most decorated, respected and innovative aerobatic pilots and airshow performers in the world today. Flying the Window World MXS-RH by MX Aircraft, Rob Holland brings an unrivaled performance to airshows across North America, thrilling millions of spectators with his dynamic and breathtaking display.

The A-4 Skyhawk, provided by the Warbird Heritage Foundation, was a post Korean War U.S. attack aircraft intended to be operated from aircraft carriers.  It was desgined by Douglas Aircraft to satisfy the U.S. Navy’s need for a jet powered replacement for the A-1 Skyraider.  Skyhawk’s were the U.S. Navy’s primary light bomber during the early years of the Vietnam War.  A-4’s carried out some of the first U.S. air strikes of the war and a Marine Skyhawk is believed to have dropped the last U.S. bombs on the country.  After Vietnam, the A-4 served as a demonstration aircraft for the U.S. Navy Blue Angels; a total of 2,960 A-4’s were built.

Once an essential light attack aircraft used by the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, there are now less than 25 flyable A-7's today. This one-of-a-kind jet cockpit, nicknamed "Ghost Rider," will be available as an interactive display on the air show grounds. Full flight suits, helmets, oxygen masks, G-suits and parachutes will also be provided for guests to try on. Whether young or old, all air show attendees will feel the adrenaline when gearing up, climbing inside the cockpit and pretending to take Ghost Rider for a run! 

Anchored by the performance of the U.S. Coast Guard HH-65C Rescue Helicopter, the water portion of the show includes the Milwaukee Fireboat, Seven Marine, Badgerland Water Ski Team, Badgerland Jet Ski Team, Hustler 50 Powerboats and the Shipyard Marine Powerboat Demonstration.