This weekend's Wings over Illawarra (WOI) has become one of the most anticipated air shows in Australia, bolstered by the success of the event last year and a weather forecast that any air show organiser would kill for.
What started out as simply a flying day for the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) years ago has evolved into first an air show and now a complete community festival centred around aviation and Illawarra Regional Airport at Albion Park.
With one of the most comprehensive line-ups of any air show in Australia, WOI caters for the Sydney's basin's aviation fanatics that were starved for a world-class air show for many years. That all changed when Bright Events took over running the event and although the first two shows were dogged by impossible weather, subsequent years have seen WOI gain in strength and popularity.
The Australian Defence Force now sees WOI as a marketing opportunity and supports the show with a rich line-up of assets both in the air and on the ground.
"This year’s event will be the biggest in our history and we are grateful for the continuing support from all sectors of the aviation community, along with the general public," said WOI Busness Development Manager Steve Visscher. "Ticket sales have been strong, and we’re confident of breaking last year’s record attendance levels.
"Wings Over Illawarra 2018 will feature its largest ever contingent of aircraft from the Australian defence force and we are particularly excited to be the first air show to host a handling display by an Australian P-8A Poseidon. We will have F/A-18A Hornet and Hawk 127 displays both days along with the C-27J Spartan, C-17 Globemaster, C-130 Hercules and Seahawk Romeo, to name but a few.
"The Hawker Hurricane also makes its Wings debut this year, flying alongside the Focke Wulf 190 and many other warbirds.
"Aerobatics will be provided once again by the Paul Bennet Airshows team and Matt Hall Racing, and we are pleased to welcome Paul Andronicou for the first time.
"We’re proud to be a major contributor to the Illawarra economy and remain passionate about bringing the excitement of aviation to tens of thousand of visitors each year."
WOI doesn't limit itself to aviation, providing the local community with an array of attractions including vintage cars, carnival rides, freestyle motorcross displays and vintage train rides.
And the ground holds interest for the general aviation punter as well, with many aviation groups setting up stalls for the weekend including CASA, Airservices Australia, RAAus, the Sport Aircraft Association of Australia and Australian Warbirds Association Limited.
More information on Australia's largest annual air show is on the Wings over Illawarra website.
Scheduled Flying Displays
- RAAF Roulettes
- F/A-18 Hornets
- MH-60R Seahawk Romeo
- C27J Spartan (Saturday only)
- C130J Hercules (Sunday only)
- P-8A Posiedon (Sunday only)
- C-17 Globemaster (Saturday only)
- Hawk 127
- Boeing Stearman
- Focke Wulf FW-190
- Marchetti S.211
- Yak 3U
- The Russian Roolettes Yak team
- L-39 Albatross
- Jet Provost
- CAC-27 Sabre
- Beech 18
- Paul Andronicou Extra 330SC
- The SkyAces formation team
- Paul Bennet Wolf Pitts
- Pitts Model 12
- Matt Hall MSX-R
Note: all scheduled flying displays are subject to aircraft availability and serviceability on the day.